November 28, 2013

Who can accompany workers at tribunals?

Do workers have the right to have anyone accompany them at an employment tribunal? Well, there is a statutory right for workers to be accompanied at a disciplinary or grievance hearing if they reasonably request this. But the original ‘Acas Code’ says that “it would not normally be reasonable for workers to insist on being…

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Has the number of tribunal claims increased?

A flood of claims were submitted to tribunals earlier in the year, and it’s no surprise why… Earlier this year, in July, fees became payable to lodge both an employment tribunal claim and an appeal. As a result, an issue fee of £250 and a hearing fee of £950 are now payable should an applicant…

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November 26, 2013

Dealing with e-cigarettes in the workplace

Smoking electronic cigarettes (or e-cigarettes) in public places is legal. These battery operated devices that simulate tobacco smoking are not covered by the 2007 ban on smoking in public places. Therefore, for the time being, it’s up to employers to decide on an appropriate policy for their use in the workplace. Should employers include the…

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October 31, 2013

The impact of the new legislation for tribunal fees

Following the controversial introduction of fees to submit employment tribunal claims, on July 29th 2013, you’re probably wondering how it will affect your business… The measure has been the subject of a legal challenge instigated by the union Unison in the form of a Judicial Review heard at the High Court on October 22nd and…

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October 30, 2013

Putting a stop to social networking misuse

Advancements in social networking, through the medium of Smart phones, the internet, tweeting and blogging, have transformed the world of business. It helps us to work more flexibly, stay in touch for longer and respond to each other more quickly. But social media and internet misuse at work now costs the British economy billions of…

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Ground Zero for zero hours?

Is it the beginning of the end for zero hours contracts? Over the summer months, the media had a field day with a succession of startling revelations about the use of “zero hours.” This is the somewhat contentious arrangement in which no specific weekly hours are prescribed. Employees may not be offered work from week…

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October 12, 2013

Must-know health & safety legislation changes

Are you up-to-date with all the latest important Health and Safety legislation affecting your business? Not to worry. We’ve put together all the latest changes that have taken place this October so you’ll know exactly what to do… 1. Amendment to Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 This amendment removed the requirement for HSE…

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September 30, 2013

Avoiding disability discrimination

Over 10 million people in the UK have a limiting long term illness, impairment or disability – with around 1 in 7 disabled adults of working age. The employment-rate gap between disabled and non-disabled people decreased from around 36% in 2002 to around 29% in 2010. To put this into context, the 2010 statistics show…

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Employment law changes you NEED to know

It can be tricky for employers to keep up-to-date with all the legislation changes that affect the workplace. That’s why we’ve compiled a quick summary of the most important changes over the last six months: Collective Redundancy Consultation The minimum period of employee consultation when making 100 or more redundancies in a period of 90…

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September 26, 2013

Undue dismissal will damage your company

Have you ever dismissed an employee unfairly, with damaging and costly repercussions to your company? While there are a number of reasons this might happen, it often comes down to a poor investigation process – and a lack of understanding about it. Most probably know that, when an employee is charged with a disciplinary offence,…

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September 18, 2013

Managing Sickness Absence More Effectively

Recent figures estimate that, as a country, we lose £15 billion in economic output each year from sickness absence. This equates to 131 million working days lost each year. This is a clearly a huge problem and employers should take whatever steps they can to manage both short-term and long-term absences effectively. An absence of…

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August 30, 2013

Settling Employment Disputes

The introduction of settlement agreements provides employers with a mechanism it can use to end employment in a clean fashion. While also preventing the employee from being able to raise an Employment Tribunal claim. Another way employment can end is by mutual agreement, which is where the employer and employee both agree that the employment…

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