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Is an investigation report privileged?

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In any legal case, both parties have a duty of disclosure. This means they are required to show the other party all documents relevant to the case even if they are detrimental to the disclosing party’s argument. However, some documents, such as those...

How will the spring changes to the immigration rules affect employers?

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In December 2023 the Government announced several changes to the immigration rules as part of a plan to lower net migration. These changes will have significant consequences for individuals seeking leave to remain in the UK and to any employers who sponsor...

What do I need to consider when offering employee training?

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Effective employee training does more than simply teach employees how to be successful in their individual role. Training is an important part of the induction process because it teaches new hires about the company’s values, mission and goals....

When can an employee refuse alternative employment in a redundancy process?

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When going through a redundancy process, employers have a duty to consider any alternative positions which may be suitable for employees who are at risk of redundancy. An employer who fails in this duty risks a tribunal later ruling that the redundancy was...

How do I conduct a return to work meeting?

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How do I conduct a return to work meeting? Return to work meetings are often used when an employee has been off sick for a significant period of time, or has taken several short term absences within a relatively brief period. Employers...

How can employers use AI to promote employee wellbeing?

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How can employers use AI to promote employee wellbeing? With advancements in technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) being made in the past couple of years, employers have found innovative ways to harness this new technology to...

Do I need to hear a grievance raised by a former employee?

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The ACAS Code of Practice defines grievances as “concerns, problems or complaints that employees raise with their employers.” These concerns may relate to: Hours of work; Work levels; Pay;...

What is imposter syndrome and how does it affect employers?

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People experiencing imposter syndrome believe they are lesser than others believe them to be and are consumed by dread that this will be discovered. They see successes as the result of good luck and not as the result of their own skill and performance. ...

Summary of law changes to expect in 2024

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In recent months, there have been multiple announcements from the UK Government regarding a variety of new employment laws which will be implemented in 2024. Each of these new laws will significantly affect UK employers. This article is a summary of the...

What is the effect of the Employment Rights (Amendment, Revocation and Transitional Provision) Regulations 2023 for employers?

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In November 2023 the Government introduced the Employment Rights (Amendment, Revocation and Transitional Provision) Regulations 2023 (the Regulations). The Regulations contain significant changes to the way holiday is calculated and paid for part-year and...

Significant employment law cases of 2023

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As 2023 draws to a close, this week’s Wednesday Wonder reviews some of the most significant employment law decisions of the past year. Employment status Fire Brigades Union v Embery looked at whether an employee can...

How can employers reduce sexual harassment in the workplace?

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Sexual harassment is defined in the Equality Act 2010 as taking place when someone engages in unwanted conduct of a sexual nature and the conduct has the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity, or creating an intimidating, hostile,...

Do employers need to grant their employees annual leave for a religious celebration?

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Working in a multi-culture and multi-faith workplace means that various religious celebrations arise throughout the year. As we approach some of these religious celebrations, employees may wish to request leave from work to participate in such celebrations....

What is in the Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Act 2023?

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The Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Act 2023 (the Act) was passed on 18 th September 2023. The Act establishes a new statutory entitlement for workers under atypical contracts to seek more predictable terms and conditions of work. This...

Things for employers to consider before having a staff Christmas party

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As we move into the holiday season many workplaces may have started organising staff Christmas parties. While a Christmas party can be a great opportunity for staff to mingle and enjoy themselves, it is still an extension of the workplace and employers owe...

What was the effect of the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Act 2023 for employers?

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The Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Act 2023 (the Act) received Royal Assent in June 2023. The Act, which comes into effect at the end of 2023, was originally billed as a “bonfire” of retained EU law. Though the final version of the Act...

What issues should employers be aware of when employing young workers?

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As an employer, it's your legal responsibility to care for all staff. This means being aware of their employment rights and ensuring you comply with relevant legislation, especially when hiring young workers. With Gen Z said to make up 20 percent of the...

How can employers manage conflicting rights in the workplace?

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In today’s diverse and inclusive workplaces, employers are increasingly faced with the challenge of managing conflicting rights, for example when it comes to religious views and LGBTQ+ rights. Striking a balance between respecting each employee’s...

What makes an effective manager?

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In May 2023 the CIPD published a report on how employees are affected by management quality. The study found that employees with good line managers are more likely to be committed to their employer, to volunteer for tasks outside their job description, and...

What reasonable adjustments can employers make for employees' mental health?

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Under the Equality Act of 2010, employers are legally required to make reasonable adjustments which are accommodations to alleviate or minimize disadvantages experienced by individuals with disabilities in relation to their employment or the employer's...

