The Employment Law & HR Podcast

Suspension Checklist

We are contacted on an almost daily basis by employees who have been suspended from work and often it is as a result of poor communication or poor planning and consideration. Many employers believe that suspending an employee is a neutral act and there is no risk in suspending whilst disciplinary issues are investigated, however several cases have shown that this is not the case and employers need to take care when suspending employees. Most recently I reported a case where it was ruled that it was unlawful for the employer to suspend the employee. You can read the full details here: CLICK HERE

In this episode I will cover:

  • A checklist for you to go through before suspending employees;
  • Guidance on what you should tell the employee when you suspend;
  • Why it is important to take care when suspending.

Action Points

1. Get in touch to get your copy of the free suspension checklist, email suspension@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk

Don't forget you can contact us by email alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or miranda@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or by telephone 01983 897003, 01722 653001 or 023 8098 2006

Direct download: Episode_85_-_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:12pm EDT

Employment Law & HR issues in the news

Normally when I talk about a case on the podcast it is because it has importance from a legal perspective, usually it has been reported in legal journals and websites and the main issue covered is the point of law. This week there have been three employment issues in the popular press which I thought you may be interested to hear about.

They do not bring anything 'new' from a legal perspective but the facts are interesting and they provide good examples for employers on how not to deal with issues that arise.

In this episode I will cover:

  • A first for McDonald's staff who have taken the decision to strike at two restaurants in the UK;
  • Two male police officers who between them have been awarded £96,000 compensation for victimisation;
  • A Royal Mail worker who successfully claimed constructive dismissal when his hours were changed without his agreement.

Action Points

1. Ensure that your staff and managers have training about equality and diversity issues;

2. Take care when changing employee hours particularly if it impacts on their childcare or caring responsibilities;

3. Seek advice when you receive a flexible working application before making the decision;

4. Continue to treat your employees reasonably and within the law and you will have much less chance of a dispute arising;

5. Seek advice about employment law and HR best practice from a professional who is experienced in this area of law.

Don't forget you can contact us by email alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or miranda@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or by telephone 01983 897003, 01722 653001 or 023 8098 2006

Direct download: Podcast_ep_84_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:37pm EDT

No more fees in the Employment Tribunal

Undoubtedly you will have heard in the news or online about the Supreme Court decision that the introduction of Employment Tribunal fees for employees to make a claim is unlawful and as a result effective immediately employees will not have to pay the £160 or £250 fee for making a claim. In this episode of the Podcast I bring you a summary of the decision and my views on the outcome and the future for the Employment Tribunal.

In this episode I will cover:

  • Background into the introduction of fees and reason for them;
  • The impact of fees on employees and the number of claims;
  • Why Unison challenged the introduction of fees;
  • Summary of the Supreme Court reasons for the decision;
  • What is currently happening with employment tribunal claims;
  • What may happen next.

Action Points

1. Don't panic about the 'floodgates' being opened and a flurry of claims against your business;

2. Ensure that you stay informed of the latest developments, you can sign up below for our free newsletter;

3. Continue to treat your employees reasonably and within the law and you will have much less chance of a dispute arising;

4. Seek advice about employment law and HR best practice from a professional who is experienced in this area of law.

 

Useful Links & Case References

Update article on this subject - Read here
 
You can read the full judgement here: Read here 
Direct download: Episode_83.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:41am EDT

An interview with Juliette Chan 

Although my focus is on the law and the legal side of employing people I am very interested in and enthusiastic about ways in which my clients can be the best employers and get the most out of their people. After meeting Juliette at a networking group on the Isle of Wight I was really interested to hear about her work and the ways in which this can help employers and employees deal with work related issues. Juliette kindly agreed to be interviewed and I hope you will agree has provided some interesting insights into grief, loss and how it relates to work. 

In this episode we cover:

  • Ways in which employers can help employees who have had a bereavement; 
  • How grief and loss effect employees in the workplace; 
  • Ways to spot when someone needs help;
  • Strategies for dealing with grief and loss. 

Action Points

  1. Give managers some guidance and training on dealing with grief in the workplace;
  2. When undertaking redundancies or major changes in the business be aware of the impact on employees;
  3. Seek advice from an expert to ensure you are doing the best you can for your employees. 

