Blog

Articles by Fiona Haworth

  • THE IMPORTANCE OF POLICY DOCUMENTS - THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A DISMISSAL BEING FAIR OR UNFAIR by Fiona, posted on 9th Nov 2017 The recent case of Plant v API Microelectronics Ltd showed how important it is to have the right policy documents in place...
  • EMPLOYER PENSION CONTRIBUTIONS COUNT TOWARDS A WEEK'S PAY by Fiona, posted on 20th Oct 2017 It has been long standing practice that when calculating a week's pay for redundancy payments and certain employment tribunal awards, that employer pension contributions are not included...
  • NEW LEAVE ALLOWANCE FOR GRIEVING PARENTS by Fiona, posted on 17th Oct 2017 Currently, whilst employers are expected to be understanding and flexible, there is no legal requirement for employers to provide paid time off for grieving parents...
  • WHAT TO CONSIDER IF YOU WANT TO SUSPEND AN EMPLOYEE by Fiona, posted on 10th Oct 2017 On 15th August 2017 the High Court heard the case of Agoreyo v London Borough of Lambeth...
  • SOCIAL MEDIA - THE BIGGEST WORKPLACE DISTRACTION by Fiona, posted on 26th Sep 2017 Fleximize released their findings in July 2017 of a study into workers procrastination habits and identified that the instant messaging app WhatsApp is the most distracting platform...
  • MONITORING EMPLOYEE COMMUNICATIONS by Fiona, posted on 12th Sep 2017 On 12th January 2016 The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section) heard the case of Barbulescu v Romania whereby a Romanian national, Mr Barbulescu, alleged that his employer's decision to terminate his contract had been based on a breach of his right to respect for his private life and correspondence and that the domestic courts had failed to protect his right; he relied on Article 8 of the Convention, which reads as follows: "1...
  • THE TAYLOR REVIEW OF MODERN WORK PRACTICES by Fiona, posted on 1st Aug 2017 Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the Royal Society of Arts, has undertaken an independent review of modern working practices entitled ‘Good Work'...
  • THE SUPREME COURT RULES THAT EMPLOYMENT TRIBUNAL FEES ARE UNLAWFUL by Fiona, posted on 27th Jul 2017 Fees were introduced by the Employment Tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal in 2013...
  • WHAT DOES EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES REALLY MEAN? by Fiona, posted on 20th Jun 2017 What does Equal Opportunities really mean? We've all heard the words ‘equal opportunities' being used, but what does it really mean to ensure that all employees are treated equally (regardless of their sex, marital status, nationality, colour, race, age, national origin, religion, belief, sexual orientation or disability) and have the same access to promotion and progression within an organisation? Most commonly, the term ‘equal opportunity' is a term used within human resources to describe the actions and measures taken to ensure fairness in employment and recruitment...
  • NEW TAX-FREE CHILDCARE SCHEME by Fiona, posted on 23rd May 2017 For over 20 years, childcare vouchers have been provided via employer supported childcare voucher schemes (usually by way of a salary sacrifice)...
  • DO EMPLOYEES HAVE A RIGHT TO TIME OFF TO ATTEND DOCTOR OR DENTIST APPOINTMENTS? by Fiona, posted on 16th May 2017 There is no general statutory right  for employees to take time off work to attend medical and other health-related appointments, nor to be paid their normal salary if time off is granted...
  • THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH ME! by Fiona, posted on 9th May 2017 There can be many visual clues that suggest an employee is not well...
  • DO YOU HAVE CCTV IN YOUR WORKPLACE? by Fiona, posted on 2nd May 2017 Images which are recorded and held about identifiable individuals are covered by the Data Protection Act 1998...
  • SO WHY SHOULD YOU MEASURE SICKNESS ABSENCE IN YOUR BUSINESS? by Fiona, posted on 5th Apr 2017 According to the Office for National Statistics there was an estimated 137...
  • WHAT RIGHTS DO BREASTFEEDING EMPLOYEES HAVE? by Fiona, posted on 28th Mar 2017 Breastfeeding can be a sensitive and difficult issue for employees to discuss with their employer, but it is an important one to help their transition back to work after maternity leave...
