The Employment Law & HR Podcast

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 - 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