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Employers will have to itemise payslips for employees’ wages which vary depending on how much time they have worked under new rules introduced by the Government.

The Employment Rights Act 1996 (Itemised Pay Statement) (Amendment) Order 2018 was laid before Parliament earlier this month.

Under the Order, which is due to come into force on 6 April 2019, employers must also include the number of hours they are paying the employee for.

From next April, employers must either:

  • Show the combined number of hours worked for which payment is being made, or;
  • Itemise the figures for different types of work worked and/or different rates of pay.

This change to legislation is aimed at employees who work varied hours and whose pay changes accordingly. Itemised payslips will increase transparency for both employers and employees alike.

For example, if an employee has a different rate of pay for day and night shift work, the details of their hours on each shift will have to be set out on their payslip.

Before the Order comes into force, employers should ensure payroll processes are adjusted to collect the new information required.

How can our employment law specialists help?

For expert guidance on how the changes will affect your business, contact our solicitors in Ipswich

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If you tuned into the BBC this morning, you’ll have heard or watched as some of the corporation’s best-known presenters talked about their own salaries – and the gaping gender disparity between remuneration for male and female stars.

The furore over who earns what at the BBC follows the publication of pay scales for those who are paid more than £150,000 a year.

While the bumper salaries handed to the likes of Chris Evans (up to £2.5m) and Gary Lineker (at least £1.75m) caused a stir, the real controversy has surrounded the pay gap between men and women.

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As a busy line manager, just getting the day job done can be a challenge without the added distraction of team members who just aren’t pulling their weight. Wouldn’t it be great if your team took the initiative and sought to resolve some of these issues themselves?

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In 2015, Nicola Thorp, an administrator temp was sent home from a job. Not because of her ability to perform her tasks but because of her refusal to wear 2 – 4 inch heels. Her response was to campaign for legislation to be tightened in relation to “sexist” dress codes: a campaign which gained considerable public support and a petition with 152,400 signatures.

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Employers can ban workers from wearing Islamic headscarves or any other “political, philosophical or religious sign”, Europe’s top court has ruled.

But to ensure the decision doesn’t constitute discrimination, it must be based on internal company rules requiring all employees to “dress neutrally”, according to the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

The court ruled that limits on visible religious wear were permitted under EU law as long as they apply across the board — meaning any ban would have to include items such as turbans, Jewish kippahs or crucifixes as well as Islamic headscarves.

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For many, plans are being made to celebrate the festive season with their family and friends and for business owners they see this as a great opportunity to bring their team together – for bonding, boosting morale and saying “Thank you”.
That said, it can be a risky time for employers – we’ve all heard the stories of “the office party” – filled with unwanted advances, inappropriate behaviour, horseplay and so on……
Rather than feel like the Grinch, just put in place a few things that will help protect your business, your company’s reputation and ensure that everyone has a great....read our tips and advice here


We hope that you and your team have a wonderful time celebrating the festive season and if you do have any issues then please do get in touch with us.

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We are often asked “how long do you have to keep employee records for?” If you are looking to save space, reduce cost, minimise the risk of losing or damaging vital information and are moving towards sustainable ‘green’ practices such as going paperless, the following information will help you get your house in order.
This information is to be used as a guideline for retention times....Read on...

 

 

 

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Welcome to MAD-HR's FREE Email Course on "Annual Leave - An Employer’s Guide"

We have put together this easy to follow, legally accurate and employer relevant e-learning course to support you as an employer.

Gain access to the information you need to effectively manage your teams in bite sized chunks, at a manageable pace.

Simply, sign up below and you will receive an email a day for 5 days. Each email you receive will fulfil the key learning outcomes you require to manage Annual Leave.

There is no set up fee and no course fee.

Check out the course content and sign-up here.

