robbryanassociates

Posts Tagged ‘employment’

Employee screening – are you up to date with changes to DBS ID checking?

In Uncategorized on August 13, 2018 at 10:00 am

From the 3rd September 2018 the documentation accepted for DBS checks for non-EEA nationals will be changing. This is to better align the system with Right to Work checks. The current guidelines will continue to run until 3rd December 2018 to allow employers a transition period to adjust their internal procedures.

The changes will apply to all levels of DBS check.

It will no longer be necessary to supply a Passport as an additional item to the following 3 documents:

  • A current Residence Card (including an Accession Residence Card or a Derivative Residence Card) issued by the Home Office to a non-European Economic Area national who is a family member of a national of a European Economic Area country or Switzerland or who has a derivative right of residence.
  • A current Immigration Status Document containing a photograph issued by the Home Office to the holder with a valid endorsement indicating that the named person may stay in the UK, and is allowed to do the type of work in question, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer.
  • A current Immigration Status Document issued by the Home Office to the holder with an endorsement indicating that the named person is allowed to stay indefinitely in the UK or has no time limit on their stay in the UK, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer.

The following documents  have been added to list of items that can be used as the Primary Document for non-EEA nationals seeking paid employment:

  • A Permanent Residence Card issued by the Home Office to the family member of a national of a European Economic Area country or Switzerland – added to documents available for Non EE applicants.
  • A Positive Verification Notice issued by the Home Office Employer Checking Service to the employer or prospective employer, which indicates that the named person may stay in the UK and is permitted to do the work in question – added to documents available for Non EE applicants.

The document below has been added to  the Group 2b document options for all applicant types (UK, EEA and non-EEA nationals):

  • Irish Passport Card

Guidance on the list of supporting documents that can be used by countersignatories in the ID checking process can be found at www.gov.uk/government/publications/dbs-identity-checking-guidelines/id-checking-guidelines-for-countersignatory-applications 

Do you need advice regarding your employee screening processes? Contact RBA to discuss how we can help. 

Rob Bryan Associates Limited Main Office: 01462 732444  rob@robertbryan.co.uk 

 

 

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Heatwave Hot Tips

In Uncategorized on June 28, 2018 at 9:00 am

The good weather helps put a smile on people’s faces, but it can also raise a number of workplace issues.

Here are some tips to help you:

• You may hear from employees, “it’s too hot to work, you have to send us home.” However, the Workplace Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations 1992 state a reasonable temperature must be maintained at work. There is no mention of a maximum! In very hot weather you need to carry out a risk assessment. This should look at the environment, type of work being carried out and the impact on any staff with particular needs, such as a pregnant employee. You should then address any issues. For example, could outside workers start earlier or later to avoid the midday sun?

• Faced with employees arguing that wearing a low-cut dress or shorts and flip flops will keep them cool when it’s ‘too hot’? Perhaps it’s time to relax the dress code a little, but standards of decency must be maintained. So, no very short skirts or shorts. Casual, smart, loose-fitting clothing, and a temporary relaxing of suits and ties so that the company image is maintained may be more appropriate. If staff work outside, watch out for them failing to wear protective clothing to keep cool. High-factor sun cream for those working outdoors would also be a sensible approach.

• Use fans and try keeping blinds closed. Have plenty of cold water available so staff remain hydrated.

• The warm weather can increase the risk of sickness. However, don’t jump to conclusions regarding an employee’s sickness absence on a hot sunny day as they may have sunstroke or hayfever. We always recommend that you should carry out a return-to-work interview.

Although some employees may believe a bit of sun relaxes the workplace rules, you need to manage consistently and fairly.

 

Avoid Scoring a Workplace Own Goal During the World Cup

In Uncategorized on June 21, 2018 at 6:33 am

World Cup

The second round of matches of the World Cup is underway. Dreams are still alive for almost all the teams, and employers are already reporting an increase in absence as football fever takes hold.

But how can employers maintain productivity without being kill-joys? Can you boost morale by allowing staff to participate?

A Flexible Approach

  • One way to facilitate employees following the World Cup is to allow games to be screened or listened to in the work place if your type of business allows. Remember not all employees will be fans so consider a football free zone as well.
  • Allow employees to start or finish earlier or work later to fit in around key games.
  • Consider your internet/social media/mobile phone policy – can this be relaxed to allow employees to follow the game?

Annual Leave Requests

  • More organised fans may have already requested time off but as teams progress to the next round you may get a flurry of leave requests. Follow your usual policy and be fair and consistent in how requests are granted.

Absence

  • An employee calls in sick or fails to arrive on the day of the big game? Follow your usual procedures.

Hungover Staff

  • Football and a few drinks often go hand in hand. But what if your employees are turning up for work in an unfit state? Again, your usual policy should be followed. You should also have a policy in place regarding drinking during working hours.

And as we head to the final whistle…

  • Don’t forget it’s not all about England. You may have staff supporting a number of different teams so make sure any flexible arrangements include them as well.
  • Some people hate football! Avoid them becoming resentful by being open in your communications and not allowing them to have an increased work load due to others taking advantage of a flexible working approach.

 

If you need advice on developing or implementing your workplace policies RBA would be pleased to hear from you.

 

Rob Bryan Associates Limited Main Office: 01462 732444 www.robbryanassociates.org.uk

Dressed for Work?

In Uncategorized on June 28, 2016 at 8:14 pm

When summer does arrive in the UK employers often begin to notice more relaxed dress standards. Now is the time to remind employees of your guidelines on what you regard as acceptable. Dress codes should help Manager’s avoid misunderstandings with employees about what attire is considered appropriate for the work place. Written guidelines will also assist Manager’s in enforcing dress codes in a consistent, non-discriminatory manner.

