The Employment Law & HR Podcast

Will an employer be expected to know an employee is disabled if the occupational health report says otherwise

In this episode of the podcast I cover a case from the Court of Appeal which has dealt with this question and the broader issue of an employer's constructive knowledge of disability and when this triggers the requirement to make reasonable adjustments.

The case is Donelien v Liberata UK Limited

In this episode I will cover:

  • The facts of the case;
  • Background to the relevant discrimination legislation;
  • The relevance of the case given the fact that it was decided under the Disability Discrimination Act;
  • The decision of the Court of Appeal;
  • Why it is important for employers to obtain as much information as they can about an employees condition before making decisions about reasonable adjustments and/or dismissal.

Action Points

  1. If you suspect an employee may be disabled it is important to get advice;
  2. Whilst occupational health reports are helpful caution should be taken when relying on their content alone;
  3. Seek advice on your legal obligations before dispute arise. 

Useful Links

Donelien v Liberata UK Limited - Court of Appeal 

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_93_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:21pm EST

What happens when an employee makes a claim against you in the Employment Tribunal?

In this episode of the podcast I summarise the process that occurs after an employee sends their claim form to the Employment Tribunal and what you will need to consider as an employer defending a claim.

In this episode I will cover:

  • The first notification stage - when you will find out if there is a claim against you;
  • The time limit for returning your defence;
  • How the Tribunal issue directions for preparation;
  • The type of preparation required;
  • The timing for preparation in advance of the final hearing.

Action Points

  1. If you receive a claim form or notification from the Tribunal do not delay;
  2. Seek advice and ensure that you meet the Tribunal deadlines and timetable. 

Useful Links

ACAS Early Conciliation explained: Episode 3 

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

 
 

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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, Salisbury, Eastleigh, Southampton, Fareham, Portsmouth, Winchester and surrounding areas in Hampshire.

 


Real Employment Law Advice Logo

 

The information contained in this Podcast and post is provided for guidance and is a snapshot of the law at the time. It is provided for your information only and should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice that it specific to your particular circumstances.

The guidance should not be relied upon in any decision making process. It is strongly recommended that you seek advice before taking action.

 

Solicitors Isle of Wight | Solicitors Salisbury | Solicitors Eastleigh

Direct download: Episode_92_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:12am EST

Answers to some questions you may have about the GDPR 

Following on from the last two podcast episodes (89 and 90) I round off this mini series on the GDPR and provide you some of the questions that have arisen in discussion and from my own enquiries for my business.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force in the UK and across the EU on the 25th May 2018 and is the first major overhaul of Data Protection rules and regulations since the Data Protection Act 1995.

The GDPR is important for businesses who hold any type of data, whether about customers, contacts or employees, and the fines for getting it wrong can becostly. In this podcast I bring you questions and answers to some questions you may have.

In this episode I will cover answers to the following questions:

  • Does the GDPR apply to information held about a business?
  • Are there extra considerations if we employ children?
  • Do all businesses need a data protection officer?
  • Who needs to know about the GDPR in my business?
  • Do I need to delete all old employee information I have?
  • If I only keep paper records does the GDPR still apply?
  • If we use software to hold employee data what do we need to do about this?
  • Is it necessary to have consent in all cases if we are holding and processing data?

Action Points

  1. Listen to the podcast and follow the action points;
  2. Contact us for a free copy of the action points and checklist - email GDPR@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk
  3. Sign up for updates and alerts from the information commissioner;
  4. Diarise time to take action on the GDPR;
  5. Consider assigning a Data Protection Office or champion in your organisation. 

Useful Links

Information Commissioner Guidance: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/data-protection-reform/overview-of-the-gdpr/

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_91_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:58am EST

As an employer what actions should you be taking to comply with the GDPR 

Following on from the last podcast (episode 89) I continue to provide you with an overview of the 'GDPR' and what you will need to know as an employer.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force in the UK and across the EU on the 25th May 2018 and is the first major overhaul of Data Protection rules and regulations since the Data Protection Act 1995.

The GDPR is important for businesses who hold any type of data, whether about customers, contacts or employees, and the fines for getting it wrong can be very costly. In this podcast I bring you an action list to get started on ensuring your business is compliant with the GDPR from an employers perspective.

In this episode I will cover:

  • Consent issues for employers;
  • Actions you should take and why;
  • Ways in which you can simplify your compliance with the GDPR.

Action Points

  1. Listen to the podcast and follow the action points;
  2. Contact us for a free copy of the action points and checklist - email GDPR@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk
  3. Sign up for updates and alerts from the information commissioner;
  4. Diarise time to take action on the GDPR;
  5. Consider assigning a Data Protection Office or champion in your organisation. 

Useful Links

Information Commissioner Guidance: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/data-protection-reform/overview-of-the-gdpr/

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_90.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:06am EST

Do you know about the GDPR & your requirements as an employer? 

