Welcome guest, please log in here   |    T +44(0)115 7180333   |   E   info@halborns.com

Archive

November, 2021

Ready to party?

Posted on: November 25th, 2021 by Ginny Hallam

Party season is almost upon us – having missed out on last year’s knees up colleagues are ready to don their dancing shoes and party like it’s 1999! Below are a few thoughts ahead of the festivities…

Covid caution – give some thought to any precautions you’ll put in place to protect each other. Asking employees to take lateral flow tests before and after any festive social events might be a good starting point.

Duvet days – one too many means a duvet day might be tempting, and ‘I think I might have Covid’ is the perfect opportunity for a bit of R and R! Think about how you can reduce the temptation to have a lie-in whilst supporting those genuinely ill.

Best behaviour – there’s a low threshold for successful harassment claims so ensure leaders set the appropriate tone and deal quickly with any unwanted behaviour.

Inclusive invites – it may not be the intention to leave anyone home alone, but an inclusive approach will remove the risk of potential discrimination arguments (this case highlights the point). Ensure that everyone is kept in the loop and given the option to accept or decline, including those on family-friendly leave and sick leave.

If you need advice on anything covered above or support with appropriate communications to your teams, Intelligent Employment can help. Find out more.

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (25 November 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: November 24th, 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.

Furlough overpayments and HMRC enforcement 

If you’ve used the furlough scheme you have until 31 January 2022 to report and repay any overclaimed grants to avoid potential penalties. Over-claiming could arise from miscalculating an employee’s usual pay or hours, or a change in circumstances meaning you no longer needed the grant to cover employees wages (to name a few).

HMRC is ramping up efforts to claw back grants that employers were not entitled to receive and is reminding everyone to check previous claims for errors. HMRC is not targeting those who’ve made honest mistakes, but does have the power to investigate those who fail to make the necessary repayments (whether honest mistakes or not).

Flexible working consultation closing soon 

You’ve got until 01 December 2021 to submit your views on the government’s consultation on giving employees the right to request flexible working from day one of their employment. You can submit your views here. The proposals include:

  1. An obligation to consider requests from day one of employment (not the current 26-week requirement)
  2. A reduction on the current three-month time period to respond to requests
  3. Providing more robust, objective justifications when rejecting requests

Fines for contacting employees out of hours 

Portugal has followed France’s “right to disconnect” and made it illegal for employers to contact employees by email, text or phone outside of usual working hours (with potential fines for employers who breach the rules). Whilst measures like this aren’t on the agenda for the UK, they provide food for thought on conscious cultures of ‘self-regulation’ to ensure boundaries exist to maintain balance in the work-life divide.

Data protection series roundup 

Ensuring privacy notices are up to date, your audit routines are regular and robust, you know what great training looks like, and have the tools to maintain compliance – our latest data protection series has covered it all! If you’ve missed anything from the series, you can find the full series in our archive here! Get in touch for more information on our data protection support.

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (24 November 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.

Data protection – pt.2 maintaining compliance

Posted on: November 18th, 2021 by Ginny Hallam

Last week we provided our initial thoughts on maintaining compliance to reduce risk and potential liability – here’s some more for you to consider:

Regular risk assessments – based on the results of your audit and monitoring routines, you’ll need to identify any gaps in your practices, potential compliance risks, and take steps to address them.

Relevant registration – maintain necessary registrations with the appropriate regulators (Information Commissioner’s Office in the UK) and pay any required fees to avoid potential penalties.

Communication – data subjects need to be notified of any changes to your data protection policies and processing practices, along with reminders of their rights over your collection and use of their personal data.

Responding to requests – access, deletion, rectification – just a few of the requests you might receive from data subjects. Record all requests and respond quickly.

Dealing with disaster – hopefully you’ll never need one, but a disaster recovery plan will help minimise the impact should the worst happen, restore any data loss, and help you return to normal business functions.

Get in touch if you’d like to access our Data Protection Toolkit or need our advice or support to maintain your compliance routine.

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (18 November 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.

New Menopause Taskforce

Posted on: November 16th, 2021 by Ginny Hallam

The government has committed to take action to provide more support for women experiencing the menopause. A new Menopause Taskforce will address support in the workplace – while you’re waiting to hear their suggestions, below are a few of our own.

Supporting prescriptions – HRT prescription costs are set to be cut. In the meantime, follow Timpson’s lead and contribute by covering the cost of prescriptions.

Paid leave – providing paid time off for “health-related life events”, including menopause, is a great way to support employees to manage without calling in sick.

Flexibility – increasing the freedom to adjust working patterns, hours and location (potentially at short notice) should help manage symptoms at work.

42% of women consider leaving their job due to menopause, making the case for increased support even more business-critical.

Our thoughts are the tip of the iceberg (we’ll share some more in our next update), we’d love to hear what support you have in place or ideas you’re looking to introduce!

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (16 November 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.

Data protection – maintaining compliance

Posted on: November 10th, 2021 by Ginny Hallam

Your privacy notices are up to date, you’ve built your audit routines, you’ve trained your teams – now it’s all about maintaining compliance to reduce risk and potential liability. Here’s what’s involved:

Compliance culture – whether it’s your data protection officer or another individual, someone needs to drive your compliance programme across the business.

Forward-thinking – whoever is accountable for compliance needs to ensure data compliance is built into operational decision making – whether it’s new systems, growing teams, changing working practices – they’ll all have a data compliance impact.

Training routine – you’ve seen what a great session should look like (here), now your compliance routine should include regular training across the business – new starters, refreshers for existing employees, tailored sessions for specific teams – ensuring employees know their role in supporting the business to maintain compliance.

Up to date – stick in your diary to check in on business activities and processes to make sure your data processing is in line with your privacy notice.

Third parties – make sure third-party processors are updating you with any changes they make to the location of your data they hold (or the servers it’s on).

We’ll provide more detail in pt.2 to help you in maintaining compliance and reducing risk.

Get in touch if you’d like to access our Data Protection Toolkit or need our advice or support to maintain your compliance routine.

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (11 November 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.