What is an Employer of Record?

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In an ever-evolving global job market, UK companies are exploring innovative ways to expand their workforce and harness international talent. One such approach gaining traction is the adoption of an Employer of Record service. An Employer of Record is a...

What can I do if an employee raises vexatious grievances?

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Employee grievances have increased by 30% in two years and therefore it is inevitable that an organisation will have experience of dealing with complaints raised by their employees during their time of trading. A study conducted by XpertHR found that the...

What are Alternative Dispute Resolutions (ADR)?

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Employment Tribunals serve as the primary forum for resolving disputes between employees and employers and are the judicial body dedicated with overseeing workplace justice. They promote the functioning of the rule of law at work. However, it comes with a...

What does the Bullying and Respect at Work Bill mean for employers?

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In July 2023 Labour MP Racheal Maskell presented the Bullying and Respect at Work Bill (the Bill) in Parliament. The Bill aims to provide greater protection for employees and workers from workplace bullying and promote positive and supportive workplace...

What is job-sharing and when may it be beneficial for employers?

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Job-sharing is a flexible work arrangement in which two or more employees share the responsibilities and duties of a single full-time role. This arrangement allows employees to divide the workload and responsibilities, often splitting the work hours and days...

How do I properly conduct lay-offs?

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Traditionally, employers resort to layoffs during recessions to save money. Companies continue to cling to the idea that reducing staff will provide the best, fastest, or easiest solution to financial problems. Eighty-five percent of respondents rated job...

What risks do I face if I don't have a compliant or complete contract of employment?

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An employment contract is the most important document between an employer and an employee. It sets out the terms of the employment including probationary period, salary, location and hours of work, holiday entitlement and notice periods to name a few. The...

What constitutes a valid resignation?

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In most cases it will be clear when an employee has resigned from their job. However, when a resignation is uttered following a tense workplace dispute the position may be less clear. Sometimes employees regret being overly hasty and try to retract their...

What do the new types of family leave mean for employers?

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The Government has recently introduced two new types of family leave, which introduces the statutory entitlement to neonatal care leave and carer’s leave. To date, employees have not had any statutory entitlement to either of these types of leave. ...

Will A.I be the cause of tensions between employer and employees?

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The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has expressed alarm over the rise in workplace surveillance. Recently, Royal Mail employees contested how their shifts' work was recorded using portable devices to track deliveries. Some Amazon employees in Coventry also...

How do I handle a Data Subject Access Request (DSAR)?

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Under UK GDPR, an individual can make a subject access request using any available method, including: Verbally in person; Over the phone; In a written letter; Via your website;...

Where is the line between bullying and banter in the workplace?

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Bullying can occur at any time throughout life including filtering into workplaces which can result in an unpleasant and toxic work environment. Although there is no legal definition of bullying, ACAS have described bullying as “unwanted behaviour from...

What does the Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill mean for employers?

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The draft Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill was published on 2 nd May 2023, also known as Martyn’s Law. This Bill has been created in recognition of the campaign led by the mother of one of the victims of the Manchester Arena bombings. This Bill...

How can employers support employees who experience a miscarriage?

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Miscarriages and stillbirths may be more common than people realise, but unfortunately are not spoken about openly. In the UK there are 250,000 miscarriages and 11,000 emergency admissions for ectopic pregnancies annually. If a pregnancy is lost before...

What does the new guidance say about employer ethnicity pay gap reporting?

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In 2019, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) reported that the pay gap between white and ethnic minority employees in England and Wales had narrowed to its smallest level since 2012. Most ethnic groups analysed earned less than white British employees...

Do I still need to pay maternity pay if my employee is no longer entitled to work in the United Kingdom?

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In most cases, determining if an employee is entitled to maternity leave and pay is fairly straightforward. However, occasionally situations arise where the employee’s entitlement to family leave and pay is not so clear cut, and employers may be...

What does the recent Policy Paper, "Smarter Regulation to Grow the Economy" mean for employers?

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We have previously written about the Government’s Retained EU Law Bill, which originally would have seen all retained EU law that was not specifically preserved being repealed at the end of 2023. The Government has now indicated it will take a much...

What is a secondment?

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A secondment creates a relationship between an employer, the host and the employee. The employer is the party that originally employed the employee and temporarily transfers them to the third party. The host is the third party that employs the employee...

How can I avoid age discrimination?

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Introduction: Age discrimination is where an employee is treated unfavourably because of their age or because they are part of a particular age group. Age is one of the nine ‘protected characteristics’ as defined under...

