October 18, 2016

Illegal working: practical steps to protect your business

Illegal working is a pressing concern facing the Government, with repeated promises from ministers to tackle the issue. There have been high profile cases where the Government has acted, the most eye-catching recently being the Byron Burger sting that saw dozens of workers arrested and the business criticised for colluding with immigration officials. With recent…

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October 5, 2016

Half the women in your workplace face sexual harassment

Many would like to think that sexual harassment in the workplace was a thing of the past, something our progressive modern world has left behind – like boozy lunches, typing pools and overflowing desktop ashtrays. But if the recent sexual harassment allegations around presidential-nominee Donald Trump’s past conduct serve any purpose, it’s that they remind…

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September 28, 2016

Sacked for social media use – employee conduct and how to deal with it

Being sacked for social media use is becoming more and more common place, with the now-ex Corrie star Marc Anwar the latest person to publicly lose his job after a Twitter/Facebook tirade. ITV acted quickly to respond to the situation – which escalated after Anwar posted racially offensive comments about Indian people on Twitter –…

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September 19, 2016

A growing problem: maternity discrimination on the increase

Maternity discrimination is becoming a bigger and bigger concern, according to an inquiry by the Parliamentary Women and Equalities Committee. The committee has warned of a growing problem of new and expectant mothers being treated unfairly at work, while Citizens Advice has announced a 58 per cent rise in the number of maternity-related problems it…

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September 14, 2016

Introducing… the Fit for Work service

In autumn 2015 the Government introduced the Fit for Work occupational health assessment service. The scheme allows employers to refer employees who have been, or are likely to be, off work for four weeks or more to a free and confidential Fit for Work consultation with occupational health professionals. GPs have been able to refer…

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September 6, 2016

You’re hired! The rise and rise of modern apprenticeships

Apprenticeships have existed in the UK for over eight hundred years and, thankfully, we’ve come a long way since the 1970s when employers would often telephone the Department of Employment to ask for ‘a free lad’. Today’s attitudes are much more respectful when recruiting and training college leavers, with the benefits of providing in-job training…

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August 30, 2016

Five principles for effective absence management during bad weather

Effective absence management is a year-round consideration for employers, but it can be a particular problem during periods of miserable weather. While it’s never fun to think of winter during the height of summer, sensible employers know they need to plan ahead for the darker seasons. Yes winter is coming, and it could be even…

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August 26, 2016

When banter goes bad – the problem of workplace violence

Recent research and the high-profile case involving the mock crucifixion of a Catholic apprentice have shed light on the scale of the problem of workplace violence. Separate studies have shown that: Almost half of all HR departments have seen increased numbers of disputes between colleagues; 1-in-7 HR professionals reported instances of feeling threatened physically whilst…

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August 22, 2016

Focus on mental health in the workplace

Research by the Equality and Human Rights Commission to be published September 2016 has found that employees with poor mental health earn up to 42% less than their colleagues. Put another way, for every one pound earned by a male worker without a mental health condition, a colleague who suffers phobias or panic attacks earns…

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August 18, 2016

Smartphones: good for business or good for wasting time?

A US survey of people who use smartphones at work has revealed 65% of employees admit to using their phones for personal messaging and social media during working hours. And the impact on employers is huge: 75% of those surveyed said phone-use resulted in a loss of at least two hours of productivity per day,…

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August 16, 2016

Religious clothing and the workplace – your legal rights and responsibilities

A recent European Court of Justice (ECJ) case has examined the issue of religious clothing in the workplace, but those looking for a definitive ruling in this sensitive area may be disappointed. The ECJ’s decision in Samira Achbita v G4S Secure Solutions, delivered in June 2016, goes some way to clarifying the position. Ultimately, however,…

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August 5, 2016

An Employer’s Lowdown on Legal Highs

The concept of getting ‘high’ has been around since the 1600s, when the term was first used to describe intoxication. Since then, the drug of choice – opium, mushrooms, cannabis, cocaine – has changed with the years and the fashion; with each new stimulant (or depressant) outlawed as it became popular and mainstream. In recent…

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