Carers Week

In Uncategorized on June 10, 2019 at 12:18 pm

10th-17th June is Carers Week, raising awareness of the challenges carers face day to day.

Research by Carers UK shows that 600 people a day leave the workforce to provide care for a loved one. 5 million people juggle caring responsibilities with paid work. And the numbers are increasing.

Those in their thirties to fifties, known as the ‘sandwich generation’ may be balancing caring for elderly parents while also bringing up children and working.

How carer-friendly is your business? Do you have policies in place to support those who wish to more flexibly?

Carers who meet the qualifying criteria can make a request for flexible working and can also ask for ‘time off for dependants’ to cover an emergency or unforeseen circumstances. It is at the discretion of the employer whether this time off is paid or unpaid. Some employers offer further support such as carers leave or flexible leave situations when a more intensive period of care is required. Even simple adjustments such as allowing an employee to make a phone call can make a big difference to their ability to be in work.

If you would like help reviewing your employment policies please get in touch – 01462 732444


Social Media at Work

In Uncategorized on June 5, 2019 at 10:19 am

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Along with benefits of social media for your business in terms of team building and visibility for your brand, there are a number of risks from time-wasting to defamation. How can employers navigate this issue responsibly without being heavy-handed?

It’s likely that the majority of your employees will have some form of personal social media account e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Although according to the Human Rights Act 1998 employees can expect the right to privacy in their home life, lines can become blurred when people identify the company or their colleagues in social media activity. This can result in damage to the company’s reputation, accusations of cyber bullying or harassment.

There are examples of employers becoming aware of workers who are on sick leave behaving in a way that undermines their reason for absence. However, managers should be wary of snooping – if you are to access and act on information available in social media platforms you must be able to prove that there is a legitimate business need and that it is reasonable and proportionate.

If your business has a company social media account, you should be clear about who has access to it and the passwords should be secured. Train those responsible in the type of information that should be shared and whether posts need to be authorised.

Some businesses will use online collaboration tools which include messaging between colleagues so you may need consider best practice for these.

Rules on the personal use of social media and the internet etc. will partly depend on the working environment. An office environment will have different considerations to one where there may be safety or safeguarding issues. You want to avoid time-wasting without alienating your hard-working employees. In most cases an outright ban could seem extreme.

In all these points having a clear policy is key. This can be included in your staff handbook and should set our clear boundaries on when/if it is permissible to use social media and the internet within the work context. The right to monitor should also be included, as should the repercussions for breaches of the policy. The online world is rapidly changing so review your policies regularly to keep up to date.

For employers our key message is to have a policy and make sure your employees are aware of it.
For employees, always apply common sense before posting and remember that anything shared online has the potential to be public.
If you would like to discuss including a social media policy in your handbook please contact us
Examples of cases involving social media related dismissals

Changes to sick pay rules from April 2019

In absence, Employment law, Uncategorized on April 11, 2019 at 12:27 pm

As of 6th April 2019 entitlement to sick pay is changing. The amount employees need to earn in order for Statutory Sick Pay to apply is rising from £116 per week to £118. The rate of pay will also increase by £2.20 to £94.25 per week.

As before employees need to have been off work sick for 4 or more days in a row (including non-working days) to qualify and SSP can be paid for up to 28 weeks.


If you would like guidance on managing absence in your workplace, contact us at Rob Bryan Associates Limited Main Office: 01462 732444