Acas conciliators strike

Acas conciliators strike

Members of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) working as Acas conciliators took part in a one-day strike last Friday, after raising concerns about the downgrading of conciliation work, mounting workloads and lack of suitable resources PCS members have been...

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Childhood convictions still impact on employment prospects

Childhood convictions still impact on employment prospects

Nearly half a million childhood convictions from more than 30 years ago have been disclosed on criminal record checks in the past five years, according to data uncovered by the charity Unlock. A further half a million criminal records relating to convictions more than...

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Bad employers face increased penalties and prosecution

Bad employers face increased penalties and prosecution

Employers who exploit staff could face higher financial penalties and increased risk of prosecution under recommendations by a government-backed body, Labour Market Enforcement (LME). In his first annual full strategy report, Sir David Metcalf proposed making well...

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Taking notice of notice

Taking notice of notice

The Supreme Court has handed down its judgment in a case where the employee did not immediately read the letter of dismissal.  What is the case about? Every employer will, at some point need to end someone’s employment – perhaps following a disciplinary or capability...

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When employers can give bad references

When employers can give bad references

We are often told by employees – usually ones who have been dismissed for misconduct or poor performance “my employer can’t give me a bad reference”. They can. And they do. Employers do have a duty of care to employees when writing a reference. They must exercise...

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More staff reporting for work when ill

More staff reporting for work when ill

Employers are seeing more staff turning up to work while ill, according to a report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). It surveyed more than 1,000 employers this year and found that 86% had seen employees attending work while ill. The...

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Drug Testing at Work

Drug Testing at Work

Why employers should be cautious of drug testing at work. According to a Home Office report, 8.4 percent of adults had taken an illicit drug in the last 12 months. So, should employers be actively testing their staff for drugs? What are the rules? Legal obligations...

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Recording disciplinary hearings

Recording disciplinary hearings

Employees doing things that they shouldn’t with mobile phones isn’t uncommon. This includes making a covert recording of a meeting without permission. Cases of the covert recording of a disciplinary hearing regularly come before Employment Tribunals. A disciplinary...

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Slow uptake on Tribunal fee refunds

Slow uptake on Tribunal fee refunds

Last summer, the Government announced how it was going to go about refunding the £17million in Tribunal fees taken from Claimants. How is it going? Not great according to the Lord Chancellor’s update to the House of Commons Justice Committee. Points of interest...

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Itemised payslips for all

Itemised payslips for all

One of the many changes to employment law that slipped out almost unnoticed on 6th April was the change to the Employment Rights Act 1996 which extended the right to all workers to be entitled to itemised payslips or statements. The statement must contain: The gross...

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Avoiding discrimination during interviews

Avoiding discrimination during interviews

Interviewing someone for a vacancy can be daunting. The interviewer can sometimes be as nervous as the candidate. What about discrimination? Your natural reaction is to ask the candidate lots of questions. And equally, if you find out something that doesn’t sit well...

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Tracking Company Vehicles

Tracking Company Vehicles

How should an employer track vehicles under GDPR? It’s tricky. They need to balance the right to privacy of their drivers against the legitimate rights of their business. Tracking technology enables employers to ensure vehicles are being driven efficiently and...

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Smokers banned from using lifts for 45 minutes

Smokers banned from using lifts for 45 minutes

Smokers smell* Well, according to a local government in central Japan they do. They have ordered smokers to complete a 45-minute “decontamination period” between stubbing out their last cigarette and using lifts in the city hall. Well, smelling and passive smoking...

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Lower Shared Parental Pay was not sex discrimination

Lower Shared Parental Pay was not sex discrimination

The Employment Appeal Tribunal ("EAT")  has decided that failure to pay a male employee enhanced shared parental pay where the employer pays enhanced maternity pay to women was not direct sex discrimination. In the case of Capita Customer Management Ltd v Ali, the...

