Clawing back training costs

Clawing back training costs

It is increasingly common for employers to offer to pay training costs on behalf of employees. But what happens when they leave? Can you get your investment back? Covering training costs In today’s job market, employees are expected to have a greater level of...

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Is vegetarianism a protected characteristic?

Is vegetarianism a protected characteristic?

Is vegetarianism a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010? An Employment Tribunal was recently asked in Conisbee v Crossley Farms Limited & Others to consider whether vegetarianism was a “philosophical belief” and so a protected characteristic under...

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Not the Acas Code of Practice

Not the Acas Code of Practice

Hopefully everyone in HR is aware that employees have a right to take either a work colleague or union representative into most grievance and disciplinary hearings. The guidelines are set out in the Acas Code of Practice. There is no mention of clowns. Occasionally,...

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FREE seminar – Getting a workplace investigation right

FREE seminar – Getting a workplace investigation right

It isn't easy being an employer. Carrying out an investigation at work will fill many of you with dread. A properly conducted investigation is key to a fair disciplinary and grievance process - and particularly important where dismissal is a possible outcome. To help...

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Third of flexible working requests are rejected

Third of flexible working requests are rejected

The TUC recently reported  that one in three requests for flexible working are being refused by employers. What are the risks involved by saying ‘no’ to an employee? One in three (30%) requests for flexible working are being turned down.   Flexi-time is...

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Is your employment contract  fit for purpose?

Is your employment contract fit for purpose?

The employment contract is probably the most important document you can give your staff… but costly mistakes are far too common.… especially when using an old template or buying a “one size fits all” contract online. Not updating contracts regularly Employment law is...

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IR35 – what does this mean for your business?

IR35 – what does this mean for your business?

IR35 is tax legislation which was introduced to address a particular kind of tax avoidance - individuals might try to avoid paying income tax and national insurance by supplying their services through a personal service company (a PSC) and paying themselves dividends...

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Disciplinary investigations – going too far

Disciplinary investigations – going too far

It is  basic law that a  fair disciplinary dismissal must include a reasonable disciplinary investigation.  But what is that, exactly?  How much detail must you include in your investigation, how many witnesses must you interview, how far back do you have to go, how...

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Has my union been negligent?

Has my union been negligent?

Some unions and representatives are outstandingly good. However, sometimes you get bad advice and miss the opportunity to enforce your employment rights against your employer. We are often asked if a member can bring a claim against their trade union. It is possible....

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Holiday pay for term-time workers

Holiday pay for term-time workers

Should holiday entitlement for ‘part-year’ workers (such as those working term-time only) be calculated on a pro rata basis? No, said the Court of Appeal in The Harpur Trust v Brazel. What are the facts? The Claimant is a music teacher on a permanent contract but...

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Extended redundancy protection

Extended redundancy protection

Extended redundancy protection for women and new parents. Before making a woman on maternity leave redundant, an employer must offer her a suitable alternative vacancy, where one is available, with the employer or an associated employer.  This gives women on maternity...

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One sided flexibility at work

One sided flexibility at work

The government has launched a consultation on 'one sided flexibility' following recommendations made in the Taylor Review and by the Low Pay Commission. There are an estimated 1.7 million workers in the UK who do not have guaranteed hours and are at risk of having...

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Are you responsible for what your employees post online?

Are you responsible for what your employees post online?

Can an employer be responsible for postings on an employee’s personal social media account? Not in the case of Forbes v LHR Airport Limited. The employer was not legally responsible for the sharing of an offensive post by an employee. Legal background If an act has...

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Covert recordings and misconduct

Covert recordings and misconduct

Is it misconduct for an employee to make a covert recording at work? Yes – except in some very rare circumstances according to the case of Phoenix House Ltd v Stockman The background Mrs Stockman’s case has been running for almost six years.  It addresses many claims...

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Meet Andrew Egan, Solicitor

Meet Andrew Egan, Solicitor

Andrew Egan joins us as a qualified solicitor of over 36 years' experience and provides employment law advice in Newbury and Berkshire. For the last 15 years, Andrew has specialised in employment law for businesses and individuals. He also sees clients in Berkshire,...

