The Employment Law & HR Podcast

Mental Health: Best Practice for Employers 

Mental Health of employees is a difficult subject for employers to tackle and there are a number of implications of getting it wrong. In this mini series I will be focusing on Mental Health at Work and providing some hints, tips and legal advice for employers. The focus in this episode is best practice and what steps you can take to be a better employer.

In this episode I will cover:

  • Some of the reasons why employers behave badly or handle employees with mental health conditions poorly;
  • Tips for Employers to be better including;
  1. Creating a culture of acceptance and communication;
  2. Encourage communication and openness;
  3. Taking steps to reassure staff and make them feel appreciated;
  4. Consider and make workplace adjustments;
  5. Having good management of absence processes.
  • This episode also includes some ideas for best practice & going the extra mile for your employees.

Action Points

  1. Think about the culture in your organisation, what do your managers, supervisors and staff know about mental health and how do they feel dealing with employees who have a mental health condition;
  2. Consider implementing or making at least one change in your business;
  3. Seek advice and assistance to ensure the best practice in your business;
  4. 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.

 


 

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Direct download: Episode_77.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:42am EDT

 Mental Health & Disability 

Mental Health of employees is a difficult subject for employers to tackle and there are a number of implications of getting it wrong. In this mini series I will be focusing on Mental Health at Work and providing some hints, tips and legal advice for employers. The focus in this episode is the legal implications and requirements of employers.

In this episode I will cover:

  • The definition of disability and how it applies to mental health;
  • The distinction between disability and stress at work or work related stress conditions;
  • Who has the burden of proving disability;
  • The importance of medical advice and opinion;
  • Implied knowledge of disability and when an employer will have implied knowledge;
  • Employer's obligations to a disabled employee;
  • Types of reasonable adjustments for a disabled employee with a mental impairment.

Action Points

  1. Discuss with any employees who display signs of mental health issues or long term health conditions;
  2. Provide support and systems in place for identifying reasonable adjustments for employees;
  3. Encourage employees to disclose medical conditions;
  4. Seek advice and assistance to ensure the best practice in your business;
  5. 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.
Direct download: episode_76.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:27am EDT

A focus on Stress at Work

Mental Health of employees is a difficult subject for employers to tackle and there are a number of implications of getting it wrong. In this mini series I will be focusing on Mental Health at Work and providing some hints, tips and legal advice for employers. The focus to start with is on stress at work.

In this episode I will cover:

  • The reasons for growing stress numbers at work;
  • The reasons employees become stressed at work;
  • How reducing and preventing stress can help to prevent depression and anxiety conditions;
  • Why it is important for your business that you understand work stress;
  • How to identify employees who are stressed;
  • What you can do to reduce and manage employee stress.

Action Points

  1. Train your managers and supervisors to spot the signs of stress;
  2. Implement a Stress at Work policy;
  3. Increase communication among staff and managers
  4. Seek advice and assistance to ensure the best practice in your business;
  5. 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.

 

Direct download: Episode_75.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:33am EDT

Is a cycle courier a self-employed person or a worker?

This weeks' episode is about one of four cases that are making their way through the London Central Employment Tribunal on the issue of the status of workers. In this case Mr Boxer, who is a cycle courier, has asserted that he is a 'worker' rather than a self-employed person and is therefore entitled to holiday pay, and other benefits.

In this episode I will cover:

  • The facts of the case;
  • Why the Employment Tribunal have decided in Mr Boxer's favour;
  • What the significance of this case is;
  • Why there are several of these cases ongoing at the moment;
  • Why I predict that there will be legislation on this area in the near future to set guidelines to easier establish the status of certain workers in the 'gig' economy.

Action Points

  1. If you have any 'self-employed' contractors or persons working for you seek advice to clarify that they would be classed as 'self-employed' if a dispute arose;
  2. Seek advice and assistance if you are unsure of what to do;
  3. Subscribe for updates to ensure you are aware of the latest legal position as it changes;
  4. 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

Boxer v Excel Group Services Limited - London Central Employment Tribunal

Uber Case - Another self-employed v Worker status case - Episode 66

Employment Status and the Gig Economy

Employed or Self-Employed - Episode 61

Direct download: Episode_74.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:03am EDT

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