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Keeping up to date

We take seriously our responsibility to keep you up to date so that you can use changes in employment law to commercial advantage. By understanding and interpreting the latest case law and legislation we can deliver updates to you that are concise and usable. With imagination, we are able to ensure that developing law can be used to allow you to achieve commercial solutions, cost effectively and expediently.

Avoiding holiday headaches

Posted on: August 3rd, 2022 by Halborns Limited

After August there may still be some employees who are sitting on holiday entitlement – here are a few suggestions to avoid holiday headaches as we progress through the year.

Regular reminders – if you often find you have a build-up in the final months of your holiday year, communicate early how you’d like employees to approach booking time off between now and then. Remember that time off is also a health and safety requirement under the Working Time Regulations so remind colleagues this is also an opportunity to rest and recharge!

Buy-back – provided it doesn’t take an employee below the statutory minimum of 5.6 weeks’ holiday, you can offer to buy back holidays if it’s proving difficult for employees to fit them in before the end of your holiday year.

Reluctant holiday-makers – perhaps the last resort, but don’t forget that you have the right to require employees to take holiday by giving them twice as much notice as the holiday you’re asking them to take (or whatever is in their contract).

If you need advice or support in managing potential holiday headaches, Intelligent Employment is here to help – find out how. 

 

This update is accurate on the date it was posted (03 August 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.

Legal lightbulb – people law, policy, and practice

Posted on: July 28th, 2022 by Halborns Limited

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.

Proposals for paid leave following miscarriage

A new Bill has been put before parliament proposing three days’ paid leave for parents who have experienced miscarriage, ectopic or molar pregnancy before 24 weeks. No such rights currently exist. We’ll keep you updated on the progress of the Bill.

Government menopause proposals

The government have confirmed they will be helping businesses to communicate the support available for those affected by menopause. In addition, a Health and Wellbeing fund for smaller businesses will be available. Separately, they have also confirmed that menopause will not be made a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010.

Tribunal decision on ethical veganism

A tribunal has confirmed that it is possible for ethical veganism to be protected as a genuine philosophical belief under the Equality Act 2010. However, that protection doesn’t extend to employees who break the law in the name of their beliefs.

People dates for your diary

15 September – Pension Awareness Day

19-25 September – Recycle Week

10 October – World Mental Health Day

10-14 October – National Work Life Week

18 October – World Menopause Day

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (28 July 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.

Warning to employers using redundancy as a ‘cover up’

Posted on: July 28th, 2022 by Halborns Limited

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) upheld a 25% uplift in compensation awarded against an employer using redundancy as a cover-up for other issues.

Background

An employee was made redundant following a reorganisation. She’d raised a grievance during the process complaining that her role was not actually redundant as headcount was increasing and she was being deliberately side-lined by the new CEO. The EAT agreed saying the redundancy was a “sham”. They agreed with the tribunal’s decision to increase the compensation awarded against the employer by 25% – the employer had failed to comply with the ACAS Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievances which were the real issues behind the redundancy ‘cover up’.

Practical takeaways

“Can’t we just call it a redundancy?” – something we’re asked a lot! Tribunals like facts, notes, chronologies and understanding details. If you can’t evidence the redundancy is genuine the dismissal will be unfair and compensation increased by up to 25% due to the lack of transparency.

Take advice early – if an employee isn’t right for the role they’re doing early advice is vital. We can understand the real reason why that is the case and coach you through the correct process to minimise risk whilst achieving your intended aim – get in touch for our support.

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (28 July 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.

Create appropriate space for breastfeeding – new decision

Posted on: July 27th, 2022 by Halborns Limited

A recent tribunal decision has found that employers must provide employees with a private workspace to express breastmilk to avoid successful claims for sex-related harassment claim.

Background 

A teacher returning from maternity leave informed her employer a number of times that she would need somewhere to express breastmilk whilst at work. The school failed to support her request meaning she used her lunch break to express in her car or in the school toilets. The tribunal held that the employer’s behaviour created a degrading and humiliating environment for the teacher, and therefore amounted to sex-related harassment.

Practical takeaway 

Return to work – the school in this instance were specifically called out for their ‘incompetence’ in managing the employee’s return to work. Any employee returning from maternity leave may have concerns or reservations, so ensuring you’re carrying out a timely risk assessment to pick up on and address any possible issues (then acting accordingly) will help to mitigate potential challenge.

Health and safety – whilst there’s no statutory right to facilities in order to express breastmilk, the Health and Safety Executive provide specific guidance that a private and clean environment should be provided as well as a fridge in order to store expressed milk.

If you need support in managing a return to work or requests from employees, Intelligent Employment is here to help – get in touch. 

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (27 July 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.

New holiday pay case

Posted on: July 21st, 2022 by Halborns Limited

A Supreme Court decision has held it is not lawful for businesses to calculate workers’ paid holiday entitlement using 12.07% of hours actually worked.

Background 

A music teacher was engaged on a zero-hours contract to work different hours each week during term times. Under the Working Time Regulations, she’s entitled to 5.6 week’s paid holiday each year. Her employer calculated her holiday pay entitlement using 12.07% of hours. The teacher argued in doing so she was being put at a detriment.

The Supreme Court agreed. 5.6 weeks’ entitlement should be paid based on the average hours over the previous 52 weeks worked.

Practical takeaways 

Back-pay – if you’ve previously used the 12.07% method, it’s possible to minimise the potential for claims of unlawful deductions from pay by immediately starting to pay workers’ holiday entitlement as set out above. This stops the ‘claims clock’ at that point, with the time limit for litigation running out three months after.

Communication – if you’re changing your approach, think about how you’ll communicate the change. Tying it in with new contracts and introducing additional benefits can help minimise questions or possible challenge.

Always take advice if you’re unsure how this decision might affect you or you need support with your approach moving forwards – get in touch to discuss with us.

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (21 July 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.