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 Sarah...
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) defines lone workers as those who work by themselves without close or direct supervision. There is no general legal prohibition on lone working but the broad duties of health and safety legislation apply.
The Government has introduced several new changes to employment law in 2017, with a number of these commencing at the beginning of April with the start of the new financial year:
There have also been the normal annual increases to statutory payments (maternity/paternity/adoption, sick pay, national living and minimum wages), details of which are available here.
Additionally, although changes to the General Data Protection Regulations are not due to come in until 2018, the Information Commissioners Office has published some guidance for employers on the steps that they should take now to prepare for this.This guidance can be found here.
National Minimum Wage:
The rates from 1 April 2017 will be:
Remember that casual workers and agency workers are also entitled to these rates.
Family Related Pay:
New limits on employment statutory redundancy pay come into force on 6 April 2017.
Employers that dismiss employees for redundancy must pay those with two years’ service an amount based on the employee’s weekly pay, length of service and age.
The weekly pay is subject to a maximum amount. From 6 April 2017, this is £489, increasing from £479.
Sickness absence is a challenge for many, with both frequent intermittent and long term absence having a detrimental impact on an organisations ability to deliver high quality services or products. While it is important for us to support staff when they are unwell and ensure that they are able to take the time that they need to get healthy, it is equally important to ensure that managers have clear guidelines for manging sickness to encourage staff to meet the attendance requirements of the organisation. In addition, it is important to recognise the difference between frequent intermittent absence and long term absence, in terms of both impact and cause, and have a flexibility in our approach that acknowledges this.
A good sickness policy should set out what you expect from your staff, and what your staff can expect from you, provide a fair, clear, and supportive framework for dealing with what can be a stressful and upsetting time for both staff and managers. It should identify levels of sickness which are above normal and therefore prompt formal meetings under the sickness procure. It should explain out how an employee will progress through these levels, and how they will be supported at each stage. It should be fair and reasonable, and not penalise staff for being ill whilst ensuring that intervention is early enough so that staggeringly high sickness rates don’t begin to impact negatively on the organisation.
Without a robust sickness policy, managers are powerless to address high levels of sickness amongst their staff. How can you tell someone their absence is too high when you have not identified normal levels of absence? How can you dismiss someone for ill health when they have not been supported? How do managers know what process to follow and when, and how do they make sure they treat everyone the same? By implementing a well thought out and thorough policy, you give your managers the key tool they need to manage sickness and reduce absence levels.
If you would like to discuss implementing a sickness and attendance policy, please contact us on 020 3856 6025.
We have had a number of customers over the years report that they have received job applications from candidates openly, and in some cases forcefully, threatening tribunal action under the Equality Act 2010 if they are not shortlisted and invited to interview for available roles. This is despite these candidates not having completed the required application form or addressing the requirements for the role in their submission.
Such practice has also recently hit the headlines in the charity press with one case reportedly being referred to the Scottish Police.
The Equality Act 2010 makes it unlawful to discriminate against people on the grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. To avoid discriminating against anyone during recruitment and selection, we must consider making reasonable adjustments. For example, a disabled person may require assistance with accessing the interview location, additional time to complete a selection test or a chance to apply using documentation alternative to your standard application form.
We have most recently been involved in a number of extreme cases, seemingly involving submissions from the same candidate. The applications received contained upwards of 10 pages of general statements, pre-solicited references and a list of very high level qualifications that the candidate purports to have gained in their career. Such documents were often accompanied by an aggressively worded email setting out various requirements that are suggested as ‘reasonable’ adjustments that the employer is ‘required’ to make under their duty set out within the Equality Act 2010, to support the candidate to attend an interview. Such adjustments were listed to be: a paid carer to support the candidate to attend an interview, hotel accommodation with meals prior to the interview, paid first class rail travel, a relaxation room to prepare for and rest after interview, and refreshments and snacks. In some cases, this candidate also threatened court action if business class air travel was not paid for to support their attendance.
Crucially, these particular applications also stated that any attempts to contact the candidate via telephone would cause them anxiety and stress due to a mental health condition and as a result they would be unable to take part in a telephone interview or answer any questions before hand to further verify their suitability for the role.
Luke Watkeys, business manager
It feels incredibly strange to be writing this blog, coming to the end of a six year journey as a ‘Real Person’.
Having joined as a consultant in March 2011, I have been lucky enough to have travelled the length and breadth of the country, meeting some amazing people, organisations and causes, further developing my understanding of excellent management practice, and ultimately contributing towards developing the quality and reputation of our charity St Mungo’s, the wider voluntary sector, and the services they provide.
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 Fran, the newest member of our team...
Pimlico Plumbers v Smith EAT
Employment status continues to be a hot topic in the news, with Pimlico Plumbers becoming the most recent organisation to lose a tribunal claim relating to this. An employment appeal tribunal upheld the previous judgement that a plumber who had been engaged by the firm as an independent contractor for 6 years was not self-employed.
What technology innovation made the most impact on your life (good or bad!)?
The smartphone (for better and worse!)
What is one important skill every person should have?
How to relate to others. Our ability to have a fulfilling and successful life depends on getting along with people!
If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go?
Pretty much anywhere with hot weather and a beach!
What three words would your friends use to describe you?
Happy, non-judgemental, spontaneous
If you had a time machine, what point in the past or future would you visit?
1950s/60s- post war, and to see the world when my grandparents were growing up