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An employee may wish to make a recording of a work meeting, such as a disciplinary or grievance hearing or a meeting with his or her line manager, for a number of reasons.
Generally, this will be in circumstances where the employee feels that he or she has been treated unfairly and wants either to prevent such treatment or to obtain evidence of it. The employee may think that a recording will provide evidence of unfairness, for example to demonstrate that a grievance meeting was not a genuine attempt to deal with issues that he or she had raised. Alternatively, the employee may wish to have a full transcript of the meeting for use at the next stage of an internal process or in future litigation.
Do they have the right?
Employees do not have the legal right to record an internal meeting. Therefore, if an employee asks to record a meeting, as the employer, you must decide whether or not to permit the request.
If the employer’s policy is that recordings are not permitted, the person chairing the meeting should remind the employee of this at the beginning of the meeting. The chairperson should also make it clear that recording the meeting in breach of the policy would be grounds for disciplinary action. However they do have a right to a copy of the notes taken at a formal meeting.
If the employee refuses to confirm that he or she is not recording the meeting – or confirms that he or she is recording the meeting – it may be appropriate for the employer to adjourn the meeting to decide how it should be conducted.
You may be reluctant to allow recordings. However, rather than automatically refusing all requests, it is advisable for the Chair to ask for the employee’s reasons for wishing to do so.
The employee may have a disability that would make it difficult for him or her to take a written note of the meeting. In such circumstances, you would need to consider if allowing the employee to record the meeting would be a reasonable adjustment.
Employers should be aware of the potential for employees to record meetings without their knowledge and should consider how to address this risk.
Refusing a request from an employee to record a meeting
An employer is entitled to refuse a request from an employee to record a meeting. You may be concerned that it will be difficult to run an effective meeting if participants know that it is being recorded. It is possible that participants will feel uncomfortable and be reluctant to contribute fully to the meeting if they know that their comments may be used against them later. Knowledge that a meeting is being recorded could also lead to a more formal and adversarial approach than would be appropriate.
If your Company policy is not to allow recording of meetings, it should clearly document this in writing, for example in the staff handbook and Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures. As this is a personal choice for employers we have not included this within the documents on our online HR Toolkit. However if you wish to include a section on the refusal of recordings, the relevant documents should also expressly state that making recordings in breach of the policy will be grounds for disciplinary action.
There is an alternative, as employers should supply the employee with a copy of its notes from any formal meeting. Employees are also entitled to be accompanied at formal meetings and both can take notes at the meeting.
Permitting a request from an employee to record a meeting
Most employers are unlikely to take an organisation-wide stance that all requests to record meetings will be permitted.
However, you may decide to permit recordings on a case-by-case basis, provided that the person chairing the meeting and other participants agree to the request. In this case you should consider requiring written notice in advance of a request to record a meeting.
If you agree to allow an employee to record a meeting, you should establish some ground rules in relation to how the employee can make, store and use the recording. You should make it clear that the employee is entirely responsible for making the recording and that the meeting will not be delayed or adjourned if there are technical difficulties. You should require the employee to provide you with a copy of the recording. It would also be prudent to ask the employee to confirm in writing that he or she will not broadcast the recording, post it on the internet, or use it for any purpose other than keeping a record of the meeting for his or her own personal use.
Recordings made by the employer
If an employer receives a request from an employee to record a meeting, it could decide to record the meeting itself and provide a copy of the recording to the employee, to maintain control over the process. This may also reduce the chance of the employee recording the meeting covertly. The agreement of the employee will be required for the employer to make its own recording. This approach may not be practicable for all meetings because of the additional administration involved, but for matters that are likely to be particularly contentious or difficult, it may be something to consider.
When making a recording, you should test the equipment and obtain technical assistance if required to ensure that an accurate record is made and all participants in the meeting can be heard. You should also still arrange for notes to be taken.