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Reinstate or re-engage orders – when employers refuse.

Reinstate or re-engage orders – when employers refuse.

Can an unfairly dismissed employee insist they get their job back? Can an employer refuse to reinstate when ordered by the Tribunal? Not in the case of Mackenzie v The University of Cambridge. Dr Mackenzie was unfairly dismissed from her position as a lecturer in the...

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Restrictive covenants and blue pencils

Restrictive covenants and blue pencils

Employment contracts – especially those for senior managers or staff in a customer facing role will often include restrictive covenants – clauses which aim to prevent what the employee can and can’t do once their employment comes to an end. Restrictive covenants can...

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Job offers – changing your mind

Job offers – changing your mind

Part of the recruitment process is for an employer to make an offer to a successful candidate. It can be a long, slow process to find the right person for the job. Sadly, things can go wrong very quickly. If an applicant lies during the recruitment process – by saying...

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Mixing religion and work

Mixing religion and work

Why you shouldn't talk (too much) about religion at work. The Facts: Ms Kuteh was a devoutly committed Christian nurse and clearly thought she was doing the right thing. Her employers disagreed, As a nurse, Ms Kuteh's duties involved filling in pre-operation forms...

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How to get a dismissal wrong

How to get a dismissal wrong

A recent case reminds employers to think carefully about how they deal with the dismissal of employees, even those with less than two years’ service. Ms Otshudi worked for Base Childrenswear Ltd as an in-house photographer. After three months’ employment and without...

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Voluntary overtime and holiday pay

Voluntary overtime and holiday pay

Back in July last year we reported on the case of Flowers v East of England Ambulance Trust in the Employment Appeal Tribunal on the issue of whether to include voluntary overtime in someone’s pay when calculating holiday pay. On a holiday pay claim to the Employment...

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Tax on termination payments

Tax on termination payments

There is no doubt that not every employer understands when, how or at what rate they should tax a termination payment an employee receives under a settlement agreement or Acas COT3. In such a complicated area, we set out the basic points taking into account the...

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Autism and adjustments at work

Autism and adjustments at work

According to the National Autistic Society, there are around 700,000 people with autism in the UK, and all will have different strengths, weaknesses and abilities. Autism can be a disability under the Equality Act, so it is important for employers to understand and...

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Unconscious bias at work

Unconscious bias at work

If you are unknowingly making decisions based upon preferences or a bias you do not recognise you have, are you opening yourself up to a discrimination claim? "There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to...

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GDPR – handling a Subject Access Request

GDPR – handling a Subject Access Request

It's nearly a year since the GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018 came into force. Despite this,  employers are still awaiting the promised publications from the Information Commissioner's Office. We take a look at one area that organisations and employers are grappling...

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Told to keep sexuality a secret at work

Told to keep sexuality a secret at work

An Employment Tribunal has awarded a gay employee £8,000 in a sexual orientation discrimination claim after her employer told her to keep her sexuality a secret. The background Ms McMahon began work as a Quality Control Manager for Redwood TTM Ltd in May 2017. Before...

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Shared Parental Pay and Sex Discrimination

Shared Parental Pay and Sex Discrimination

Remember the case of Ali v Capita Customer Management Ltd…Mr Ali claimed it was discriminatory of Capita not to pay men enhanced shared parental pay when women received enhanced maternity pay. You can read the summary here. Basically, he lost at the Employment Appeal...

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Satisfaction surveys at work. Who comes lowest?

Satisfaction surveys at work. Who comes lowest?

There have been many satisfaction surveys and reports extolling the benefits to companies of prioritising a supportive an effective working environment for their employees. According to Glassdoor, some companies are consistently ranked amongst the lowest for employee...

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Do your employment ads comply with the law?

Do your employment ads comply with the law?

Just like any other advertisement, job ads must abide by the rules of the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) Code. Their website has a section dedicated to marketing communications for employment, business opportunities and homeworking schemes . The Advertising...

