January’s TOP 5 HR Questions

1.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…

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…

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…

I have an employee who was on sick leave just before they went on holiday and I have now seen pictures of him on holiday, having a whale of a time. What can I do?

If an employee is suffering from an illness or an injury, they are entitled to take time off work. However, whether going on holiday while on sick leave is acceptable will depend very much depend on the nature of their illness or injury and the circumstances involved. Going on holiday, can often be justified, especially if the employee is suffering from stress or some other condition affecting their mental health. In this context, taking a holiday may actually help with their recovery and facilitate a speedier return to work. However,…

I have an employee who has been diagnosed with Cancer. How do we deal with this from a pay perspective and as an employer that wants to be supportive?

Being diagnosed with cancer is an extremely stressful and worrying time for an employee and their family. They will not only be worrying about their health but also how their diagnosis may impact their work-life and career, and of course their ability to pay their monthly bills. As an employer, it is important to know that when an employee is diagnosed with cancer, they will be considered “disabled” under the Equality Act 2010 and therefore protected against discrimination. I would like to think that every employer would be compassionate in…

Your top 5 HR Questions answered this month

Here’s our round up of the most frequently asked questions from our clients and our advice for you, which we hope you find helpful. If you have a question you’d like answered next month, then just send it to us at hello@merakihr.com and we may include it in next month’s Top 5! 1. We are all working flexibly from home now, so I want to employ someone in France / Spain / Mexico. How do I go about this?  Whilst many companies are continuing to work flexibly from home or…

Do you need employment Tribunal Insurance?

Because employment law is probably not your area of expertise, it can appear complex and against you as the employer. Unfortunately, the bigger HR providers play on this fear of getting things wrong and that you could end up in costly employment tribunals. In many circumstances, getting into these sorts of situations, can be prevented by good HR advice and support, and nipping things in the bud early. Have a read of our blog to see why you don’t need Employment Tribunal Insurance. Over the last 12 months, many of…

My employee needs to work from home to look after their self isolating child but their work can only be done at work, should I pay them?

Employees are entitled to time off work to help someone who depends on them (a ‘dependant’) in an unexpected event or emergency. This could apply to situations to do with COVID-19. A dependant does not necessarily live with the person, for example they could be an elderly neighbour or relative who relies on your employee for help. There’s no statutory right to pay for this time off, but some employers might offer pay depending on the contract or any policies they may have in place. The amount of time off…

Can we insist on seeing employee’s vaccination records?

The short answer is, not unless you have a good reason to do so! 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, it must ensure that it has a legal basis for processing such information and that it complies with the conditions for processing special category data (relating to employees’ health) under the UK GDPR. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published guidance for organisations on when…