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“You can go to the pub if off sick from work, says Tribunal” and other wild over-simplifications (UK)

This is of course not what the Newcastle Employment Tribunal said, nor is “Unless a company has specifically forbidden employees from socialising while ill they are free to do what they like” or “Going to the pub while off sick is not a sackable offence”.  However, the reality would not illuminate the pages of yesterday’s … Continue Reading

Proposed right to disconnect lacks joined-up thinking (UK)

BBC News Online reported last week a call by trade union Prospect for the Government to legislate to “ban out of hours emails from bosses” or, beneath the headline, to “ban bosses from routinely emailing or calling outside set working hours“.  This looks like the proposed introduction into English law of the “right to disconnect” … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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

Here 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 … Continue Reading

Handling Grievances webinar follow-up questions, Part 1 (UK)

Over 700 people signed up to our Handling Grievances webinar last week, reinforcing our view that the return to the workplace (RTW) process is going to be a fertile breeding ground for such complaints by employees, some around new working conditions, some alleging health and safety failures and others just to vent minor unhappinesses and … Continue Reading

COVID-19: UK adjusted Right to Work checks end soon

As a result of the restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, employers have faced challenges in carrying out right to work checks, which usually require in-person sight of the individual’s original passport or biometric residence permit. Thankfully these challenges were acknowledged early on by the Home Office which introduced temporary measures on 30 … Continue Reading

Lost in space – useful pointers for health and safety dismissals (UK)

Back in May last year we posted a piece on the protections available to employees who choose to leave their workplace because of serious health and safety fears.  As the RTO process begins to warm up, here is an Employment Tribunal case (possibly the first, but certainly not the last) which looks at the practical application … Continue Reading

Not seeking references on new hires — help or heresy? (UK)

Interesting question from a client the other day  – what if we simply gave up asking for references on new hires?  Just stopped it altogether and so saved all the HR time and delay and cost implicit in the reference-checking process?  Instinctively your response is not to be so daft, everyone always seeks references so … Continue Reading

New Acas guidance on the return to the workplace – the importance of talking back to your workers (UK)

In line with the impending movement back to the physical workplace comes some updated Acas guidance around consultation with your workforce about preventing the Coronavirus in the process. The line between communication and consultation in the guidance is not always clearly marked, but that should not be an issue in view of Acas’s injunction that … Continue Reading

“Fair dismissal for not wearing face-mask” headlines hide full story (UK)

It’s not natural for our freedoms and permissions to be limited in the way they have been since last March, so whatever one’s own views, it is hardly surprising that some have found those restrictions hard to swallow and have railed against COVID-19 related rules, state imposed or otherwise. The requirement to wear masks in … Continue Reading

Sleepovers and the NMW, Part II – clarity at long last for the UK care sector

It was what seems an eternity ago in July 2018 that the Court of Appeal handed down its judgment in the combined cases of Royal Mencap v Thompson Blake and John Shannon v Jakishan and Prithee Rampersad (t/a Clifton House Residential Home). A link to our blog post at that time is here.  Readers will … Continue Reading

Future of the Workplace webinar 18 March – follow-up questions answered, Part 3 (UK)

Here are answers to two more of the questions which came up at our webinar last week, this time dealing with employee resistance to workplace Covid testing and the wisdom or otherwise of agreeing to post-lockdown WFH without formal changes to terms of employment. If an employee refuses to be tested at work, how should … Continue Reading

Future of the Workplace webinar 18 March – follow-up questions answered, Part 2 (UK)

Here are a couple more answers to questions coming up at our webinar last week: Do we still need to comply with collective consultation where we are not dismissing, only making contractual changes? Our policy currently removes COVID-related absences from our Bradford factor sickness calculations – should we do the same for adverse reactions to … Continue Reading

Workers gain new health and safety protection from 31 May (UK)

As the law currently stands, sections 44 and 100 Employment Rights Act 1996 protect employees against detriment (e.g. disciplinary action or suspension of pay) and dismissal as a result of their taking steps to protect themselves or others in certain health and safety situations, including where “in circumstances of danger which the employee reasonably believed … Continue Reading

Future of the Workplace webinar 18 March – follow-up questions answered, Part 1 (UK)

Over 700 sign-ups for our Future of the Workplace webinar yesterday show much continuing uncertainty on the part of employers as to just what happens next in practical HR terms as the lock-down staggers to a scheduled end in June.  As usual lots of questions were received through the chat facility, so we have combined … Continue Reading
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