The employer should consider whether to provide the employee with a copy of the recording (if it does, this needs to be in a format that the employee can use) or a transcript. Making transcripts of recordings can be a time-consuming task and a long meeting often takes many hours to transcribe.
Reasonable Adjustments
If an employee has a medical condition that makes it difficult for him or her to take a written record of the meeting or to recall the detail of what was said, it may be advisable for the employer to permit the employee to make a recording of the meeting. This may be a matter of procedural fairness. Where the employee is disabled, it may also be required as a reasonable adjustment under the Equality Act 2010.
Where an employer is aware that an employee has a medical condition that may impact on his or her ability to take notes or recall the detail of a meeting, the employer should discuss potential adjustments with the employee. For informal meetings it may be that other steps can be put in place to help the employee, such as offering the support of a note-taker or allowing additional time for note-taking during the meeting. In formal meetings you should have already arranged for a note take to be present.
Covert Recordings
An employee may decide to make a covert recording of a meeting instead of seeking permission to make a recording, or after such a request has been turned down. The prevalence of smartphones and other portable recording devices means that this has become easier for employees to do.
Circumstances in which employees may decide to make covert recordings of meetings include:
to gather evidence of bullying or harassment;
to gather evidence for a claim against the employer, such as evidence of a predetermined decision to dismiss made outside the context of a disciplinary hearing; and
where the employee is the subject of allegations, to obtain evidence to defend him- or herself by providing an accurate record of how a particular meeting or interaction was undertaken.
Where a covert recording produces evidence of serious wrongdoing, for example harassment or bullying, the employer will need to consider the contents of the recording and address the issue that it uncovers, even where the evidence was obtained in breach of its policy or without permission. The employer should recognise that such evidence would be difficult to establish through written documentation or public interaction witnessed by others, and that the employee may have felt that a covert recording was his or her only option.
The potential for covert recordings should be a reminder to employers to ensure that managers follow good practice in every meeting, in particular avoiding “letting off steam” or making inappropriate comments if the employee leaves the meeting for an adjournment.
An employer may want to take disciplinary action against an employee who has made a covert recording. The employer must establish the facts of the case, following a proper investigation, and decide whether or not it is appropriate to commence the disciplinary procedure. The employer should consider, for example, the employee’s reason for making the recording, whether or not he or she had been told that recording was not permitted and any mitigating circumstances. An employer will be in a stronger position to take disciplinary action, potentially including dismissal, if there is a clear policy that prohibits recordings and indicates that dismissal is a possible disciplinary sanction.
Employers should be aware that taking disciplinary action because an employee has made a covert recording could amount to victimisation under the Equality Act 2010, if the employee made the recording to provide evidence of unlawful discrimination.
The admissibility of covert recording in employment tribunal proceedings
The use of covert recordings by employees as evidence in employment tribunal proceedings has been considered in a number of cases. Tribunals have a wide discretion to admit covert recordings as evidence and will generally hear them if they are relevant to the case.
Although the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has commented that the practice of making covert recordings is distasteful, that is a separate consideration to their admissibility as evidence. While employers have sought to allege human rights violations to prevent the submission of covert recordings as evidence, it would be unusual for human rights issues to be engaged because the employer would have to show that the relevant manager or HR professional’s right to a private or family life was being interfered with, and this would rarely be the case in a workplace meeting.
Tribunals have drawn a distinction between the open part of a disciplinary or grievance meeting in which the employee is present, and the part where the disciplinary or grievance panel withdraws to consider its decision in private. Tribunals are generally more willing to permit the submission of recordings of meetings where the employee was present.
It is accepted that members of a panel should be able to conduct a full and frank exchange of views on the basis that those discussions will remain private. If the ground rules of a hearing are that such deliberations will remain private, the parties should observe those rules. Nevertheless, where private deliberations contain evidence of discrimination or other unlawful conduct, an employment tribunal might still permit a covert recording of them to be used as evidence.

