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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.

SSP rebate reminder

Posted on: December 7th, 2021 by Ginny Hallam

You have until 31 December 2021 to submit or amend any claims under the SSP rebate scheme.

The scheme allows you to reclaim up to two weeks’ SSP paid to current (or former) employees absent from work due to reasons associated with coronavirus (reasons listed here). You can only claim:

  1. for employees who were absent on or before 30 September 2021
  2. if you had fewer than 250 employees on 28 February 2020 across all PAYE payroll schemes, and
  3. if your PAYE payroll scheme was created on or before 28 February 2020

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

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (07 December 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.

Avoiding holiday headaches

Posted on: December 1st, 2021 by Ginny Hallam

If you’re approaching the end of your holiday year with a build-up of colleagues with untaken annual leave, here are a few things to consider to avoid potential holiday headaches.

Covid carry-over – rules were relaxed in 2020 to allow employees to carry over up to four weeks’ holiday into the next two holiday years. This is only the case if it wasn’t ‘reasonably practicable’ for employees to take holiday for reasons connected to coronavirus (take advice on what this means in practice).

Regular reminders – if 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 during those final months. 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 sent (01 December 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.

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.