  • GENDER PAY REPORTING by Fiona, posted on 21st Mar 2017 From 6th April 2017, employers with 250 or more employees will be required to publish data each year showing how large the pay gap is between their male and female employees, in accordance with the new Gender Pay Reporting Legislation...
  • APPRENTICESHIP LEVY by Fiona, posted on 14th Mar 2017 From the 6th April 2017, the Government is introducing an apprenticeship levy...
  • SELF EMPLOYED PLUMBER WINS WORKER'S STATUS by Fiona, posted on 7th Mar 2017 Self Employed Plumber Wins Workers Status Gary Smith had worked for Pimlico Plumbers for six years as a self-employed plumber...
  • HARASSMENT IN THE WORKPLACE by Fiona, posted on 28th Feb 2017 Under the Equality Act 2010, harassment is unwanted conduct which is related to one of the following: age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation and is therefore unlawful...
  • WHAT BREAKS ARE YOUR EMPLOYEES ENTITLED TO DURING THE WORKING DAY? by Fiona, posted on 7th Feb 2017 Under the Working Time Regulations 1998 (WTR), employees who work for more than six hours are entitled to an unpaid rest break of at least 20 uninterrupted minutes...
  • TIME OFF FOR DEPENDENTS by Fiona, posted on 31st Jan 2017 Employees are entitled to take a reasonable amount of unpaid time off work to deal with certain emergency and unexpected situations involving their dependants...
  • What does Equal Opportunities really mean? by Fiona, posted on 24th Jan 2017 We've all heard the words ‘equal opportunities' being used, but what does it really mean to ensure that all employees are treated equally (regardless of their sex, marital status, nationality, colour, race, age, national origin, religion, belief, sexual orientation or disability) and have the same access to promotion and progression within an organisation? Most commonly, the term ‘equal opportunity' is a term used within human resources to describe the actions and measures taken to ensure fairness in employment and recruitment...
  • Increases to statutory rates (including National Minimum Wage) from April 2017 by Fiona, posted on 10th Jan 2017 It has been confirmed that the statutory rates for maternity pay, paternity pay, shared parental pay, adoption pay and sick pay will all increase from April 2017...
  • Is a Company vicariously liable for injuries caused by an employee after a work Christmas party has ended? by Fiona, posted on 13th Dec 2016 This was the question asked recently of the High Court in the case of Bellman v Northampton Recruitment...
  • CAN WE PAY AN EMPLOYEE IN LIEU OF UNTAKEN HOLIDAYS AT THE END OF THE HOLIDAY YEAR? by Fiona, posted on 6th Dec 2016 It is that time of year again, when many companies come to the end of their holiday year and on checking, find that some employees have not booked / utilised all of their holiday entitlement...
  • GENDER PAY GAP REPORTING by Fiona, posted on 15th Nov 2016 The Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2016 were expected to come into force in October 2016, but the Government Equality Office has indicated the enforcement date will now be April 2017...
  • PAY PROTECTION AND REASONABLE ADJUSTMENTS by Fiona, posted on 8th Nov 2016 An employer has a duty to take reasonable steps to avoid placing a disabled person at a disadvantage by making reasonable adjustments...
  • TAX FREE CHILDCARE SCHEME by Fiona, posted on 1st Nov 2016 The Government has said that tax-free childcare will be introduced in early 2017...
  • SUNDAY WORKING CHANGES FOR SHOP WORKERS by Fiona, posted on 18th Oct 2016 Although plans to allow local authorities to extend Sunday trading hours were recently defeated in the House of Commons, the Government is pressing ahead with increased shop worker rights on Sunday working through the Enterprise Act 2016...
  • EX-GRATIA TERMINATION PAYMENTS by Fiona, posted on 4th Oct 2016 There has long been an argument as to whether or not payments in lieu of notice (PILON) should be treated as taxable earnings and be subject to tax and National Insurance Contributions in Settlement Agreements...
