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Can I have a pay rise? What to do when your employee thinks they’re worth more than you do!

You can only avoid the question for so long and eventually you’re going to have to deal with it. Here’s our evaluation of some potential answers.... read more

Self employed contracts – options for employers

A self employed person is generally regarded as a consultant. There are broadly 2 methods of engaging a consultant, one is to engage the individual directly (a ... read more

‘Self-employed plus.’

It’s not just gig economy companies like Uber and City Sprint that have seen ‘self-employed’ workers claim entitlement to employment or worker... read more

Failure to investigate renders dismissal unfair.

Mr Raymond, a diabetic lorry driver worked for Asda for 15 years. He felt an urgent need to relieve himself and did so in what he called ‘a discreet ... read more

New holiday pay calculator

If we had a pound for every time we’ve been asked about calculating holiday pay, and another for how to work out a zero hours person’s holiday ... read more

When should an employer assume their employee has a disability?

An employee is “disabled" within the meaning of the Equality Act 2010 if: “They have a physical or mental impairment which has an adverse ... read more

The Good Work Plan - Government Proposals for Employment Law Reform

Following the much publicised Taylor Review, the government has proposed a series of changes to employment law, some of which will take effect in 2019. ... read more

Catching an Uber to the Supreme Court

Uber drivers are indeed workers confirmed the Court of Appeal, but this ride is not quite over as the next leg will take this important case (which could well ... read more

Gagging clauses – 2019 developments

High profile cases in 2018 saw some of the world’s foremost figures on both sides of the Atlantic being acutely criticised for allegedly using non ... read more

Brexit - new immigration rules ahead

Under current rules citizens of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland may live and work in the UK without special permission. Brexit of course will ... read more

National Minimum Wage Rates 2019

On 1st April 2019 the national living wage (NLW) and national minimum wage rates (NMW) will increase. The new rates are as follows: For those aged 25 ... read more

New law coming - Statutory Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay

Bereavement leave will be introduced in 2020, the government has now announced, but employers should establish a suitable policy in 2019. Our article covers the... read more

Holiday - use it or lose it? Not quite....

In an important European ruling a German employee has won a claim for unpaid holiday pay arising from holiday he failed to take some 6 years ago. Under ... read more

Christmas parties ….. an employment law guide to the festive season!

The festive season carries its own challenges for employers, and while in most cases, we can relax and enjoy ourselves, there are some common problems and ... read more

Tribunal Fees Set to Return?

The government is considering the reintroduction of tribunal fees – earlier the Supreme Court ruled that the fees were a barrier to justice ... read more

When a resignation becomes a dismissal

When can an employee dismiss themselves…and win a tribunal case against their employer? It seems an unusual concept, that an employee can resign and ... read more

Employees not getting along - what can you do

It crops up regularly here at myHRdept, where one client or another reports that a couple of their employees are not getting on, and it’s causing a bad ... read more

HR issues - where informal beats formal interventions

Some people will avoid formal HR processes like the plague, others embrace them too readily. Both avoidance and overindulgence creates issues.  Most HR ... read more

Your employees just don’t get on – what can you do?

It crops up reasonable regularly here at myHRdept, where one client or another reports that a couple of their employees are not getting on, and it’s ... read more

Don't panic...but employment tribunal claims rise 165%

We suspected as much, from April to June this year single tribunal claims received were a whopping 165% (11,000 claims) up on the same quarter in 2017.  ... read more

Change to terms post TUPE not always unlawful

Conventional wisdom has it that any change to an employee’s benefits post TUPE is likely to be unfair, but providing the employer can show that the change... read more

What’s the point of Job Descriptions? Quite a lot as it happens.

If, like us, you run a small business you might think that JDs should all state ‘to do whatever is necessary, whenever it’s necessary’ and to ... read more

New law coming - Statutory Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay

Campaigners have long been calling for statutory bereavement leave, the Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act will meet some, but not all of their ... read more

Open wide - dental hygienists – self employed?

Earlier this week I was reclining in a dentist chair waiting for the inevitable lecture on the benefits of flossing (I do, honestly…except when I ... read more

2017 sickness absence rates are the lowest on record

ONS records show that the average employee took just over 4 days absence in 2017, a substantial drop.  What’s behind this and what does this mean for... read more

Mulberry employee claims discrimination on grounds of belief

Aside from the 'religion and belief' angle Ms Gray's case, featured in Personnel Today, is also a useful reference to circumstances in which a new ... read more

Is 60 days absence too much?

In O’Conner V DL Insurance Services the EAT criticised the Company for disciplining Mrs O’Conner, who was disabled as defined under the Equality ... read more

Conduct or Capability?

