The Employment Law & HR Podcast (general)
Employment Law News Round Up: Episode 30

A round up of Employment Law in the News

There have been several topics in the news recently which I will touch upon and bring you more information and my opinion in this weeks' episode.

In this episode I will cover:

  • The proposal to abolish Employment Tribunal Fees in Scotland.
  • The outcome of Unisons challenge on Tribunal Fees in the Court of Appeal.
  • What I believe the future position will be regarding fees in England and Wales.
  • Details about the Living Wage.
  • What the Living Wage is.
  • The implications for Employers.
  • How to plan for the changes.
  • Why zero hour contracts are in the news again.
  • When zero hour contracts are good to use.
  • What my opinion is on the future of zero hour contracts.

 

HR Best Practice Tip

The HR tip of the week is about ensuring that your employment contracts include a clause that allows you to obtain a medical report in the event that they are absent from work due to sickness for a substantial period of time.

 


 

 

New Media Europe Conference

New Media Europe Conference - 12th - 13th September 2015 at The Midland Hotel, Manchester - If you are interested in attending you can get £100 off the ticket price by clicking here and using the code REAL.

(please note that this is an affiliate link which means I will receive a payment from the organiser if you book a ticket with this link. It will not cost you any more to book using this link & as stated you will in fact get £100 off)

 

Direct download: Episode_30.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Nicole Le Maire  - CEO of The People Engine & Co-Author of The Female Leader

In this weeks' episode of the Podcast I interview Nicole Le Maire a global HR professional who runs her own business.

 

About Nicole

Nicole is the proud CEO of The People Engine Ltd. with the brands New to HR and Human Resources Global.  After leaving the corporate workforce as an international HR Director (entrepreneurial streak) and having gained global experience whilst living/working in over 30+ countries, she set up her own business to support business owners, teams and to provide support to business truly going global.

How to find out more and get in touch with Nicole:

Websites: www.newtohr.com 

Twitter: @NicoleLeMaire or @newtoHR 

Linkedin: New to HR

Instagram: http://instagram.com/newtohr

Googleplus: https://plus.google.com/+NewToHR

Email: nicole@newtohr.com


Podcast Awards 

I have been shortlisted in the category of best UK podcast and need your help to win at the first UK Podcast Awards in Manchester on the 12th September 2015. You can vote for the podcast by clicking hereVOTING CLOSES 31st AUGUST 2015!

New Media Europe Conference - 12th - 13th September 2015 at The Midland Hotel, Manchester - If you are interested in attending you can get £100 off the ticket price by clicking here and using the code REAL.

(please note that this is an affiliate link which means I will receive a payment from the organiser if you book a ticket with this link. It will not cost you any more to book using this link & as stated you will in fact get £100 off)

 

Direct download: Episode_29_-_interview_with_Nicole_La_Maire.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Settlement Agreements

An introduction to Settlement Agreements?

Following a request from a listener I bring you an introduction to Settlement Agreements and particularly the legal requirements for a binding settlement agreement.

In this episode you will learn:

  • What a Settlement Agreement is.
  • When Settlement Agreements are used.
  • Who proposes a Settlement Agreement.
  • What the legal requirements are for a Settlement Agreement.
  • Why an employee must obtain legal advice regarding a Settlement Agreement.
  • Who can advise an employee about a Settlement Agreement.
  • Who should prepare the Settlement Agreement terms.
  • What rights an employee can waive under a Settlement Agreement.

Legal Rights that cannot be settled

There are various legal rights which an employee cannot waive under a settlement agreement and these include:

  • Claims relating to collective redudncies and an employers failure to adhere to their obligation to inform and consult with appropriate representatives.
  • Claims for breach of regulations 5, 6 and 9 under the Employment Relations Act 1999 (Blacklists) Regulations 2010.
  • Where there is a Transfer of employment covered by TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006) and the employer fails to inform and consult transfering employees.
  • Claims under the Agency Workers Regulations 2010.
  • Employees are not able to compromise or waive their legal right to statutory maternity pay, paternity pay or adoption pay.

With some of these claims employees can agree to waive their rights and settle claims if done so via ACAS. If you find you have an employee with one of these claims and you want to seek to reach an agreement with them then you should certainly obtain specific legal advice before paying the employee any money or drawing up any form of agreement or settlement agreement.

