The Employment Law & HR Podcast

In this episode of the podcast I bring you the normal seasonal warning that comes from employment lawyers and HR professionals, about the party season with the pitfalls and perils of office party shenanigans!

In this episode I will cover:

  • Why employers need to be concerned about what happens at work social events and parties.
  • What the risks are to your business if things go wrong.
  • Practical steps you can take to reduce the risk.
  • Why you may also have liability for 'post-party' parties or 'after parties', as illustrated by a particularly serious case in the Court of Appeal.

Action Points

  1. Issue a statement to all staff reminding them of acceptable conduct at the party (you will find an example here – feel free to copy and use this for your business/organisation).
  2. Remind staff about the usage of social media and what is and is not acceptable – remind them that not all colleagues would like their picture on social media, and that they should ensure all persons pictured consent before posting online.
  3. Designate a sober manager or senior person to attend the party.
  4. Make sure arrangements have been made for safe travel home from the venue, office or event.
  5. Deal with any incidents or complaints in a timely manner, ensuring you follow your internal procedures.
  6. Ensure that you consider anyone who does not want to join in with the party, for whatever reason. Make sure they feel included and are not isolated. Perhaps consider offering two alternative festive activities for staff.

Please do leave your thoughts on this issue in the comments section 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 training for employers, supervisors and managers. If you would like to know more about the HR Harbour Service and how you can get unlimited support from as little as £198 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 telephone 01983 897003, 01722 653001 or 023 8098 2006

Direct download: Episode_136_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:44pm EST

In this episode of the podcast I bring you my thoughts on the line between legitimate management of conduct and performance verses bullying. This is an issue that comes up regularly when advising both employers and employees and in my view it can be resolved with a few changes.

In this episode I will cover:

  • Why employees often claim they are being bullied when a manager addresses performance issue. 
  • How managers get it wrong. 
  • Steps employers can take to set the relationship up appropriately from the start. 
  • How to manage an employees expectations. 
  • Techniques managers can use to manage issues effectively. 

Action Points

  1. Consider preparing a message for all new starters about how you will address any issues if they arise.
  2. Give all employees a job description and targets or set of expected behaviours. 
  3. Train your managers to manage people. 
  4. Lead by example - good practice should start at the top. 
  5. Seek advice if you are unsure.

 

Please do leave your thoughts on this issue in the comments section 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 training for employers, supervisors and managers. If you would like to know more about the HR Harbour Service and how you can get unlimited support from as little as £198 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 telephone 01983 897003, 01722 653001 or 023 8098 2006

Photo by Frank Busch on Unsplash

Direct download: Episode_135_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EST

In this episode of the podcast I bring you the Judgement from a European Case which provides an interesting look at what happens if someone makes comments outside of the context of recruitment and employment but which are negative to the LGBTI community and in turn would put off applicants in the future.

In this episode I will cover:

  • A background to the law.
  • The facts of the case.
  • Why business owners and HR professionals need to be cautious of comments they make about those with 'Protected Characteristics'.
  • Why the Court of Justice of the European Union took the decision they did in this case.

Action Points

  1. Ensure any spokespersons or senior people in your business have training on the equality act and discrimination principles.
  2. Ensure that all staff understand the impact of making public statements in any form, radio, TV, social media etc which are discriminatory.
  3. Create a culture which is fair and reasonable and within which equality is promoted.
  4. Have a written policy in place setting out your approach to equality.
  5. Seek advice if you are unsure.

Resources

NH v Associazione Avvocatura per i diritti LGBTI 

The Equality Act 2010

Please do leave any comments, ideas and best practice 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 training for employers, supervisors and managers. If you would like to know more about the HR Harbour Service and how you can get unlimited support from as little as £198 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 telephone 01983 897003, 01722 653001 or 023 8098 2006

Direct download: Episode_134_-_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EST

Top Tips on being a GREAT Employer direct from businesses on the Isle of Wight

In this short bonus episode of the podcast I bring you a recording made at the IOW Chamber Breakfast meeting at the Garlic Farm in October 2019.