Conduct or capability? If an employee is not performing well, its important to understand why…is it because they can’t do the job, or ... read more

A stare too far

Times are changing and behaviour that was tolerated in the 1970s is not tolerated today. But people still behave badly sometimes and one of our more common case... read more

Pimlico Plumbers final UK decision

The Supreme Court has agreed with the lower courts that Gary Smith, one of its ‘self-employed’ plumbers was actually a worker, and therefore ... read more

World Cup - Employer's Guide

Q&A – I feel like the World Cup is taking over the office already and it's not even started. How do I balance employees' understandable ... read more

Fair Dismissal

Mr Mbubaegbu, a consultant surgeon, was dismissed by an NHS Foundation Trust after 15 years service and despite not having any previous warnings and not ... read more

Employer enforced pay cut causes constructive dismissal claim.

Following a decrease in sales between 2012 and 2016 Mr Mostyn’s sales declined and S&P, Mr Mostyn’s employer, asked him to take a pay cut from ... read more

GDPARGHHHHHHHHH

Welcome to our GDPR special. Like many of the readers of this article, we are ourselves a small business (with less than 10 employees.) and GDPR has been a ... read more

Minimum Wage Changes April 2018

On 1st April 2018 the national living wage (NLW) and national minimum wage rates (NMW) will increase. The new rates are as follows: For those aged 25 ... read more

Snow Joke

You know the routine. It snows. Britain stops. Now, the folks in the North of England and Scotland today have genuine cause for concern, but for others a fine ... read more

Suspending employees

Many times we’ve been asked whether in the midst of a disciplinary investigation an employee can be suspended, and many employers feel it is their right ... read more

Employee overstays holiday claiming to be sick - what can you do?

Your employee went on the standard permitted 2 week holiday, but then became ‘ill’ and overstayed by another 2 weeks, producing a medical note from ... read more

‘Self employed contractor’ salesman entitled to 13 years unpaid holiday entitlement.

While we reported last year on the case of King Vs Sash Windows (if you haven’t read the report yet we would encourage you to do so) the case ... read more

Tribunal claims rocket - and what to do if you receive one

Of course tribunal claims were bound to increase – when fees were introduced in 2013 the number of claims plummeted 70%+, now the fees have ... read more

Can a worker prefer a series of breaks over a day instead of the statutory 20 minute rest break?

Cawford Vs Network Rail looked again at whether the 20 minute break in 6 hours can be discontinuous or whether it needs to be one break – we expect this ... read more

If your self employed person is a ‘worker’….how much holiday pay will you owe?

Potentially quite a lot following the very important case of King Vs Sash Windows at the European Court of Justice – a decision that will influence ... read more

Why is an April – March holiday year a bad idea?

The Working Time Regs 1998 entitle employees to a minimum of 5.6 weeks statutory holiday each year equating to 28 days for those who work a 5 day week. If an ... read more

Minimum Wage Changes in 2018

We’re all used to minimum wage changes in October, but it’s all change from this year with the annual revisions coming in ahead of Easter, and now ... read more

Why failing to carry out a proper risk assessment led to a finding of sex discrimination.

Discrimination cases can be the most expensive to defend and carry the highest compensation payments for successful claimants. When Ms Ramos, a nurse ... read more

GDPR?

It stands for ‘General Data Protection Regulation’ and in essence it’s an extension of data protection laws that will hit us on 25th May 2018 ... read more

Are foster carers workers?

Historically, the EAT have held that Foster carers were not workers. For a role to attract worker status there must be a contract. Formal agreements govern the ... read more

Exiting employees - safely

The abolition of tribunal fees and the inevitable increase in litigation means employers should use extra caution when approaching employee dismissals whether ... read more

Tribunal fee abolition – update

When tribunal fees were introduced in 2013, claims dropped by 70%. Now the fees have been abolished the signs appear to suggest an increase in claims. In the ... read more

The office dog. A good idea...or barking mad?

Recently a friend entered a debate on LinkedIn about whether an office dog is a good idea or not. Last time I looked the thread had 150 contributions. Given ... read more

Holiday pay – regular voluntary overtime should be included says EAT

Following Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council v Willetts and others it is now time for employers to review their holiday pay practices in relation to holiday ... read more

Reduction of status and unfair dismissal

Reduction of status – Our Estate Manager came into the office this week to empty the bins (a very unusual thing for him to do) and it set me to thinking ... read more

It’s happy lawyer day as tribunal fees are declared unlawful

Poor employment lawyers, they’ve had a hell of a time since the introduction of tribunal fees in 2013 led to a 70% drop in claims. But it appears the ... read more

When is a redundancy not a redundancy?

Imagine a typical scenario. Employer A has a direct report B and B himself has 4 reports. To increase efficiency and save costs A decides to take on the ... read more

My older employee is not performing. What can I do?

My older employee is not performing. What can I do? Age Discrimination legislation was first introduced 11 years ago and in 2010 it became part of the Equality ... read more

Employment tribunal - settle or fight?

