The Employment Law & HR Podcast

Thank you and best wishes for the festive season

This is just a short interlude between episodes 113 and 114, which are covering Managing Sickness Absence, in order to say a big thank you for your support over the last year and for listening to the podcast.

It is also to inform you that the next podcast will be back on or around the 21st January 2019 when I will be covering listener questions about sickness absence.

I also wanted to take the opportunity to remind you that as a firm of Solicitors we provide advice and assistance to Employers and Employees on all aspects of employment law and would be very happy to help you in future, just drop me an email to alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk and we can set up a free, no obligation, telephone call or Skype call.

It is also a reminder that we have a fortnightly free newsletter which covers various topics and updates that are not normally covered in the podcast. For example in the last newsletter before Christmas I covered the recently announced employment law reforms, known as the 'Good Work' reforms. If you want to learn more you can read the full article here: https://adviceforemployers.co.uk/2018/12/18/government-announce-employment-law-reforms/

The next newsletter due out on the 2nd January 2019 gives a full run down of all of the articles and issues covered in newsletters in 2018 so be sure to subscribe now to get your copy:

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If you would like to know more about the HR Harbour Service and how you can get unlimited support from as little as £180 per month please contact me for a no obligation discussion - alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or you can find full details here: HR Harbour

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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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.

 


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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

HR Isle of Wight | HR Salisbury | HR Eastleigh

Direct download: Interlude_-_27th_December_2018_-_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EST

How do you manage staff who are absent long-term?

This episode of the podcast is the third part of a mini series on managing sickness absence at work and in this episode I cover what you can do to manage staff who are absent long-term due to sickness or injury, including the stages you need to go through if their absence becomes untenable. 

In this episode I will cover:

  • Recognising the difficulties in having conversations with employees who are sick.
  • The importance of maintaining appropriate regular contact with absent employees.
  • Why you need to obtain medical reports and up to date information on the employees condition and prognosis.
  • What to do when you have to start the formal process.
  • The importance of considering disability and reasonable adjustments.
  • When to consider adjustments for the employee.
  • What to do when you reach the point of dismissal.
  • What to consider if the employee is going to be absent indefinitely and/or may not return.
  • How to minimise your risk of a discrimination and/or unfair dismissal claim.

Action Points

  1. Have a clear absence management / sickness procedure in your handbook with relevant 'trigger' points for the informal and formal procedures;
  2. Set out from the outset the method and frequency of contact with an employee;
  3. Obtain medical advice;
  4. Seek advice and assistance if you are unsure how to deal with a situation.

We can help with the forms you need, the relevant procedure and training for your managers. Please do not hesitate to get in touch for some real life help for your organisation.

Useful Links

Disability related podcasts:

Bradford Calculator

You can find an index of all of the podcast topics covered so far here: Podcast Index

 

In the 4th episode of this mini series I will be covering some listener questions and/or frequently asked questions so if you do have a question please get in touch: alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or leave a comment below.

 

If you would like to know more about the HR Harbour Service and how you can get unlimited support from as little as £180 per month please contact me for a no obligation discussion - alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or you can find full details here: HR Harbour

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: 113_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:26pm EST

How do you deal with persistent short-term absences?

This episode of the podcast is the second part of a mini series on managing sickness absence at work and in this episode I cover the tricky issue of how to effectively address short-term absences and the stages you need to go through if the absence levels do not improve. 

In this episode I will cover:

  • The importance of having a good sickness procedure in your Handbook or other document.
  • Why having informal exploratory discussions with employees at an early stage are important.
  • What to do when you have to start the formal process.
  • Why you need to be clear on the real reasons for the employees absences.
  • How to check if the employee has a long-term medical condition and/or disability.
  • The importance of obtaining appropriate medical advice.
  • When to consider adjustments for the employee.
  • What to do when you reach the point of dismissal
  • How to minimise your risk of an unfair dismissal claim.

