February’s TOP 5 HR Questions

1.What is an employee’s holiday entitlement if an extra bank holiday is granted one year? If an extra bank holiday is announced to mark a particular occasion, for example a royal wedding or the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, as we have been given this year, whether or not employees are entitled to an additional day’s holiday will depend on the wording of the employment contract. Employees do not have an automatic right to paid time off on a bank holiday. If the employment contract states that the employee’s annual leave entitlement…

Can an employee take annual leave while on long-term sickness absence?

An employee who is on long-term sickness absence may wish to book a period of annual leave in order to receive full pay for that period, for example if they have exhausted all entitlement to sick pay or they are only receiving statutory sick pay. The law does not prevent employees from taking annual leave while on sickness absence. It would usually be in an employer’s interests to agree to an employee’s request to take annual leave, to avoid them accruing significant amounts of leave while on sickness absence. If…

What should an employer do if an employee fails to attend a disciplinary hearing?

The Acas code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures states that both the employer and the employee ”should make every effort to attend the disciplinary meeting”, and that where an employee is persistently unable or unwilling to attend a disciplinary meeting without good cause, the employer should make a decision based on the evidence available. Therefore, the employer should investigate the employee’s reason for non-attendance, and reschedule the meeting at least once. It may be necessary to reschedule on further occasions, depending on the circumstances. The employer should inform…

Must employers provide equipment for employees who work from home?

While there is no specific duty on employers to provide equipment for employees working from home, they should ensure that employees have everything they need to be able to work safely and effectively. Where the employer requires employees to work from home, it should provide the equipment or agree to reimburse employees for the cost of suitable equipment. Where the employer allows, rather than requires, an employee to work from home for some of the time (for example under a discretionary hybrid working arrangement), it should agree with them who…

Can unused statutory annual holiday be carried forward to the next holiday year?

Workers are entitled to 5.6 weeks’ statutory holiday each year = 28 days; 20 days holiday and 8 days of Bank Holidays (although there are 9 this year for the Queens Jubilee!) The four-week holiday entitlement may not be carried forward into the next holiday year (although see here for different rules that apply as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis). The position with the additional 8 days Bank Holiday is different. Regulation 13A allows for a relevant agreement to provide for any of the additional holiday entitlement to…

Can employers ask employees if they have had a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination?

An employer that intends to ask employees if they have been vaccinated against coronavirus (COVID-19) must be clear about its reasons for doing so. To comply with its data protection obligations, the company must ensure that it has a legal basis for processing such information and that it complies with the conditions for processing special category data (which means information relating to employees’ health) under the UK GDPR. The Information Commissioner’s Office has published guidance for organisations on when collecting vaccination data can be justified. https://bit.ly/vaccinationguidance, so make sure you…

What are the key HR topics that we should be focussing on as a business in 2022?

Understatement of the year award incoming, but 2020 and 2021 changed the way we work forever. But like most things in life, it’s how you deal with change that counts, and 2022 is certainly the year that your business will need to make its people a top priority if you want to avoid the mass resignations that are predicted. So, what are the key HR/People trends for 2022 going to be and how can you prepare for them?  If you want to get ahead of the curve, here’s the top…

We are just about to review salaries for our staff, but what is everyone else doing as far as pay reviews/increases?

New research has found that UK employers are planning to give their staff an average annual pay rise of 2.9% in 2022. A total of 725 UK firms took part in a study about salary budgets and recruitment by Willis Towers Watson (WTW), which revealed that 2022’s pay increase is set to be more than the 2.4% average this year. As inflation is forecast at between 2-4% for next year, this is a significant increase in previous years. According to the research, this finding comes as the proportion of businesses…

Your Top 5 HR Questions this Year

Here’s our round up of the most frequently asked HR questions this year: 1.We are just about to review salaries for our staff, but what is everyone else doing as far as pay reviews/increases?   New research has found that UK employers are planning to give their staff an average annual pay rise of 2.9% in 2022. A total of 725 UK firms took part in a study about salary budgets and recruitment by Willis Towers Watson (WTW), which revealed that 2022’s pay increase is set to be more than the…

Are you a legally compliant employer?

There have been many HR challenges in the last 21 months, but just because you’ve been busy firefighting and holding everything together, doesn’t let you off the hook as far as being a legally compliant employer goes The ultimate goal for any business is to ensure its legally compliant first off, and that your people are happy, healthy, and engaged so they are delivering the very best possible service to your customers or doing the very best work they can for your business. Conducting regular HR Health Checks are essential…