Fight, fright or flight? Receiving a tribunal application from an ex-employee presents broadly 2 options 1) fight it, 2) settle it. Given that fighting a ... read more

The noose tightens on the self employed

We have case after case now of ‘self-employed’ people being considered to be workers. It started with the Uber case and since then we’ve had ... read more

Summary dismissal – employer obligations

You’ll have heard of the term ‘instant dismissal’ or ‘summary dismissal’ of course but what does it actually mean? Most employers ... read more

LinkedIn contacts - how to make sure they belong to you, not your employee

LinkedIn – who owns customer contacts & is it necessary to have a LinkedIn policy? Salesman A resigns and hooks up with a competitor. He uses his ... read more

Sickness absence falls to 1.9%, the lowest on record.

The Office for National Statistics has confirmed that absence is at an all time low. The rate varies according to sector, country area, employment status and ... read more

Holidays - should we use weeks or days, and should banks be included or excluded?

Time and again we discuss holidays with our clients, how to calculate them and how to express them. We’re often challenged on why holiday should be ... read more

Long term sick employee – when is it safe to dismiss?

Even if a long term sick employee is no longer entitled to sick pay, they are still clocking up paid holiday entitlement (which will not, contrary to popular ... read more

Tackling short term frequent absence

In common with most of these things a stitch in time saves nine, but managers are all too often unwilling to invest the time necessary to fix the problem (or ... read more

Short Service Employees – how safe is dismissal?

As most employers are aware employees with less than two years’ continuous employment don’t generally have a right to bring a claim for unfair ... read more

Employee on sick leave travels to Barbados – but the investigating employer stepped over data protection guidelines.

In the Brown v Commissioner of Police for Metropolis case it came to the Met’s attention that its employee, Ms Brown, may have travelled to Barbados on ... read more

6th April - increases to a 'week's' pay for compensation purposes

6th April brings a raft of changes to employment law related compensation limits and included in these is the increase of the limit on unfair dismissal ... read more

Latest tribunal awards April 2017

Our article on new compensation limits revealed that from 6th April 2017 the limit on unfair dismissal compensation payable increases from the lower of a ... read more

Is it discrimination to refuse a religious holiday?

Mr Gareddu asked for 5 weeks consecutive holiday in August 2015 to travel to Sardinia to attend a number of religious events, and while previously this had been... read more

Is it always reasonable to dismiss an employee who has committed a violent act towards another employee or a member of the public?

Many firms have a very laudable aim of zero tolerance towards violence in the workforce and in the majority of cases it would be reasonable for an employer to ... read more

When is a self-employed person a ‘worker’?

When they’re employed by Pimlico as a self employed plumber apparently. This is an important case, hot on the heels of the Uber taxi case (which is being ... read more

New contracts for existing employees - when, why and how, and what do we do if people refuse to sign them?

From time to time it becomes necessary to replace employment contracts, but our experience of numerous repeats of this exercise with various employers has ... read more

Minimum Wage Changes in 2017

We’re all used to minimum wage changes in October, but it’s all change from this year with the annual revisions coming in ahead of Easter, and now ... read more

Statutory rest breaks - whose responsibility?

Do employers need to insist workers take their breaks, or is it up to the employee to assert their rights to a rest break.  And what actually constitutes a... read more

Assault at the Office Christmas Party – are we liable?

It seems like every year we send out a reminder that Companies can be held responsible for the inebriated improper behaviour of their employees at the office ... read more

Can I insist that my employee works overtime during our busy periods?

Most of our clients are small businesses and they often experience peaks and troughs in their workloads. We often have to advise on whether an employer can ... read more

Failure to make adjustments to accommodate breastfeeding mothers cost EasyJet £29K

When 2 cabin crew employees asked EasyJet Airline to roster them for a maximum of 8 hours, the airline failed to take adequate account of medical evidence and ... read more

Uber taxis – all over the press this month, but what does the decision to class Uber drivers as ‘workers’ actually mean for employers of other types of staff?

In a case which is sure to have major ramifications for the so called "gig" economy an Employment Tribunal has ruled that two cab drivers providing ... read more

Christmas parties ….. an employment law guide to the festive season!

The festive season carries its own challenges for employers, and while in most cases, we can relax and enjoy ourselves, there are some common problems and not ... read more

It isn’t working out….is a settlement agreement the answer?

Small businesses are like families and it’s difficult enough to part company with employees without having to go through painful time consuming processes ... read more

Employee fails to give sufficient notice – is there anything I can do about it?

We’ve had the question over and over again, and many of you will recognise the scenario….your employee is supposed to give a month’s notice, ... read more

Deductions from pay – what are employers allowed…and not allowed to do?

It is a commonly (and wrongly) held belief that employers are entitled to make deductions from wages for, for example, damage to the employer’s property ... read more

The 9 things every employer needs to know about discrimination law.

But first, why should we, as employers, be bothered?  There are a number of very good reasons to have a Dignity at Work policy in place (and to make sure ... read more

How do I change my business structure and what happens to employees I no longer need?

At myHRdept we support more than a 100 mostly small (sometimes larger) businesses and are often called upon to advise on business structure changes.  ... read more

My difficult employee – how should I manage unhelpful behaviour, and when does it become a dismissible offence?