Action Points

  1. Ensure that managers are trained to effectively manage sickness absence - give them the confidence to ask questions;
  2. Have a clear absence management / sickness procedure in your handbook with relevant 'trigger' points for the informal and formal procedures;
  3. Keep good records of the volume and reasons for absences;
  4. Seek advice and assistance if you are unsure how to deal with a situation.

We can help with the forms you need, the relevant procedure and training for your managers. Please do not hesitate to get in touch for some real life help for your organisation.

Useful Links

Disability related podcasts:

Bradford Calculator

You can find an index of all of the podcast topics covered so fare here: Podcast Index

 

In the 4th episode of this mini series I will be covering some listener questions and/or frequently asked questions so if you do have a question please get in touch: alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or leave a comment below.

 

If you would like to know more about the HR Harbour Service and how you can get unlimited support from as little as £180 per month please contact me for a no obligation discussion - alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or you can find full details here: HR Harbour

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_112_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:13pm EST

How can you start to reduce sickness absence in your business or organisation?

This episode of the podcast it is the start of a mini series on managing sickness absence at work and to start I cover some easy practical tips to reduce sickness absence which you can begin today. 

In this episode I will cover:

  • Some easy tips to help you to deal with sickness absence.
  • Guidance on having clear rules on telephoning in to report sickness absence.
  • Training managers to ask the right questions when someone phones in sick.
  • Back to work meetings and discussions.
  • Self-certification forms and what to include on them.
  • The importance of absence recording records.
  • Effective ways to manage sick pay.
  • How the Bradford Scale can help manage absence.
  • Why communication with staff is the key to reducing and managing sickness in your organisation.

Action Points

  1. Ensure that managers are trained to effectively manage sickness absence - give them the confidence to ask questions;
  2. Review how you record sickness absence in your business or organisation;
  3. Look at your sick pay policy and consider amending;
  4. Change your self-certification forms;
  5. Seek advice and assistance if you are unsure how to deal with a situation.

We can help with the forms you need, the relevant procedure and training for your managers. Please do not hesitate to get in touch for some real life help for your organisation.

Useful Links

Wonolo Top 50 Podcasts for HR Professionals

Bradford Calculator

You can find an index of all of the podcast topics covered so fare here: Podcast Index

 

Please do leave any comments or observations you have on this case below. Please ensure that any comments are respectful to all views and opinions.

If you would like to know more about the HR Harbour Service and how you can get unlimited support from as little as £180 per month please contact me for a no obligation discussion - alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or you can find full details here: HR Harbour

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_111_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:11am EST

What are your options with disciplinary action & double jeopardy

In this episode of the podcast I cover a listener question, which asks, how far back can you go with a disciplinary issue? and can you resurrect an issue that a previous manager dealt with informally but you now feel should have been dealt with as a formal disciplinary issue? 

In this episode I will cover:

  • The risks if you dismiss an employee for an issue that has previously been dealt with informally.
  • A case where employees were 'tried' twice for the same issue by their employer and found to have been fairly dismissed.
  • A case where an employee was given a warning to start with and then subsequently dismissed and it was found to be unfair.
  • The test of reasonableness and why it is relevant to disciplinary decisions.
  • Why the manager's behaviour in this scenario could be seen as bullying.
  • What you should consider if you are in similar circumstances.
  • Double jeopardy or res judicata in respect of employment issues.

Action Points

  1. Ensure that you and any managers, supervisors and decision makers in your business are trained on your standards of conduct and understand how to handle conduct issues correctly the first time;
  2. Review your disciplinary procedure and rules and ensure that you have a good and easy to follow process in place;
  3. Seek advice if you are unsure about the situation.

We offer training in respect of the correct ways to handle disciplinary processes and we can also review and advise on your procedures for you so please do get in touch if we can be of any assistance.

Useful Links

Sarkar v West London Mental Health NHS Trust 2010

Christou and another v London Borough of Haringey 2013

Williams v Leeds United Football Club

Episode 108  of the Podcast

 

Please do leave any comments or observations you have on this case below. Please ensure that any comments are respectful to all views and opinions.