About Juliette Chan 

Juliette is a Grief Recovery Specialist® whose business is Altered Dawn.

Juliette helps with any loss such as bereavement, relationship breakdown, pet loss, loss of trust, job loss, bankruptcy, loss of health, etc.

She teaches the Grief Recovery Method® to help people understand their grief, make peace with it and move forward. This isn’t counselling or therapy – it is a series of step-by-step actions that can be used again and again for any future loss. Juliette runs courses for both groups and individuals. 

Juliette is also qualified to work with parents and professionals who want to help children grieve. 

Useful Links & Case References

Juliette's website - Altered Dawn - www.altereddawn.co.uk

You can connect with Juliette on LinkedIn here – Juliette Chan

Direct download: Juliette_Chan.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:38am EDT

The Pitfalls of ACAS Early Conciliation 

In this weeks’ episode I tell you about a case involving an employee who represented himself and mistakenly put the wrong employer on his Early Conciliation application.

In this episode I will cover:

  • The facts of the case;
  • Background to the introduction of ACAS Early Conciliation;
  • How an employees mistaken belief about who his employer was cost him his ability to claim constructive dismissal;
  • Why this kind of mistake is helpful to employers facing a claim.

Action Points

  1. If you receive an employment tribunal claim against you through the post you should seek advice immediately as there may be ways of preventing the case from continuing therefore minimising the costs and risks to you; 
  2. Seek advice from an employment law specialist who knows about the Employment Tribunal process and procedures;
  3. We are specialist employment lawyers and can help with case so why not give us a call and let an expert take care of it for you 023 8098 2006, 01983 897003 or 01722 653001.

 Useful Links & Case References

 

Giny v SNA Transport Limited - Employment Appeal Tribunal 

Direct download: Episode_81.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:24am EDT

When a female employee receives full maternity pay should a man on shared parental leave receive the same? 

In this weeks' episode I review the recent decisions regarding the payment of enhanced pay to fathers who take shared parental leave. There are two decisions of the Employment Tribunal, Leicester ET and Leeds ET which have given conflicting outcomes on this issue. Both cases are likely to be appealed but in the meantime it leaves a degree of uncertainty for employers who currently give additional pay to female employees on maternity leave but not fathers on shared parental leave.

In this episode I will cover:

  • The facts of the cases;
  • Background to the introduction of shared parental leave;
  • How discrimination law is relevant to this situation;
  • Tips on what you can do as an employer and considerations when it comes to planning enhancements for employees.

Action Points

  1. If you currently pay enhanced maternity pay but not shared parental pay ensure that you are signed up for my newsletter below for more information when the appeal decision is released;
  2. Consider why you provide enhanced pay to employees and the benefits to your workforce of this;
  3. Seek advice if you are unsure what is best for your business;
  4. I can help with all of the points above so why not give me a call and let an expert take care of it for you 023 8098 2006 or 01983 897003.

 Useful Links & Case References

Ali v Capita Customer Management Ltd - Employment Tribunal 

Hextall v Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police - Employment Tribunal

Snell v Network Rail - Employment Tribunal 

 

 


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Direct download: episode_80.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:59am EDT

An interview with Terri Brookes 

In this weeks' episode I interview Terri Brookes who applied for a job as a trainee solicitor with the Government Legal Service (GLS) and requested a reasonable adjustment as a result of her aspergers. When the GLS refused to make adjustments to their recruitment process Terri made a claim in the Employment Tribunal. After winning her case in the Employment Tribunal the GLS appealed to the Employment Appeal Tribunal and Terri successfully defended her claim.

In this episode I will cover:

  • The facts of the case;
  • The reasons why Terri pursued the case;
  • Helpful guidance on reasonable adjustments that are required and should be considered in the recruitment process;
  • Why you need to treat each person with disabilities individually in the recruitment process;
  • Key points about cases in the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

Action Points

  1. If you are recruiting and you have tests or assessments then consider how these may impact those with disabilities;
  2. Consider how you would provide information and application forms, for example, if you had a candidate with a disability;
  3. Seek advice if you are unsure or you are presented with an unusual situation;
  4. I can help with all of the points above so why not give me a call and let an expert take care of it for you 023 8098 2006 or 01983 897003.

