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

Workers are entitled to 5.6 weeks’ statutory holiday each year. This is made up of an entitlement to four weeks under reg.13 of the Working Time Regulations 1998 (SI 1998/1833) and an additional 1.6 weeks under reg.13A. The four-week holiday entitlement under reg.13 (which derives from EU law) may not be carried forward into the next holiday year (although see below for different rules that apply as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis). The position with the additional 1.6 weeks’ holiday under reg.13A is different. Regulation 13A allows for…

If an employee resigns after disciplinary proceedings have started should the employer continue the procedure?

If the employee resigns with immediate effect, their employment will terminate. There is little point in continuing a disciplinary procedure in respect of an employee who is no longer employed, as no disciplinary sanction can be imposed against a former employee. However, the disciplinary information collated should still be retained for a period of up to one year after the employee’s resignation, because it may be needed as evidence should the employee subsequently try to claim constructive dismissal or unlawful discrimination in relation to the conduct of the disciplinary proceedings.…

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 is receiving only 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 it…

Is long COVID a disability under the Equality Act 2010?

It is possible that long COVID could meet the definition of disability under the Equality Act 2010, but this would depend on the circumstances in each case, and the impact that the condition has on the individual. Under the Act, a disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on an individual’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. A person does not need a formal diagnosis of a particular condition to fall within the definition, but they must be able…

Should we fight or settle a claim against us?

The cost to employers of defending an employment tribunal claim was highlighted when Times Higher Education reported that a university had spent more than £200,000 defending an unfair dismissal claim that could, it said, have been settled for much less. The case in question was Quigley v University of St Andrews EATS/0025/05 – a constructive dismissal claim that went as far as the Employment Appeal Tribunal. The case raises the question for employers: is it better to settle or to fight? And how much should they be prepared to spend…

Top 5 HR Questions for May

1.Should we fight or settle a claim against us? The cost to employers of defending an employment tribunal claim was highlighted when Times Higher Education reported that a university had spent more than £200,000 defending an unfair dismissal claim that could, it said, have been settled for much less. The case in question was Quigley v University of St Andrews EATS/0025/05 – a constructive dismissal claim that went as far as the Employment Appeal Tribunal. The case raises the question for employers: is it better to settle or to fight?…

The lessons to be learnt from P&O’s recent mass sackings of its employees

After two years of financial turmoil, ferry company P&O made 800 staff redundant a few weeks ago amongst outrage, after hundreds of staff were told via a video clip that, “due to a massive financial black hole, they were being sacked immediately, to be replaced with cheaper agency staff.” P&O said it was a “tough” decision, but it would “not be a viable business” without the changes. However, the excuses haven’t dampened the furious backlash from many corners, whether it’s from ex-employees themselves, union bosses or MPs who scathingly criticised…

March’s TOP 5 HR Questions

1.What should the employer do if an employee is reluctant to return to work as the coronavirus restrictions are lifted? Employers should recognise that many people will naturally be nervous about attending work and increasing their risk of contracting coronavirus (COVID-19). If an employee is reluctant to return to the workplace, the employer should explore their reasons and try to address any specific concerns they have, taking their individual circumstances into account. The Governments of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have continued to encourage employers to support employees to work…

Are you a legally compliant employer?

There have been many HR challenges in the last 2 years, but that doesn’t let you off the hook as far as being a legally compliant employer goes! Every business needs to ensure its legally compliant, but hat every business wants is a team who 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 a regular HR Health Check is an essential part of good business practice. Not only will…

What is the Employee Companion’s role at a disciplinary or grievance hearing?

Under s.10 of the Employment Relations Act 1999, the companion must be permitted to address the hearing in order to put the worker’s case, sum up the case and respond on the worker’s behalf to any view expressed at the hearing. They must also be permitted to confer with the worker during the hearing. However, the companion has no right to answer questions on behalf of the worker, to address the hearing if the worker does not wish them to do so, or to prevent the employer from explaining its…