If you would like to know more about the HR Harbour Service and how you can get unlimited support from as little as £180 per month please contact me for a no obligation discussion - alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or you can find full details here: HR Harbour

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

 

Big thanks to Leslies Motors who have loaned us a new Kia Ceed to trial for the month - www.lesliesmotors.co.uk

Direct download: Episode_110_-_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:15pm EST

A summary of the decision in the Supreme Court Discrimination case of

Lee v Ashers Baking Company Limited

In this episode of the podcast I cover with the high profile case which has become known as the 'Gay Cake' case, in which the Ashers Baking Company Limited refused to create and sell a cake to Mr Lee containing the slogan 'Support Gay Marriage'. Although not an 'employment' case it is relevant to the area of discrimination in employment. 

In this episode I will cover:

  • The basis in law for the claim.
  • The facts of the case.
  • A summary of the supreme court decision.
  • My thoughts on the case and why this judgement was the outcome.
  • Comparison from a 'similar' case in Colorado in the US.

Action Points

  1. Ensure that you and any managers, supervisors and decision makers in your business are aware of the law regarding discrimination and the potential implications in the service or goods you sell/provide, as well as in respect of employees;
  2. Get some specific training for staff in Equality & Diversity and update regularly;
  3. Check any policies and procedures that you have in your business to ensure they are compliant with your obligations under the Equality Act.

We offer training on Equality and Diversity for staff and we can review your contracts, procedures and Handbooks for you so please do get in touch if we can be of any assistance.

Useful Links

Lee v Ashers Baking Company Limited - Supreme Court Judgement 

BBC Report on Case

Masterpiece Supreme Court Case from Colorado - CNN news piece

Please do leave any comments or observations you have on this case below. Please ensure that any comments are respectful to all views and opinions.

 

As part of our HR Harbour annual subscription service for employers we provide guidance and support with settlement discussions and documentation. If you would like to know more about the HR Harbour Service and how you can get unlimited support from as little as £180 per month please contact me for a no obligation discussion - alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or you can find full details here: HR Harbour

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

Big thanks to Leslies Motors who have loaned us a new Kia Ceed to trial for the month - www.lesliesmotors.co.uk

Direct download: Episode_109_-_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:58pm EST

A guide to Wrongful Dismissal: What is it and when is it applicable?

Following a suggestion by a podcast listener in this episode of the podcast I cover an overview of Wrongful Dismissal and summarise the information you need to know as an employer, business owner or HR professional. 

In this episode I will cover:

  • The basis in law for a claim for wrongful dismissal.
  • The difference between unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal.
  • The time limits for bringing a claim for wrongful dismissal.
  • The potential damages/compensation an employee could receive.
  • Why it is important to ensure that your disciplinary procedure is not contractual.
  • The impact of a wrongful dismissal claim on post-termination restrictions.

Action Points

  1. Review the length of notice periods in your employee contracts to ensure that they are not excessively long;
  2. Seek advice before dismissing an employee without notice;
  3. Review your employment contracts and Handbooks to ensure that the procedures are not contractual.

Useful Links

Brandeaux Advisers (UK) Ltd and others v Chadwick [2010] EWHC 3241 (QB)

Dunn v AAH Ltd [2010] EWCA Civ 183

Williams v Leeds United Football Club [2015] EWHC 376

Neary and another v Dean of Westminster [1999] IRLR 288,

Episode 46 – Farnan v Sunderland FC

 

As part of our HR Harbour annual subscription service for employers we provide guidance and support with settlement discussions and documentation. If you would like to know more about the HR Harbour Service and how you can get unlimited support from as little as £180 per month please contact me for a no obligation discussion - alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or you can find full details here: HR Harbour

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_108_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:58pm EST

When is it not 'reasonably practicable' for a claim to be submitted in time?

