The Employment Law & HR Podcast (general)
Vectis Radio Listener Questions Answered: Episode 17

Employer questions answered

In this episode of the podcast the format is a bit different as I was recently invited to be a guest on the Business Insight show on my local community radio, Vectis Radio and during the show I answered a number of listener employer questions from business owners. Thanks to the generosity of Vectis RadioDarren Fernando and Dale Howarth I have been able to share the audio from the show on this episode of the podcast.

The questions answered in this episode include….

  • How to deal with the new Shared Parental Leave regulations.
  • How to keep up to date with employment law as a small business.
  • How to address a customer complaint about a staff member in a small team.
  • What to do about an employee on maternity leave who probably won't return to work.
  • What to do about auto enrolment and the new pension scheme.
Direct download: Episode_17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:04am EDT

Using E-Cigarettes at work

How do you deal with staff who 'Vape' at work

In this episode of the Podcast I give you a summary of a recent Employment Tribunal case within which the issue of the use of e-cigarettes at work resulted in an employee facing disciplinary action and resigning from her employment. In this case the employee Ms Insley was seen using an e-cigarette at work. She was a catering assistant at a secondary school. When the Headmaster reported the matter to her employer, Accent Catering, they started disciplinary proceedings, stating that it could be gross misconduct.

Ms Insley resigned and claimed constructive unfair dismissal in the Employment Tribunal.

Particularly you will learn….

  • What the current law is regarding e-cigarettes.
  • The points to consider when looking at staff use of e-cigarettes at work. 
  • Why you should review your smoking policy and notify staff of the changes fairly urgently.
  • What the decision means for your business.
  • Why Ms Insley perhaps would have been better to wait for decision from her employer before resigning.

HR Best Practice Tip

The HR tip of the week follows several issues that have been raised by my clients about managing poor performance of staff and the uncomfortable feeling of doing this.

Direct download: Episode_16.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am EDT

Misuse of Twitter & Unfair Dismissal : Episode 15

What happens when an employee tweets offensive comments

In this episode of the Podcast I give you a summary of a recent Employment Appeal Tribunal case within which the issue of the misuse of an employees personal twitter account resulted in his dismissal for gross misconduct.  In this case the employee Mr Laws tweeted offensive messages (28 in total) on his personal account and although his account and the tweets were unrelated to work he was dismissed for gross misconduct by his employer Game Retail Limited.

Mr Laws was successful with his claim in the Employment Tribunal for unfair dismissal but the Employment Appeal Tribunal thought that the Tribunal had not applied the correct tests or considered the correct questions when deciding the case.

Particularly you will learn….

  • What the correct test for reasonableness of a dismissal is.
  • The points to consider when disciplining or dismissing an employee for social media comments.
  • Precautions you should take when dealing with social media issues.
  • What the decision means for your business.
  • The background to the decision.

HR Best Practice Tip

The HR tip of the week follows the featured case and gives guidance on your social media policy, why you need one and what you should do to prevent issues.

Podcast references

Game Retail Limited v Mr C Laws

If you would like to read a full copy of the Judgement you can find a copy by clicking EAT full decision Game Retail Limited v Mr Laws

Direct download: Episode_15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

Reinstatement following Dismissal : Episode 14

What happens when an employee is successful with their appeal

In this episode of the Podcast I give you a summary of a recent Employment Appeal Tribunal case within which the issue of reinstatement of an employee following a successful appeal against dismissal was discussed. In this case the employee Mrs Salmon was dismissed for gross misconduct by her employer Castlebeck Care Limited.

Mrs Salmon appealed against her dismissal and between her dismissal and her appeal taking place her former colleagues transferred under the TUPE regulations to employment with Danshell Healthcare Limited.

Although Mrs Salmon's appeal was apparently successful and the decision deemed 'unsafe' by Danshell's HR Director (who had transferred from Castlebeck Care) her employment was not reinstated and so she made a claim for unfair dismissal.

At the Employment Tribunal Mrs Salmon's claim for unfair dismissal was not allowed to continue against Danshell Healthcare as she was not an employee of Castlebeck immediately before the transfer to Danshell, which is a requirement of TUPE.

Mrs Salmon appealed against the decision and the Employment Appeal Tribunal considered whether her successful appeal against dismissal meant she had been reinstated and therefore was effectively an employee throughout.

Particularly you will learn….

  • What happens when an employees employment transfers under TUPE regulations
  • When an employees employment will be reinstated on appeal
  • The importance of getting your procedures right
  • What the decision means for your business
  • The background to the decision

HR Best Practice Tip

The HR tip of the week follows the recruitment theme, giving guidance on how to answer a request for feedback from an unsuccessful candidate.

Podcast references

Salmon v (1) Castlebeck Care (Teesdale) Ltd (In Administration) (2) Danshell Healthcare Ltd and others

Direct download: Episode_14.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:26am EDT

Obesity & Discrimination : Episode 13

 

In this episode #13 of the Podcast I discuss the recent decision of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) which answers the question as to whether under European Law obesity is protected from discrimination. The case Karsten Kaltoft v Kommunemes Landsforening was referred from the Danish Courts to the ECJ to decide this issue.

If you listen to this episode of the Podcast you will understand what the decision actually means rather than the news, which has in my opinion has been hyped up to get attention for the headlines.

Particularly you will learn….

  • Why the case was referred to the European Court of Justice
  • The facts in this case
  • What the decision means for law in the UK
  • Whether obese employees can claim discrimination
  • Whether you need to make reasonable adjustments for obese employees
  • What steps you should take if you have obese employees

HR Best Practice Tip

My HR tip of the week deals with complying with data protection and making your life easier by having a good system for keeping and maintaining employee records.