Mr Perkins was by all accounts a difficult man.  His employer, the St George’s Healthcare Trust, described him as ‘aloof, stubborn and at times... read more

Can I hold a disciplinary hearing in an employee’s absence?

Nabili v The Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust An ET decision has recently been overturned by the EAT and will be reheard by a new tribunal.  ... read more

National Minimum Wage Rates – October 2016 changes

From 1st October 2016 the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates are as follows: For workers aged 25 and over the rate remains at ... read more

When a disability is not a disability, or is it?

been confused, leading the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) to overturn his decision! So what is a ‘disability’? The Equality Act 2010 (EA) ... read more

Are there any legal issues that employers should be aware of when an employee has another job?

Many employers have exclusivity clauses in their employment contracts stating that the employee cannot work for another employer, whether on a paid or voluntary... read more

Why Can’t I be a Porn Star in my Free Time?

By day, Kathleen Malloy worked as an administrative assistant for Liverpool Community Health Trust (NHS). However this was not her only job. In her spare time ... read more

Brexit. Deregulation of employment law for SMEs? Or no change please?

In order to understand the legal position post exit from the EU it is necessary to understand how EU laws (Directives) are implemented into the law of member ... read more

GO TO JAIL….But is it fair to dismiss an employee on grounds of ‘frustration’ when he’s been sentenced to 6 months in jail?

Frustration of contract refers to an event where the employer terminates the employment contract on the basis that the employee is no longer able to honour his ... read more

Are Employment Tribunal fees about to be abolished?

With Scotland having already announced the abolition of fees, it appears we may be a step closer to taking this step in England, even in the wake of ... read more

Covert surveillance - is it ok to spy on a 'sick' employee?

Mr Ajaj was employed by Metroline as a bus driver between 2004 and 2014, when he was dismissed for gross misconduct, having been found by the Company to have ... read more

Living Wage is here

From today 1st April 2016 the National Living Wage of £7.20 per hour which applies to all who are 25 and older. Basically this an extra minimum wage ... read more

The importance of well drafted contractual clauses (and why not to apply restrictive covenants to junior employees.)

A well drafted restrictive covenant can be a useful thing – many employers have relied on them to stop former employees taking their confidential ... read more

Following the recent TYCO case, do employers have to pay employees for travel time to and from their first appointments?

For workers with no fixed base the first and last journeys are counted as ‘working time’ …. But this does NOT mean they have to be paid. The ... read more

Holiday pay – commission should be included says EAT.

If you employ one of the 5 million people who are entitled to commission or overtime, are you sure you are paying holiday pay correctly? In this article we ... read more

Brexit. What will it mean for UK employers?

The ‘vote leave’ campaigners have earned considerable media inches and hours about the benefits to GB businesses from no longer being part of the ... read more

Employer’s liability for employee’s assault on customer.

Employer’s liability for employee’s assault on customer. When Morrison’s supermarket employee Khan physically attacked a customer, were ... read more

Hiring is time consuming and expensive, but why do so many new employees leave?

Statistically a new employee is more than 3 times as likely to leave as an employee with 2 years or more. What can employers do to reduce this statistic? With ... read more

Employment tribunal awards are on the up - but tribunal cases are still rare

Employment tribunals are still a rarer beast than they used to be (since the introduction of fees requiring employees to pay to register a claim), but the ... read more

When is a breach not a breach (of confidentiality.)

At myHRdept we spend a lot of time helping employers protect their confidential information and commercial interests through carefully worded employment ... read more

Monitoring staff communications – the do’s and don’ts.

A widely reported European Court of Human Rights case (binding on the UK) may have given employers the (wrong) impression that they can snoop at will into ... read more

1st April - new minimum wage rate for 25 year olds

We head towards 1st April 2016 which will see the introduction of a National Living Wage which will apply to all who are 25 and older. The National ... read more

Clarkson faces employment tribunal

Clarkson faces employment tribunal – Last month we reported that Chelsea FC and Mourinho were being jointly sued for constructive dismissal by their ... read more

And in the red corner…

In our first case, ZSL Vs Westlake, two female employees from ZSL ended up having a fight at a staff Christmas party. The claimant, Ms Westlake was dismissed, ... read more

The Employers Guide to Festive Survival

The festive season carries its own challenges for employers, and while in most cases, we can relax and enjoy ourselves, there are some common problems and not ... read more

Shared Parental Leave - Now in

Parents of babies expected on or after 5 April 2015 are able to share up to 50 weeks off work, something which the government hopes will kick-start a feeling of... read more

Dismissal by text message costs restaurant owner £15K

When restaurant owner Chris Charalambous sacked his chef Mr Hillis, we doubt the insertion of a smiley face into his text would have saved him. The award ... read more

Creating a comprehensive and compliant employment framework for less than £500!