In this episode of the podcast I review an interesting case decided by the Employment Appeal Tribunal about time limits and the provision of section 111 of the Employment Rights Act which allows claims to be submitted out of time when not reasonably practicable for the complaint to be presented in time.

 
 

In this episode I will cover:

  • The facts which have led to the appeal.
  • Details about the claim form and submission process.
  • Jurisdiction issues.
  • Section 111 of the Employment Rights Act 1996.
  • Considerations for employers when defending claims.

Action Points

  1. If you receive a claim against you carefully check the time limits and timing of the claim.
  2. Seek advice if you are unsure about jurisdiction issues.
  3. When submitting documents and forms to the Tribunal ensure that you do not leave it to the last minute.
  4. If you are unsure how this affects your business, please give us a call – 01983 897003 – 023 8098 2006 – 01722 653001

Useful Links

North East London NHS Foundation Trust v Ms S M Zhou 

Hamling v Coxlease School - EAT 2006 

 

As part of our HR Harbour annual subscription service for employers we provide guidance and support with settlement discussions and documentation. If you would like to know more about the HR Harbour Service and how you can get unlimited support from as little as £180 per month please contact me for a no obligation discussion - alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or you can find full details here: HR Harbour

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_107_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:02am EST

In this episode of the podcast I deal with a suggested topic from a podcast listener who emailed to say:

"Really enjoy listening to your podcasts. Could I ask that you consider health and safety at work, workplace danger and Section 44 of the ERA 1996 as a future topic as it's a interesting subject?"
 

In this episode I will cover:

  • The protection from detriment provided by Section 44 of the Employment Rights Act 1996.
  • Unfair dismissal protection for employees who raise health and safety issues.
  • Basic health and safety obligations as set out in the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974.
  • Minimum legal requirements.
  • How individual Directors, business owners and managers can be liable for health and safety breaches.
  • Considerations in respect of mental health and protecting from risks to mental health safety.

Action Points

  1. Check to ensure that you comply with the minimum requirements of the Health and Safety Act Work Act 1974.
  2. Review your procedures and policies to ensure they are fit for purpose.
  3. Undertake any risk assessments.
  4. Ensure that your managers have training and a good understanding of the legal requirements.
  5. If you are unsure how this affects your business, please give us a call – 01983 897003 – 023 8098 2006 – 01722 653001

Useful Links

Health & Safety Executive Website

 

As part of our HR Harbour annual subscription service for employers we provide guidance and support with settlement discussions and documentation. If you would like to know more about the HR Harbour Service and how you can get unlimited support from as little as £180 per month please contact me for a no obligation discussion - alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or you can find full details here: HR Harbour

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_106_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:52am EST

What can you do about undeclared convictions of existing employees?

In this episode of the podcast I answer a question from a podcast listener with regards to criminal convictions and what you can do if you find an employee has a conviction you did not know about, which, whilst it does not impact on their job role, could cause reputational damage.

In this episode I will cover:

  • The different rules that apply between Spent and Unspent Convictions.
  • When some job roles are exempt from the Spent conviction rules.
  • What you need to consider and the risks of dismissing an employee?
  • Circumstances in which you may decide to dismiss or refuse employment to someone because of a conviction.
  • Considerations if you do employ someone with a previous conviction.

Action Points

  1. Consider if any of the job roles in your business fall under the Exceptions Order
  2. Look at how the vetting process works and fits in your organisation.
  3. Consider what steps you take to undertake checks and background information about candidates.
  4. If you are unsure how this decision affects your business, please give us a call – 01983 897003 – 023 8098 2006 – 01722 653001

Useful Links

 Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 – Guidance 

 

As part of our HR Harbour annual subscription service for employers we provide guidance and support with settlement discussions and documentation. If you would like to know more about the HR Harbour Service and how you can get unlimited support from as little as £180 per month please contact me for a no obligation discussion - alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or you can find full details here: HR Harbour

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_105_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:01pm EST

Do you have to pay the National Minimum Wage for time an employee is sleeping?