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Supporting employees during Ramadan

Supporting employees during Ramadan

In Islamic tradition Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, when the first verses of the Koran/Qur'an were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. Observing Ramadan is regarded as one of the five pillars of Islam. This year, Ramadan is expected to run from 5...

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Stress awareness month

Stress awareness month

April is “stress awareness month”. Some of us were too busy to notice. Stress, depression and anxiety accounts for 44% of work-related ill-health and 57% of working days lost in 2017/18. Too much (or too little) work, lack of support from managers, personal...

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Workers want physical contact banned at work

Workers want physical contact banned at work

Back in October we reported on why hugging colleagues might be frowned upon. New research reveals employees want less workplace physical contact Almost half of UK workers would like an outright ban on some physical interactions in the workplace according to research...

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Free Discrimination Awareness Briefing – 26th June 2019

Free Discrimination Awareness Briefing – 26th June 2019

The law on discrimination applies to all employers – no matter how big or small and whatever sector you are in.  There is no need for someone to be in employment to bring a claim, so the law also protects, workers, job applicants and former employees. To make matters...

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Holiday pay reference periods set

Holiday pay reference periods set

As part of Matthew Taylor’s Good Work Review, recommendations were made to extend the reference period for calculating average pay in relation to statutory holiday from 12 weeks to 52 weeks. This is being brought into force by catchily titled “The Employment Rights...

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Can a director be held personally liable?

Can a director be held personally liable?

Can a director of a limited company be personally liable for breaches of an employment contract? A director is not generally liable for inducing a breach of contract where they are acting for the company. However, in the case of  Antuzis v DJ Houghton, the High Court...

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Recognising and supporting neurodiversity – new guidance

Recognising and supporting neurodiversity – new guidance

Acas has published helpful guidance to help employers learn about neurodiversity and to put in place changes in the workplace to better support staff. “Neurodiversity refers to the different ways the brain can work and interpret information. It highlights that people...

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Personal injury compensation in the Employment Tribunal

Personal injury compensation in the Employment Tribunal

The case of Grange v Abellio London Limited provides a good example of when an Employment Tribunal can award compensation for a personal injury at work.  Mr Grange was awarded compensation when his employer failed to provide rest breaks under the Working Time...

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Employees prosecuted following data theft

Employees prosecuted following data theft

It is not just businesses that need to worry about the consequences of a data breach. The Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) has warned all those who have access to personal data after two employees were convicted and fined when found guilty of unlawfully...

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Communicating with someone on maternity leave

Communicating with someone on maternity leave

How should you communicate? Letter, phone call, or perhaps by email? If by email then to the employee's work account or personal one? Get it wrong when someone is on maternity leave can have significant consequences. These issues were central to a claim of...

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Women report feeling more stress than men at work

Women report feeling more stress than men at work

New research has revealed what around half of the workforce already suspected -  that women feel more stress than men at work – with one in 10 reporting stress levels are unmanageable. According to Cigna, whose research was taken from the Cigna 360 Wellbeing Survey,...

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Police investigation into suspended employees

Police investigation into suspended employees

Must an employer put a disciplinary investigation on hold pending the outcome of a police investigation into an employee? Almost always, no. The facts Mr Gregg was a doctor with North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust and was facing disciplinary, regulatory and police...

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Changing the clocks and night-shift workers

Changing the clocks and night-shift workers

Daylight Saving Time begins at 2.00 am on Sunday 31 March, meaning that the clocks will go forward an hour. Although those of us who do not work at the weekend will not likely notice we get an hour’s less sleep. It is important to consider how this will affect working...

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NHS and Settlement Agreements

NHS and Settlement Agreements

NHS Employers have issued a new factsheet for employers and workers to help them understand their rights when entering into a settlement agreement. It includes key information around the use of confidentiality clauses and reassures employers and workers who may wish...

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When employees resign after suspension

When employees resign after suspension

It is well established law that suspending an employee who is facing disciplinary allegations could amount to a breach of the implied duty of mutual trust and confidence entitling the employee to resign and claim constructive dismissal. When is suspension right?...