HR Best Practice Tip

The HR tip of the week is about protecting your business reputation by the inclusion of a 'Social Media' Policy in your handbook and if possible adding a clause to your employment contracts. This tip has come about following various recent cases about Social Media, including one reported in the blog which you can read here

Some suggested wording for a clause that you can add to your contracts is: ‘You are not permitted to use any social media/networking platform during working time. Further, you are specifically not permitted to make any reference to the Company or any work colleague on any social media/networking site(s), whether in work or personal time. You should be aware that in such event, this could result in disciplinary action up to and including termination. Careful judgement should be exercised, giving consideration to the impact that your online activities may have on your employment. Any content posted by you on any social media network which could damage the reputation of the Company will result in disciplinary action and possibly dismissal.’

Where reputation is important to your business do not leave it vulnerable.

Podcast Awards 

I have been shortlisted in the category of best UK podcast and need your help to win at the first UK Podcast Awards in Manchester on the 12th September 2015. You can vote for the podcast by clicking here.

New Media Europe Conference - 12th - 13th September 2015 at The Midland Hotel, Manchester - If you are interested in attending you can get £100 off the ticket price by clicking here and using the code REAL.

(please note that this is an affiliate link which means I will receive a payment from the organiser if you book a ticket with this link. It will not cost you any more to book using this link & as stated you will in fact get £100 off)

Direct download: Episode_28.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:30am EDT

An introduction to TUPE: Episode 27

Part 1 - What does TUPE mean?

In this episode of the podcast I bring you the first in a series of podcasts about the notoriously complicated area of law, The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations.

In this episode you will learn:

  • What TUPE means.
  • When TUPE applies.
  • Why it is a complicated area of law.
  • What protection employees have on the transfer of their employment.
  • What happens if an employee does not want to transfer.
  • Who will transfer to a new employer.
  • What additional protection from dismissal applies under the TUPE regulations.
  • When changes can be made to transferring employees terms and conditions of employment.
  • What recent changes to the rules will mean.

 

HR Best Practice Tip

The HR tip of the week is about protecting your business in the best possible way when working with consultants, contractors or self-employed persons. Do not leave your business vulnerable.

Podcast Awards 

I have been shortlisted in the category of best UK podcast and need your help to win at the first UK Podcast Awards in Manchester on the 12th September 2015. You can vote for the podcast by clicking here.

New Media Europe Conference - 12th - 13th September 2015 at The Midland Hotel, Manchester - If you are interested in attending you can get £100 off the ticket price by clicking here and using the code REAL.

(please note that this is an affiliate link which means I will receive a payment from the organiser if you book a ticket with this link. It will not cost you any more to book using this link & as stated you will in fact get £100 off)

Direct download: Episode_27_-.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am EDT

The reasonableness of a decision to dismiss an employee: Episode 26

What are the considerations for a fair conduct dismissal?

In this episode of the podcast I tell you about a recent case decided by the Court of Appeal where an employee who was dismissed for a breach of the employer's new Health and Safety rules after 35 years employment claimed that it was not fair and reasonable to dismiss him for the misconduct. The employee admitted what he had done but claimed that dismissal was not a reasonable sanction in all the circumstances. The case is Newbound v Thames Water Utilities Limited.

In this episode you will learn

  • What an Employer should consider before dismissing an employee
  • The test that an Employment Tribunal will apply in a case for unfair dismissal
  • Why you should ensure that you apply consistent sanctions to employees with similar misconduct allegations
  • Steps you can take to reduce the risk of a claim for unfair dismissal
  • When you should seek advice for your business

 

HR Best Practice Tip

The HR tip of the week is about getting your legal status with workers, self-employed persons and employees correct at the outset. Including why you need to analyse the full relationship to establish employment status.

It is important that you have a relevant agreement in place with your staff to deal with any problems should things go wrong in the future.

Podcast references

To read the full Employment Appeal Tribunal judgement in the case of click here

New Media Europe Conference - 12th - 13th September 2015 at The Midland Hotel, Manchester - If you are interested in attending you can get £100 off the ticket price by clicking here and using the code REAL.

(please note that this is an affiliate link which means I will receive a payment from the organiser if you book a ticket with this link. It will not cost you any more to book using this link & as stated you will in fact get £100 off)

Please vote for this podcast in the first ever UK Podcast Awards you can vote once a day until the 31st July 2015 using this link here

Direct download: Episode_26.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:30am EDT

Holiday Entitlement & Sickness Absence: Episode 25

 

Can employees on sick leave carry forward holiday and for how long?

In this episode of the podcast I tell you about a recent case in the Employment Appeal Tribunal where an employee who was dismissed after almost 4 years on sick leave made a claim for accrued but not taken holiday for the previous 4 years. The case is Plumb v Duncan Print Group Limited.