I asked several attendees from businesses on the Isle of Wight to give me their Top Tips on how to be a great employer. 

In the episode you will hear from: 

Zoe Findon - Purple Patch PMO

Fiona Jeffery - Brightbulb Design

Cindy Newnham - Lifeline Fire and Security 

Sandra Knowles - Hillbans Pest Control

Emma Wilson - WRS Systems 

Andrew Nordbruch - Wight Computers 

Tracey Hill - Osel Enterprises 

Jeri Williams - Smooth Accounting

Alistair Dickinson - MyCRM & Mapsimise 

Simon Poole - Wightfibre

Kathy Lockwood - Real Employment Law Advice 

Albert Bargery - Real Employment Law Advice 

 

What is your favourite tip from those given on the episode?

Do you have any tips you would add?

 

Direct download: chamber_breakfast_-_133_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:13pm EST

In this episode of the podcast I bring you a brief overview of the basics of discrimination. This episode is ideal if you are new to HR, management or you just want a refresher of what discrimination is.

In this episode I will cover:

  • A background to the law.
  • What you need to know as an employer or HR professional. 
  • What protected characteristics are.
  • The different types of discrimination.
  • Discrimination claims which are unique to disability. 
  • The key steps an employer needs to take.

Action Points

  1. Where possible provide some training to all staff on the principles of equality.
  2. At the very least ensure managers are aware of the key principles and elements of the Equality Act and discrimination.
  3. Create a culture which is fair and reasonable and within which equality is promoted. 
  4. Have a written policy in place setting out your approach to equality. 
  5. Seek advice if you are unsure.

Resources

The Equality Act 2010

 

Please do leave any comments, ideas and best practice 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 training for employers, supervisors and managers. If you would like to know more about the HR Harbour Service and how you can get unlimited support from as little as £198 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 telephone 01983 897003, 01722 653001 or 023 8098 2006

 

Direct download: Episode_132_-_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:03pm EST

In this episode of the podcast I cover a recent case decided by the Norwich Employment Tribunal as to whether a vegetarian employee could claim protection from discrimination on the grounds of vegetarianism.

In this episode I will cover:

  • A background to the law. 
  • How the employment tribunal determine a 'philosophical belief'.
  • Why it is a 'hot topic' currently. 
  • How it is related to a similar case about veganism. 
  • What you should take from this case as an employer.

Action Points

  1. Create a working environment where differences and beliefs are celebrated and accepted.
  2. Behave fairly and reasonably to all employees regardless of your views on their beliefs. 
  3. Have your rules and codes of conduct and behaviour set out in writing and communicated to all employees. 
  4. Seek advice if you are unsure.

Resources

Conisbee v Crossley Farms Limited & Others - Employment Tribunal 

Article on Philosophical Beliefs and the Vegan Case

 

Please do leave any comments, ideas and best practice 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 training for employers, supervisors and managers. If you would like to know more about the HR Harbour Service and how you can get unlimited support from as little as £198 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 telephone 01983 897003, 01722 653001 or 023 8098 2006

 

Photo by Simon Matzinger on Unsplash

Direct download: Episode_131_-_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:57pm EST

In this bonus episode of the podcast I bring you the audio from a recent interview on the YouTube channel for a business based locally to me on the Isle of Wight.

I was very pleased to have been invited onto the Business & Technology Show from MyCRM and I hope you find it interesting!

You can learn a bit more about me and why I started the business, including why my favourite film is Back To The Future.

Direct download: Interview_Final_-_25_09_19.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:16am EST

In this episode of the podcast I interview Dr Julia Shaw about Spot, which she has co-founded to help employers and employees with harassment and discrimination recording and reporting.

About Dr Julia Shaw

In 2017 Dr Julia Shaw co-founded the memory science and artificial intelligence start-up Spot.

Spot helps employees report workplace harassment and discrimination, and empowers organisations to build a more inclusive and respectful work environment.

Dr Shaw is also a psychological scientist at UCL, and is best known for her research in the areas of memory and criminal psychology.

Dr Shaw also consults as an expert on legal cases, particularly cases involving historic allegations.