In this episode of the podcast I cover the high profile case of Mencap v Tomlinson-Blake within which the Court of Appeal decided the question of whether employers have to pay the National Minimum Wage for every hour the employee is at work, including sleep-time. This case follows various cases on this issue which have led to confusion and uncertainty for employers, many of whom are involved in the care sector.

In this episode I will cover:

  • Background to the National Minimum Wage Regulations.
  • Why there is a distinction between the rules for National Minimum Wage and Working Time Regulations.
  • Why this case provides much needed clarity on the issue.
  • The facts of the case.

Action Points

1. When taking on staff to do “sleep in shifts” or similar “on call” work, there is no longer a requirement to pay the minimum wage for hours spent actually sleeping.

2. If you already pay sleep in workers the minimum wage for their entire shift, contact us for advice on whether you can stop such payments in the future.

3. If you are unsure how this decision affects your business, please give us a call – 01983 897003 – 023 8098 2006 – 01722 653001

Useful Links

 

Royal Mencap Society v Tomlinson-Blake [2018] EWCA Civ 1641

 

As part of our HR Harbour annual subscription service for employers we provide guidance and support with settlement discussions and documentation. If you would like to know more about the HR Harbour Service and how you can get unlimited support from as little as £180 per month please contact me for a no obligation discussion - alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or you can find full details here: HR Harbour

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_104.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:30am EST

Unfair Dismissal Cases from the Employment Tribunal

In this episode of the podcast I have reviewed a couple of employment tribunal decisions which have been published on the government website. It is a great way to get an understanding of what the Tribunals around the country will consider when looking at a claim for unfair dismissal.

In this episode I will cover:

  • Decision of the Tribunal in a misconduct case: Miss Helen Evans v Llanishen Fach Primary School
  • Decision of the Tribunal in a redundancy dismissal case: Mrs JM Hockenhull v David Lewis Centre
  • A reminder of the 'Polkey' rules when compensation is reduced where the Employer has failed to follow a fair procedure but the result would have been the same.
  • Decision of the Tribunal in a misconduct case: Mr D Maguire v Department for Work and Pensions
  • The surprising number of unfair dismissal cases being withdrawn or struck out as the employee did not have the required two years continuous employment.
  • A useful tip about preparing witness evidence.
  • A decision where the Employer was awarded some of their costs.

Action Points

  1. It is a useful exercise for those who are decision makers in disciplinary cases or HR professionals to have a read of some of the Judgements available:  https://www.gov.uk/employment-tribunal-decisions
  2. Ensure that you stay up to date with employment law developments by signing up to our free fortnightly newsletter.  
  3. If you do not have the time to read Judgements and stay on top of the law why not hire a professional who is specialist in this area: https://www.adviceforemployers.co.uk/employment-law-support/

Useful Links

https://www.gov.uk/employment-tribunal-decisions

As part of our HR Harbour annual subscription service for employers we provide guidance and support with settlement discussions and documentation. If you would like to know more about the HR Harbour Service and how you can get unlimited support from as little as £180 per month please contact me for a no obligation discussion - alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or you can find full details here: HR Harbour

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_103.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:19pm EST

In this episode of the podcast I cover the recent high profile case against Pimlico Plumbers in the Supreme Court. This is just one of many cases making the way through the Tribunal and Court system concerning the new 'gig' economy workers and establishing their legal status.

In this episode I will cover:

  • The background to the case.
  • The facts of the case.
  • What you need to know about the 'gig' economy and 'worker' status.
  • Summary of the key points.
  • Why this is an area where there will undoubtedly be legislation to clarify the position shortly.

Action Points

  1. Ensure that if you use' workers' or 'self-employed' consultants that you understand how to determine their legal status;
  2. Ensure you understand the risks of getting it wrong;
  3. Ensure that you stay up to date with employment law developments by signing up to our free fortnightly newsletter.  