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BIG change to taxation of termination payments

BIG change to taxation of termination payments

Sometimes, the dullest looking changes are the most significant. Mention “taxation of termination payments” and many people turn off. 6th  April 2018 saw a change that will affect most employers at one time or another – especially those dealing with settlement...

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Disability discrimination – definition of cancer

Disability discrimination – definition of cancer

Cancer is a ‘deemed' disability under the Equality Act 2010. This means that there is no need for a Claimant to demonstrate an impairment with a substantial and long-term adverse effect on her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities to be protected by...

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Male voice choir changes its name rather than admit women

Male voice choir changes its name rather than admit women

A Derbyshire Constabulary Male Voice Choir has been forced to change its name and disassociate itself from the force because it has refused to let women join. The choir has been singing and helping raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity since 1956. But the...

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Claim struck out for speaking to journalist

Claim struck out for speaking to journalist

In Chidzoy v BBC, the Employment Appeal Tribunal ("EAT") upheld an Employment Tribunal's decision to strike out a sex discrimination claim after the Claimant discussed elements of the case and her evidence with a journalist whilst under oath. The Claimant was employed...

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Free seminar – disability and long term sickness

Free seminar – disability and long term sickness

FREE* Briefing on Disability and Long-term sickness 21st June 2018 One of the most challenging workplace issues for any employer – large or small, is how to handle a member of staff who is on long term sick leave or has an illness which affects their work. Get the...

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GDPR Toolkit

GDPR Toolkit

For a limited period, we are offering a GDPR Policies and Procedures Toolkit to help employers comply with the law quickly and effectively for just £250 plus VAT. Our quality template documents and guidance notes will help you to update your policies and procedures to...

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Are you being paid for your overtime?

Are you being paid for your overtime?

British employees work more than 10 hours overtime every week on average - clocking up 469 hours of extra work a year. Just under six in 10 of those workers will simply not get paid for those additional hours. Unless there is an agreement in place – such as a clause...

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GDPR and the right to Erasure

GDPR and the right to Erasure

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is creeping not so slowly towards us…May 25th 2018, is just around the corner, and with it will come pressure on the Human Resources to update its approach to handling employee data. In particular, the GDPR introduces the...

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Better rights for fathers in the workplace

Better rights for fathers in the workplace

The House of Commons' Women and Equalities Committee has published a report, Fathers and the workplace, calling on the government to make a number of improvements to fathers' rights at work. The committee believes that current policies are not keeping up with social...

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Half of workers lose steep worrying about work

Half of workers lose steep worrying about work

Half of UK workers are losing over nine hours of sleep a week worrying about their job, according to new research by online jobs board Totaljobs. A quarter of workers have a work-related nightmare at least once a week. The most common are: being late for work was the...

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Young people more affected by zero hours contracts

Young people more affected by zero hours contracts

Young people have been disproportionately affected by zero hours contracts and shifts in the nature of work in recent years, the Resolution Foundation said in a new report. The Foundation said: more than half of people on zero-hours contracts are aged 16-34; there...

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Flexible working is on the increase

Flexible working is on the increase

Demand for flexible working is on the increase, according to a new study by conference call firm powwownow. 75% of UK employees favour a job that gives them the option of flexible work schedules – 70% more than in 2017. 81% of women and 69% of men say flexible work...

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Staff lost £31bn in unpaid overtime last year

Staff lost £31bn in unpaid overtime last year

A new report by the TUC says the UK workforce staff lost £31bn in unpaid overtime last year. The report accuses employers of an "over-reliance" on the generosity of their workers. Using figures from the ONS, the union calculated almost five million people worked an...

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Employers not convinced by new pay ratio rules

Employers not convinced by new pay ratio rules

Only one-third of businesses think the introduction of pay ratio reporting will narrow the pay gap between executives and other employees. The Government plans to require all listed companies publish the ratio of their CEO’s pay to the average pay of their UK workers....

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Helping Transgender People in the Workplace

Helping Transgender People in the Workplace

HR has a key role in preventing discrimination against transgender people. Here are six ways to be more inclusive of transgender people in the workplace. A recent survey  found that nearly half of transgender people actively look for trans-friendly employers when...