Spot

Useful Links

https://www.drjuliashaw.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julia_Shaw_(psychologist)

Julia's TedX Talk

https://talktospot.com/

Direct download: Interview_Julia_Shaw_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:10am EST

In this episode of the podcast I cover the basics which employers need to consider with regards to Subject Access Requests when received from employees. 

In this episode I will cover:

  • A background to the law. 
  • What you need to consider at the outset. 
  • The time limit for responding. 
  • The type of data you have to search for. 
  • What you have to provide to the employee. 
  • Exemptions when you do not have to disclose the data. 

Action Points

  1. Have a person or persons within your organisation who are responsible for data and compliance with subject access requests. 
  2. Create a checklist or utilise the resources from the ico to create a workflow to follow if someone makes a request. 
  3. Seek advice before rejecting a request or requiring a fee to be paid. 

Resources

https://ico.org.uk/

Right of Access for Employees

GDPR Overview for Employers

GDPR Privacy Policy

GDPR: Action List for Employers – episode 90

 

Please do leave any comments, ideas and best practice 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 training for employers, supervisors and managers. If you would like to know more about the HR Harbour Service and how you can get unlimited support from as little as £198 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 telephone 01983 897003, 01722 653001 or 023 8098 2006

 

Direct download: Episode_129_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:32pm EST

In this episode of the podcast I discuss the importance of managing difficult or contentious conversations successfully.

In this episode I will cover:

  • What difficult conversations are.
  • Why we avoid having them.
  • The dangers of avoiding these conversations.
  • My top tips on how to carry out these conversations successfully. 

Action Points

  1. It should not be a surprise - Ensure that you are holding regular conversations about the required standards and performance.
  2. Conquer your fears - The conversation in your mind is always worse than that of reality.
  3. Change your mindset - A difficult conversation tends to go best when you think about it as just a normal conversation.
  4. Be prepared - You need to ensure that the evidence backs up what you are trying to achieve.
  5. Be positive - Spin your questions with a positive approach to open the lines of communication and have a positive dialogue.
  6. Handle reactions with care - Acknowledge emotions and respond with kindness and empathy.
  7. Cut out all distractions - Give your whole, undivided attention to the conversation.
  8. Be consistent - Hold all your employees accountable to the same performance expectations.
  9. Keep it confidential - Builds trust and confidence.
  10. Summarise your understanding and agree a way forward - Encourage your employee to come up with the solution.

Please do leave any comments, ideas and best practice 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 training for employers, supervisors and managers. If you would like to know more about the HR Harbour Service and how you can get unlimited support from as little as £198 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 telephone 01983 897003, 01722 653001 or 023 8098 2006

Photo by Etienne Boulanger on Unsplash

 
Direct download: Episode_128_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:30am EST

In this episode of the podcast I interview Kate Cook, a corporate nutrition coach and we discuss how nutrition and well-being are important in the workplace and for employee happiness and business success.

About Kate Cook

The Business of Wellness – inspiring healthier lifestyles for better business.

Kate Cook gives talks and workshops to business clients empowering their staff to adopt healthier lifestyles. Fresh, creative and practical information is delivered in an interactive style that encourages involvement and engagement.

Kate is passionate about making nutritional change easy and effective. She is a highly experienced international speaker and her successful practice methods have secured extensive TV appearances, publishing deals, magazine features and commissions as an international keynote.

As founder and director of the Harley Street clinic The Nutrition Coach, Kate has personally worked with more than 7,500 patients face to face and written 7 books including: ‘Get Healthy for Good’ (Whole Health), ‘Drop a Dress Size’, ‘Shape Up Your Life’ and most recently ‘Positive Nutrition – Strategic Eating to Upgrade Your Health and Energy’. TV appearances include UKTV’s ‘The Truth About Beauty’. Kate has also delivered a TedX Fidelity International talk on ‘Dishing The Dirt’.

