The Employment Law & HR Podcast (general)

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

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

In this episode I will cover:

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

Action Points

  1. Review your Handbook and/or rules to ensure they cover the points that are important to your business;
  2. Make sure staff are aware of the Handbook and/or rules and seek evidence to confirm this;
  3. Consider an annual requirement for all staff to confirm they are aware of the rules and procedures;
  4. Deal with minor issues of misconduct when they arise and make a note of your conversation on the employee's personnel file;
  5. Seek advice and assistance if you are unsure of what to do with a disciplinary or dismissal issue;
  6. I can help with all of the points above so why not give me a call and let an expert take care of it for you 023 8098 2006 or 01983 897003.

 Useful Links & Case References

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

Episodes 34 - 39 - Unfair Dismissal Focus

Episode 36 - the Reasonableness Test

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

An update on Social Media considerations for Employers

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

In this episode I will cover:

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

Action Points

  1. Review your social media policy, if you have one, if not get one!;
  2. Consider how important social media reputation is to your business & how you are protecting your business from your employees;
  3. Consider providing training or specific information to employees at the induction stage about the use of social media;
  4. Ensure you make it clear in your recruitment policy and/or process how you will use social media and online searches about candidates;
  5. I can help with all of the points at 1-4 so why not give me a call and let an expert take care of it for you 023 8098 2006 or 01983 897003.

 Useful Links & Case References

British Waterways Board v Smith (2015)

Game Retail v Laws (2014) 

Gill v SAS Grand Services UK Limited

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

Stephens v Halfords PLC (2011)

Crisp v Apple Retail

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

Employers Questions Answered

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

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

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

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

 

Action Points

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

 The Guardian Article

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

Featured in:
guardian

 

 

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

Family Friendly Rights at Work: Shared Parental Leave & Parental Leave

Shared Parental Leave & Parental Leave

This is a mini series focusing on family rights at work and the considerations which apply with regards to employees who are parents/will be parents. In this fourth episode in the series I summarise the two different types of Parental Leave that are available for employees who are parents.

In this episode I will cover:

  • The difference between Shared Parental Leave and Parental Leave
  • A summary of Shared Parental Leave
  • Employee eligibility for Parental Leave
  • How long employees can take for Parental Leave
  • Employee rights whilst taking Parental Leave and when they return to work
  • How an employer can postpone Parental Leave
  • Employee rights if they take Parental Leave
  • Practical tips on dealing with Parental Leave

You can listen to a whole episode on Shared Parental Leave here: Episode 12

Read more about Shared Parental Leave in two previous articles here and here

Action Points

  1. Ensure you understand the difference between Parental Leave and Shared Parental Leave;
  2. Check that you have details of both types of leave in your staff Handbook;
  3. Seek advice if you receive a request for Parental Leave or Shared Parental Leave and you are unsure of how to handle the situation. You can contact me by email alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or phone 023 8098 2006 or 01983 897003 if you would like to discuss.

 

 

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

 

 

 

 The Guardian Article

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

Featured in:
guardian

 

 

 

 

Direct download: Episode_70.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:56am EDT

Employee Rights: Some Additional Considerations

This is a mini series focusing on family rights at work and the considerations which apply with regards to employees who are parents/will be parents. In this third episode in the series I round off with some final information employers will need to know with regards to employees who take maternity or adoption leave.

In this episode I will cover:

  • What you need to consider and be aware of with regards to redundancy.
  • Why you must offer a suitable alternative vacancy to an employee on maternity or adoption leave first.
  • What happens to an employee's holiday entitlement when they are on maternity or adoption leave.
  • Why it is important to include details about holiday in a contract or policy.
  • The additional protection from detriment that employees have when taking maternity or adoption leave.
  • The additional protection from dismissal because of exercising or intending to exercise the right to take maternity or adoption leave.
  • Recovery of statutory maternity and adoption pay via HMRC.

Action Points

  1. Ensure you include the details of any holiday requirements for employees taking or about to take adoption or maternity leave in your contracts or holiday policy;
  2. Ensure your managers and staff understand that employees have protection from detrimental treatment because they are taking maternity or adoption leave;
  3. Seek advice if you have an unusual situation or you are not sure what to do. You can contact me by email alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or phone 023 8098 2006 or 01983 897003 if you would like to discuss.
 

 The Guardian Article

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

Featured in:
guardian

Direct download: Episode_69.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:27pm EDT

Parental Rights Series: Episode 2 - Maternity & Adoption Leave & Pay

Employee Rights to Maternity Leave & Pay and Adoption Leave & Pay

This is a mini series focusing on family rights at work and the considerations which apply with regards to employees who are parents/will be parents. In this second episode in the series I bring you details about maternity leave and maternity pay and adoption leave and adoption pay. The rights in terms of maternity and adoption are very similar.

In this episode I will cover:

  • An employer's legal obligation to reply to an employee within 28 days of receipt of the start date for their maternity or adoption leave.
  • The right of all employees to maternity leave.
  • The length of maternity leave.
  • Employee's rights during maternity leave.
  • The qualifying criteria for statutory maternity pay.
  • The right of all employees to adoption leave.
  • How adoption leave works when a couple are adopting.
  • The length of adoption leave.
  • Employee's rights during adoption leave.
  • The qualifying criteria for statutory adoption pay.
  • Communication with an employee during maternity or adoption leave.
  • Keeping in Touch (KIT) days for employees on maternity or adoption leave.

