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July 29, 2014

Flexible working requests shake up employment law

Flexible working hours have been opened up to more workers than ever - and being unprepared could hurt your business. Many employers are not aware of this, or even considering how this will impact on their business. But it could fundamentally change the way some organisations are run. Previously, an employee needed 26 weeks of continuous service and the responsibility of caring for children under 17 years of age, or disabled children under 18 years of age. All other employees were excluded from the statutory…

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June 23, 2014

5000 SMEs may be fined over Auto Enrolment

A lack of understanding about legal obligations could see as many as 5,000 small employers face fines, according to research. A survey from Creative Auto Enrolment of over 500 SME employers revealed that 24% believe they have "hardly heard anything" from the Government about Auto Enrolment - and a quarter believed they have had "minimal communication". SMEs can be fined between £1,000 and £5,000 for not complying with the law. But over a third said the problem was lack of understanding about the new law. David…

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June 23, 2014

Having HR trouble during the World Cup?

Having employee problems during the World Cup? It’s unsurprising. As with any sporting event, there are a few employment issues that organisations should be aware of during the World Cup. Here’s a how to deal with some likely employment issues without everything kicking off… Sick days Make your sickness absence policy clear to your employees. Sending out a mass communication saying that it/’s not acceptable to miss due to hangover and they will get a formal disciplinary. Holidays During events like the World Cup, you…

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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 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 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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