Clients
Over her 20 year career, Kate has delivered nearly 800 sessions to many top level corporate companies some of whom are listed below:

Accenture, Bank of England, Bank of New York Mellon, Christie’s Fine Art Auctioneers, Coutts (Zurich), Discovery Channel Europe, EDF Energy, Gardiner and Theobold, Jack Wills, Jones Lang LaSalle, JP Morgan, Land Securities, Landor, London Underground Ltd., Network Rail, Ogilvy & Mather, Origins, Overbury, Oxford University Press, Pret A Manger, Skanska, Time Warner, The White Company.

Competition

Kate has very kindly offered a copy of her latest book ‘Positive Nutrition – Strategic Eating to Upgrade Your Health and Energy’ to one lucky listener.

All you need to do is leave a comment in the show notes which can be found at www.adviceforemployers.co.uk/podcast/127 between Thursday 25th July 2019 - Thursday 8th August 2019. The winner will be picked at random on Friday 9th August 2019. 

Useful Links

www.thecorporatenutritioncoach.co.uk

www.katecook.biz

 

Please do leave any comments, ideas and best practice 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 training for employers, supervisors and managers. 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 telephone 01983 897003, 01722 653001 or 023 8098 2006


 

Direct download: Episode_127_interview_-_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:16pm EST

Harassment and discrimination

In this episode of the podcast I analyse the report commissioned by the Women and Equalities Committee  into whether the use of non-disclosure agreements in harassment and discrimination cases is unethical, and how they should be dealt with in the future.

In this episode I will cover:

  • The 12 recommendations discussed in the report.
  • My critical analysis for each recommendation.
  • How to ensure your business is using non-disclosure agreements correctly.
  • Why having a robust process for dealing with harassment and discrimination is essential for a successful business.

Action Points

  1. Non-disclosure agreements and confidentiality clauses in settlement agreements must not be used to pressure those who have suffered from discrimination or harassment at work to keep silent.
  2. Ensure you have the appropriate procedures in place to prevent discrimination and harassment at work
  3. Ensure  management are trained in how to deal with complaints of this kind and that staff are trained to identify such behaviour and to report it
  4. Seek legal advice before making any decisions.

Useful Links

You can read the full report HERE

Please do leave any comments, ideas and best practice 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 training for employers, supervisors and managers. 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 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.

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: Episode_126_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:42pm EST

Harassment and disability discrimination

In this episode of the podcast I summarise the facts and law concerning a case involving a trainee teacher who was suspended due to the fact that he could not write for more than a couple of minutes. The employee, who had been diagnosed with dyspraxia, claimed disability discrimination, harassment and constructive unfair dismissal.  

In this episode I will cover:

  • Section 26 of the Equality Act 2010 which covers the law regarding harassment.
  • A breakdown of the considerations that will be made by the Employment Tribunal when assessing harassment.
  • The conclusion of the Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal in this case.
  • Assurance for employers that you can have difficult conversations with employees who are not capable of undertaking the job as a result of a disability.
  • Why obtaining an occupational health report is essential at an early stage.
  • Why making a decision in respect of the adverse effects of a disability does not constitute direct discrimination.

Action Points

  1. if you have concerns about an employees fitness for work then seek medical advice as soon as possible.
  2. If an employee has a disability then you will need to make adjustments and consider what can be done to assist them.
  3. Understand the any decision making with regards to disabled employees carries a risk, regardless of their length of service.
  4. Seek legal advice before making any decisions.

Useful Links

Ahmed v The Cardinal Hume Academies - Employment Appeal Tribunal

 

Please do leave any comments, ideas and best practice 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 training for employers, supervisors and managers. 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

Direct download: Episoe_125_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:53am EST

In this episode of the podcast I give an overview of and my thoughts on implementing flexible working arrangements in your business. Whether for individual employees or as a wholesale change to the way you work, could this be the future for your business? 

In this episode I will cover:

  • Examples of businesses who have already made changes for more employee flexibility.
  • Different types of arrangements that you could consider.
  • An overview of the legal right to request flexible working.
  • The advantages of being open minded about flexible working.
  • The disadvantages and potential issues that could arise.

