Archives

Archives / 2015 / February
  • Misconduct Investigations: Leave No Stone Unturned?

    Tags: Unfair Dismissal, Employment Law, Employment Tribunal

    When investigating an employee over alleged misconduct we are often asked the lengths to which an employer needs to go in examining the evidence before them prior to making the final decision of whether to dismiss, apply a lesser sanction such as a warning or indeed take no further action at all.

    While this is a difficult question to answer with blanket advice, as naturally each instance of alleged misconduct is different and some will require more investigation than others, the term ‘reasonable’ is invariably the go-to term used in the advice provided.

    In particular when an employer has a situation where the matter is factually heavy and there are a lot of avenues that could be explored, the question of whether the employer has to investigate every defence put forward by an … more

  • Breastfeeding and employer responsibilities

    Tags: Sex Discrimination, Employment Law, Health and Safety, Flexible Working changes 2014

    An increasing number of employers are receiving requests from women returning from maternity leave to provide them with “breastfeeding facilities” i.e. somewhere to either breastfeed or express and store breast milk. This has raised the issue of whether employers have a ‘legal obligation’ to provide such facilities, and where they are unable to do so, whether they are falling foul of the Equality Act 2010. 

    Firstly, it may come as a relief to some of you to learn that while the law requires an employer to provide somewhere for a breastfeeding employee to rest (including to lie down), there is no legal requirement to provide breastfeeding facilities. Neither is there a legal obligation to undertake a risk assessment for a breastfeeding mother returning to … more

  • Cumberbatched: The Importance of Terminology

    Tags: Discrimination, Race Discrimination, Employment Law, Employment Tribunal

    Many readers will have come across the incident in the wider media last week involving the actor Benedict Cumberbatch, wherein he used the term “coloured” to describe black actors while giving an interview on an American talk show. While he has since apologised profusely for use of the term, the furore that followed immediately after the initial remark has shined a light on attitudes to such terminology on both sides of the Atlantic.

    The irony of Mr Cumberbatch’s ill-chosen words were that they were used while he was in the middle of conveying a very commendable message regarding the difficulties facing black actors in the UK as relates to their American counterparts.

    The incident as a whole gave rise to much discourse via mainstream and social media as to the issue of … 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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