If you are an employer or business owner you will have undoubtedly heard the word 'GDPR' around generally, normally followed by a bit of confusion and concern. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force in the UK and across the EU on the 25th May 2018 and is the first major overhaul of Data Protection rules and regulations since the Data Protection Act 1995.

The GDPR is important for businesses who hold any type of data, whether about customers, contacts or employees, and the fines for getting it wrong can be very costly. In this podcast I begin a mini-series bringing you an overview of the GDPR from an employers perspective. Following this podcast will be at least one, possibly two further episodes on the GDPR and a free checklist for Employers.

In this episode I will cover:

  • An overview of the introduction of the GDPR;
  • The deadline for compliance;
  • The consequences of non compliance;
  • A background to its application in the UK and EU;
  • What data it applies to;
  • How you may legally justify holding and processing data;
  • How you can gain consent from employees to holding their data;
  • What information you must provide to employees about their data and data rights;
  • What an employee's rights are when it comes to their personal data;
  • Changes to the Subject Access process and rules;
  • How you must demonstrate your compliance with the GDPR;
  • Advice about appointing a data protection officer;
  • Obligations to report a data breach;
  • Where you can go for more information.

Action Points

  1. Listen to the podcast and future episodes about the GDPR;
  2. Contact us for a free checklist (available after the 20th November 2017);
  3. Sign up for updates and alerts from the information commissioner;
  4. Diarise time to take action on the GDPR;
  5. Consider assigning a Data Protection Office or champion in your organisation. 

Useful Links

Information Commissioner Guidance: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/data-protection-reform/overview-of-the-gdpr/

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_89_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:11pm EST

What is Sexual Harassment? & How does the law protect people in the UK?

Following recent news about the long running and high profile allegations of sexual harassment against Harvey Weinstein in the US there has been a lot of coverage in the media about sexual harassment and harassment in the workplace. With this coverage has been the social media campaign #metoo where women who have been subject to some form of harassment are using the hashtag in their social media to highlight the issue. I thought that it would be a good time to cover what the law in the UK says about sexual harassment and to provide an update for employers to help understand responsibilities and how to  ensure the culture in your workplace does not allow this kind of behaviour to take place.

In this episode I will cover:

  • The law in the UK regarding sexual harassment;
  • The legal test for establishing sexual harassment;
  • Some case examples of what constitutes sexual harassment at work;
  • Some tips and hints to prevent issues arising;
  • How to ensure that this culture does not develop in your organisation.

Action Points

  1. Act quickly if faced with allegations or suspicions of such behaviour;
  2. Be clear on the type of behaviour that is acceptable in your organisation;
  3. Have a clear policy on acceptable behaviour and methods or reporting;
  4. Deal with any allegations or issues seriously.

Useful Links

BBC 5 Live survey Results & Report: Here

Equality Act 2010

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_88_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:53pm EST

Examples of cases involving suspension at work

Following the last two episodes in which I covered suspending employees, I have compiled some cases involving suspension at work to give you some examples of the facts and circumstances.

In this episode I will cover:

You can review Employment Tribunal Judgement that have been published here: https://www.gov.uk/employment-tribunal-decisions

Action Points

  1. Seek advice about the particular circumstances, every case is different;
  2. Review the suspension checklist before suspending, in the same way as you would for any other conduct issue;
  3. Take care not to make snap decisions or judgments;
  4. Listen to the two earlier episodes on suspension here 85 and 86.

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

 

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, Salisbury, Eastleigh, Southampton, Fareham, Portsmouth, Winchester and surrounding areas in Hampshire.

Direct download: Episode_87.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:09pm EST

What are an employers options when an employee is charged with a criminal offence? Should they suspend indefinitely? 

Following the last episode in which I covered suspending employees I have been contacted by a listener who raised some great questions about suspending employees when there are criminal allegations either related to work or behaviour outside of work to take into consideration.

This is certainly an issue that arises fairly frequently and often employers do not know what to do and feel that they have no choice but to suspend the employee on full pay pending the outcome of the criminal case.

In this episode I will cover:

  • The difference in approach depending on the facts of the case;
  • Why it may not be appropriate to suspend and/or dismiss an employee for criminial conduct outside of work;
  • The importance of following a fair and reasonable internal disciplinary procedure;
  • What to do if an employee refuses to answer questions or is advised not to attend an investigation meeting;
  • Circumstances in which you do not have to wait for the employee to attend a disciplinary meeting;
  • General principles for suspension and disciplinary decision making.

Action Points

  1. Seek advice about the particular circumstances, every case is different;
  2. Review the suspension checklist before suspending, in the same way as you would for any other conduct issue;
  3. Take care not to make snap decisions or judgments;
  4. Listen to the unfair dismissal mini series which you can find here: 36 and 37

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_86.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:41pm EST

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 EST

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 EST