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Withdrawing a job offer – the costs

Withdrawing a job offer – the costs

Santander announced in September 2018 that it intended to appoint Mr Orcel as its new Chief Executive. A ‘contractual letter’ was agreed between Orcel and the bank which would result in his total remuneration being around €50m. Santander then withdrew the offer....

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Non-disclosure agreements: new proposals on the way?

Non-disclosure agreements: new proposals on the way?

New proposals to prevent employers from using non-disclosure agreements to gag employees have been put forward. The plans, to be included in a consultation, could lead to new legislation that would prevent non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) being used to prevent victims...

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Police discrimination against white heterosexual male

Police discrimination against white heterosexual male

A police force accused of rejecting a potential recruit because he is a white heterosexual male has been found guilty of discrimination in a landmark Employment Tribunal case. In 2017 Matthew Furlong applied to join Cheshire Police. When he was told at the interview...

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Fathers with premature babies – startling work figures

Fathers with premature babies – startling work figures

Two thirds of fathers of premature and sick babies are being forced to return to work while their child is in intensive care, a charity has said. Of 737 parents surveyed by the neonatal charity Bliss, 77% said they were not given enough time off. According to Bliss,...

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Breastfeeding mothers forced to use work toilets

Breastfeeding mothers forced to use work toilets

One in three breastfeeding mothers have been forced to use a toilet to express milk after they return to work, according to a recent survey. More than half said they have had to express in an unsuitable place, including the staff-room, their car or at their desk and...

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Rights to written particulars of employment

Rights to written particulars of employment

The starting point for successful employee relations is knowing exactly where everyone stands with an employment contract. For this reason, Section 1 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 requires employers provide staff with a written statement of the particulars of...

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Gender pay gap is widening

Gender pay gap is widening

Analysis by the BBC has revealed that four in 10 private employers who have published their latest gender pay gap figures are reporting a wider gap than they did last year. Gender Pay Gap reporting involves comparing the difference between the middle ranking woman’s...

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Ill health dismissals and long-term benefits schemes

Ill health dismissals and long-term benefits schemes

The recent case of Awan v ICTS UK Limited [2018] is a good illustration of what employers should – and shouldn’t do when it comes to ill health dismissals and long-term disability benefits schemes. The facts Mr Awan was a security guard with American Airlines and...

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Top ten bad habits at work

Top ten bad habits at work

Despite being halfway though February, there  no time like the present to ditch bad office habits – and researchers from CV-Library have discovered what employees find most irritating at work. 9-5 working hours (53%)  Flexible working means working a different work...

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Understanding “time off for dependants”

Understanding “time off for dependants”

Employees, from the first day of their employment, have a statutory right to take reasonable unpaid time off to deal with unexpected emergencies concerning a dependant. A ‘dependant’ usually means a spouse, partner, child, parent or someone living in the employee’s...

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Menopause in the workplace

Menopause in the workplace

Workplace stigma isn’t just associated with mental health. Menopause, closely linked to anxiety and depression rarely grabs the same headlines. The menopause affects every woman differently in both an emotional and physical sense. The impact it has on an individual’s...

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88 year old wins age discrimination claim

88 year old wins age discrimination claim

The default retirement age was abolished in 2011 and age discrimination outlawed by the Equalities Act 2010 meaning  (in theory if not always in practice) employees can  continue to work for as long as they are able to. Despite this, many older people are forced out...

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Keeping Records of Working Time

Keeping Records of Working Time

Does an employer need  to keep records of the  actual hours worked to fulfil its obligations under the Working Time Directive? Yes – according to the CJEU in Federacion de Servicios de Comisiones Obreras (CCOO) v Deutsche Bank SAE. The CCOO is a Spanish trade union...

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What are settlement agreements?

What are settlement agreements?

Settlement agreements are formal contracts between an employer and a current or ex-employee to prevent them from pursuing their employment rights in an Employment Tribunal or County Court. They are often used settle a threatened or actual claim where a settlement...