HR spotlight – our smaller business top tips for painlessly building an employment law compliant HR system for your business. Building in compliance ... read more

Government issues guidance on use of zero hours contracts

In the last month the government via the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has issued guidance on zero hours contracts and on when they may ... read more

Lessons from Chelsea - Mourhino & Constructive Dismissal

You can’t have missed the enormous press coverage of Eva Carneiro, the former Chelsea Club Doctor, who is suing both Jose Mourinho personally and Chelsea ... read more

Scotland to abolish employment tribunal fees.

The introduction of tribunal fees saw a sharp decline in the number of tribunal applications. Unison (the public sector union) claim the fees are a barrier to ... read more

Employee dismissed for Facebook posts

In British Waterways Board v Smith, Smith was fairly (in the Employment Appeal Tribunal’s (EAT) opinion) dismissed for making derogatory comments on ... read more

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

In response to customer feedback we have made some important changes: We have shortened employment contracts where we can As a result some of ... read more

If an employee refuses to sign a contract, what can you do?

When an employee is presented with a new or amended employment contract most employees will have it signed and on its way back to you in a flash, however, there... read more

UK “worst country” for managing absence, says welfare secretary

UK is "worst country" for managing absence, says welfare secretary Ian Duncan Smith. But how long does it take to properly manage poor performance or ... read more

National Living Wage Vs National Minimum Wage Vs Living Wage.

Last week the Chancellor announced in the budget the introduction of a National Living Wage from next April. The NLW effectively introduces a new higher age ... read more

Holiday pay, yet again - voluntary overtime should be included (preliminary ruling)

This time a Northern Irish tribunal rules that voluntary overtime should be included in holiday pay calculations. This is yet another development in ... read more

Workers with no fixed place of work likely to be entitled to pay for travelling to and from home

Travelling time to and from work should be paid for some workers, rules the Advocate General in a Spanish case that, if ratified by the European Court of ... read more

Religious dress in the workplace - discrimination law

In the widely reported case of Begum v Pedagogy Auras UK Ltd t/a Barley Lane Montessori Day Nursery, Ms Begum, a nursery assistant failed in her claim that her ... read more

Tattoos, beards, headscarves, uniform - what can employers reasonably expect of employees?

The Begum case (click here for details) proved to be a victory for common sense, as the particular garment Ms Begum wanted to wear to work was a trip hazard and... read more

Company dress code: Discriminatory?

Ms Begum who applied for an apprenticeship as a nursery assistant, is a practicing Muslim whose religious belief requires her to wear a garment that reaches ... read more

Discrimination – travellers ban costs Wetherspoon £1m

When delegates at the annual conference of the Irish Traveller Movement tried to get a pint in the Coronet pub in Islington, they were turned away. The action ... read more

National Minimum Wages to increase

We don’t have to worry about the rate rises themselves until October, but forewarned is forearmed and with a whopping 21% rise in one rate, if you have ... read more

Zero hours contracts - banned from 26th May

Zero hours contracts banned. More than a year ago the then Business Secretary Vince Cable announced in his speech to the Liberal Democrat conference that he ... read more

90 degrees, phew what a scorcher!

Surely we can’t have a summer without the Sun running that headline, but with meteorologists forecasting a 25% chance of the hottest summer on record, ... read more

Suspending employees

Suspension, even with a contractual right to suspend (all myHRdept contracts come with this,) is an aggressive act and should only be used in circumstances ... read more

Immigration on the rise again

According to official figures released this week, the UK has reached a record number of 1.9 million Eastern Europeans working in the UK. The figures also show ... read more

Employee who made up race discrimination allegations forced to pay £10K costs

Employment law isn’t always stacked in the favour of employees you know. Chadburn made up race discrimination allegations to inflate her claim against ... read more

Fiddling expenses? - Not me, I was 5,000 miles away in Reading at the time!

In Shrestha v Genesis Housing Association Ltd, (Court of Appeal) S, the employee was found to have been fairly dismissed for claiming almost twice the mileage ... read more

Bad faith final warning means dismissal may be unfair

In the Court of Appeal case of Way Vs Spectrum Property Care Ltd, a final warning given in ‘bad faith’ and later relied on to dismiss an employee ... read more

Would you like myHRdept to carry out disciplinary, performance or absence investigations for you?