Wednesday Wonder - How can I avoid age discrimination?

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Introduction: Age discrimination is where an employee is treated unfavourably because of their age or because they are part of a particular age group. Age is one of the nine ‘protected characteristics’ as defined under...

What is an employee suggestion scheme?

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An employee suggestion scheme is a program which asks employees to submit suggestions on how to improve the company, in exchange for a reward. The suggestions can be about anything from new or improved products to more efficient methods of operation. The...

What does the proposed new corporate offence of failing to prevent fraud mean for employers?

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The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill is currently (May 2023) making its way through the House of Lords. If passed, the Bill would create a new corporate offence of failing to prevent fraud, similar to other corporate offences already in...

How can I successfully manage an employee grievance?

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Employees may raise grievances about a variety of topics including their working environment, conditions of employment, health and safety, and bullying and harassment. Whatever the reason, you must take employee grievances seriously, and with treat them with...

How to make my business more environmentally friendly?

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This week we are celebrating Earth Day on the 22 nd April and because of this, we are looking into what employers can do to make their business more environmentally friendly. In a recent 2021 greenhouse gas emissions study carried out by the Government...

Should I offer menstrual leave?

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Menstrual leave has been a topic of debate for quite some time, but has recently seen some significant changes after the statutory right to menstrual leave was introduced in Spain. The question has been asked, when and if menstrual leave will become a law...

What does it mean to have a without prejudice conversation with my employee?

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One of our recent newsletters featured a case that examined the “without prejudice” rule and whether a conversation between and employer and employee regarding a potential settlement were protected by this rule. Though in that case the tribunal...

Should I offer unlimited holiday?

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An unlimited holiday policy is where employees are given no set amount of paid holiday entitlement per year. This means that, in theory, they can take as much or as little holiday as they wish, subject to meeting the statutory minimum entitlement enforced by...

How long should I hold on to employees' personal data?

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Employers collect a lot of employee personal data from recruitment to when they eventually leave the business. Some employers may have questions regarding how long they can hold employee data, or whether it should all be deleted soon after the employment...

How to manage employees with "side gigs"

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A “side gig” or “side hustle” is a way for employees to generate income in addition to their main employment. Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of employees seeking out alternative streams of income has increased. According...

Are there limitations on what a settlement agreement can achieve?

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We often advise employers on how to manage relationships with their employees at work. This includes steps to settle disputes or recommendations on how to follow fair procedures to handle employees’ conduct and behaviour at work. Typically, this...

How can I manage employees' personal relationships at work?

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Personal relationships at work are not always limited to sexual or romantic relationships, they can also include family relationships, close friendships, and close financial, business or commercial relationships. This broad definition makes it unrealistic to...

What are the proposed changes to flexible working rules?

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Flexible working is a way of working that suits an employee’s needs, and may include: working from home; job-sharing; flexitime; or working compressed, annualised, or staggered...

What rights do I have when striking?

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The recent strike action across various public sectors in the UK has resulted in an increased number of employees questioning their entitlement to strike. Strike action can be disruptive to employers but it is important that employees who are entitled to...

Things for employers to consider when making one-off payments

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In the current economic climate, both employers and employees are watching their pennies carefully. Recently, the current Government indicated it was considering a one-off hardship payment to healthcare workers to help them get through the winter. This may...

Drug and alcohol testing at work

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We often advise clients on how they can comply with their duty of care to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees while at work. This duty also extends to protecting the health and safety of visitors to an employer’s site, and anyone...

What does the new ACAS guidance say regarding suspensions?

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Deciding to suspend an employee can be a stressful situation for any employer. Failing to follow the proper procedures can harm your relationship with the employee and may even lead to a tribunal claim. To help employers navigate this tricky aspect of...

Can I refuse to hire someone because of their tattoos or body piercings?

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Tattoos and body piercings can be a grey area with mixed opinions and attitudes. However, are employers allowed to judge an individual based on their tattoos and body piercings, or could that be seen as discrimination? A recent UK study carried out by...

Employment law developments of 2022

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As 2022 draws to a close we look back and summarise some of the key employment law developments of the past year. Holiday pay calculations for casual workers In July 2022 the Supreme Court finally handed down its judgement on...

Can I monitor job candidates' social media?

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Social media is often used as a source of entertainment or staying in touch with friends and family. However, content that people assume to be personal may sometimes be used by the employers to screen prospective and current employees. A social media...

What should employers consider before conducting employee appraisals?