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Snow and your employment rights

Snow and your employment rights

What are your rights if you are unable to get to work because of snow? You are not automatically entitled to be paid for the days you are unable to get to work because of bad weather. The starting point is that any leave you take (whether authorised or not) will be...

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Working mothers ‘up to 40% more stressed’

Working mothers ‘up to 40% more stressed’

Working mothers may have had more than a sneaking suspicion that it was the case, but now they have the data to back it up: they experience more stress than other people – 18% more, in fact. And that figure rises to 40% for those with two children, according to a...

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Free employment law briefing

Free employment law briefing

2018 was supposed to be a quiet year for  HR professionals and Employment lawyers. Whilst there was not a huge amount of new legislation to grapple with, the courts were busy and gave lots of existing laws and established decisions a shake-up – including holiday pay,...

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Campaign to end non-disclosure agreements

Campaign to end non-disclosure agreements

The campaign group Pregnant Then Screwed has started a campaign to persuade the government to stop companies using non-disclosure agreements (NDA) to gag their employees. The groups website contains upsetting stories of women made to leave work because they became...

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Criminal record declarations

Criminal record declarations

Employers should stop asking about criminal convictions on job application forms, according to an academic study. Dr Beth Weaver of Strathclyde University found that criminal record declarations do little to predict the risk of someone re-offending. More than 115...

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January – the sick month of the year

January – the sick month of the year

January is the month with the highest number of sick days taken by employees in the UK according to research from CharlieHR Absenteeism was 53% higher than the average for the other 11 months of the year (816). The winter months are the most popular for sick days,...

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“right to work” checks to change

“right to work” checks to change

The Home Office Right to Work Checking Service was launched in April 2018. It is free to use and enables UK employers to check the current right to work of a person and to see whether they are subject to any restrictions. The system works on the basis of the...

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Pay levels – “Fat Cat Friday”

Pay levels – “Fat Cat Friday”

By early afternoon on 4th January, an average FTSE 100 Chief Executive will have already been paid more than what a typical UK worker earns in pay in an entire year, according to research from the High Pay Centre and the CIPD. The average full-time worker in the UK...

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Recruiting staff with a disability or health condition

Recruiting staff with a disability or health condition

The Government has published practical guidance for employers and  managers to help with the recruitment, management and development of people with a disability or health condition. The guidance covers the role of the line manager in considering  workplace...

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End of year statistics

End of year statistics

2018 threw up some not so surprising statistics. The number of Tribunal claims jumping by 165% (compared to the time when Tribunal fees applied) being the least unexpected. More dads take shared parental leave if it is better paid You may recall the government...

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The return of Tribunal fees?

The return of Tribunal fees?

The news that the government is considering re-introducing employment tribunal fees is the latest twist in a long-running saga. Whilst no detail has been given, the Ministry of Justice has said it is confident that a fee system can be found which does not deny...

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Government Publishes Good Work Plan

Government Publishes Good Work Plan

The Government has published a number of proposals following Matthew Taylor “Good Work Review.” The key proposals are: Relaxing the rules on continuity of employment, so that a break of up to four weeks  between contracts will not interrupt continuity. It is currently...

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Fined for reading confidential records

Fined for reading confidential records

A former trainee medical secretary working in a GP practice has been fined after admitting to reading patients' confidential medical records for reasons unrelated to her job role. Despite having been trained in how to handle patient data ethically, the practice...

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Long hours complaint was whistleblowing

Long hours complaint was whistleblowing

Ms Saha worked in the accounts department for Capita. It was December when she wrote to her senior manager explaining that she was not prepared to work extended hours in January to accommodate year-end work. She explained it was it was "detrimental to my health" and...

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Personal data – third of HR failing

Personal data – third of HR failing

Six months on from the GDPR, there are discrepancies between what employers should be doing to comply with data protection laws – and what they are doing in practice. CIPHR found in their survey of HR professionals that a third of HR teams admit to breaching...