In small companies it isn’t always easy to carry out investigations or performance/absence reviews, sometimes because of workload, sometimes because of ... read more

Playing Politics

The General Election will influence the number of employment tribunal cases in the UK – these have taken a dramatic tumble since the coalition ... read more

Top hiring mistakes

Are you recruiting the right people for your business? How do you know? Employers, even smaller employers, need to ensure that they balance their team ... read more

Dealing with depression in the workplace

Following the tragic crash of the German aeroplane where a pilot flew 150 people to their deaths following a long term battle with mental health, depression, ... read more

Failed attempts to amend contracts without employee's consent

All change please, or rather it wasn’t for the National Audit Office when it attempted to rely on a contractual clause enabling them to amend ... read more

Employment tribunal claims fall

Last month the Ministry of Justice revealed a 12% decline in single claims received by the employment tribunal service in the last quarter of 2014 against the ... read more

Disability discrimination and diabetes

Stoute was a bus driver, dismissed from Metroline Travel for gross misconduct. He claimed that he was ‘disabled’ (as defined in the Equality Act) ... read more

Shop manager hired ‘beautiful’ women to molest them

Last week a tribunal heard how a manager of one of Britain’s most prestigious shoe makers was accused of hiring only attractive saleswomen with the intent... read more

Victimisation Compensation Reduced

Successful claimants don’t always get the compensation they think they’re entitled to. One reason is the possibility of awards being reduced to ... read more

The use of e-cigarettes

It was only a matter of time before electronics got its clever bionic fingers on cigarettes. Now e-cigarettes are everywhere – including at work. But how ... read more

Employment Law Case Roundup - March 2015

Easter is almost here already. Being a movable feast, it keeps us on our toes. And that’s certainly going to be the case for some employers over the ... read more

Women still behind men in bosses’ pay

Female bosses of Britain’s blue-chip businesses are still receiving lower pay and bonuses than their male counterparts. A female chief executive at one of... read more

Government plans to abolish the sick note

Last week The Times reported on the Government scheme requiring anyone who is absent from work due to illness for more than four weeks to undergo a ... read more

What does a job title mean to you?

A study has revealed that a staggering one in five employees in the UK are not honest when it comes to stating their real job title. The study conducted by ... read more

What do you really do for a living?

A study has revealed that a staggering one in five employees in the UK are not honest when it comes to stating their real job title. The study conducted by ... read more

Employment Law Case Roundup - February 2015

Out of time at tribunal but claim goes on Nayif v High Commission of Brunei Darussalam Claimants have a three-month time limit to notify Acas that they ... read more

Japanese forced to take holiday

The Times recently reported that Japan is to force workers to take their paid holidays in an attempt to combat a culture of excessive work that has led to ... read more

Fifty shades takes a whole new meaning

In recent news we have seen the regrettable Benedict Cumberbatch make a public error whilst attempting to be honourable by highlight the lack of opportunities ... read more

The benefits of strategic thinking moving forward into 2015

This week, The Times printed a 4 page article on businesses shifting focus to strategic solutions. Laura Doughty, director of strategy and operations ... read more

Older workers want part time jobs, not retirement

It was revealed this week that half of all those approaching retirement intend to carry on working when they reach their mid-sixties. A national study conducted... read more

Illegal immigrant found working in Commons

The Times has revealed today that a woman from Sierra Leone has been working in the Palace of Westminster under a forged passport. With all employers facing ... read more

Bullying, Harassment and Victimisation - Know your place

It was recently reported that leaked emails from technology giant Sony, expose accusations of a culture of racism, verbal abuse, sexual harassment and gender ... read more

The Employer's Guide to Festive Survival

The festive season carries its own challenges for employers, and while in most cases, we can relax and enjoy ourselves, there are some common problems and not... read more

Shared Parental Leave: The Basics

Today, the new regulations regarding Shared Parental Leave (SPL) come into force. The new regulations give parents greater flexibility in how they share the ... read more

Can employees be forced to cover tattoos and remove piercings?

It was recently reported that a school teacher was turned away from work at St John Vianney primary school in Hartlepool because she was "covered in ... read more

Holiday Pay - The mystery unravelled

The tribunals have been full recently of holiday pay cases, starting with Williams Vs British Airways and ending with Fulton Vs Bear Scotland, with the Lock ... read more

Top tips – how to build an employment law compliant HR framework (for smaller business

HR spotlight – our smaller business top tips for painlessly building an employment law compliant HR system for your business. Building in compliance ... read more

Do you pay overtime, commission or bonuses? If yes, you need to read this article

Yesterday saw a landmark judgement from the Employment Appeal Tribunal that will have significant implications for employers who regularly provide overtime. The... read more

Living wage increases to £7.85 (£9.15 in London.)

The Living Wage Foundation annually reviews the basic costs of living when calculating its Living Wage recommendations, i.e. the amount of money it believes ... read more

In the light of the equal pay claim against Asda (going back 6 years), should smaller employers be worried?

Widely reported this weekend, solicitors Leigh Day are taking a test case on behalf of 400 workers at Asda….and if they win, the case will have ... read more

Are you or your staff unconsciously discriminating against employees?

A recent case brought to Tribunal stems from an alleged simple act of omission. A Muslim employee claims she was not invited to the Company’s Christmas ... read more

John Lewis settles £40m underpaid holiday pay….. and tens of thousands of small employers could be at risk unless they act now

John Lewis is a partnership, but holiday rules apply in the same way as to limited companies and other employers, who should urgently consider their own risk ... read more

Eggs-travagant employee benefits

The perks available to Silicon Valley staff are already known to be what every employee dreams of. Now, Facebook and Apple are offering female employees ... read more

Has Sir Alan Sugar got it right?