Action Points

  1. Consider surveying employees or creating a poll to find out if flexible working would be of interest to staff.
  2. Think about the types of arrangements that may work for your business.
  3. Consider trialing the changes first.
  4. Seek advice if you are unsure what to do and how to implement.
  5. Don't forget to take advantage of the publicity and promotion that could come with making changes to your business. If you are the first in your industry or you are trying something radical why not create a press release about it.

Useful Links

The right to request flexible working - The legal position - Episode 1 of the podcast

Article about the legal firm who have switched to a 4 day week

 

As part of our HR Harbour annual subscription service for employers we provide guidance and training for employers, supervisors and managers. 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

Direct download: Episode_124_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:13pm EST

Restructure and redundancy: When do you have to pay redundancy pay if there is alternative employment available?

In this episode of the podcast I cover a question from a listener which follows on nicely from the last episode when I answered a question about changing employee hours and redundancy. In this episode I tackle the difficult issue for employers regarding suitable alternative employment and the impact of an employees refusal on their right to redundancy pay. 

In this episode I will cover:

  • The legal position in the Employment Rights Act about redundancy payments.
  • What an employer should consider when deciding if a role is a 'suitable alternative' or not.
  • How an employer should make an offer of alternative employment and what to include.
  • The circumstances in which an employee can generally refuse an offer and when that refusal will be reasonable.
  • Practical steps for employers to take when considering alternative employment.
  • How to try to resolve potentially difficult issues with employees.

Action Points

  1. If you are restructuring and there are alternative roles consider carefully how you are going to match employees with the new roles.
  2. Analyse the differences in the roles between old and new and try to consider how it will be perceived from the employee's perspective.
  3. Discuss any objections with the employee and see if you can reach an agreement.
  4. Seek advice if you are unsure whether you are required to make a redundancy payment or not.

Useful Links

Devon Primary Care Trust v Readman - Court of Appeal

Claim for redundancy pay or other payments where the employer is insolvent

Redundancy Mini-Series

 

Please do leave any comments, ideas and best practice 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 training for employers, supervisors and managers. 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 telephone 01983 897003, 01722 653001 or 023 8098 2006

Direct download: Episode_123_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EST

Redundancy and restructure & Why you should be concerned with staff group chats

In this episode of the podcast I cover two topics that employers should be aware of; the first comes from a listener question about redundancy and changing terms of an employee's contract and the second topic is inspired by the front page of my local newspaper, The County Press.   

In this episode I will cover:

  • The definition of redundancy and how it relates to a restructure.
  • When changing terms of employment can trigger a redundancy situation.
  • What you need to consider as an employer.
  • The case of Fauchon v Packman Lucas Associates which deals with this issue.
  • Why employers need to give consideration to what employees are sharing and sending to one another on group chat services.
  • Why I believe group chats are high risk for employers from an internal perspective and a risk to reputation.
  • The key points to consider to try to direct employees on the usage of group messaging services such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.

Action Points

  1. If you are considering reducing staff hours or making internal changes consider whether there is a potential redundancy.
  2. If you are unsure give consideration to your obligations to consult with staff individually and potentially under collective consultation rules.
  3. Implement a 'group chat' policy either as a separate policy or as part of your social media policy - A policy will be available to download in our DIY document shop shortly but in the meantime if you would like a policy please contact alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk
  4. Educate staff on the appropriateness and risks of communications with colleagues.
  5. Outline your rules and expected behaviour in communications amongst staff.
  6. Seek advice if you are unsure.

Useful Links

Fauchon v Packman Lucas Associates - Employment Appeal Tribunal

The Isle of Wight County Press 

 

Please do leave any comments, ideas and best practice 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 training for employers, supervisors and managers. 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 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.

 


The information contained in this Podcast 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: Episode_122_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

If there is no requirement to undertake work, but merely to be available for work, would it be 'working time' for the purposes of the National Minimum Wage?

In this episode of the podcast I cover a recent case decided by the Employment Appeal Tribunal which deals with employees who are 'on-call' with varying requirements on their time and whether they are entitled to the National Minimum Wage for the 'on-call' time.  

