- A landmark decision was made at the Supreme Court this month in relation to the now famous Pimlico Plumbers V Smith case. The Court upheld the previous decision that the employment tribunal initially made that Gary Smith was a worker for Pimlico Plumbers rather than being self-employed. This is despite the fact that he was paying self-employed tax and was VAT registered. Individuals with worker status are entitled to a national minimum wage, holiday pay and protection from discrimination. The finding in this case is in line with a number of recent decisions in relation to workers in the gig economy. It is another big red flag for employers reminding them that simply labelling workers as self-employed does not guarantee the corresponding legal status.
- In the case of Hextall v Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police, a male worker claimed that his employer had discriminated against him because of his sex as he was only entitled to receive statutory shared parental pay, when the employer paid enhanced maternity pay. The Employment Appeal Tribunal ruled that it is not direct sex discrimination to offer men on shared parental leave statutory pay while at the same time offering enhanced maternity pay. However the employee also made a claim a claim of indirect sex discrimination which will be heard again meaning that the question of indirect discrimination remains unresolved. There will be a future tribunal to consider this so look out for this judgement as it could have implications for rates of parental pay.
Earlier this year, a sexual misconduct scandal engulfed the third sector and it once again brought to the forefront the importance of safeguarding the most vulnerable in our society.
In 2010, Oxfam aid workers were stationed in Haiti after the devastating earthquake left millions of people homeless. A year later, Oxfam was made aware of allegations that some of its aid workers had used prostitutes in Haiti whilst working on the relief effort. Oxfam, one of the UK’s largest charities, dismissed four members of staff and 3 others resigned while under investigation. This included the former Haiti Country Chief, Roland van Hauwermeiren.
There is no doubt that the behaviour of some Oxfam staff was inexcusable and rightly the case brought to public attention the need to prioritise safeguarding. The Deputy Chief Executive of Oxfam resigned when the scandal broke in the media and the organisation pledged to increase the resources dedicated to safeguarding. The Department for International Development also announced they would introduce new standards that all aid organisations would be required to comply with.
In all the media attention, one of the main points of criticism of Oxfam in this case was that staff, who had admitted to wrongdoing, were able to go on and work for other agencies in the sector. For example, Roland van Hauwermeiren went on to work as Action Against Hunger’s Country Director in Bangladesh from 2012 to 2014, a charity which reported that ‘they received no information regarding the inappropriate and unethical behaviours of Roland van Hauwermeiren when he was with Oxfam in Haiti nor any warning on the risks of employing him’. As a result the Government ordered Oxfam to provide the Charity Commission with files on the implicated staff.
Helen Giles, Managing director
“People need to feel that they can have a voice in the running and future of the organisation”
Organisations with high level of employee engagement perform better than those that don’t. Helen Giles explains hot to develop a highly engaged team.
Recent case law developments have left many care providers falling foul of NMW legislation:
Workers are entitled to the NMW (or national living wage for over 25s) for every hour they work, which is assessed by looking at their average hourly pay across the pay reference period. However, it is not always easy to determine how many hours a worker is actually working, particularly in relation to sleep-in shifts. Importantly, if a worker is ‘working’ simply by being present, the whole of their shift will be taken into account when considering whether they have received the NMW. If the worker is not ‘working’ merely by being present and is provided with sleeping arrangements (or is ‘at home’), only the time spent performing tasks will be counted.
Hopefully by now everyone will know that next year we will all be facing a once in a generation change to our data protection law. Come 25th May 2018 the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) come in to force and while that still seems a while away there’s a lot to do and it will be here before you know it.
There are 168 hours in each week, which sounds like a lot, but in reality they whizz by so quickly! How do we find time for what matters most? While many of us would admit that from time to time we struggle to find that work life balance, managing priorities at work can be a whole new challenge. Looking from a management point of view, time management and prioritising workload may be aided by a range of skills, tools, and techniques. These skills are like a pair of shoes — you may have to try several before you find the one that is the right fit for you.
We have gathered some tips which may help you support your staff take a smarter approach to managing their time.
So you’ve invested lots of time in perfecting the job description and person specification, crafting a pithy advert, and paying to advertise in just the right place.
You’ve shortlisted the best applications, put an interview panel together, and grilled your candidates.
You’ve chosen your successful candidate, they’ve handed in their notice, and you have waited a month for them to start. The whole process has taken at least 8 weeks, probably more. You have had to take a day out for shortlisting and a day out for interviews. Your team has been one person short for a month and you are all feeling the pressure. After a long wait, your new team member is finally here and you are so excited to get started! But slowly, you begin to realise that they are not the right person for job and you are going to have to start all over again.
Getting the right person with the right skills at the right time is something that we see our customers struggle with on a regular basis. Recruiting the wrong person can be costly and time-consuming, not only in terms of the recruitment process itself but also what comes after, with inadequate selection processes increasing the likelihood of employers will experience issues with performance, conduct or attendance.
So what are out top tips for getting it right first time?
Saimah Razak, HR Consultant
With LinkedIn usefully reminding me that my five year work anniversary is approaching I was prompted to write down some of my reflections about work over these years. This was combined with a colleague chatting to me about my journey from HR Administrator to HR Consultant and so here I am!
Each month we ask a different member of our team to introduce themselves to you by answering some questions about themselves. This month you can click here to get to know Helen...