News @SCESolicitors: posted by Samira Cakali (formerly Ali) aka Legal Eye Sam

I try and bring all interesting case law and all changes in legislation to your attention in a simplistic form. I hope you enjoy reading my posts and please do leave your comments. If you would like to get our monthly newsletter please email me on samira.cakali@scesolicitors.co.uk. Please note that the information in these blogs is to provide information of general interest in a summary manner and should not be construed as individual legal advice. Readers should consult with us or other professional counsel before acting on the information contained here.

  • The Summer Dress Code Dilemma

    Tags: Employment law, Dress codes, Advice for employer’s, Summer heat, Contracts Summer, Workwear

    The Hot Weather Dilemma

    Although the British Summer often doesn't result in hot temperatures there will be times when the sun does come out and workers find themselves working in hot conditions. Especially when in recent months, the weather has been entirely unpredictable. With the possibility of the UK’s 2018 summer becoming one of the hottest in history, it is worth thinking about what you can do to prepare in the office. Below are our five top tips to help you improve your office environment during summer. 

    1. Keeping cool in work

    While employers are not legally obliged to provide air conditioning in workplaces they are expected to provide reasonable temperatures. If you have air conditioning switch it on, if you have blinds or curtains use them to block out sunlight. … more

  • Parental Bereavement Bill

    Tags: Still born, Parental leave, Parental pay, House of Commons, House of Lords, Legislation, Draft

    MP Will Quince's Parental Bereavement Bill passed the final stage in the House of Commons last month, seeking to allow parents time to grieve after the death of their child and gaining unanimous cross-party support. Quince proposed the bill along with Kevin Hollinrake, after Quince’s son, Robert, was stillborn at full term in 2014, suffering from Edward’s Syndrome.  

    Current legal position  

    While it is expected of employers to be compassionate and flexible when their employees face difficult times such as mourning the loss of a loved one, there is no legal requirement for employers to provide leave or pay to employees who are grieving the loss of a child.  

    Under the Employment Rights Act, employees do have a day-one right to take a ‘ … more

  • Is an Employee’s Off-Duty Conduct Off-Limits to an Employer?

    Tags: Employees Conduct, Free Time, Social Media Behaviour, Off-duty Conduct

    Generally, an employee’s off-duty conduct is off-limits as far as employers are concerned. Exceptions do exist if there is some relation between the off-duty conduct and your business and if misconduct outside of the workplace poses a risk for your business.  

    While you can regulate your employees' behaviour at work, your employees' off-duty conduct is a different story. When it comes to activities or behaviour employees are engaged while not at work, employers have very limited say. For you to do anything about an employee's off-duty conduct, there should be some relationship between the conduct and the employee's job or your business.    

    To determine whether there is any action that you can take regarding an employee's lawful off-duty conduct, ask … more

  • Employment status: are Addison Lee Couriers workers?

    Tags: Employment Tribunal, Employee, Employment Appeals Tribunal, Gig Economy, Worker, Zero Hours Contract, Mutuality of Obligation

    The Employment Appeal Tribunal (‘EAT’) has rejected Addison Lee’s attempt to overturn a judgment by the Employment Tribunal (‘ET’) which found that one of their cycle-couriers was entitled to basic employment rights.

    The EAT’s decision is yet another example of the gig economy litigation in which the Tribunals have looked past the written words of the contract of employment to examine the real working arrangements between the parties.

    Background

    The claim concerned one weeks’ holiday which the Claimant took but was not paid for by the ‘employer’. The Claimant brought a claim in the ET which Addison Lee defended on the basis that the Claimant was not a ‘worker’ entitled to basic employment rights such as holiday pay, … more

  • How to Reduce Stress at Work: 12 Strategies to Handle Stressful Careers

    Tags: Stress

    We were recently approached by Click Time, following our “Managing employee stress at work” article that we published in February last year. Click Time has very kindly written a guest blog for us and they have provided us with their 12 Strategies to Handle Stressful Careers.  We hope you find these suggestions helpful and find that they are something you are able to implement within your workplace 

    Overwhelmed. Nervous. Exhausted. Agitated. Pained. All at once. 

    Yep, if you’re like, well, pretty much every worker ever, you know what we’re talking about: stress. No matter your job, work stress is like the zero on a roulette wheel: it’s coming around eventually. 

    Luckily, as a species we’ve developed a host of strategies — … more

  • 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

  • Shared Parental Leave: The Three Companies Leading the Way

    Tags: Shared Parental Leave, Shared Parental Pay, Millennials

    With productivity being a subject of great debate, it has led to many suggesting that benefits packages are the way to go in order to motivate staff, especially those with a “millennial work ethic”. Essentially, millennials want to see a direct impact and return for their efforts and, more often than not, value family over work. Therefore, enticing benefits such as Shared Parental Leave (“SPL”) is a sure way to retain top talent.  

    In this article we look at three parental leave packages you could aspire to use. 

    Netflix has one of the most generous parental leave policies in the world. Parents are allowed to take off as much time as they want during the first year following their child’s birth or adoption, and they will continue to be paid … more

  • Considerations when reducing workforce to cut costs

    Tags: compulsory redundancies, Carillion Collapse, consultations, settlement agreements, reducing staff, cutting costs

    Following the collapse of Carillion and other notorious businesses in the last year, we created a series of articles to provide you with guidance on how best to proceed and how staff reductions hopefully can be avoided.

    Our first article looked at the indirect consequences of the fallout from the Carillion liquidation that were most likely to impact your business and your employees.

    Following this we provided you with a list of options for you to consider before concluding that redundancies are necessary.  

    We then outlined the process and rules that must be followed when making redundancies, to ensure that they are not unfair and don’t lead you to tribunal.

    To complete this series, we provided an overview of settlement agreements and advise how they can be used to … more

  • Settlement Agreements

    Tags: Redundancies, Settlement Agreement, Termination of employment, Carillion Collapse

    In our series of articles following the collapse of Carillion we have looked at how to avoid making compulsory redundancies along with consultations and redundancies. We conclude the series taking a look at Settlement Agreements.

    Settlement Agreements are normally used to bring an employment relationship to an end in a mutually agreed way. They are often used when an employer and employee agree that their employment relationship is no longer working, and can be used to conclude a workplace dispute.

    If as an employer you have been unable to avoid staff losses then a settlement agreement can also be a sensible way to document agreements reached concerning the termination of employment.

    Key features of Settlement Agreements:

    ·         They are legally … more

  • Mobile phones and the workplace

    We’ve all been there – we’re right in the middle of a face-to-face conversation with a close friend or family member when, without warning, they look down at their mobile phone and begin mindlessly scrolling. Or even worse, their phone rings and they take the call. 

    Well it’s bad enough when that happens in our personal time, but it’s almost unbearably frustrating when it happens in the office. If employees are constantly on their mobile phone, it can have many negative effects, including irritating colleagues and impacting on employees’ productivity and performance. 

    The best way to tackle this issue is to have a clear policy in place which sets out clear expectations – and consequences –concerning the permitted use of mobiles … more

    

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