In this episode I will cover:

  • The recent case of Frudd v Partington Group Limited from the Employment Appeal Tribunal.
  • The facts of the case and how they differ to the Mencap case regarding sleep-ins.
  • The principles of the National Minimum Wage Regulations on the issue of 'working time'.
  • The key points to note if you have staff working 'on-call' shifts.

Action Points

  1. If you have staff who work 'on-call' shifts for you then you should review how you are paying them.
  2. Consider dividing the 'on-call' time up if the requirements upon them vary during that time.
  3. Seek advice if you are unsure.

Useful Links

Podcast Episode 104 covering the Royal Mencap Case

Frudd v Partington Group Limited - 2019 - Employment Appeal Tribunal

Royal Mencap Society v Blake - 2018 - Court of Appeal 

 

Please do leave any comments, ideas and best practice 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 training for employers, supervisors and managers. 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 telephone 01983 897003, 01722 653001 or 023 8098 2006

 

Direct download: Episode_121.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

How do you deal with a situation where an employee is absent due to sickness and cannot attend a disciplinary?

In this episode of the podcast I answer a question from a listener about what to do when an employee says that they are not fit to attend a disciplinary hearing .  

In this episode I will cover:

  • Your options when this happens.
  • What the ACAS code says about an employee not attending a disciplinary meeting.
  • What are the requirements of 'natural justice'.
  • Principles of a fair dismissal for misconduct known as the 'Burchell' test.
  • The need to weigh up dealing with matters in a timely manner v principles of fairness and natural justice.
  • Reasonableness and range of reasonable responses test.
  • Reductions to compensation known as 'Polkey' deductions.

Action Points

  1. Where possible try to ensure that the employee can attend the meeting and if necessary agree to a delay to enable this to happen.
  2. Obtain medical advice and evidence wherever possible.
  3. Only proceed in the absence of the employee in exceptional circumstances.
  4. Obtain advice before making a decision about how to proceed.

Useful Links

BHS v Burchell

Polkey Case

ACAS Code of Practice

Khanum v Mid Glamorgan Area Health Authority

Unfair Dismissal Mini Series Episode 1

Unfair Dismissal Mini Series Episode 2

Unfair Dismissal Mini Series Episode 3

Unfair Dismissal Mini Series Episode 4

Unfair Dismissal Mini Series Episode 5 

Unfair Dismissal FAQ's

 

Direct download: Episode_120_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:16pm EST

What do employers need to be aware of when an employee wants to take time off for public duties and volunteering?

In this episode of the podcast I answer a question from a listener about employers legal obligations when an employee requests time off to undertake public duties or volunteering.  

In this episode I will cover:

  • The circumstances in which employees have the legal right to time off for public duties.
  • The consequences for failing to allow an employee time off in these circumstances.
  • When you can exercise your discretion for volunteering roles such as school governors or charity trustees etc.
  • Why allowing your employees time off on occasion for volunteering and/or community roles can be beneficial to your business.
  • What you need to consider if an employee is called for jury service.
  • Legal obligations and consequences when you have reservists within your employment.

Action Points

  1. Put in place a 'Time off for public duties' policy or at least consider what your position would be in the event that an employee makes a request.
  2. Understand what the legal obligations are in respect of public duties as set out in section 50 of the Employment Rights Act.
  3. Review the guidance on employing reservists and consider applying for the armed forces covenant.

Useful Links

Armed Forced Covenant

Employing Reservists

Employers Toolkit for Reservists

Section 50 Employment Rights Act 1996

Legal Updates from Real Employment Law Advice

 

Please do leave any comments, ideas and best practice 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 training on the Equality Act 2010. 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 telephone 01983 897003, 01722 653001 or 023 8098 2006. 

Direct download: 119.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:15pm EST

A reflection on Gender Equality in the lead up to International Women's Day 2019

In this episode of the podcast I reflect on some of the issues facing women in the workplace including the challenges and statistics of the number of women who are leading the way in FTSE companies. 

In this episode I will cover:

  • Why inequality is part of our recent history and some of the issues women have overcome at work in only the last 100 years.
  • Recent statistics on the numbers of women leading FTSE 100 and FTSE 350 companies.
  • Some of the most shocking reasons why women are not making it onto the Boards of these 'leading' companies.
  • Why having a gender balance is actually good for business.
  • Some top tips on how you can start to address the imbalance in your business or organisation.
  • The Equality Act provisions on positive action and when it is permitted.

