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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  • Seasonal Workers: Key Contractual Issues for Employers

    Tags: Employment Status, ukemplaw, Seasonal Workers, Contractual Issues, Fixed-term, Pat-time, Casual workers, Agency workers, Young persons, EmploymentLaw

    In sectors such as hospitality, tourism, retail and agriculture, seasonal peaks can bring an influx of work at certain times of the year. A common solution for employers in these sectors is to recruit additional employees during these periods. Below we set out the key contractual considerations for employers to bear in mind when hiring seasonal employees. 

    Fixed-term employees

    An individual recruited to cover seasonal work may be taken on for a limited period of time. A fixed-term contract is therefore often used, with that contract ending on a specific date or on completion of a particular project.

    An individual employed on a fixed-term contract is protected against less favourable treatment compared to permanent employees. For example, if an employer excludes the fixed-term … more

    

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