Podcast references

To read more about the case click on this link Karsten Kaltoft v Kommunemes Landsforening 

To find out more about the HR software system which is guaranteed to save you time go to www.adviceforemployers.co.uk/hr-support

Direct download: Episode_13.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:30am EDT

Shared Parental Leave

Shared Parental Leave

In this episode #12 of the Podcast I discuss the changes that became law on the 1st December 2014 in respect of the new rights to shared parental leave.  The changes will effect all employers and you could be receiving notices of shared parental leave from as early as January 2015 for children due to be born or adopted after the 5th April 2015.

The shared parental leave regime is fairly complicated with various different scenarios that could occur, and so it is important to be proactive and to understand your obligations as an employer as soon as possible. If you listen to this episode of the Podcast it will give you a good start.

Particularly you will learn….

  • When the new regime actually begins.
  • Why it has been introduced.
  • What will happen to traditional maternity, adoption and paternity leave rights.
  • Employee eligibility to take leave.
  • Information that an employee is required to give.
  • How shared parental leave pay will work.
  • When the shared parental leave can be taken.
  • Possible issues and problems that could arise.

HR Best Practice Tip

The HR tip of the week follows the recruitment theme, this week giving guidance on why you should ensure that interviewers in your organisation are trained in the legal pitfalls of asking the wrong interview questions.

Direct download: Episode_12.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:10am EDT

Disciplinary Procedures - Getting it right first time: Episode 11

In this episode of the Podcast I give you a summary of a recent Employment Appeal Tribunal case within which the issue of procedural irregularities with a disciplinary procedure were discussed. In this case the employee Mrs Old was dismissed in a career ending decision by her employer Palace Fields Primary Academy.

At the Employment Tribunal Mrs Old's claim for unfair dismissal was unsuccessful, however not all of the procedural issues were considered by the Employment Tribunal in reaching their decision.

This case also deals with the issue of whether the 'losing' employer should pay all or some of the fees that are required to lodge an appeal currently £400 to file an appeal and £1200 for the hearing fee.

Particularly you will learn….

  • What evidence must be provided to an employee in a disciplinary situation
  • When an employee should be allowed the opportunity to comment on evidence that is used in the decision making process
  • The importance of carrying out a fair procedure in disciplinary issues
  • What the decision means for your business
  • The background to the decision
  • Whether the 'losing' employer had to pay the Employment Appeal Tribunal fees

HR Best Practice Tip

The HR tip of the week follows the recruitment theme, giving guidance on how to get the recruitment process right.

Podcast references

Old v Palace Fields Primary Academy

To obtain a copy of the free Recruitment Leaflet and Checklist, sign up here.

Direct download: Episode_11.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

Following the news this week you may be scratching your head and asking yourself how much should I pay during holidays to employees? This episode of the podcast deals with this question.

If you are an employer your attention will undoubtedly have been drawn to a recent decision from the Appeal Tribunal (4th November 2014). This decision came as a result of the following combined cases:

MR DAVID FULTON AND OTHERS v BEAR SCOTLAND LTD & OTHERS

MR K WOODS AND OTHER v SHERTEL (UK) LTD

MR LAW AND OTHERS v AMEC GROUP LTD

You can read the full judgement here

It is an important decision which all employers should be aware of and consideration should be given to the effect it will have on your business and employees.

Particularly you will learn….

  • What the decision means for your business
  • The background to the decision
  • Whether you will have to pay back payments to employees

HR Best Practice Tip

The HR tip of the week follows the recruitment theme, giving guidance on how to get the recruitment process right.

Podcast references

Working Time Regulations 1998

Employment Rights Act 1996 

You can obtain a free copy of my Recruitment Fact Sheet and Checklist by sending an email to alison@alisoncolley.co.uk 

Direct download: Episode_10.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:57am EDT

In this episode 9 of the HR & Employment Law Podcast I bring you a summary of a recent Employment Appeal Tribunal Case, Contract Bottlling Ltd v Cave and McNaughton. In which the Appeal Tribunal gave a very helpful judgement on the way in which deductions from unfair dismissal compensation should be dealt with.

 

The particular issue in this case involved a question over deductions from unfair dismissal compensation due to a principle known as Polkey.  

Particularly you will learn….

  • What the key principle is when deciding unfair dismissal compensation
  • The deductions that can be made from compensation
  • What a ‘Polkey’ deduction is
  • How a ‘Polkey’ deduction is and should be calculated

HR Best Practice Tip

The HR tip of the week is the first in a series of tips about dealing with recruitment. Recruiting staff is both costly and time consuming and therefore it is important that you get it right. This first tip will help your new staff to fit in and make them feel at ease quickly, ensuring that they become productive quickly and are less likely to leave.

Podcast references

In this episode I refer to the case of Contract Bottlling Ltd v Cave and McNaughton and you can read the full judgement here

Direct download: Episode_9.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:56pm EDT

In this episode 8 of the HR & Employment Law Podcast I bring you a summary of a recent Employment Appeal Tribunal Case, Mr Ridge v HM Land Registry. In which Mr Ridge pursued a claim against the Land Registry for their failure to include itemised details of deductions from his wages on his pay slips.
A rather surprising and unique case, and something which you may not be aware of as an employer. 

 

Particularly you will learn....

What information needs to be included on a payslip

What constitutes a deduction from wages

The consequences if you get things wrong.

HR Best Practice Tip

The HR tip of the week is a bit of a 'no-brainer' but one which many people easily forget on a day to day basis. 

Podcast references

In this episode I refer to the case of Mr Ridge v HM Land registry and you can read the full judgement here

You can find out more about my HR and legal support package for employers, Empirical Support' here

 

Another week of unmissable content if you are an employer or Human Resources professional. 
Direct download: Episode_8.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am EDT