A new series of The Apprentice has been put back on our screens this week and Sir Alan Sugar has got people talking about effective management styles. ... read more

Is this the end of the office as we know it?

A survey of 10,000 workers by O2 revealed more than half thought technological breakthroughs will transform the way we work over the next five to ten years. ... read more

New national minimum wage rates apply from 1st October 2014

New national minimum wage rates apply from 1st October 2014. The National Minimum Wage applies to all employees and workers in the UK and was first ... read more

Power of the pension

More low-income workers are now putting enough away in savings for their retirement than in 2012 - a vindication of the government’s auto-enrolment plan... read more

Does clocking off mean switching off?

Germany is poised to enact an anti-stress law that would make it illegal for employers to send emails to workers during their free time and holidays. ... read more

Number of migrants rises by 50 per cent

Migrants are being caught in unprecedented numbers, a police union spokesman said yesterday, but they are quickly released, and try to cross the Channel ... read more

Mistreatment of Britain’s “invisible workforce”

According to a recent report, cleaners working in British offices, hotels and public places are regularly subject to bullying, discrimination and ... read more

Equal pay? Maybe for our great grandchildren

Women will have to wait another 60 years for equal pay if the gender gap continues to close at the present rate. Statistics from the House of Commons ... read more

Will care workers have to be licensed?

Paul Burstow, former care minister, has led a year-long review into the care industry in the UK and has recommended that a license to practice may have ... read more

Can employers ban e-cigarettes in the workplace?

The balance is definitely on the side of etiquette rather than law when it comes to choosing whether or not to allow e-cigarettes in the workplace, and the BBC ... read more

Daylight Savings

An early night after a hot bath, curling up with a good book is most people’s idea of preparing for a good night’s sleep. Well, according to a ... read more

Small businesses rising hire and hire

Last month, myhrdept posted an article entitled ‘Employment High’, outlining the employment rate hitting a record high at 73.1 per cent in the ... read more

Its not just the 7 dwarves who should whistle whilst they work

Earlier this week, myhrdept wrote an article covering how bullying and harassment in the workplace were commonplace in some companies (See the story HERE.) ... read more

Court of Appeal dismisses software company's attempt to enforce restrictive covenant

The Court of Appeal in Prophet plc v Huggett ruled that an incorrectly worded restrictive covenant, intended to prevent an employee working for a competitor, ... read more

Bullying and discrimination are commonplace

The professional body for solicitors, The Law Society, appears to suffer from bullying and discrimination in the workplace. A survey of its own employees ... read more

Half of Britons feel regret

A recent study commissioned by the financial technology company Kalixa, revealed that half of Britons’ are so unhappy at work that they believe their ... read more

Conference calls from the fridge

A third of Britain’s growing army of home workers have admitted that they worked in their garden during last week’s heatwave. One in five ... read more

Employment high

The employment rate has hit a record high at 73.1 per cent in the three months to May, according to official figures. The Office for National Statistics ... read more

Is obesity now officially a disability?

The Equality Act 2010 details 9 categories of ‘protected characteristics’. These include sex, race, age, sexual orientation and, the subject of ... read more

"It was a long and humiliating battle"

A priest has been awarded £62,000 after being paid less than £2 an hour for working 65 hours a week at a temple in Birmingham. Harish Chandra ... read more

It was a long and humiliating battle

A priest has been awarded £62,000 after being paid less than £2 an hour for working 65 hours a week at a temple in Birmingham. Harish Chandra ... read more

4" Butterfly terminates contract

A 38 year old procurement consultant claimed that she lost her job after her employer discovered she had a butterfly tattoo on her foot. Jo Perkins from Milton ... read more

Can you Adam and Eve it?

This could well be the latest unrecognised discrimination: Geordies, Liverpudlians and Cockneys are all potential victims of "accentism". Alexander... read more

Legal changes to flexible working requests

Legal changes that will extend the right to request flexible working to ALL eligible employees will come into force on 30 June 2014. Currently, only ... read more

Indian boss beaten to death

Fed up of whinging employees complaining about their wages? Think yourself lucky with your lot in the context of (as it emerged yesterday) furious employees at ... read more

Fall in employment tribunals as regulations are tightened

Minister of State for Education and Business, Matthew Hancock, has reportedly hailed figures showing a fall in the number of tribunal cases in the last three ... read more

£35,000 for failure to protect employee from bullying - grievance procedure flawed

Whether or not Labour MP Jim Divine is the sort of chap you’d want round your house (jailed for expenses fraud in 2011, bullied his parliamentary aide ... read more

Government launches the Health and Work Service, to assist employees return to work after prolonged absence.

The Health and Work Service will provide occupational health advice and support for employees, employers and GPs to help individuals with a health condition ... read more

Verbal references….why you should always seek them, but think twice about giving them

Did you know that if the person you’re giving a reference to on the other end of the phone is making notes on your comments, your reference is probably ... read more

2014 wages – hold static or be prepared to increase?