Useful Links

You can read the full case here: http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKSC/2018/29.html

Watch the Supreme Court Judgement here: https://www.supremecourt.uk/watch/uksc-2017-0053/judgment.html

Podcast Episodes 61 & 66 re Uber case

Section 230 Employment Rights Act 1996

The Taylor Review: Read the full report here 

Governments response to the Taylor Review here

As part of our HR Harbour annual subscription service for employers we provide guidance and support with settlement discussions and documentation. If you would like to know more about the HR Harbour Service and how you can get unlimited support from as little as £180 per month please contact me for a no obligation discussion - alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or you can find full details here: HR Harbour

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_102_-_draft_v2_-_edited.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:53pm EST

Can an employer fairly dismiss an employee for serious misconduct without any warnings?

In this episode of the podcast I cover a couple of points including a recent Appeal Tribunal case about unfair dismissal, an update on delays in the Employment Tribunal and a question answered about pregnancy and sickness.

In this episode I will cover:

  • The case of MR A BARONGO  v QUINTILES COMMERCIAL UK LIMITED;
  • What you need to consider when deciding on dismissal in a case of serious, but not gross, misconduct;
  • Why there are delays in the Employment Tribunal process currently;
  • Whether you are able to ask an employee who is pregnant to fill in a sickness reporting form when absent due to sickness.

Action Points

  1. Ensure that you seek advice before making a decision about dismissal;
  2. Obtain training or give guidance to your managers about how to deal with pregnant employees;
  3. Ensure that you stay up to date with employment law developments by signing up to our free fortnightly newsletter.  

Useful Links

You can read the full case here: MR A BARONGO  v QUINTILES COMMERCIAL UK LIMITED

As part of our HR Harbour annual subscription service for employers we provide guidance and support with settlement discussions and documentation. If you would like to know more about the HR Harbour Service and how you can get unlimited support from as little as £180 per month please contact me for a no obligation discussion - alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or you can find full details here: HR Harbour

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_101_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:30am EST

Employee Grievances: Part 4 Frequently Asked Questions

This episode of the podcast is the final in a mini series focusing on Grievances and how to deal with them.

I cover some of the Frequently Asked Questions about grievance investigations and processes.

In this episode I will cover:

  •  Does the employee who raises a grievance have the right to see witness statements and evidence gathered in the investigation process?
  • What if the grievance is against the owner of a small business?
  • If the grievance regarding bullying is upheld does the employee who raised the grievance have the right to know the outcome of the disciplinary process?
  • Does the employee 'accused' in the grievance have the right to know about the grievance against them?
  • Should a disciplinary matter or a grievance be dealt with first?
  • Can the same person investigate and decide the outcome of the grievance?
  • How do you reach a conclusion where two sides tell different story and there is no evidence?

Action Points

  1. Listen to episodes 1-3 of the Mini Series.
  2. Seek advice and expert support if you find yourself in a difficult or tricky situation.  

Useful Links

ACAS Code of Practice Here

ACAS Guidance Here

ACAS Guidance on conducting workplace investigations Here

 

As part of our HR Harbour annual subscription service for employers we provide guidance and support with grievances and produce a grievance procedure for our clients. If you would like to know more about the HR Harbour Service and how you can get unlimited support from as little as £180 per month please contact me for a no obligation discussion - alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or you can find full details here: HR Harbour

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_100.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:05pm EST

Employee Grievances: Part 3 Conclusion, Appeal & Points to Note

This episode of the podcast is the third in a mini series focusing on Grievances and how to deal with them.

There will be one further episodes on this topic finishing with an episode on Frequently Asked Questions so if you have a question that you would like covered please email me alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or leave a comment below.