  • Giving more than their contractual notice by Fiona, posted on 6th Sep 2016 Whilst your contracts of employment clearly set out what notice you expect your employees to give you should they wish to leave your employ, it is common practice for employees to try and negotiate a shorter notice period to suit themselves...
  • Holiday Entitlement for Leavers by Fiona, posted on 16th Aug 2016 All employees have the right to be paid for any untaken accrued holiday, when they leave your employ...
  • Holidays for Part-Time Employees by Fiona, posted on 9th Aug 2016 The minimum statutory holiday entitlement is 5...
  • Holiday entitlement for employees on Maternity Leave by Fiona, posted on 2nd Aug 2016 While on maternity leave, employees continue to accrue holiday just as they would do if they were at work...
  • Do not take the risk of not having Contracts of Employment in place! by Fiona, posted on 26th Jul 2016 I am amazed how many Companies I still come across that do not issue written contracts of employment to their employees...
  • Not happy with your Cleaner? by Fiona, posted on 19th Jul 2016 You engage a cleaner through a cleaning company to clean your premises but despite making numerous complaints to the cleaning company that the cleaner is not doing a good job, no improvement is seen...
  • Managing Probationary Periods by Fiona, posted on 12th Jul 2016 Many Companies adopt a probationary period when appointing new employees...
  • Smoking Policies - Do they cover e-cigarettes? by Fiona, posted on 5th Jul 2016 With the increasing use of e-cigarettes, your position on their use or restriction is worth contemplation, if you have not done so already...
  • Use of Workplace Nicknames by Fiona, posted on 7th Jun 2016 In some industries it is still common practice for employees to use nicknames for their colleagues...
  • Is there a legal requirement to do a risk assessment once notified an employee is pregnant? by Fiona, posted on 31st May 2016 All employers have a duty of care to their employees, which means that they should take all steps which are reasonably possible to ensure their health, safety and wellbeing...
  • Your employee is banned from driving, can you automatically dismiss? by Fiona, posted on 10th May 2016 Say one of your employees is banned from driving and driving is an integral part of their job, do you have the right to automatically dismiss them? Whilst, it would be a fair reason for dismissal, it does not give you an automatic right to end their employment...
  • Suspension of childcare vouchers during maternity leave not discriminatory by Fiona, posted on 3rd May 2016 In an unexpected decision, the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) has found that it is not discriminatory for an employer to suspend an employee from a salary sacrifice childcare voucher scheme during a period of maternity leave...
  • What should you do if an employee disagrees with minutes of a formal meeting? by Fiona, posted on 26th Apr 2016 Following a disciplinary or grievance meeting, the Company should provide an employee with a copy of the minutes or notes taken at the meeting...
  • Shared Parental Leave by Fiona, posted on 19th Apr 2016 It's been just over a year since Shared Parental Leave (SPL) was introduced in the UK, promising to bring a radical change to the way mothers and fathers divided up work and childcare...
  • No Increase to Statutory Payments by Fiona, posted on 1st Mar 2016 No Increase to Statutory Payments Normally at this time of year, we are advising of the changes that the government are going to make to the statutory payments from April...
  • Holiday pay calculation must reflect commission by Fiona, posted on 24th Feb 2016 Holiday pay calculation must reflect commission On 22nd February 2016, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) handed down its decision in the long-running case of Lock v British Gas Trading Ltd...
  • Criminal record disclosure checks ruled 'unlawful' by Fiona, posted on 2nd Feb 2016 Criminal record disclosure checks ruled 'unlawful' The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) (formally the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB)) in England and Wales, provides details of a job applicant's previous convictions...
  • Good News if you employ Apprentices under the age of 25... by Fiona, posted on 19th Jan 2016 Good News if you employ Apprentices under the age of 25...
  • Zero Hours Contracts by Fiona, posted on 11th Jan 2016 Zero Hours Contracts Zero hour contracts took a beating in 2015 and were much talked about, with Labour promising ‘to give zero hour contract workers a legal right to a regular contract if they have worked without guaranteed hours for 12 weeks' if they got into power...