2014 wages – hold static or be prepared to increase? Conflicting pressures present a dilemma for small employers. Previously in my career I have been... read more

Compulsory dispute resolution – important change for employers

From yesterday Early Conciliation applies to pretty much every employment tribunal claim albeit voluntarily for a few weeks. Under the new regime all new ... read more

Under 21s to be taken out of employers' NI Contributions

Employers who employ or engage employees under the age of 21 at or after 6 April 2015 will not be required to pay employer NICs on the earnings they pay to ... read more

100,000 extra apprentice places and graduate apprentice schemes announced

At only £2.65 per hour apprentices offer great value for employers, and yesterday the Chancellor announced funding for an additional 100,000 places, ... read more

Wages to increase 2.5% this year says OBR

The real cash value of wages hasn't increase since 2007, but wages are expected to be on the up this year - this is likely to fuel extra competition in the ... read more

Tribunal claims take a tumble/minimum wage on the increase

In England a would-be litigant must pay a fee of up to £250 (depending on the type of claim) to list a claim and another £950 if it progresses to a ... read more

Tribunal insurance. Comfort blanket, or furry handcuffs?!

Small employers are often tempted by ‘HR insurance’ offerings providing employment tribunal protection cover. It’s not hard to see why, ... read more

UK Border Agency recruits 10 illegal immigrants and Minister Mark Harper has an illegal cleaner.

UK Border Agency recruits 10 illegal immigrants and Minister Mark Harper illegal employed a foreign worker as a cleaner. If neither the Government nor its... read more

Employment Law 2014 - Small Business

2013 saw a number of legislative developments in the area of employment law and 2014 will bring many more. In this article we review the key recent and future... read more

New hire gone wrong?

With the best recruitment practices in the world, mistakes do happen inside and outside of the probation period. Do we persevere with an unsuitable person, run ... read more

Recruitment on the rise - are you getting it right?

Britain’s bosses are among the most optimistic in the world according to a survey held by PwC; with 61% of UK CEO’s "more confident about the ... read more

Confederation of British Industry supports above-inflation NMW change

On 17th January, we wrote about George Osborne’s plans to increase the National Minimum Wage to £7.00 per hour by 2015, and the reaction of the ... read more

Is the Government planning to ditch the proposed cap on auto enrolment pension charges?

You may recall our October article outlining Government plans to cap auto enrolment pension charges, and the subsequent November story concerning the resulting ... read more

The Confederation of British Industry supports above-inflation NMW change

On 17th January, we wrote about George Osborne’s plans to increase the National Minimum Wage to £7.00 per hour by 2015, and the reaction of the ... read more

National Minimum Wage: Will a minimum wage of £7 per hour impact your business?

It is estimated that one sixth of British workers are paid the minimum wage. - Around 1.35 million people. Since its introduction in 1999, when the rate meant a... read more

Managing the effects of extreme weather on your business

The possibility of extreme weather conditions disrupting business is often a concern at this time of year, but with floods across the UK and snow predicted for ... read more

HR outsourcing can make financial & operational sense…. but there are pitfalls for the unwary!

Times remain difficult, and employers are being encouraged by banks and advisors to outsource non-core activity, like payroll and HR. But it pays to look before... read more

5 days average sick per private sector full time worker…

The Times reported today that EU officials are three times ‘sicker’ than the average British private sector workers, who took 5 days of on average... read more

Social media and pre-employment vetting

With the ever increasing popularity of social media sites, the volume of personal information online grows each day. As an employer looking to recruit new ... read more

Auto enrolment fees cap sparks debate

On 30th October, we updated you on the Government plans to cap auto enrolment pension charges, and it would appear we aren’t alone in our ... read more

Government plans to cap auto enrolment pension charges

The government has announced that it intends to enforce a cap on the commissions that auto enrolment pension providers can charge members. The Treasury is to... read more

Fathers to receive up to 6 months additional paternity leave

At the moment fathers are entitled to take 2 weeks' paid paternity leave within 8 weeks of the birth, paid at the relevant statutory rate (currently ... read more

Good news for small employers

In an effort to make running a small business or to get a start up off the ground simpler, the Business Minister, Vince Cable, has recently announced changes to... read more

New paternity laws effective April 2010 plus some other important news

From April 06 2010 the new paternity laws come into being. BUT….they won't apply in the case of parents of babies born before 3rd April 2011, so you ... read more

Unauthorised breaks?

Since our publishing the article below the Court of Appeal has overturned the Employment Appeal Tribunal's decision in this case, ruling that although the ... read more

And there's more..

With so many pressures and priorities on small businesses is it any wonder that the daunting, and lets face it, apparantly dull and unnecessary task of carrying... read more

1,500 caught in minimum wage spot checks - be aware!

The DTI announced an increase in spot checks to expose breaches of minimum wage regulations in 2007, and 'high risk' sectors including small independent... read more

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