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 10 Tips For Employees

    Tags: Unfair Dismissal, Employment Law, Employment Tribunal, UKEmpLaw

    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:

    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 grievance policy and consider it carefully as it may include examples of what … 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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  • How To Manage Workplace Relationships

    Tags: Sex Discrimination, Victimisation, Sexual Harassment, Employment Law, Human Resources, Valentine's Day, Workplace Relationships, Romantic Relationships

    With Valentine’s Day making February the month for romance, this month we take a look at some of the potential risks to employers when romance blossoms amongst employees and the steps that can be taken to address these.

    Why Should An Employer Be Concerned About Its Employees Forming Romantic Relationships In The Workplace?

    Romantic relationships between employees in the same organisation can expose the employer to a number of legal risks. These are most likely to arise when one employee is pursuing another to start a relationship or, even more so, when the relationship breaks down. The most obvious legal risks are as follows:

    Sexual Harassment

    This occurs where one employee engages in unwanted conduct of a sexual nature which has the purpose or effect either of violating … more

    

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