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Halborns News

Our policy for dealing with coronavirus

Posted on: March 4th, 2020 by Ginny Hallam

Minimising risk, avoiding disruption and staying healthy – we’ve created a policy setting out the responsibility employees must take to protect themselves, their colleagues and the business.

Here’s what the policy includes

  • Preventative measures
  • Travel planning
  • Full disclosure requirements
  • Proactive management in the event of an outbreak
  • Entitlement to pay during self-isolation

There’s a small fee of £120+VAT to access our policy. If you’d like a copy, click here.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 have also been announced outlining powers and steps the Government can take to restrict personal travel, movement and activities to prevent further transmission of the virus.

The Regulations only take effect if the Secretary of State makes a declaration on www.gov.uk that coronavirus is a serious and imminent threat to public health. 

Training – new laws and protecting your investment

Posted on: February 20th, 2020 by Ginny Hallam

“Train people well enough so they can leave. Treat them well enough so they don’t want to leave.” – Richard Branson

From 6th April you’ll need to set out the training you offer each individual within their employment contract. If you’re keen on training but more cautious than Mr Branson, a recovery of training costs policy might be a good idea.

It sets out what the employee has to repay of the training cost if, despite the training, they decide to leave. It can also cover what happens if there’s a repeated failure to pass an exam or there’s non-attendance.

If you use Intelligent Employment, the employment contracts within our platform now include the required changes, and we’ve also updated our training and recovery of costs policy.

Not using Intelligent Employment? Don’t worry! Get in touch to find out how to access our policies and a host of other awesome benefits for your business!

Executive People Update

Posted on: January 30th, 2020 by Ginny Hallam

As part of keeping you in our focus, our exec people update ensures you’re on top of the latest changes in legislation, case law and employment law trends. Click here for more information about how we can support you to manage the latest changes.

Tribunal claims carry on climbing 

Claims show no signs of slowing according to the latest Ministry of Justice statistics. The latest figures show claims rose by 38% compared with the same three months in the previous year. We still don’t have any indication as to when tribunal fees will be making a comeback. Great legal advice, manager training, early conversations (and records of them!), consistent processes and a great culture are all valuable tools to avoid finding yourself on the wrong side of claim.

Parental bereavement pay and leave – 6th April 2020

Parents will have a day-one right to take up to two weeks’ leave to help them cope with the death of a child (under the age of 18 or stillborn after 24 weeks). To receive paid leave, they must have worked for you for 26 weeks. It’s not just biological parents – adoptive parents, anyone with parental responsibility for the child, and in some instances foster parents and family members who care for the child will be included. The two weeks’ leave can be taken in full, or as two separate one-week blocks.

Click here for our new parental bereavement policy.

Employment Bill 

Check out our latest update for confirmed changes in April 2020. In addition, the Employment Bill sets out a range of further expected changes for 2020 including:

  • A right to request a stable working pattern – all workers will have the right after 26 weeks’ continuous service
  • A right to neonatal leave and pay for parents – one week’s leave for each week that the baby is in neonatal care
  • Extending redundancy protection for women – from the point the woman notifies you of their pregnancy to six months after the end of maternity leave
  • Tips to be received by workers in full – a Code of Practice will set out how they’re to be distributed on a ‘fair and transparent’ basis

Time to talk

Thursday 6th February is ‘Time to Talk Day’ – aiming to get people talking more openly about mental health. You have a duty of care to your employees so it’s hugely important to up-skill your managers to create positive environments, support those in difficulty and be able to handle mental health challenges in the workplace.

We can support you with training – click here to find out more.

We’ll keep you up to date with the latest news on these new and expected rights.

Encourage healthy conversations – manage sickness absence

Posted on: November 21st, 2019 by Ginny Hallam

On average, employees take 4.4 days’ sickness absence each year, at a cost of around £600 per employee (1) . What’s more, two in five say they’d fake it for another day off! (2)

Here are our suggestions on keeping your team happy and healthy.

Healthy conversation – every return from absence should be supported by a ‘welcome back’ meeting between the employee and manager. Our equivalent to a ‘return to work interview’ – it’s a positive, easy to handle discussion to record the absence, identify any support and check on sickness absence levels.

Hold managers accountable following training – it’s their job to ensure that their team are aware of their sickness absence levels, provide support where needed and follow up when the employee returns.

Timely triggers – help managers to track absence with a people system which fires an alert to them when absence needs dealing with formally (in accordance with your policy). Click here to find out about our system – Intelligent Employment Hub.

Keep in contact – agree when you’ll chat with the employee when they’re absent. Don’t be out of sight and mind.

Proactive steps – support employees with positive advice on how to take responsibility for their health and wellbeing including dietary advice, flu jabs and telephone support lines.

Time out – ensure that time off is quality time to relax. Encourage employees to switch off and avoid contacting them unless absolutely necessary.

A great policy – should set out clear markers as to what level of absence is unacceptable, when formal discussions will be held and when support will be offered. It should also set out that lying about being ill is a disciplinary issue.

Flexibility – being ‘sick’ isn’t always black and white. On odd occasions the offer of flexibility, whether an extra day off or working from home,can mean that an off-colour employee remains productive.

Pay – consider whether your sick pay appropriately balances support for employee’s sickness absence alongside encouraging their return.

We’ve created an engaging and interactive toolkit designed to support managers throughout the absence process (and more!). Click here if you’d like to know more!

Sources – (1) Office for National Statistics, (2) ComRes & BBC

Contract confidence

Posted on: November 8th, 2019 by Ginny Hallam

Compliant, commercial, contemporary – the three Cs that make for a great employment contract.

We review our fair share of them…here’s what we always tend to see:

Poorly drafted post-termination restrictions (or none at all) – meaning little or no protection when the employee leaves.

Old data protection provisions – meaning you’re not securing appropriate consent to take photos of employees or provide references.

Continued accrual of benefits after five years’ service – you could well be discriminating against younger individuals.

Holiday allowance – no reminder that if employees don’t use it, they lose it (new case law makes this important).

Performance processes that are still called disciplinaries – likely to make your process unfair.

Failure to comply with employment contract fundamentals – they’ve been required by law since 1996. Without them you could be exposed to fines of up to four weeks’ pay per employee.

Complex and confusing – tone that is not simple or straight-talking devalues what should be a straightforward document.

With the Good Work Plan making agreed employment contracts a day-one right, it’s a good time to take a fresh look at your contracts. Let us know if you’d like to look into a review or update of your documents.