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Archive for 2019|Yearly archive page

Mental Health in the Workplace

In Uncategorized on February 14, 2019 at 10:32 am

Let's talk about mental healthAround 25% of workers in the UK will suffer from poor mental health at some point in their working life. The cost to business, work teams, workers and their families is high.
As a manger or business owner what can you do to support your workers and aid recovery?

Recognise the issue
If you employ enough people for long enough then you will, if you haven’t already, encounter a worker with a mental health problem. Be prepared and informed. Find out about the 6 standards that the HSE have identified as factors in workplace stress.

Talk
This doesn’t have to be a direct question about their mental health – try to find out what circumstances are impacting them within the workplace. The HSE standards can be used as a framework for your discussion. Look for ways you can support and assist. You may be able to communicate some of your observations but remember that it is not a disciplinary hearing. Make sure you agree a date to talk again. It may take a number of discussions before an employee is willing to open up.

Plan a recovery programme
Recovery periods in cases of mental health can be uncertain and each person is different. Obtain a report from the worker’s GP and include specific advice in your plan. Record what steps are agreed and put in dates for review.

Create a supportive working environment
Improve your awareness and knowledge – promotion of well-being is as important as assisting with recovery. You could also look into offering an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP).
Be aware of unusual patterns of absence, behaviour or productivity as these can be signs of an issue.
A temporary period of flexibility may help.
Some larger organisations have well-being ‘first-aiders’ a person can approach if they are feeling overwhelmed.

Let’s be knowledgeable and prepared to tackle these issues and let us have the courage to act on what we see around us and create a workplace that can support those working within it.

For more resources to help you approach Mental Health see our website.

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New mothers to get extended protection against redundancy

In Employment law, Equality, government, maternity on January 31, 2019 at 1:26 pm

copyof1in9womensaytheywerefired2cmaderedundantorforcedoutofjobOn 25th January 2019 the government launched a 10-week consultation to examine the proposal that legal protection against redundancy should be extended to 6 months for new mothers returning to work.

Under the Equality Act, job applicants or employees must not be treated unfairly or disadvantaged due to pregnancy or maternity. However, research by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) found that 1 in 9 women (11%) said that they had been fired or made redundant on their return to work; or were treated so badly they felt they had no option but to leave.

Currently, if redundancies are being made, those on maternity or shared parental leave have to be offered a ‘suitable alternative’ where one is available, giving these employees priority over others who are also at risk of redundancy. However, this provision ends when an individual returns to work.

The proposed legislation will extend this protection for new mothers to six months after return to work. The consultation may also consider applying this right to others, for example men on shared parental leave and those on adoption leave.

While these proposals have been welcomed, advocacy groups have said that the underlying issues remain and more can be done to support parents returning to work and prevent working mothers being discriminated against.

 

If you would like guidance on your Pregnancy, Maternity or Family Friendly policies and procedures in your workplace, contact us at Rob Bryan Associates Limited Main Office: 01462 732444  www.robbryanassociates.org.uk

Preventing Illegal Working

In Employment law, government, workers on January 24, 2019 at 11:41 am

Updates to procedures from January 2019

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All employers have a responsibility to prevent illegal working and must therefore carry out ‘right to work checks.’ Businesses can be fined up £20,000 if they are found to have employed an illegal worker and hadn’t followed the checking procedure. Knowingly employing someone without right to work can result in a jail term and unlimited fine.

From 28th January 2019 employers will be able to use the Home Office’s online checking system to determine a prospective employee’s right to work in the UK without the need to receive documents from the individual. This applies to non-EEA nationals who hold a biometric residence permit/card or EEA nationals who have been granted immigration status under the EU Settlement Scheme. EEA nationals without settled status will still need to provide appropriate documentation.

Immigration minister Caroline Nokes called it “another step we are taking to simplify and modernise the immigration system,” and said it would make it easier than ever for migrants to view and prove their right to work in the UK.

When using the online system the employer is required to:

  • Check each applicant and only recruit, or continue to employ, if the online check confirms their right to work
  • Carry out a visual identification using the photo supplied with the online check
  • Retain the result of the check during the individual’s employment and for two years following

If an online check cannot be carried out, the Home Office Employer Checking Service should be contacted and applicants will need to supply the required documents.

Changes will also be made to the checking of UK Nationals in order to accommodate those who do not hold a passport. List A documents allow UK individuals to provide full or short-form certificates alongside an official document containing their National Insurance number.

 

Links:

https://www.gov.uk/employee-immigration-employment-status

Be Ready for Bad Weather

In Employment law on January 10, 2019 at 10:51 am

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So far, this winter has been fairly mild but as we head into January, we can expect low temperatures and the possibility of ice and snow. Indeed, bad weather such as flooding or severe winds can disrupt work at any time of the year. It pays to be prepared.

If the workplace is able to open, staff are expected to try to make it in to work unless otherwise informed by their employer. If they do not arrive at work they are not entitled to pay.

Employees who do arrive ready to work have the right to be paid. However, there may be no work available or there may be a need to temporarily shut down.

An individual’s ability to get to work may depend on factors beyond their control. Perhaps there is travel disruption, safety concerns or there are issues with dependants such as school closures. Employers need to consider:

  • how all staff can be treated fairly,
  • an incident / emergency communications plan
  • what plans can ensure business continuity.

Some employers offer:

  • home working
  • short notice annual leave
  • using banked time-in-lieu
  • opportunities to make up the lost time

Action:

  • We advise that you include a ‘Bad Weather Policy’ in your Employment Handbook so that management and staff are clear on your company’s protocol should severe weather strike.
  • Consider how you can communicate with your workforce in the event of severe weather

If you would like guidance on implementing this in your workplace, contact us at Rob Bryan Associates Limited Main Office: 01462 732444  www.robbryanassociates.org.uk