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Compensation limits increased

Compensation limits increased

The Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) Order 2018 SI 2018/194 has been made and will increase the compensation limits and minimum awards that are payable under employment legislation from 6 April 2018. The limit on the compensatory award for unfair dismissal will...

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Employers are in the dark ages

Employers are in the dark ages

British employers are ‘living in the dark ages’ and have worrying attitudes towards unlawful behaviour when it comes to recruiting women and pregnancy, new statistics from the Equality and Human Rights Commission reveal. Showing that many businesses’ attitudes are...

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Dyson granted injunction against ex-employee

Dyson granted injunction against ex-employee

The Dyson group has been granted an injunction preventing one of its top engineers working for a rival company for 12 months. The case involved Dyson’s research and development company, Dyson Technology Ltd, which is developing the company’s electric car. It employed...

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Top businesses must show how they stop sexual harassment

Top businesses must show how they stop sexual harassment

The recent sexual assault scandals involving MPs and Hollywood actors has prompted the Equality and Human Rights Commission to write to leading companies telling them they’ll face legal action if they fail to deal with sexual harassment. The letter to the chairs of...

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Another blow for Uber

Another blow for Uber

Uber may have to reconsider its working practices after losing two major legal battles within two months. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that the company should be classified as a taxi firm and regulated as such, a decision that may have major...

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An Apology

On Wednesday 14th February, we were unfortunate victims of a cyberattack on one of our personal Linkedin accounts, which was then used to send a phishing email to some of our contacts. We acted swiftly to close down the affected account and mitigate the situation, and...

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Gender Pay Gap the American way

Gender Pay Gap the American way

As countries around the world grapple with the gender pay gap, some places in America have come up with a new way to tackle the problem. Their solution? Bar employers from asking job applicants what they currently earn, so new salary offers are not based on the...

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Rest breaks at work

Rest breaks at work

When is a 20 minute rest break not a 20 minute rest break? When it isn’t a continuous 20 minutes. Mr Crawford worked for Network Rail. The law states that all workers are entitled to an uninterrupted rest break of at least 20 minutes from their workstation if their...

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What is the gender pay gap?

What is the gender pay gap?

The gender pay gap reflects inequalities and discrimination in the labour market that mostly affect women. Women earn significantly less than men over their entire careers for complex, often interrelated reasons. These include: differences in caring responsibilities...

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Too tired to work?

Too tired to work?

Almost everyone has had a sneaky sleep at work. Ok, apart from pilots and surgeons and employment solicitors…we just get cratchy. Research says workers lose around 200,000 working days a year due to sleep deprivation.  In the long-term, it can cause serious health...

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Disabled shop worker wins tribunal award over lift key

Disabled shop worker wins tribunal award over lift key

An Employment Tribunal has awarded a disabled shop worker £1,000  after Marks and Spencer delayed giving him a lift key to allow him to reach the toilets more easily. The Employment Tribunal held that Mr Mitchell’s  employer breached its duty under the Equality Act...

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Are you stubbing out smoking at work?

Are you stubbing out smoking at work?

Back in November we wrote about a Japanese company who were in the news for giving non-smokers extra holiday to make up for the time that colleagues spent smoking at work. It’s a lot to ask for a small employer to do the same, but smoking breaks can cause disruption...

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Free seminar – confidentiality and privacy at work

Free seminar – confidentiality and privacy at work

No employer – whatever their size can escape the changes in the law on privacy and confidentiality at work. The General Data Protection Regulations are almost upon us.  The last year saw many cases which put greater pressure on employers to respect confidentiality and...

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OCD in the workplace

OCD in the workplace

OCD has been described by those affected as a “24 hour battle with your own brain”’. It can be a debilitating and paralysing condition that makes simple day-to-day tasks difficult to complete. The impact on someone’s ability to carry out normal day to day activities...