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Employees admit to under performance

Employees admit to under performance

The number of UK employees who feel their performance at work is poor is higher than the European average. 27% UK workers say they are not performing their best at work, according to Deloitte's first Voice of the workforce in Europe report. The European average of...

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What is your dress code at work?

What is your dress code at work?

A new survey by XpertHR has found more than 90% of employers operate some form of dress code or appearance policy. Dress codes can vary widely according to job role. “Smart” dress codes most commonly cover customer-facing employees and senior managers, while...

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Working at Christmas

Working at Christmas

Have you been given the Christmas shift? Do you have to work it? Here is some Christmas working advice... Nearly 2 million people work on Boxing Day, with 1 in 6 in the accommodation or  food services sector, according to UK-wide figures from the Office for National...

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Increases to the National Minimum Wage

Increases to the National Minimum Wage

Further to the budget announcements at the end of October 2018, the changes to rates of the  National Minimum Wage (NMW) have been confirmed for April 2019. These are in line with the recommendations that were made by the Low Pay Commission. They are as follows:...

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Positive drug tests – should you dismiss?

Positive drug tests – should you dismiss?

For obvious reasons there is a sharp increase in employees failing alcohol and drug tests during the festive period. Employers have a duty of care under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 to provide,  a safe place of work and safe systems of work for their...

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Is a tendency to steal caused by PTSD a disability?

Is a tendency to steal caused by PTSD a disability?

In the case of Wood v Durham County Council, the Employment Appeal Tribunal had to decide whether the dismissal of an employee for shoplifting, which was caused by PTSD a disability and unfair. One day Mr Wood went to a branch of Boots and left without paying for four...

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Increase in Statutory Sick Pay

Increase in Statutory Sick Pay

The Government has published the statutory rates for sick pay from April 2019. From 6 April 2019 the new rate will be: Current rate From 6 April 2019 Statutory Sick Pay £92.05 £94.25 The lower earnings limit will also rise from £116.00 per week to...

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Family-friendly payments set to increase

Family-friendly payments set to increase

The Department for Work and Pensions has confirmed its proposed rates for family-friendly leave: statutory maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental payments from April 2019. The rates for 2019/20 will increase from £145.18 to £148.68 per week. The average...

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1 in 5 cancer sufferers discriminated against at work

1 in 5 cancer sufferers discriminated against at work

Macmillan Cancer has recorded a spike in the number of calls from cancer patients regarding work-related problems. The Telegraph reports that the figures have risen by 74% to 1,711 in the year to May 2018. Under the 2010 Equality Act, individuals are considered to...

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Workers denied basic toilet facilities

Workers denied basic toilet facilities

Thousands of people do not have access to basic toilet facilities in their workplace says the union, Unite. The UK’s biggest union reported evidence of staff at branches of high-street banks being required to use buckets, and construction sites failing to provide any...

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Childcare forcing women to work closer to home

Childcare forcing women to work closer to home

The unequal share of childcare responsibilities results in many women being forced to work closer to the home, new data has revealed. Women in every region of the UK outside London are more likely than men to live within a 15-minute commute of their place of work,...

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Morrisons – vicarious liability for ‘rogue employee’

Morrisons – vicarious liability for ‘rogue employee’

Is an employer responsible for the actions of an employee who has ‘gone rogue’ and deliberately posted sensitive employee data online? Yes, said the Court of Appeal in a recent case against the supermarket, Morrisons. Mr Skelton was an internal auditor at Morrisons....

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Pilot with a fear of flying unfairly dismissed

Pilot with a fear of flying unfairly dismissed

Most travellers would not want to get on a plane piloted by someone who also has a fear of flying. This was the approach FlyBe took when once of its pilots developed panic attacks linked to flying. Facts Mr Guest had worked for FlyBe as an able pilot with a good...

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Personal liability for whistleblowing dismissal

Personal liability for whistleblowing dismissal

The Employment Rights Act 1996 protects workers who have been dismissed or victimised because they made a protected disclosure - also known as whistleblowing.  Employees can claim unfair dismissal against their employer if they are dismissed, and for detriment if the...

