How do I deal with a grievance that an employee has raised?

We have seen a significant increase in the number of grievances that we are being asked to manage. Why this is, we are not entirely sure, but what we can be sure about, is that if not handled well, they can often lead to a constructive dismissal claim or discrimination claim from an employee. By law, every company should have a grievance policy. The formal, written document should let employees know who they should contact with their grievance, the process of dealing with the grievance and how to appeal should…

Can an employer ask a prospective employee to fill in a medical questionnaire?

An employer can ask a prospective employee to complete a medical questionnaire, but only after it has made them a job offer and only if it complies with data protection requirements. Section 60(1) of the Equality Act 2010 prohibits employers from asking job applicants questions about their health before offering them employment (with some exceptions). If an employer intends to ask prospective employees to complete a medical questionnaire after making them an offer of employment, it must ensure that it has a legal basis to do so under the UK…

In what circumstances can an employer reject a request for flexible working?

Employees have a right to request flexible working once they have been employed by you for 26 weeks or more. However, there is a lot of speculation that the 26 week limit may be removed – so watch this space! An employer can refuse a statutory request for flexible working if the refusal is based on one or more specific grounds as noted below. The list of grounds for refusal, as set out in s.80G(1)(b) of the Employment Rights Act 1996, is drafted in very broad terms. The specified grounds…

How long must an employer consult with employees for when seeking agreement to change their contracts?

An employer should always consult individually with employees with a view to obtaining agreement to changes to their contract of employment, and the employer may also have an obligation to consult collectively depending on the number of employees the changes affect. The length of the individual consultation period required will depend on several factors, including the number of employees involved, the nature of the proposed change and the employees’ responses to the changes. There is no minimum time frame for individual consultation. If the employees agree to the proposed changes,…

Are you a good listener?

The whole of July is “Talk to Us” month and is the Samaritans annual awareness-raising campaign of the importance of us “listening” to friends, family or colleagues to make sure they are OK. Do you need to listen to your employees? The Samaritans are challenging the whole of the UK to become better listeners by sharing expert tips on how to be a better listener and you can find out more about how to a better listener here; https://www.samaritans.org/support-us/campaign/talk-us/ Now, I want to talk about the importance of listening to…

Top 5 HR Questions – June

Q1. If an employee is off sick on a bank holiday, do we need to pay them for the Bank Holiday or give them additional time off? The employee’s entitlement will depend on whether or not the bank holiday forms part of their statutory holiday entitlement under the Working Time Regulations 1998 (SI 1998/1833). Under the Regulations all workers are entitled to 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday in any leave year. Where an employer grants employees the minimum holiday entitlement under the Regulations (5.6 weeks) and this includes bank and public…

Want to know what keeps people at your company?

Sounds obvious doesn’t it – just ask them – but you’d be surprised by how many employers don’t! We’re all familiar with exit interviews as a chance for employees to openly share their experiences working with an organisation as they make their way out the door. While this is a vital tool in gathering data to assess what prompts an employee’s exit, it’s too late at that point to retain them. Enter the stay interview — an opportunity to engage in a one-on-one conversation to ask current employees, “what keeps…

Are you a Great Employer?

There have been many HR challenges in the last 24 months and significant changes to your working practices can’t be achieved overnight, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be trying to be a great employer offering your staff a great place to work! If you have some big goals to smash this year, the chances are those goals need your people to be giving you their absolute best. Are you doing what you need to do, to make sure your team are a high performing team and fully engaged…

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.…