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Archive for the ‘Employment law’ Category

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

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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

 

Government announces reforms to protect agency and gig economy workers

In contracts, Employment law, government, workers on December 19, 2018 at 10:12 am

Reforms to employment law are to be introduced which will better protect agency employees, gig economy workers and those on zero-hours contracts.

In response to the findings of the Taylor Review of modern working practices, business secretary Greg Clark will introduce legislation to:

  • close the loophole which allows for agency workers to be paid less than permanent employees
  • ensure all staff are given a statement their rights from the first day of employment, including eligibility for sick and paid leave
  • give the right for employees who don’t have a fixed working pattern to request one once they have completed 26 weeks with an employer
  • increase the maximum fine handed out by employment tribunals to employers who are found to have shown malice, spite or gross oversight from £5000 to £20000
  • extend the holiday pay reference period in order to reflect the work patterns of seasonal staff

The business secretary called the reforms the “largest upgrade in workers’ rights in over a generation” and said that they would be key in building a fair and productive workplace that reflects the reality of modern working practices.

However, there has been some criticism that the reforms don’t go far enough to address underlying issues, and that controversial zero hours contracts haven’t been banned.