Action Points

  1. Ensure you respond within 28 days to an employee who informs you of their intention to take maternity or adoption leave;
  2. Check you understand that basic requirements for an employee who wants to take maternity or adoption leave;
  3. Check your contracts and any handbook to establish whether employees have any entitlement to enhanced pay when on maternity or adoption leave;
  4. Seek advice if you have an unusual situation or you are not sure what to do. You can contact me by email alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or phone 023 8098 2006 or 01983 897003 if you would like to discuss.
 

 The Guardian Article

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

Featured in:
guardian

 

Direct download: Episode_68.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:27pm EDT

Family Rights at Work: Episode 1 Pregnancy

Employers Obligations: Pregnancy Notification

In this weeks' episode I bring you the first episode in a mini series focusing on family rights at work and the considerations which apply with regards to employees who are parents/will be parents.

In this episode I will cover:

  • When an employee is legally obliged to inform you they are pregnant.
  • The notification process and information an employee must provide.
  • Guidance on how to handle the situation the right way when an employee tells you they are pregnant.
  • When to carry out a Health & Safety Risk Assessment.
  • What to tell an employee who is pregnant.
  • An employees right to time off for antenatal appointments.
  • A 'Qualifying' employees right to time off to accompany a pregnant lady to an antenatal appointment
  • Additional protection & rights for pregnant employees.

Action Points

  1. Check your staff handbook or policies to ensure it includes a pregnancy and maternity leave policy;
  2. Ensure your general risk assessment includes an assessment of risk and mitigation of risks for pregnant employees generally;
  3. Ensure that your general health and safety risk assessment is up to date;
  4. Seek advice before refusing time off for antenatal appointments you can contact me by email alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or phone 023 8098 2006 or 01983 897003 if you would like to discuss.
 

 The Guardian Article

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

Featured in:
guardian

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

Direct download: Episode_67.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:24am EDT

The Employment Tribunal decision on the status of Uber drivers

In this weeks' episode I follow up from Episode 61 when I brought you the details of a claim being considered in the London Central Employment Tribunal. The Judgement has been published and the outcome is that the Uber drivers in this case have been classified as workers.

In this episode I will cover:

  • Details about the case;
  • The differences in employment status;
  • What it means for the Uber drivers to be considered as workers;
  • The rights workers have;
  • What factors the Tribunal considered relevant in this case;
  • The potential wider impact of this case and why it is not over yet.

Action Points

  1. If you have 'self-employed' persons or consultants working for you, review the situation to ensure it is still a self-employed relationship;
  2. Seek advice if you are not sure about the legal status of the relationship;
  3. Sign up for my newsletter to ensure you get an update when the case is appealed;
  4. Give me a call if you want to talk through 023 8098 2006 or 01983 897003

 Useful Links

Episode 61 - Uber case

Hermes Case

Direct download: episode_66_RELA.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:23am EDT

Holiday Pay & Commission the Court of Appeal Decision: Episode 65

The Latest Update on the Holiday Pay Case of Lock v British Gas

In this weeks' episode I bring you the details of the latest installment in the long running case regarding payment of commission whilst on holiday and the interpretation of the working time regulations to decide how much pay an employee should receive when on holiday.

In this episode I will cover:

  • The background to European Law which governs holiday entitlement and holiday pay;
  • What the facts of this case are;
  • The reason why the case has been going on for so long;
  • The uncertainty for employers and what you can do in the interim;
  • My suggestions on how best to calculate holiday pay for staff who receive commission payments.

Resources

Case name: British Gas v Lock - Court of Appeal. You can read the full judgement for the case here

You can listen to previous episodes on the issue of holiday pay online episode 10 and episode 48

Action Points

  1. If you pay employees commission seek advice how best to ensure you are paying the correct amount when staff are on holiday;
  2. Subscribe to the podcast and Newsletter to ensure you get the updates when the case moves to the Supreme Court;
  3. Seek advice about your specific business issue;
  4. Give me a call if you want to talk through 023 8098 2006 or 01983 897003

 

 Remember getting advice from a Solicitor need not be expensive or difficult!

Direct download: Episode_65_REAL.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:49am EDT

Early Conciliation Timing: Episode 64

Does the Early Conciliation process apply to claims that happen after the certificate is issued?

In this weeks' episode I bring you the details of a case which has recently been decided by the Employment Appeal Tribunal regarding the Early Conciliation process which is mandatory in the majority of employment tribunal cases. In this case Mrs Morgan fulfilled the requirements of Early Conciliation and then resigned. Her employer, Compass Group,  argued that she could not rely on the earlier conciliation certificate when making a claim for constructive unfair dismissal.

In this episode I will cover:

  • The background to the Early Conciliation process and requirements;
  • How Early Conciliation works;
  • The facts of the case and why the employer argued that the employee had not fulfilled the Early Conciliation requirements;
  • Why the Employment Appeal Tribunal consider that a wide view should be taken of 'matter' when considering Early Conciliation;
  • Why you should take care in submitting your defence to a claim in the Employment Tribunal.

Resources

Case name: Compass Group v Morgan - Employment Appeal Tribunal. You can read the full judgement for the case here

You can start the ACAS Early Conciliation process here

Action Points

  1. If you receive a call from ACAS about Early Conciliation then you should give some meaningful thought to resolution;
  2. Seek advice before submitting your defence to a claim in the Employment Tribunal;
  3. Seek advice about your specific business issue;
  4. Give me a call if you want to talk through 023 8098 2006 or 01983 897003

 

 Remember getting advice from a Solicitor need not be expensive or difficult!

 

 

Would you like advice about your situation?

Appointments are available on the telephone or via Skype throughout the UK.

Alternatively I offer face to face appointments on the Isle of Wight, in 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.

Direct download: episode_64_RELA.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:35am EDT