In this episode you will learn

  • When an employee on sick leave accrues holiday
  • The circumstances in which an employee on sick leave can carry over holiday to a new leave year
  • How long an employee on sick leave can carry over holiday
  • What you should be aware of regarding holiday and sickness absence
  • What you can do to minimise issues
  • When you should seek advice for your business

 

HR Best Practice Tip

The HR tip of the week is about ensuring that you can recover the costs of paying for external training or qualifications for your employees in the event that they leave your employment and take their skills elsewhere.

It is important that you have a relevant agreement in place with your employee to enable you to recover the training costs and that the agreement is in accordance with current legal guidance otherwise it will not be enforceable.

Podcast references

To read the full Employment Appeal Tribunal judgement in the case of  click here

New Media Europe Conference - 12th - 13th September 2015 at The Midland Hotel, Manchester  - If you are interested in attending you can get £100 off the ticket price by clicking here and using the code REAL.

(please note that this is an affiliate link which means I will receive a payment from the organiser if you book a ticket with this link. It will not cost you any more to book using this link & as stated you will in fact get £100 off)

Please vote for this podcast in the first ever UK Podcast Awards you can vote once a day until the 31st July 2015 using this link here

Direct download: Episode_25.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:21pm EDT

Unfair Dismissal and failure to disclose misconduct: Episode 24

When can you dismiss an employee for failure to disclose misconduct in other employment?

In this episode of the podcast I tell you about a recent case in the Employment Appeal Tribunal where an employee was dismissed for failure to disclose misconduct after his employer found out about an allegation of misconduct in his other part-time job. The case is The Basildon Academies v Amadi.

In this episode you will learn

  • When an employee is obliged to disclose their own misconduct
  • Why it was unfair to dismiss an employee who failed to disclose allegations of misconduct
  • What the employer in this case could have done differently to justify a fair dismissal
  • What you can do to ensure your employees must disclose
  • When you should seek advice for your business

 

HR Best Practice Tip

The HR tip of the week is about ensuring that your employment contracts are fit for purpose and the needs of your business. The featured case serves as a reminder that inadequate contracts can be costly for employers.

In particular with many regular changes to the law it is important to review at least annually. For example there has been a recent change to the use of zero hour contracts which makes it unlawful to include an exclusivity clause in a zero hour contract.

Direct download: Episode_24.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:27pm EDT

Protection for a Whistleblower: Episode 23

When is a Whistleblower protected from Dismissal & Detriment?

In this episode of the podcast I tell you about a recent case in the Employment Tribunal where an employee resigned in response to his concerns not being taken seriously by his employer and where he alleged he had received detrimental treatment. The case is Newman v Riverside Building Supplies.

In this episode you will learn

  • What constitutes a protected disclosure for whistleblowing protection
  • When a disclosure is in the public interest
  • Why you should take employee concerns seriously
  • When you should seek advice

HR Best Practice Tip

The HR tip of the week is about ensuring managers and supervisors are aware of the limits of their authority to dismiss and discipline employees.

Podcast references

Nurmohamed v Chesterton Global Limited (Trading as Chestertons)

Direct download: Episode_23.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:30am EDT

Unfair Dismissal: The Disciplinary Process

 

In this episode of the podcast I bring you details of a recent case decided by the Employment Appeal Tribunal about unfair dismissal and the process of dismissal. The appeal in this case involved various questions, importantly including whether or not a disciplinary process should be suspended whilst a related grievance is investigated.

In this episode you will learn

  • Whether a disciplinary procedure should be suspended pending a grievance outcome
  • About the best practice for disciplinary procedures
  • Why a delay in this case between decision and appeal led to a confusion of the issues
  • When you should seek advice

HR Best Practice Tip

The HR tip of the week is about dealing with disciplinary appeals and procedures, and I recommend that, where possible, you have a senior member of staff who is not involved in the investigation or early stages of the disciplinary.

Direct download: Episode_22.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:45am EDT

Focus on Constructive Unfair Dismissal: Episode 21

In this episode of the podcast I bring the focus back to constructive unfair dismissal and what employer's should do if they are faced with a resignation from an employee in a situation where there is a risk of a claim for constructive unfair dismissal.

In this episode you will learn

  • What constructive unfair dismissal is and when a claim can arise
  • Whether you can refuse to accept an employee's notice
  • What you can do to prevent a claim
  • How you can mitigate the situation and reduce compensation risk
  • When you should seek advice

HR Best Practice Tip

The HR tip of the week is about dealing with situations swiftly to prevent escalation to a claim and ensuring your managers are able to identify likely disputes and issues.

Direct download: Episode_21.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EDT