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 17, 2016

Pokémon Go: gotta catch ‘em all – even on a building site?

Pokémon Go is this year’s biggest craze. The global phenomenon sees people hitting the streets with their phones to capture and train Pokémon in a virtual world, using their surroundings as a platform. The elusive animations can be found just about anywhere, and the game has encouraged hordes of people to get off their sofas…

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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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August 1, 2016

Ten steps for managing a successful TUPE

There’s a lot of takeover talk in football at the moment, with Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Brom looking likely to follow recent-buy-outs Everton and Swansea City in taking on new owners. And when a business is bought out – whether it’s a premiership football club, a multinational conglomerate or the local chip shop – the…

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July 29, 2016

On your guard: keeping your workplace machinery safe for employees

Whether you operate an industrial plant with heavy-duty equipment, a butcher’s shop with a meat slicer, or a joinery workshop with a laser cutting machine, you need to be aware of the vital systems that will keep your employees safe from moving machinery parts. In 2014/15, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reported 15 fatal…

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