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Employment tribunal claims soar since abolition of fees

Employment tribunal claims soar since abolition of fees

There has been a two-thirds increase in the number of Employment Tribunal claims in the two months since fees were abolished, according to new government data. The Government’s statistics show that single claims rose by 64% – the highest since the rush to make claims...

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No requirement that workers rest on the seventh day

No requirement that workers rest on the seventh day

We all need a rest day from work. For health and safety reasons, EU law requires Member State countries to give workers certain minimum rights to rest breaks. In addition to a daily rest break of 11 hours, each worker is entitled as a minimum to an uninterrupted rest...

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Court backs salesman’s claim for 13 years’ holiday pay

Court backs salesman’s claim for 13 years’ holiday pay

A UK window salesman who did not receive a holiday pay for 13 years has been backed at the European Court of Justice in his landmark legal battle. Conley King worked for a sash window firm on a self-employed basis, but was later found to have workers' rights after he...

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Increases to the national minimum wage

Increases to the national minimum wage

The Government has confirmed that it has accepted the recommendations of the Low Pay Commission  for increases to the National Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage. From April 2018 the Government will increase the National Living Wage , which applies to workers...

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How bad is your commute?

How bad is your commute?

Workers now take an average of 27 days a year getting to and from work after travel times increased by five minutes a day compared to a decade ago, the TUC said.  Rail passengers face the longest journeys at an average of two hours 12 minutes a day, compared with 52...

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One in four employees leak confidential information

One in four employees leak confidential information

One in four employees have intentionally leaked confidential business information to people outside their organisation. In a survey of 2,000 UK workers, data privacy and risk management company Egress Software Technologies suggested that those who leak data are more...

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How would you protest about your pay?

How would you protest about your pay?

Imagine there’s no union and you face the sack for complaining. Spanish retailer ZARA is no stranger to controversy. Today, the high street favourite has come under fire again after shoppers reportedly found alarming hidden notes on the tags inside the clothing....

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How to get your Tribunal fees refunded

How to get your Tribunal fees refunded

The Government has announced how it will refund workers unlawfully charged tribunal fees to take their employers to court. Around 100,000 people are due refunds totalling £17 million in 2017-18 So, how do you get your money back? You can get a refund if you paid fees...

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End unfair redundancies for pregnant and new mothers

End unfair redundancies for pregnant and new mothers

The charity Maternity Action says that ministers committed to review redundancy protection in January but so far have failed to act. It warns of the ‘harsh impact of unfair redundancies on pregnant woman and new mothers’ in its report, According to the study: one in...

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Extra holiday for non-smokers?

Extra holiday for non-smokers?

Should non-smokers be given the time off smokers take on their cigarette breaks? That’s what a  Japanese company is giving to non-smoking employees -  an extra six days of paid holidays a year after they complained that they were working more than staff who took time...

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Voluntary overtime should be included in holiday pay

Voluntary overtime should be included in holiday pay

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has dismissed an appeal by an employer, Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, against a finding that voluntary overtime should be taken into account when calculating holiday pay. The 56 council employees in the case were...

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Acas conciliators strike

Members of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) working as Acas conciliators took part in a one-day strike last Friday, after raising concerns about the downgrading of conciliation work, mounting workloads and lack of suitable resources PCS members have been...

Imposing a change to a contract – when silence isn’t golden

When an employer wants to change an employee’s contract of employment, they either need the contractual right, obtain their express consent or, unilaterally impose the change and imply it has been agreed to by the employee’s conduct. The third (and riskiest) option...

Childhood convictions still impact on employment prospects

Nearly half a million childhood convictions from more than 30 years ago have been disclosed on criminal record checks in the past five years, according to data uncovered by the charity Unlock. A further half a million criminal records relating to convictions more than...

Bad employers face increased penalties and prosecution

Employers who exploit staff could face higher financial penalties and increased risk of prosecution under recommendations by a government-backed body, Labour Market Enforcement (LME). In his first annual full strategy report, Sir David Metcalf proposed making well...