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June 20, 2014

Maternity Leave – your questions answered?

The regulations around Maternity and Paternity leave can be complex leaving employers unclear on what their obligations are. We have put together some of our most frequently asked questions to simplify it for you. How much leave are pregnant employees entitled to? Every pregnant employee has the right to take up to 52 weeks leave regardless of length of service. This is made up of 26 weeks' ordinary maternity leave and 26 weeks' additional maternity leave. What are they entitled to during maternity leave? An…

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June 20, 2014

Changes to Food Allergens Regulation

The way in which allergens are labelled on pre-packed foods is changing because of new regulations. The Food Information for Consumers Regulation (EU FIC), which is due to come into force in December 2014, introduces the requirements for food businesses to provide information about the allergenic ingredients used in any food that they sell or provide. There are 14 major allergens that must be declared whenever they are used at any level in pre-packed food, including alcoholic beverages.  The 14 allergens include: 1. Eggs 2.…

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June 6, 2014

Workers likely to pull sickies for World Cup, research reveals

The World Cup is fast approaching and, as we all know in HR, absenteeism will probably increase - with fans staying up late to watch the live games. There’s will also be lot of hangovers at work after celebrations or commiserations. New research from YouGov for Wolters Kluwer has revealed that one in four 25-34 year old men said they may take an unauthorised absence from work for next month’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil. 13% of UK workers are tempted to pull sickies for…

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May 31, 2014

Discrimination cases aren’t always straightforward

Workers who think they have been discriminated against are usually entitled to resign and claim against their employers...but not in a recent case. Constructive dismissal claims are usually based upon a single, fundamental breach of contract by the employer or a continuous course of conduct where there is a ‘last straw’ that led to the Claimant’s resignation. An act of discrimination would usually be sufficient to constitute a breach of trust and confidence, entitling the employee to resign and claim constructive unfair dismissal, although not…

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May 30, 2014

Handling a workplace grievance

Minor grievances should be dealt with informally wherever possible - it's always better to have an open and honest culture where employees can discuss issues with a manager to prevent them from escalating. It is always advisable to keep notes of discussions and investigations so there is an accurate record showing how and when an issue has been dealt with. If the informal approach does not resolve the issue, or the situation has gone too far, then the employee must put the grievance in writing…

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April 29, 2014

How to get sued: Give poor employment references

Employers should proceed with caution when providing a reference for a former employee or else they may be liable to pay compensation. There is a duty of care on the part of the employer to ensure that all the information it provides in a reference is accurate. Even though a reference does not have to be comprehensive, employers must ensure that the information it contains is not misleading. How are former employees protected? There must be a consistency of approach in terms of whether or…

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April 24, 2014

Paying the price for poor health & safety

Are you breaking health and safety laws? Did you know that you could be charged if the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has to intervene because of poor health and safety practices? The HSE will charge you for any time and effort spent on investigating, correcting problems and taking enforcement action. What is fee for intervention (FFI)? This ‘Fee for Intervention’ (FFI) is the cost of HSE’s inspectors work when carrying out investigations and complaints or if when visiting your premises they see a material…

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April 9, 2014

Auto Enrolment: 30% of SMEs are unprepared

Over 30 per cent of small and medium businesses (SMEs) are unprepared for auto enrolment, according to a new survey from Moorepay. The figures revealed that 30 per cent of the 2,500 SMEs surveyed are oblivious or unsure of their responsibilities for the new workplace pensions laws. Futher anaysis of the survey revealed that there were more 'unsure' companies who had either 5-49 or 4 or less employees - 50 per cent and 40 per cent respectively. The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has said that the most…

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March 28, 2014

Early Conciliation: In depth

Early Conciliation is being introduced under the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013. The Act contains a range of measures which will hopefully provide the right conditions to encourage long term growth and support business success. It address one of the fears that businesses have reported of having to defend an employment tribunal claim. These fears can sometimes impact on an employer’s decision to take on new staff and develop their business. Changes are therefore being made to allow the parties in a dispute greater…

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March 28, 2014

Driving posture: A cause of long term pain

Every day, millions of people travel to and from work by car or drive around all day in lorries or trucks for their jobs. For some, driving is the primary means of transport for journeys to and from work, also for some driving a motorised road vehicle is their job, for example truck drivers, bus drivers, ambulance, police, taxi etc. Modern vehicle design has progressed a long way over the years with better styling features, more fuel efficient and comfort however there is concern that…

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