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Archive

June, 2021

Detail you decisions – new tribunal guidance

Posted on: June 25th, 2021 by Ginny Hallam

A recent decision reiterates the importance of noting your reasons for dismissal at the time the decision was made. 

Background

An employer was reminded by the Employment Appeal Tribunal of the importance of evidencing the reason for dismissal at the time the decision was taken. The employee was disabled and argued the dismissal was for reasons arising from their disability. The employer was able to show through evidence that the dismissal was not connected to the employee’s disability and was as a result of an unauthorised holiday taken by the employee.

Key takeaways

Detail your decisions – the Employment Appeal Tribunal stated that having a clear and consistent paper trail to explain why a decision-maker acted as they did is vital.

Accurate allegations – allegations giving rise to dismissal must be precise. If an issue progresses over time, consider re-investigating to ensure any subsequent disciplinary action or sanction matches the allegations.

Securing great advice at the outset of any potential issue will ensure your processes and evidence trail are robust and effective. Get in touch to find out how we can help.

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (29 June 2021), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.

Tribunal tales #6 – settlement and protecting negotiations

Posted on: June 21st, 2021 by Ginny Hallam

Not all settlement negotiations result in a deal. So, protecting any offers you make is crucial to ensure they can’t be used against you in future litigation.

‘Without prejudice’ and ‘protected conversations’ can be used to protect exit negotiations but are often confused leaving you unknowingly exposed. Both have their uses! Here’s what you need to know:

Protected conversations 

A relatively new concept, they allow for discussions about exit without exposing you to claims for unfair dismissal (unless there are allegations of ‘improper behaviour’ against you such as putting undue pressure on the employee). They DON’T protect against other claims, including discrimination or whistleblowing.

Without prejudice 

Only available for existing disputes (where the employee has raised a grievance, for example). Assuming there is a dispute, ‘without prejudice’ conversations protect against all claims, including discrimination and whistleblowing.

Get in touch if you need to discuss your options with how best to approach settlement conversations. In our next update we’ll look at the non-financial elements of a settlement offer. 

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (22 June 2021), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.

Legal lightbulb – people law, policy, and practice

Posted on: June 17th, 2021 by Ginny Hallam

As part of keeping you in our focus, our ‘legal lightbulb’ update ensures you’re on top of the latest changes in legislation, case law, and people trends.

No legislation to prohibit ‘fire and rehire’ 

The future of ‘fire and rehire’ when dealing with contractual changes was in doubt, but following an Acas ‘fact-finding’ paper, the Government has confirmed that it will not introduce legislation to prevent employers from dismissing and re-engaging employees as a means to change their employment terms and conditions. It is still the most ‘nuclear approach’ and should be tackled with robust advice given the potential risks (unfair dismissal and discrimination claims, to name a few) but it’s good to see that the option remains. Click here if you need our support on changing terms and conditions.

A trip to the pub whilst off sick? 

Although a recent tribunal decision held that dismissal of a sick employee spotted in a pub was unfair, it’s simply another reminder to get your processes right. The dismissal was held to be unfair due to the employer’s flawed investigation. No written accounts were made, no witness statements or medical evidence provided, the disciplinary policy made no reference to ill health, and the investigation officer also led the disciplinary meeting.

John Lewis’ proactive practices

The retailer is set to be the largest in the UK to provide 26 weeks’ equal paid parenthood leave for all employees, irrespective of how they become a parent. Part of a range of new support for employees including two weeks’ pregnancy loss leave, a ‘Flexible First’ policy with vacancies to be advertised with flexible working, and more! Find out how to access our agile working policy and support with flexible working.

Real-life reasons to deal with discrimination

Celebrating Pride Month reminds us of the importance of championing inclusivity and diversity. Over the last 12 weeks of updates, we’ve reflected on the employment laws connected to diversity. If you’d like to revisit anything we’ve covered to help manage an evolving diversity conversation, you can find all our insight here. Get in touch if you’d like to know more about our equality, diversity and inclusivity training.

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (17 June 2021), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.

01 July change to furlough contributions

Posted on: June 15th, 2021 by Ginny Hallam

From 01 July, employers are required to contribute 10% of furloughed employees’ wages (along with NICs and pension contributions).

01 July – the government will contribute 70% of wages up to £2,187.50 and you will need to contribute the remaining 10% up to £312.50 when employees are furloughed (along with NICs and pension contributions).

01 August to 30 September – the government will contribute 60% of wages up to £1,875 and you will need to contribute the remaining 20% up to £625 when employees are furloughed (along with NICs and pension contributions).

Top up – you can decide to top up employees’ wages beyond the 80% total while furloughed.

Notice pay – don’t forget that you cannot use furlough to cover notice pay.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is due to end on 30 September 2021.

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (15 June 2021), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.

Flexible working – key considerations pt.2

Posted on: June 9th, 2021 by Ginny Hallam

There’s loads to think about when considering whether flexible working can work for your business. 

We shared a ‘starter for 10’ in our last update, and here’s the second part of our ‘key considerations’:

  1. Do you need to carry out a risk assessment at the individual’s chosen place of work?
  2. Do you need to alter employment contracts to support the new arrangements?
  3. Do you need to introduce a policy to support the new way of working? Find out how to access ours.
  4. What will you do if the new flexibility works for some and not all, or if an employee’s performance declines?
  5. How will it impact your onboarding processes for new starters and how will they access effective support?
  6. How are you going to ensure that your information remains confidential?
  7. Do you need to update your existing insurance policies?

In our following updates, we’ll help you tackle these key considerations with practical solutions, and cover the legal framework you’ll need to follow if employees make requests for greater flexibility. We can also provide training for your managers on how to spot and deal with any requests for flexible working – find out more

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (10 June 2021), but may be subject to change which may, or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.