 Useful Links & Case References

The Government Legal Service v Brooks - Employment Appeal Tribunal

Read the full judgement here

You can read my case summary and comment: click here

You can connect with Terri on Twitter - @TIBrookes 

Direct download: rec_live_tibrookes.equality_for_all_18_May_2017_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:23pm EDT

Mental Health: An interview with the experts 

Mental Health of employees is a difficult subject for employers to tackle and there are a number of implications of getting it wrong. In this mini series I will be focusing on Mental Health at Work and providing some hints, tips and legal advice for employers. This is the final episode in the series and I interview Ian Smith and Gill Hepburn from the italk Employment Team who are specialists in providing support and guidance to employees having difficulties at work as a result of or related to mental health conditions.

In this episode we will cover:

  • What the italk service is and who they help;
  • Guidance and tips for employers and employees;
  • Why mental health training for managers and supervisors is important;
  • Causes of issues at work;
  • Tips for employees who have mental health conditions;
  • Discussion on why more employees are diagnosed with mental health conditions as a result of work;
  • Why employers should know what their own policies and procedures say about mental health at work;
  • Resources and ideas for employers.

Resources for you

  1. www.italk.org.uk
  2. italk Employment Service
  3. Mindful Employer - www.mindfulemployer.net
  4. Mind - Free resources for Employers 
  5. Find Psychological Therapies near you
  6. Legal and practical help for employers is available from the Real Employment Law Team why not give us a call and let an expert take care of it for you 023 8098 2006 or 01983 897003.
Direct download: Interview_with_Gill_and_Ian_-_Episode_78.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00pm EDT

Mental Health: Best Practice for Employers 

Mental Health of employees is a difficult subject for employers to tackle and there are a number of implications of getting it wrong. In this mini series I will be focusing on Mental Health at Work and providing some hints, tips and legal advice for employers. The focus in this episode is best practice and what steps you can take to be a better employer.

In this episode I will cover:

  • Some of the reasons why employers behave badly or handle employees with mental health conditions poorly;
  • Tips for Employers to be better including;
  1. Creating a culture of acceptance and communication;
  2. Encourage communication and openness;
  3. Taking steps to reassure staff and make them feel appreciated;
  4. Consider and make workplace adjustments;
  5. Having good management of absence processes.
  • This episode also includes some ideas for best practice & going the extra mile for your employees.

Action Points

  1. Think about the culture in your organisation, what do your managers, supervisors and staff know about mental health and how do they feel dealing with employees who have a mental health condition;
  2. Consider implementing or making at least one change in your business;
  3. Seek advice and assistance to ensure the best practice in your business;
  4. I can help with all of the points above so why not give me a call and let an expert take care of it for you 023 8098 2006 or 01983 897003.

 


 

Would you like advice about your situation?

Appointments are available on the telephone or via Skype throughout the UK.

Alternatively we offer face to face appointments on the Isle of Wight, in Eastleigh, Southampton, Salisbury, Fareham, Portsmouth, Winchester and surrounding areas in Hampshire.

Direct download: Episode_77.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:42am EDT

 Mental Health & Disability 

Mental Health of employees is a difficult subject for employers to tackle and there are a number of implications of getting it wrong. In this mini series I will be focusing on Mental Health at Work and providing some hints, tips and legal advice for employers. The focus in this episode is the legal implications and requirements of employers.

In this episode I will cover:

  • The definition of disability and how it applies to mental health;
  • The distinction between disability and stress at work or work related stress conditions;
  • Who has the burden of proving disability;
  • The importance of medical advice and opinion;
  • Implied knowledge of disability and when an employer will have implied knowledge;
  • Employer's obligations to a disabled employee;
  • Types of reasonable adjustments for a disabled employee with a mental impairment.

Action Points

  1. Discuss with any employees who display signs of mental health issues or long term health conditions;
  2. Provide support and systems in place for identifying reasonable adjustments for employees;
  3. Encourage employees to disclose medical conditions;
  4. Seek advice and assistance to ensure the best practice in your business;
  5. I can help with all of the points above so why not give me a call and let an expert take care of it for you 023 8098 2006 or 01983 897003.
Direct download: episode_76.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:27am EDT

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