In this episode I will cover:

  • Things to consider in reaching your conclusion.
  • How to approach the conclusion and support your findings and outcome.
  • What to include in your conclusion.
  • The appeal process.
  • The importance of considering mediation as an option throughout the process.
  • What to consider if the grievance is about a colleague or line manager.
  • How to handle employee grievances raised in the disciplinary process.
  • Why you need to be cautious with employees raising 'tactical grievances' at the same time as 'without prejudice' settlement negotiations.
  • How to deal with employees who raise a grievance whilst absent from work due to work stress or for mental health reasons.

Action Points

  1. Ensure that any conclusion you reach in an investigation process is supported by the evidence you have obtained.
  2. Where possible give a full explanation for your investigation findings.
  3. Do not delay in dealing with grievances raised at the same time as a settlement offer.
  4. Seek advice and expert support at the earliest opportunity if a dispute arises.  

Useful Links

ACAS Code of Practice Here

ACAS Guidance Here

ACAS Guidance on conducting workplace investigations Here

 

As part of our HR Harbour annual subscription service for employers we provide guidance and support with grievances and produce a grievance procedure for our clients. If you would like to know more about the HR Harbour Service and how you can get unlimited support from as little as £180 per month please contact me for a no obligation discussion - alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or you can find full details here: HR Harbour

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_99.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am EST

Employee Grievances: Part 2 Investigation

This episode of the podcast is the second in a mini series focusing on Grievances and how to deal with them.

There will be at least a further 2 episodes on this topic finishing with an episode on Frequently Asked Questions so if you have a question that you would like covered please email me alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or leave a comment below.

In this episode I will cover:

  • How to approach the grievance process.
  • Things to consider when assigning a grievance investigator.
  • The importance of planning and setting out the scope and purpose of the investigation.
  • The principles of reasonableness, objectivity and fairness of the investigation.
  • The importance of confidentiality and why it is tricky to manage.
  • How to plan and prepare for meetings with employees and witnesses.
  • Why evidence gathering is essential in assisting you reach the right outcome.
  • How to shape the investigation report and resources available to help.

Action Points

  1. When you receive a grievance from an employee act quickly and assign an investigator.
  2. Ensure that the investigator has appropriate training or resources at hand to assist with the investigation.
  3. Seek advice and expert support at the earliest opportunity if a dispute arises.  

Useful Links

ACAS Code of Practice Here

ACAS Guidance Here

ACAS Guidance on conducting workplace investigations Here

 

As part of our HR Harbour annual subscription service for employers we provide guidance and support with grievances and produce a grievance procedure for our clients. If you would like to know more about the HR Harbour Service and how you can get unlimited support from as little as £180 per month please contact me for a no obligation discussion - alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or you can find full details here: HR Harbour

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_98.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:41pm EST

This episode of the podcast is the first in a mini series focusing on Grievances and how to deal with them.

There will be at least a further 3 episodes on this topic finishing with an episode on Frequently Asked Questions so if you have a question that you would like covered please email me alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or leave a comment below.

In this episode I will cover:

  • Why it is important to identify a grievance even when it may not be obvious!
  • The importance of handling grievances well.
  • The impact and potential legal consequences of failing to deal with grievances correctly.
  • The starting point for any employer when considering grievances.

Action Points

  1. Have a good internal grievance procedure;
  2. Ensure that managers and HR personnel are aware of how to spot and deal with grievances.
  3. Seek advice and expert support at the earliest opportunity if a dispute arises.  

Useful Links

ACAS Code of Practice Here

ACAS Guidance Here

 

As part of our HR Harbour annual subscription service for employers we provide guidance and support with grievances and produce a grievance procedure for our clients. If you would like to know more about the HR Harbour Service and how you can get unlimited support from as little as £180 per month please contact me for a no obligation discussion - alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or you can find full details here: HR Harbour

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_97_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EST

Can an employee rely on the failure to pay National Minimum Wage to claim constructive unfair dismissal?

In this episode of the podcast I cover a case, which is rather unusual, in that an employee was paid just 33p per hour. When she resigned and claimed constructive unfair dismissal her claims were initially unsuccessful as she did not know that she was entitled to minimum wage and that her employer was therefore in breach. The case is Mruke v Khan in the Court of Appeal.