 

So, take the opportunity to ask yourself is your house in order. Updating and implementing new policies and procedures around disciplinary and grievance, for example, doesn’t have to be cumbersome. The MAD-HR online Toolkit holds 1000+ documents, templates and policies. All kept up to date and all accessible via an online portal when you subscribe. It takes just 30 minutes to have a tour and see how this could set you up to protect your business, save time and money.

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When an employee is left feeling that they have no other choice than to leave their job due to their employer’s behaviour, you’re on course for a constructive dismissal claim. If the employee can prove that their employer’s behaviour was a fundamental breach of contract, in effect forcing them to resign, they may have a case and furthermore, if they’ve been there more than 2 years, could progress a claim for unfair dismissal.
So, here’s some key examples of what may prompt an employee to make a claim:
Unfounded allegations of poor performance
A reduction of pay or not being paid at all
Bullying or harassment
Failure to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate a disability
Breach of health and safety laws
Claims for constructive dismissal can be costly, not only financially but also in management time, staff morale and reputation.
You can avoid these claims and manage them more effectively if they come your way by taking on board these 5 top tips.
As a bonus, they can also boost performance and motivation, which will positively affect your bottom line. Winner.
Get your house in order
Comprehensive, up to date policies and a handbook, accessible to all, will ensure that everyone knows exactly where they stand and what to expect. It is not enough to merely plonk a new recruit in front of your handbook on their first day, expecting them to absorb (let alone grasp the sentiment of) all that good stuff and retain it for the duration of their employment. For one thing, as the company evolves, so do its policies and procedures, in addition to this there will be oodles of changes to employment law and best practice. It is a valuable exercise to actively revisit policies and procedures periodically with managers and then roll them out again to the team(s). Moreover, take the opportunity for engagement, feedback and contributions.
Accepting there is no such thing as ‘no risk’, a well written, clear, up to date handbook is likely to be valued by staff, looked upon favourably by a tribunal chair, as well as solicitors or other advisors. It indicates that you have your house in order and know what you are doing. You’re now in ‘low risk’ territory. Demonstrating how this is communicated also key.
D & G
That’s disciplinary and grievance not Dolce and Gabbana. It is not advisable to merely ‘go through the motions’ of following your disciplinary and grievance procedures. Train managers to fully understand, not only the procedures but also, the reality of dealing with people. Ensuring your leaders have the confidence, sensitivity and diplomacy to deal with situations appropriately and professionally pays dividends. Don’t just ignore issues, take the time to discuss grievances and invoke the disciplinary procedure to maintain standards and expectations. Getting to the nub of the grievance by dealing with it appropriately using your policies and procedures is vital in order to avoid a constructive dismissal claim or strengthen the company’s position should a claim be made.
Performance Management
Effective performance management that drives the right behaviours in a business should be a continual process, not just once a year at appraisal time. By weaving an effective performance management process into a regular weekly or monthly routine, everyone will know the standards and expectations upon them and their colleagues and they will be far less likely to feel aggrieved and take formal action. Ad hoc, emotionally charged performance discussions can lead to employees (at any grade) feeling humiliated. Being overly critical, without reason and evidence, is unlikely to lead to increased productivity; it may well however lead to a constructive dismissal claim. Therefore, training managers on how to implement an effective performance management process, having difficult conversations and providing constructive feedback is essential.
‘It’s good to talk’
Clear, concise, honest two way communication goes a long way to building an engaged, motivated team. Engaged employees who understand their role in the organisation and who feel they are part of the solution rather than the problem, are much more likely to be happier and more productive at work. Therefore, less likely to become disgruntled and claim constructive dismissal. Developing effective communication channels so that employers and employees can regularly communicate, update and exchange ideas will not only lead to better relationships, increase creativity and innovation, it enables employers to nip potential issues in the bud, before they escalate into formal grievances.
“That is SO UNFAIR!”
Ask yourself, ‘would you like it if someone was treating you or your loved one in the manner you are treating a colleague right now?’ If the answer is no, the chances are you are not being fair and reasonable. Treating all employees fairly, consistently, ensuring their health and well-being is key to avoiding constructive dismissal claims. To be super clear on what’s is fair, you should take the time to ‘gen up’ on the Equality Act 2010 as there are further obligations on the employer for employees with some additional needs, such as making reasonable adjustments. Taking the time to read case law and outcomes also gives you an evidence based and better sense of what is required by a Tribunal. For example, when considering if an employer has acted reasonably, a tribunal is likely to take into account whether the company’s policies and procedures covered the situation, whether the employee was aware and whether the employer followed their own procedures. So perhaps it is time to dust off that trusty old handbook! We refer you to Top Tip 1.

 

You may have an HR Team, you may not, you may have one so busy that you need a hand sorting this all out and putting your reviews and ideas into action. If you would like to discuss this, or any of the situations we cover in our articles, feel free to contact us. We offer free consultations.

When you’re ready, call and see how MAD-HR can fit in and work with your teams to protect your business, saving you time, money and worry.

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An employee has asked if they can bring their child into work for a few days during the school holidays – they’re struggling with childcare and promise that “the little one won’t be any trouble”. Should you say “yes” to help them out?

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Certain larger commercial organisations are required to publish an annual slavery and human trafficking statement under the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

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The successful Induction of a new employee is of vital importance. It is your opportunity to positively influence the new employee from day one, by making clear the required standards, expectations, and performance levels necessary to fulfil their roles.  A new employee isfull of enthusiasm towards their new job. This can be refreshing for other team members and can often eliminate any complacency that may exist within the team.

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An employee is entitled to receive an itemised statement of pay on, or before, their pay date which sets out their gross and net pay amounts. When it comes to the actual deductions made, what information must you provide?

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Posted by on in Members

How can you be ready for a potential Brexit?

As the debate hots up over the UK referendum on leaving or staying in the EU, and as we are on the brink of the voting deadline, what steps should UK employers be taking to prepare for a potential “Brexit”?

Brexit is a blend of the words ‘British’ and ‘exit’ which refers to the possibility of Great Britain leaving the European Union following the referendum on 23 June.

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An employee has told you that they are unhappy in their role and wish to leave your employment as soon as possible. As their heart clearly isn’t in the job anymore can you treat them less favourably than other employees?

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An employee with a one-month notice period in his employment contract has just tendered his resignation. He’s also stated that he won’t be coming into work again. Where do you stand legally?

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