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As we near the end of 2022 some employers may be preparing to conduct annual end of the year performance appraisals. When done well, employee appraisals can be a valuable tool for employers. They give you a chance to provide feedback, address performance...

How can I conduct a disciplinary procedure for an employee who is signed off sick?

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When an employer carries out disciplinary procedures and hearings, employees should attend in order to state their case. If an employee is unable to attend a hearing, the employer should make an effort to postpone the hearing to a new mutually convenient...

Pets in the Workplace

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In the last couple of years, we have seen an increase in queries from our clients regarding greater flexibility in the way that employees work. Traditionally it has been common for employers to receive requests of a pet accompanying their employee to work...

What does the new draft employee monitoring guidance mean for employers?

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The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has recently released new draft guidance for employers on monitoring employees. The latest guidance will replace the relevant sections in the current Employment Practices Data Protection Code and is intended...

What are the Implied Terms in an Employment Contract?

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Implied terms are terms that are not expressly set out in the contract and can be implied into an employment contract by common law or statute. There are several categories into which these terms fall. Employers might choose to rely on implied terms when the...

Can I cancel my employee's holiday?

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When employees book holiday, it is generally understood by employers that requests can be refused for legitimate reasons or they can request employees to take holiday for specific dates and time periods – but what about pre-booked leave. Can an...

What is quiet quitting and what can employers do about it?

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In the wake of the Great Resignation comes a new phenomenon that may be of concern to many employers: “quiet quitting.” Quiet quitting is when employees only perform the minimum that is required by their contract of employment and no more. Such...

What may employers wish to consider about work in the metaverse?

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Since the COVID-19 pandemic, we have experienced an increase in our clients requiring advice on working from home and hybrid working. Queries have ranged from whether providing equipment such as laptops is necessary and how to manage performance issues from...

Are unpaid work trials lawful?

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Using an unpaid work trial is a practice that is often used by businesses as part of their recruitment process. Employers may wish to examine if the potential employee can demonstrate the required skills for the role and handle the pressure in a real working...

Calculating holiday pay for part-year and zero hours workers?

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In July the Supreme Court delivered its long awaited judgement in Harpur v Brazel . This case settled the question of how to calculate holiday for part-year workers. Employers who engage casual workers (also known as or zero hours or bank workers) may now...

Helping Employees with the cost of Living Crisis

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With the cost of living crisis affecting everyone in the UK, many employers are trying to find ways of assisting their employees through these times and helping their money to go further. According to the latest figures from the Office for National...

Apprenticeship updates August 2022

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Apprenticeships can be an effective way for employers to recruit and train up talented individuals for their organisation. However, the rules governing apprenticeships are regularly updated, and employers who breach these rules risk the Government taking...

Can I dismiss an employee for posts they made on social media?

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Social media can be used in many positive ways. However, for employers it can create many difficulties with employee use of social media coming at a price. This is both in terms of lost productivity in businesses which allow free Internet access during work...

Diversity monitoring in the workplace

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Our clients often ask us whether they should be monitoring diversity and if so, the questions to ask. In some cases you will be obliged to carry out diversity monitoring anyway (due to the size of your organisation or the sector that you work in) but really...

Can I require employees to delete contacts from social media when they leave employment?

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Most businesses have a presence on social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to connect with professional contacts, employees and clients or customers. Over the course of their employment, some of your employees may add professional...

What can I do if an employee goes AWOL?

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Absence without leave, or AWOL, is when an employee leaves or does not show up for work without permission and without contacting their employer. Dealing with a no-show employee can be stressful for employers, and this article discusses what courses of...

What should I check for when I receive an employee's fit note?

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What is a fit note and when is a fit note required? A fit note is an official written statement from a doctor giving their medical opinion on a person’s fitness for work. As of the 1 st of July, fit notes may also be issued by...

Important Employment Law cases of 2022 (so far)

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It may be hard to believe but we are now half way through 2022. In this article we look back at some of the most significant employment law decisions so far this year and what they mean for employers. Covid-19 in the workplace ...

Highly Recommended Award for POM at Lawnet Awards

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We are delighted to announce that on Friday 1 st July 2022, the Warner Goodman LLP Peace of Mind team were awarded with a “Highly Recommended” award at the LawNet 2022 Awards, in the Team of the Year (Business Law) category. The...

Promoting racial equality in the workplace

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Despite increased awareness of racial disparities in the workplace, racial discrimination persists. While many employers want to promote racial equality at their organisation, some may not know where to start or may be worried about getting it wrong. This...

What can I do if an employee makes covert recordings at work?