In this episode I will cover:

  • The National Minimum Wage rates (as below);
  • The unusual facts of this case;
  • Background to a successful constructive unfair dismissal claim.

Action Points

  1. Ensure that you pay the National Minimum Wage - new rates: 25+ £7.83; 21-24 £7.38; 18-20 £5.90; 16-17 £4.20; apprentice £3.70.
  2. Check your salaried employees to make sure that their hourly rate does not drop below the new rates;
  3. Seek advice and expert support at the earliest opportunity if a dispute arises.  

Useful Links

You can read the full case here: Mruke v Khan - Court of Appeal 2018

 

As part of our HR Harbour annual subscription service for employers we provide guidance and support with settlement discussions and documentation. If you would like to know more about the HR Harbour Service and how you can get unlimited support from as little as £180 per month please contact me for a no obligation discussion - alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or you can find full details here: HR Harbour

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_96_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:13am EST

What can an employer do to resolve issues without lengthy procedures? 

In this episode of the podcast I run through the procedure for trying to resolve issues with employees without the need for lengthy procedures particularly when you have not already done anything about it previously.

In this episode I will cover:

  • The options available;
  • What 'protected conversations' are and how they work;
  • Why you may wish to make a settlement payment to an employee;
  • Questions to consider before starting the 'protected conversation';
  • How to start a settlement conversation with an employee;
  • What paperwork to produce and when;
  • How allowing the employee paid leave can be a good tactic;
  • How long you should give the employee to decide;
  • An example of the type of scenario that can arise.

Action Points

  1. Do not avoid difficult conversations with employees. If there is an issue to discuss you need to do so immediately and without delay;
  2. If you have delayed or failed to address issues and you want to bring an issue to a conclusion without a lengthy process consider settlement discussions;
  3. Seek advice and expert support at the earliest opportunity. 

Useful Links

Episode 28 of the Podcast - Settlement Agreements

As part of our HR Harbour annual subscription service for employers we provide guidance and support with settlement discussions and documentation. If you would like to know more about the HR Harbour Service and how you can get unlimited support from as little as £180 per month please contact me for a no obligation discussion - alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or you can find full details here: HR Harbour

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_95_-_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:50am EST

What can a manager do to assert their authority and continue to manage an employee who has a grievance against them? 

In this episode of the podcast I attempt to answer a great question from a listener about the practicalities of managing someone who has raised a grievance against you in response to your addressing performance or capability issues. An interesting question and a scenario that arises all too frequently.

In this episode I will cover:

  • My advice on how to avoid a grievance scenario in the first place;
  • Why employees often feel aggrieved when performance or capability issues are raised;
  • Why communication is the key in managing employees;
  • My thoughts on grievance procedures and why they do not need to be long drawn out processes;
  • Tips on how best to continue to proactively manage an employee even when there is a grievance process.

Action Points

  1. Do not avoid difficult conversations with employees. If there is an issue to discuss you need to do so immediately and without delay;
  2. Ensure that managers and supervisors who have line management responsibilities have some form of management training;
  3. Give your managers and supervisors support with difficult employees and play a hands on role to resolve the issues;
  4. Do not drag on grievance processes unnecessarily, there is no reason why it has to take months to investigate;
  5. Seek advice and expert support before a dispute arises. 

Useful Links

As part of our HR Harbour annual subscription service for employers we provide guidance and support for managers, which can include training on being a better manager and having difficult conversations. If you would like to know more about the HR Harbour Service and how you can get unlimited support from as little as £150 per month please contact me for a no obligation discussion - alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or you can find full details here: HR Harbour

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_94_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EST

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

 
 

 Sign up for my fortnightly newsletter 

Email Address *


* indicates required 

Please do not worry we will not send you spam!

We only use your email address for the purpose of sending you our fortnightly newsletter.

 

 

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

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