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People think unequal pay isn’t illegal

People think unequal pay isn’t illegal

One third of employees do not know it is illegal to pay men and women differently for equal work, the Fawcett Society has found. Launched ahead of Saturday’s Equal Pay Day – the day where women effectively stop earning relative to men and work for free until the end...

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Enforcing the National Minimum Wage

Enforcing the National Minimum Wage

Who is liable for enforcement of the National Minimum Wage after a TUPE transfer? HMRC has confirmed liability for historic national minimum wage underpayments or related penalties are to be enforced against the new employer - irrespective of whether the new employer...

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Annual leave – all is not lost

Annual leave – all is not lost

The law on annual leave used to be that if a worker doesn’t take their statutory entitlement by the end of the year, there is no automatic right for them to carry it over into the next holiday year and they lose it. There are some exceptions such as when the worker is...

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“Fat ginger pikey”: harassment or banter?

“Fat ginger pikey”: harassment or banter?

Is calling a colleague a “fat ginger pikey” harassment or banter? In the recent case of Evans v Xactly Corporation Limited the Employment Tribunal was asked to consider a claim of unfair dismissal on the grounds of disability and race discrimination under the Equality...

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Stress at work on the increase

Stress at work on the increase

Stress can be both the cause and symptom of problems at work. If not dealt with properly, it can lead to claims both in the Employment Tribunal and the County Court. How big is the problem? The latest figures from the HSE show that 15.4 million working days were lost...

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Living wage to be increased

Living wage to be increased

The living wage, which is designed to give workers enough money to live on, is to be increased. Those lucky enough to work for an employer who has voluntarily signed up to the "real living wage" are set for a 2.8% pay rise this week. For the first time they will...

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Lunch breaks are getting shorter

Lunch breaks are getting shorter

The average length of a lunch break from work is just 22 minutes – two thirds of what it was six years ago. The survey of more than 800 workers by health body ukactive and Sodexo, found most wanted to exercise more, but three quarters said their workload got in the...

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Why you shouldn’t hug your colleagues

Why you shouldn’t hug your colleagues

A simple handshake appears to be a thing of the past according to author and creator of the column ‘Ask a Manager’, Alison Green A hug was once reserved for close family and friends, but she says it has infiltrated the workplace - leaving huggers delighted and the...

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When is a resignation not a resignation?

When is a resignation not a resignation?

It is not always easy to be absolutely certain when a member of your staff has resigned. This was the case in East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust v Levy.  To be effective, the ‘resignation’ needs to be unambiguous. The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT)...

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Hearing loss at work

Hearing loss at work

People with impaired hearing continue to face obstacles and discrimination when applying for jobs and at work despite the protection given to them in Equality Act, according to charity Action On Hearing Loss. An astounding five million people of working age in the UK...

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When can an employer withhold wages?

When can an employer withhold wages?

Can an employer withhold wages? A mother has accused her former employer of ruining her young son’s birthday plans after they withheld her wages. Ms Powdrell was employed as a carer by Life Long Care Services. She alleged her employer failed to pay her for her first...

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Clawing back training costs

It is increasingly common for employers to offer to pay training costs on behalf of employees. But what happens when they leave? Can you get your investment back? Covering training costs In today’s job market, employees are expected to have a greater level of...

Is vegetarianism a protected characteristic?

Is vegetarianism a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010? An Employment Tribunal was recently asked in Conisbee v Crossley Farms Limited & Others to consider whether vegetarianism was a “philosophical belief” and so a protected characteristic under...

Not the Acas Code of Practice

Hopefully everyone in HR is aware that employees have a right to take either a work colleague or union representative into most grievance and disciplinary hearings. The guidelines are set out in the Acas Code of Practice. There is no mention of clowns. Occasionally,...

FREE seminar – Getting a workplace investigation right

It isn't easy being an employer. Carrying out an investigation at work will fill many of you with dread. A properly conducted investigation is key to a fair disciplinary and grievance process - and particularly important where dismissal is a possible outcome. To help...