Archives

Archives / 2016 / May
  • Avoiding bullying in the workforce; top ten tips for employers

    Tags: Employment Law, Employment Tribunal, Bullying and harassment

    Bullying in the workplace does, unfortunately, exist.  The problem is what one person considers bullying, another considers banter.  Bullying often involves an abuse of power and results in behaviour which is offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting.  It can include physical, verbal and non-verbal conduct. 

    So here’s my top ten tips for employers.

    Employers

    1. Have a clear anti-harassment and bullying policy in place, make sure this is communicated to all staff and evidence that you have done this.  Don’t forget, a policy should cover events out of the workplace, like work social events, parties or business trips.

    2. Make sure your policy makes it clear staff will not be victimised or suffer any detrimental treatment as a result of raising … more

  • Indirect religious discrimination and marriage vows

    Tags: Unfair Dismissal, Religion and Belief Discrimination, Employment Law, Employment Tribunal

    The recent case of Pendleton –v- Derbyshire County Council is a timely reminder that organisations must be extremely careful when dismissing an employee by association.

    In this case Mrs Pendleton, a teacher of Anglican Christian faith was dismissed for refusing to leave her husband, a Headteacher, who had been convicted of making indecent images of children and voyeurism and sentenced to 10 months imprisonment. The basis for the dismissal was for Some Other Substantial Reason (SOSR).

    Mrs Pendleton brought a claim in the tribunal for unfair dismissal and indirect religious discrimination on the basis that, given her religious faith she held the vows of marriage as sacrosanct, therefore the policy placed her and others of a similar faith at a disadvantage.

    While in the first … more

  • Bullying in the workplace; top ten tips for employees

    Tags: Unfair Dismissal, Employment Law, Employment Tribunal

    Bullying in the workplace does, unfortunately, exist.  The problem is what one person considers bullying, another considers banter.  Bullying often involves an abuse of power and results in behaviour which is offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting.  It can include physical, verbal and non-verbal conduct. 

    Here are my top ten tips for employees experiencing bullying in the workplace.  Check back soon for my employers’ top ten tips!

    Employees

    1. Whilst perhaps consistent with the description above, legitimate, reasonable and constructive criticism of your work performance or work behaviour whilst you are employed will not usually amount to bullying.

    2. Review your employer’s anti-harassment and bullying policy (if they have one) or … more

  • Summer is here! Dress codes in the workplace

    Tags: Employment Law, Summer, Dress Code

    As I sit in the office, sunshine streaming through the windows (not that I am complaining), fans blowing from every angle trying to inject some cool air into the office, I cannot help but wonder how many employees are uncomfortable at work right now as a result of the heat; only two days into ‘summer’.  I am under no illusion that by the time you read this article, the sunshine will have waned but, ever the optimist, hopefully we’ll see more of the glorious weather we have been treated to this weekend.

    I am often asked about legal limits for temperatures in the workplace.  These simply do not exist. What does exist is Regulation 7of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 which states that workplace temperatures should be “ … more

  • Obesity discrimination; is this already covered by the Equality Act?

    Tags: Discrimination, Disability Discrimination, Employment Law, Employment Tribunal

    The 2016 Budget confirmed the Government would introduce the Sugar Tax, in a bid to reduce levels of childhood obesity within the UK.  Taxes on ‘fatty foods’ have on the cards for some time but there were mixed reactions.  Some thought the tax punished poorer families, some stated it didn’t go far enough, whilst others praised the idea that the money raised from the tax would go to fund school sports.

    At the present time, discrimination on the grounds of obesity is not a “Protected Characteristic” under the Equality Act 2010.  However, with concerns over the levels of childhood obesity and Public Health England predicting obesity will affect more than 50% of adults by 2050, should it be? There is in fact suggestions that obesity, even … 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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