Handling Grievances webinar follow-up questions, Part 7 (UK)

Question and Answers

To conclude our series dealing with questions raised at our Handling Grievances webinar in April, here are our thoughts on three last queries around how events at grievance and investigation meetings are recorded.

  1. If the individual states they want to record the meeting, are we able to say no?

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COVID-19 and UK Immigration: Home Office Extends Adjusted Right to Work Checks

selective focus image of stamps in passport

Following our blog a few weeks ago, the Home Office has this week confirmed that the ability to carry out adjusted right to work checks will now remain in place until 20 June 2021 (inclusive).

The temporary measures introduced from 30 March last year have meant that instead of having to have sight of original right to work documents, employers have been able to:

  • ask the candidate or employee to submit a scanned copy or a photo of their original documents via email or using a mobile app (rather than their viewing the physical originals); and
  • on a video call with the candidate or employee, ask them to hold up the original documents to the camera and check them against the digital copy of the documents, record the date on which the check was done and mark it as “Adjusted check undertaken on [date] due to COVID-19”.

When the Home Office announced in April that the temporary measures would end on 16 May, there was widespread concern amongst employers, given that many organisations do not expect to return to the office until at least 21 June, the earliest likely date for withdrawal of the Government’s “WFH if you can” advice. The Home Office has said that the extension is aligned with the easing of lockdown restrictions and social distancing measures, as set out in the government’s roadmap for England and the devolved administrations.

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Acas Issues Short Advice on Long Covid (UK)

Clearly a quiet week over at Acas Towers, judging by all the detailed advice and reasoned analysis which doesn’t feature in its new two-page guidance note on long Covid (also referred to in the guidance as “long-tail Covid”, which is the same but with more feathers).

The main thrust of the guidance is notionally to address the question of whether long Covid is a disability for Equality Act purposes. Its debilitating effect in some cases is clear from press coverage, and the Acas guidance refers you through to some NHS information about symptoms which includes extreme fatigue, “brain-fog” (problems with memory and concentration), joint pain, insomnia, depression/anxiety, tinnitus and others. Some or all of these either alone or coupled with other lesser side-effects could certainly have the required substantial adverse effect upon normal activity. But is the complaint long term, in the sense that it has lasted or is expected to last for twelve months, or will reoccur over a person’s life?

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Handling Grievances webinar follow-up questions, Part 6 (UK)

Question and AnswersAs nearly the last of our answers to queries raised at our Handling Grievances Webinar last month, here are two very important questions about how far HR can or should act as a neutral in the resolution of an employee grievance.

10. Can you train an HR person to be a qualified mediator rather than go external?

11. If someone in HR is the Grievance Manager, then is it ok for them to behave as Grievance Manager and have an opinion?

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Handling Grievances webinar follow-up questions, Part 5 (UK)

Question and AnswersI love this next question from our webinar last month.  It goes right to the heart of what a grievance is about – obtaining redress where due – and raises some very interesting issues as to the extent of the employee’s own obligations to help in that process.

8. If someone refuses a mediation to resolve a grievance issue, would it be too harsh to take them down a disciplinary process for refusing a reasonable management request?

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Handling Grievances webinar follow-up questions, Part 4 (UK)

Question and AnswersHuman Resources managers try not to have too many hate-figures in their internal client base (not too great for the old professional image, and all that) but you won’t find too many in the HR world who have any time for the serial complainer.  Here are some thoughts on that front in response as a consolidated answer to a number of questions on the point which came up at our Handling Grievances webinar in April.

  1. At what stage should an employee’s grievance history be considered (thinking about vexatious complainers)?

There are lots of interesting issues bound up in this one, some legal and some practical:-

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Handling Grievances webinar follow-up questions, Part 3 (UK)

Question and AnswersHere are answers to a handful of questions about the right to be accompanied which all came up at our webinar on grievances on 22 April. More to come this week.

The right arises under section 10 Employment Relations Act 1996 – where the worker (not just an employee) is invited to a grievance hearing and “reasonably requests to be accompanied“, then he is entitled to attend with a willing companion chosen by him who falls within section 10(3), as to which see question 5 below. It is also enshrined in the Acas Code on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures and the accompanying guidance.

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President Biden Issues Proclamation Adding India to COVID-19 Travel Restrictions (US)

On April 30, 2021, the President issued another Proclamation suspending entry into the United States of nonimmigrants and noncitizens who were physically present within the Republic of India during the 14-day period preceding their attempted entry into the United States. These restrictions take effect at 12:01 am EDT on May 4, 2021 and remain in effect until terminated by order of the President.

The scope of this Proclamation is similar to those issued by President Trump covering China, Iran, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, the European Schengen Area, and Brazil. On January 25, 2021, President Biden signed a Proclamation continuing the suspension of entry of certain travelers from these countries and added South Africa. Continue Reading

Handling Grievances webinar follow-up questions, Part 2 (UK)

Question and AnswersHere are two more questions from our grievances webinar last week and the headline answers:

Can some initial investigation with the “accused” prior to the meeting with the person bringing the grievance make that meeting more meaningful?

Some grievances are very vague on what exactly is being complained about.  Is the employer obliged to go with what it gets?

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