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Archive

January, 2022

Menopause champions

Posted on: January 20th, 2022 by Ginny Hallam

42% of women consider leaving their job due to menopause symptoms. ‘Menopause champions’ can help support employees to manage challenges alongside work commitments, raise concerns or find additional support where required. What other steps can you consider?

Menopause policy – a great starting point to proactively build a more open culture of understanding supporting those affected. You’ll find our menopause policy on Intelligent Employment. 

Training – creating understanding around menopause isn’t just for those who may be affected. Training all colleagues will help them to approach conversations with confidence.

Zero-tolerance – ‘banter’, jibes or inappropriate comments relating to the menopause can be dealt with and supported by menopause champions. A recent case has shown that comments like “must be in her menopause” still exist.

Get in touch if you need our advice or support if you’re thinking of introducing menopause champions. 

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (20 January 2022), 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.

Fear of Covid-19 is not a protected belief

Posted on: January 13th, 2022 by Ginny Hallam

The Employment Tribunal has held that a fear of catching Covid-19 is not a protected belief for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010.

Background

An employee refused to return to work due to a fear of catching Covid-19 and passing it onto her partner. The employer refused to pay the employee if they did not return to work. The employee argued they’d been discriminated against on the grounds of their fear being a philosophical belief under the Equality Act 2010 (EQA). The tribunal disagreed – the employee’s view didn’t amount to a genuine philosophical belief under the EQA because it was an opinion and reaction to potential physical harm at that very specific period of time.

Practical takeaways

Whilst a useful decision for employers in managing any reluctance to return due to Covid-concerns, your health and safety obligations still remain a priority:

Communicate – ensure employees have access to your policies and procedures (including where to raise concerns), and communicate the steps you’re taking with regular reminders. Where employees do have concerns, listen proactively, keep a record, make adjustments where necessary, and reassure them that you’re taking all necessary steps.

Risk assessments – make sure yours is up to date to demonstrate you’re continually thinking about the risks employees face. There’s no expectation for you to eliminate risk entirely, but you do need to do everything reasonably practicable to minimise risks.

Get in touch if you need any advice or support managing potential Covid-concerns. 

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (13 January 2022), 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.

SSP Rebate Scheme to reopen

Posted on: January 11th, 2022 by Ginny Hallam

The SSP Rebate Scheme is to reopen this month with a specific date and further guidance still to be announced. Below is what we know so far:

Eligibility 

You will be eligible to utilise the Scheme if you:

  1. Employed fewer than 250 employees as of 30 November 2021;
  2. Had a PAYE payroll scheme as of 30 November 2021;
  3. Have already paid employees’ COVID-related SSP; and
  4. Are UK-based.

What you can claim for

You will be able to claim the costs for up to two weeks’ SSP per employee, provided the employee has taken time off because of COVID-19. Claims can be made in respect of COVID-related sickness absences starting on or after 21 December 2021, regardless of whether you’ve claimed for that employee under the previous Scheme.

The government has said the Scheme will be reopened from ‘mid-January 2022’ and is a temporary change with the duration of the Scheme kept under review – we’ll update you further once further details and government guidance is announced.

Get in touch if you need our advice or support.

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (11 January 2022), 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.