The Employment Law & HR Podcast

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

A focus on Stress at Work

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 to start with is on stress at work.

In this episode I will cover:

  • The reasons for growing stress numbers at work;
  • The reasons employees become stressed at work;
  • How reducing and preventing stress can help to prevent depression and anxiety conditions;
  • Why it is important for your business that you understand work stress;
  • How to identify employees who are stressed;
  • What you can do to reduce and manage employee stress.

Action Points

  1. Train your managers and supervisors to spot the signs of stress;
  2. Implement a Stress at Work policy;
  3. Increase communication among staff and managers
  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_75.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:33am EDT

Is a cycle courier a self-employed person or a worker?

This weeks' episode is about one of four cases that are making their way through the London Central Employment Tribunal on the issue of the status of workers. In this case Mr Boxer, who is a cycle courier, has asserted that he is a 'worker' rather than a self-employed person and is therefore entitled to holiday pay, and other benefits.

In this episode I will cover:

  • The facts of the case;
  • Why the Employment Tribunal have decided in Mr Boxer's favour;
  • What the significance of this case is;
  • Why there are several of these cases ongoing at the moment;
  • Why I predict that there will be legislation on this area in the near future to set guidelines to easier establish the status of certain workers in the 'gig' economy.

Action Points

  1. If you have any 'self-employed' contractors or persons working for you seek advice to clarify that they would be classed as 'self-employed' if a dispute arose;
  2. Seek advice and assistance if you are unsure of what to do;
  3. Subscribe for updates to ensure you are aware of the latest legal position as it changes;
  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

Boxer v Excel Group Services Limited - London Central Employment Tribunal

Uber Case - Another self-employed v Worker status case - Episode 66

Employment Status and the Gig Economy

Employed or Self-Employed - Episode 61

Direct download: Episode_74.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:03am EDT

It is easy to let things slide & have an easier life, BUT it can be costly later on 

In this weeks' episode I explain the importance of addressing issues and having those difficult conversations when they occur rather than letting it go and trying to deal with it later on. In the last few months I have been advising a few employers who for one reason or another have reached the end of the line with an employee because of a culmination of small issues. However, because these small conduct issues have not been addressed when they arose it is almost impossible to rely on them later.

In this episode I will cover:

  • The importance of dealing with conduct issues as they arise, regardless of how uncomfortable or time consuming it may be;
  • Why it is difficult to rely on historic conduct issues to dismiss an employee;
  • The importance of setting out your rules and requirements of employees in a Handbook or set of rules;
  • Why it is important for employees to have been told the rules and requirements you have of them;
  • How to implement new rules and standards of conduct for existing staff;
  • Why it is important to tailor your documents, contracts and handbook to your business.

Action Points

  1. Review your Handbook and/or rules to ensure they cover the points that are important to your business;
  2. Make sure staff are aware of the Handbook and/or rules and seek evidence to confirm this;
  3. Consider an annual requirement for all staff to confirm they are aware of the rules and procedures;
  4. Deal with minor issues of misconduct when they arise and make a note of your conversation on the employee's personnel file;
  5. Seek advice and assistance if you are unsure of what to do with a disciplinary or dismissal issue;
  6. 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

Episode 26 of the Podcast - Reasonableness of a decision to dismiss

Episodes 34 - 39 - Unfair Dismissal Focus

Episode 36 - the Reasonableness Test

Direct download: Episode_73.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:15am EDT

An update on Social Media considerations for Employers

In this weeks' episode I bring you an update on social media considerations for employers. I have been contacted numerous times in the last couple of weeks with questions about social media issues at work by both employers and employees and therefore I thought that it would be a good time to recap on some of the cases in this area and summarise key points for employers to note.

In this episode I will cover:

  • Cases where the employee was fairly dismissed for social media posts;
  • Cases where the Employment Tribunal decided that the employee had been unfairly dismissed for social media posts;
  • A case where the employer was permitted to rely on Facebook posts and a YouTube video to fairly dismiss an employee;
  • Best practice training for new staff using an example from a case against Apple Retail;
  • What you should include in your Social Media Policy;
  • Considerations with social media relating to Discrimination, Recruitment, Reputation & Confidential Information.

Action Points

  1. Review your social media policy, if you have one, if not get one!;
  2. Consider how important social media reputation is to your business & how you are protecting your business from your employees;
  3. Consider providing training or specific information to employees at the induction stage about the use of social media;
  4. Ensure you make it clear in your recruitment policy and/or process how you will use social media and online searches about candidates;
  5. I can help with all of the points at 1-4 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

British Waterways Board v Smith (2015)

Game Retail v Laws (2014) 

Gill v SAS Grand Services UK Limited

Whitham v Club 24 Ltd t/a Ventura (2011)

Stephens v Halfords PLC (2011)

Crisp v Apple Retail

Direct download: episode_72.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:23am EDT

Employers Questions Answered

This is a mini series focusing on family rights at work and the considerations which apply with regards to employees who are parents/will be parents. In this fifth and final episode in the series I answer some frequently asked questions from employers and give guidance on some good practice.

In this episode I will cover answers to the following FAQ's:

  1. I have an employee who is always taking time off at short notice because children are ill, what can I do?
  2. Can I stop my employee from taking holiday when returning to work from maternity leave?
  3. Can employees have time off for children's school events?
  4. I have taken on a new employee to cover whilst the regular employee is on maternity leave and they are doing a better job. Can I move the employee on maternity leave to a new job when she returns?
  5. I have an employee who is in a same sex relationship whose partner is pregnant, can my employee take paternity leave even though she is not a man (or father)?

Reference: Stelfox v Westco Building Components Ltd Employment Tribunal Case on returning from maternity leave.

 

Action Points

  1. Seek advice before taking action if you are unsure of an employees legal rights;
  2. Have a clear policy and procedure regarding family and parental rights;
  3. Consider going above and beyond the legal minimum to become the best employer in your industry;
  4. Seek advice and support to ensure you get it right. You can contact me by email alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or phone 023 8098 2006 or 01983 897003 if you would like to discuss.

 

 

 Getting advice from a Solicitor does not need to be expensive or painful!

 

 

 

 The Guardian Article

The Employment Law & HR Podcast was recently featured in an article on the Guardian online. You can read the full article here

Featured in:
guardian

 

 

Direct download: Episode_71_-_draft.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:41pm EDT

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