Contents tagged with Employment Law

  • What is required of employers to prevent modern slavery?

    Tags: Employment Law, The Modern Slavery Act 2015

    Since its recent introduction, the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (MSA 2015) has sought to incentivise businesses to tackle the issue of modern slavery. It brought with it the introduction of three new offenses:

    1. Holding people in slavery or servitude or requiring them to perform forced or compulsory labour;

    2. The arranging or facilitating of human trafficking, arranging the travel of people with a view to exploiting them; and

    3. Committing an offence with the intention of human trafficking, including aiding and abetting.

    One way the MSA 2015 seeks to bring an end to modern slavery is by way of transparency. The MSA 2015 requires that businesses which provide good or services with an annual turnover of £36 million or more publish an annual statement which discloses the steps they … more

  • Ensuring your Workplace Offers an Inclusive and Supporting Environment for Trans Employees

    Tags: Discrimination, Equality Act 2010, Employment Law

    New research undertaken by ACAS, Supporting Trans Employees in the Workplace, published in August 2017, exposes that employers are failing in their efforts to understand the issues concerning their trans and intersex employees. 

    Whilst transphobia and discrimination are extensively reported, little research has previously been conducted into the experiences of trans or intersex employees in the UK, which has larger implications for both managers and employees in the workplace. 

    Legal obligations as an employer:

    Gender Reassignment is one of nine protected characteristics covered by the Equality Act 2010 (EQA). The EQA provisions concerning gender reassignment discrimination, harassment and victimisation in the workplace protect a wide range of individuals during all stages … more

  • Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) uphold Uber drivers are workers

    Tags: Employment Law, Workers, Employment Tribunal

    Most of you will recall that in August 2016 we reported on the first instance decision where Uber drivers were held to be workers as opposed to being self-employed. If you missed the article, which broke down in layman’s terms the categories of employees, works and self-employed, you will be able to read it here.

    Uber appealed and here at SCE we have been eagerly awaiting the EAT decision, it came in early last week, and confirmed the employment tribunal decision.

    While the employment rights granted to drivers is limited to holiday pay (5.6 weeks paid leave), National Minimum Wage (NMW) and a maximum of a 48-hour working week for businesses that aren’t expecting, or haven’t budgeted for, this cost can be substantial.

    Uber intends to appeal the decision and the … more

  • Don’t get spooked by employment law this Halloween

    Tags: Employment Law, Employment Tribunal, Halloween

    It is no surprise that Halloween is one of the holidays that nearly everyone celebrates. Celebrations range from trick or treating, pumpkin carving contests, adult costume contests to parties with alcohol. 

    For employees’ they all encourage interaction and workplace engagement but for employers’ they all open the door for potential liabilities and concerns. So what are the 5 top legal issues that employers need to be aware of to avoid the scare this Halloween?

    1. Discrimination against Pagans 

    Religion is simply defined by the Equality Act as “any religion”, and does not state the belief has to be a major religion to be protected. Therefore employers must take non-mainstream religions as seriously as they do with the major religions. 

    In … more

  • Dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace

    Tags: The Equality Act 2010, Sexual Harassment, Employment Law

    The New York Times expose’ concerning American film producer Harvey Weinstein and sexual harassment allegations has sparked important discussions on both sides of ‘The Pond’. 

    The social media movement #MeToo has inspired our friends, family, and colleagues to share posts concerning sexual harassment they have experienced in the workplace, unfortunately it seems like one too many women, in all walks of life, have experienced something unpleasant relating to their gender. 

    So what lessons can businesses learn when they are faced with allegations of sexual harassment? 

    What is sexual harassment?

    Under the Equality Act 2010 (EQA), sexual harassment is defined as being unwanted conduct which has the purpose or effect of violating someone’s dignity … more

  • Managing mental health in the workplace

    Tags: Disability Discrimination, Mental Health Issues, Employment Law

    Last week saw social media awash with the hashtag #MentalHealthAwarenessDay which had people sharing positive messages and generally discussing mental health. While, it may seem that we are a little late into the discussion, given its importance we decided that it’s never too late. 