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Employees may secretly record conversations at work for several reasons including to: collect evidence; ensure what they say won’t be misinterpreted; keep a record; and obtain...

When will a volunteer be considered a worker?

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Many businesses and charities have volunteers on staff to perform work for the business. Employers need to be careful however, that their volunteers do not gain worker or employee status, entitling them to the National Minimum Wage, paid annual leave, and...

What is victimisation?

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When victimisation occurs in the workplace it lowers employee morale, contributes to a harmful working environment, and may lead to costly tribunal claims. This article discusses victimisation and some things employers can do to help prevent it. ...

Should employers provide a reference?

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Do employers have to provide a reference? There is a myth that employers must provide exiting staff with a reference. This is not the case. There is no legal obligation to provide a reference for staff and employers are entitled to...

Approaching sabbatical requests as an employer

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The discussion of flexible working and work-life balance has increased across all industries, especially resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. We are often asked for advice by clients about how they should deal with various requests tied to flexible working,...

Can I electronically monitor my employees?

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The rise of homeworking over the past couple of years has caused some employers to consider using electronic monitoring to keep track of their employees’ activities during working hours. Methods of electronic monitoring include: ...

Can I require my employees to undergo a DBS check?

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The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) allows employers to review criminal record information about current or potential employees in order to help judge their suitability to work in certain roles. The DBS provides four different levels of criminal records...

How do I support employees undergoing fertility treatment?

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Many people struggle with fertility issues. The NHS estimates that 1 in 7 couples in the UK are faced with infertility problems. Infertility, and associated treatments, can have a significant impact on a person’s mental health: they may experience...

The 'Living with COVID-19 Plan' for employers in England

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What does the Living with COVID-19 Plan mean for employers in England? Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have often been asked how the relevant Government guidance should be applied in practice in the workplace....

How to support employees who are observing Ramadan?

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Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and it is a sacred month of fasting, prayer, and reflection for Muslims all over the world. Muslims will not eat or drink during daytime hours and will refrain from undesirable habits such as smoking,...

What is the debate surrounding the four-day working week?

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More than 30 companies in the UK will trial a four-day working week in June 2022. The trial, coordinated by 4 Day Week Global, aims to establish if flexible working can improve productivity. For six months employees will work 80% of their usual hours with no...

What do I need to consider when implementing pay rises?

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Many employers are struggling to retain their top talent in the midst of the “Great Resignation” and some may be considering implementing pay rises to encourage employees to stay. While a pay rise may be an effective way to foster employee...

What are the recent changes to right to work checks?

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Beginning today, April 6 2022, important changes come into effect regarding how employers conduct right to work checks for their employees. This article outlines these changes and the potential consequences of failing to carry out...

Are employers legally required to provide reasonable adjustments?

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We often get asked about whether employees are entitled to make changes to their working practices, and if we make changes for one employee whether there is an obligation to do the same for others because a precedent has been set. Questions vary from whether...

Can I work for someone else during my garden leave?

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Garden leave is one method employers can use to protect their business interests when an employee leaves their employment. When an employee is placed on garden leave they may be restricted from attending work, contacting customers and performing their normal...

What is neurodiversity and why is it important for employers?

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This week is neurodiversity celebration week. This article explains what neurodiversity is, how a neurodiverse workforce can benefit employers, and how you can make your workplace more neurodiverse and inclusive. What is neurodiversity? ...

Do I need to carry out an investigation before disciplining an employee?

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If you believe that one of your employees has committed misconduct you may think that swift disciplinary action is the only appropriate response. However, rushing to impose a disciplinary sanction without a reasonable investigation may lead to a costly...

Employment Law Case Update: How to support an employee with dementia

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Our Employment Law team today reviews the case of Hutchinson v Asda Stores Ltd 2021 in which the Employment Tribunal (ET) considered the genuinely delicate question of whether an employee suffering with dementia was unfairly dismissed and subject to age...

How should I prepare for the additional bank holiday in June 2022 as an employer?

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In celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the Government has announced an additional bank holiday on Friday 3 June of this year. The bank holiday that normally occurs in late May has also been moved to Thursday 2 June 2022, creating an extra-long...

Employment Law Case Update: Holiday Pay Claims

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Our Employment Law team today reviews the the landmark case brought by Mr Smith, a worker who claimed he was owed holiday pay by Pimlico Plumbers. Mr Smith has successfully appealed against an Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decision that his claim...

New guidance released for employers on hybrid working

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The last two years have seen various developments in the world of working with hybrid working, the practice of working partly in the office and partly elsewhere, usually at home, becoming the norm for most in 2022. The House of Commons Library...