Action Points

  1. Track and measure so that you understand statistics on gender equality in your business or organisation.
  2. Tailor and target your recruitment marketing for women.
  3. Set up mentoring and ensure that the female leaders in your business or organisation are visible to others.
  4. Address and explore unconscious bias and preconceived ideas that may have developed at a senior level.
  5. Develop a strategy for what you want to achieve and get buy in to this at all levels.
  6. Ensure that all managers and senior staff have training in respect of equality and diversity.
  7. Look at the culture in your business and make changes where the culture does not reflect your strategy.
  8. Address complaints and issues quickly and take them seriously.
  9. Be proactive and build confidence of staff who have ambition or talent to be a future leader.
  10. Introduce a clear salary structure based on tangible measure.

 

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

Article written by Alison Colley 'Gender Equality in the Workplace: Still and Issue?' November 2018

Worst explanations for not appointing women to Boards

Equality Act Section 158 and 159

Direct download: Episode_118.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:43pm EST

A summary of the decision in the Employment Appeal Tribunal discrimination case of

Gan Menachem Hendon Limited v De Groen

In this episode of the podcast I cover the recent case of the Jewish nursery who dismissed an employee who refused to lie about cohabiting with her boyfriend. A case that follows the decision of the Supreme Court in the ‘Gay Cake’ case, reported previously in episode 109 of the podcast. 

In this episode I will cover:

  • The basis in law for the claim.
  • The facts of the case.
  • A summary of the Appeal Tribunal decision.
  • My thoughts on the case and why this judgement was the outcome.
  • Comparison to the Gay Cake case.

Action Points

  1. Ensure that you and any managers, supervisors and decision makers in your business are aware of the law regarding discrimination;
  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;
  4. Seek advice before making any decisions or embarking on potentially controversial conversations with employees, particularly if not work related.

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

Gan Menachem Hendon Limited v De Groen – Employment Appeal Tribunal

Lee v Ashers Baking Company Limited – Supreme Court Judgement 

Podcast Episode 109

Direct download: Episode_117.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:49pm EST

Snow and travel disruption at work

Following the snow across much of the UK last week the issue of snow and disruption at work and the inevitable questions about employers obligations has arisen. So in this episode of the podcast I cover what you should do if employees cannot attend at work because of snow.  

In this episode I will cover the following:

  • Steps you should take to prepare your business for adverse weather.
  • Minimum temperatures at work.
  • What employee rights are if schools are closed or there is disruption to childcare.
  • Why it is important to have a policy in place to deal with snow days.
  • Things to consider and options to avoid an employee losing out on pay.
  • When unlawful deductions from wages may apply.
  • Why it is important to get advice.
  • Health and safety considerations

We can help with the relevant procedure and clause for your employment contracts to deal with snow and travel disruption. Please do not hesitate to get in touch for some real life help for your organisation.

Useful Links

Snow days article

 

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: 116_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:25pm EST

Dealing with sickness absence in the workplace

This episode of the podcast is the fourth and final part of a mini series on managing sickness absence at work and in this episode I cover some frequently asked questions and listener questions. 

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

  • What if an employee is sick from one job but still working in their other job?
  • Do I have to wait for an employee's sick pay to run out before I can take action to dismiss them?
  • I have heard that there are extra requirements if the employee's absence is caused by an accident at work?
  • Can I dismiss an employee with a disability if they are off sick?
  • What if the employee gets better and has a period of time with no absence but has had lots of warnings for absence in the past?
  • How do you deal with a situation when an employee goes off on medium to long term sick leave just before a capability hearing at the end of a formal capability process? Can you pick back up with that capability hearing when it is no longer viable to just extend the period by the time the employee had off sick?

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

Other related podcasts:

Bradford Calculator

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

 

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

 

Photo by Emily Morter on Unsplash

 

 

Direct download: 115_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:18pm EST

1