    Personally, I was surprised the other day, while chatting with a GP friend, with their assertion that that it can be the misuse and abuse of drugs and alcohol that can cause depression. Most of us, me including, are under the misguided impression that people use substances to deal with stress and depression.

    Whilst it is important to note that addiction is not a disability, the impairment caused by one, whether physical or mental, can be. 

    There are large costs incurred to the business … more

  • Managing absence: Hurricane Ophelia

    Tags: Employment Law, Weather Disruption, Hurricane Ophelia

    This year has been quite eventual as we have suffered disruptions from storm Doris and Ewan earlier this year and now the Met has warned about the chaos that is likely to be caused by Hurricane Ophelia. Employees are likely to encounter problems getting to work, from delayed trains, car and household damage to dangerous walking conditions.

    Given that there is a yellow warning in place for much of Wales, Scotland, the North-East, North-West and South-West of England as well as the West Midlands, we thought it would be a good idea to remind employers in how to deal with disruption caused by staff not being able to get into work. 

    First port of call is review your handbook to ascertain whether or not you have a severe weather policy, in the event that you do not, then follow this … more

  • Back to basics: Holidays

    Tags: Employment Law, Holiday

    Given the media frenzy around Ryanair and how their change in the holiday year lead to a shortage of pilots creating havoc for holiday makers, I thought in our back to basic blogs it would be prudent to include one on ‘holidays’. 

    All workers are entitled to 5.6 weeks paid holiday (the equivalent of 28 days for someone who works 5 or more days per week) under the Working Time Regulations (WTR).  These days can include bank holidays.  This entitlement differs to any further entitlement under the contract of employment.  It is statutory and not open to variation by the employer.

    These Regulations are a health and safety measure to ensure a basic minimum holiday entitlement, currently 5.6 weeks.  The purpose of holidays under the WTR is to provide … more

  • Back to basics: the probation period

    Tags: Employment Law, Probation period

    A probationary period is essentially a trial period for a new employee. It is not a legal concept; it is a management tool.  It allows both parties to assess objectively if the new recruit is suited to the role. Employers must ensure they review the new recruit at regular intervals during the probationary period. The following should be taken into consideration when reviewing:

    • The individual’s overall capability;

    • Technical competence;

    • Behavioural competence, e.g. team-working & cooperation;

    • Performance;

    • General conduct.

    There is no legal requirement for employers to use probationary periods. However, they are useful in that (a) you may allow different contractual rights during a probationary period (as far as the law allows), (b) … more

  • Back to basics: the employment contract

    Tags: Employment Law, Employment contract

    It’s ‘back to school’ this month and I am sure those of you with school age children may be jumping for joy. Therefore, this month we thought we would write a few articles on back to basics, starting with the employment contract. 

    While, I am sure, most of you will have employment contracts in place, you might not be surprised to hear that when asked how often these are reviewed and updated, this number is significantly lower. 

    So, if you haven’t reviewed your contract in a while, here are 9 things for you to consider: 

    1. Ensure that the contract sufficiently defines the relationship. A simple contract may suffice for general office workers; however, you may require a more complex one for say drivers, shift workers or senior management. 

    2 … more

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  • Advice for Employers on Accommodating Parents with Premature or Sick Babies

    Tags: Maternity Leave, Maternity Rights, Maternity Pay, Statutory Maternity Pay, Premature or Sick Babies, MAT B1, Maternity Allowance

    Every year, over 95,000 babies (or 1 in 8 babies born) are cared for in neonatal units in the UK due to premature birth or sickness. While some pregnancies inherently pose a higher risk for premature birth, such as twins and multiples, there is no guarantee a mother will be able to carry to-term.  

    Depending on how premature or sick the babies may be at birth, parents might find that their babies have to stay weeks or months in hospital, and some of these babies may continue to be at risk even after being discharged. In some cases, the babies may be transferred to a different or specialist hospital if the treatment or care they require is not available in the area in which they are born.  

    Maternity Leave: 

    Doctors and midwives must issue the pregnant … more

    

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