Employers establish dress codes for a variety of reasons, including to present a positive image to clients, to prohibit employees from coming to work with offensive, distracting, or inappropriate attire, and to avoid clothing that would present a health and safety risk. While business attire was the norm at companies for many years, employers have relaxed dress codes in an effort to improve morale and retention. Casual dress policies have become more common at work in response to employees’ demands for flexibility and a relaxed work environment.

We would advise having clear, fair and enforceable policies on dress in the workplace. You also need to ensure that your workplace actions and expectations are not discriminatory.

You have probably recently seen in the press reference to the London receptionist sent home for not wearing heels. You can understand how a number of professions have to wear particular pieces of uniform for health and safety reasons, but for what logical reasons should women be required to wear high heels?
As the law stands, employers can dismiss staff who fail to live up to “reasonable” dress code demands, as long as they’ve been given enough time to buy the right shoes and clothes. They can set up different codes for men and women, as long as there’s an “equivalent level of smartness”.

Aside from the reasons above, employers should be aware that by dictating dress codes to women, they could find themselves at the wrong end of a discriminations claim if an employee was treated “less favorably” than a colleague of the opposite sex as a result. Simply, where the dress code could result in some disadvantage to the female employee which other male employees do not face, they may have a case on the grounds of sex discrimination

Employers are right to insist that their staff are presentable, neat and professional and appropriately dressed for work, but should not insist that females wear high heels to conduct their working day or shift.

There has also been in the press, details of a Belgian case regarding the treatment of religious observance and dress in the workplace.

In Achbita v G4S Secure Solutions NV the employee – a Muslim woman – was dismissed for insisting on wearing a hijab (or headscarf) when at work. The employer had a blanket rule forbidding any customer-facing employee from wearing visible religious symbols or dress in order to preserve a strict ‘neutrality’ in its dealings with customers. The Belgian Court referred the matter to the European Court of Justice asking whether a dismissal in such circumstances amounted to direct discrimination.

The case has yet to be decided however, it is unlikely that a UK Employment Tribunal could be persuaded that a policy of ‘neutrality’ is a sufficient reason to dismiss a Muslim woman who feels a religious obligation to wear the hijab at work.
Any dress code should be non-discriminatory and should apply to both men and women equally. If you need help to review your dress code please contact us and we can ensure that your workplace policies are not discriminatory and appropriate for your business.

Unemployment figures updated

In Uncategorized on July 19, 2012 at 10:51 am

The Office for National Statistics has today announced the latest unemployment figures. In the 3 months to May 2012 the jobless figure fell 65,000 to end at 2.58 million.

The number of people employed rose in the same period by 181,000 to 29.35 million which is the biggest increase since 2010.

The government has placed much emphasis on the employment of young people. Unemployment for 16-24 year olds fell by 10,000 to 1.02 million.

Dispute the overall fall in jobless numbers the long term unemployed, those who have not worked for two years or more has increased to 441,000 the highest level since 1997.

Earnings

Average earning rose in the year to May by 1.5%. The average wage for UK workers excluding bonuses stood at £442 per week.

Rob Bryan Associates Limited
For all your Employment Matters
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Qualifying period for unfair dismissal claims becomes two years

In Uncategorized on March 30, 2012 at 1:48 pm

For employers it is important to note that despite the headline for this change in employment law due to take effect from 6 April 2012 the detail is crucial.

Employees who commence their new job on or after 6 April will require two year’s service before being able to bring a claim for unfair dismissal in the Employment Tribunal.

Therefore all existing employees will be able to make an unfair dismissal claim in the normal way providing that they have one year’s service. In reality this means that there will be a year of transition between the two requirements.

The current maximum award for an employee at an Employment Tribunal is £72,300.

Rob Bryan Associates
http://www.robbryanassociates.org.uk
robbryan@mac.com

New rates of statutory maternity pay and sick pay

In Uncategorized on March 29, 2012 at 11:48 am

From 9 April 2012 Statutory Maternity pay, Paternity, Additional Paternity, Adoption pay and Maternity Allowance will all increase from £128.73 to £135.45; and Statutory Sick pay will increase from £81.60 to £85.85.

Rob Bryan Associates
http://www.robbryanassociates.org.uk
robbryan@mac.com

Right to Request Flexible Working Extended to All Employees

In Uncategorized on March 3, 2011 at 1:25 pm

Right to Request Flexible Working Extended to All Employees

Key details

Due to come into effect from 30th June 2014, the right to request a flexible pattern of work is amended by:

  • extending the right to request flexible working to all employees (not just those with parental responsibility for a child, or caring responsibilities for an adult);
  • replacing the requirement for the employer to deal with the request in accordance with the statutory procedure with a requirement to “deal with the application in a reasonable manner”; and
  • requiring the employer to notify the employee of its decision within a “decision period” of three months of the application (or longer if this is agreed).

The 26-week qualifying period for employees to make a request for flexible working is retained along with the restriction that employees can only make one flexible working request in any 12-month period.

Acas has produced a draft non-statutory booklet that provides good practice guidance for employers in dealing with such requests and this can be accessed via the following link:

http://www.acas.org.uk/media/pdf/p/6/Handling-requests-to-work-flexibly-in-a-reasonable-manner-an-Acas-guide.pdf

The opening up of the eligibility criteria for the right to request flexible working is likely to lead to some fairly high profile coverage in the media nearer the implementation date, so employers are advised to prepare themselves for a possible influx of applications soon after 30th June 2014. Further advice and guidance on the subject can of course be obtained from your consultant.

Rob Bryan Associates
http://www.robbryanassociates.org.uk
rob@robertbryan.co.uk            chris@robertbryan.co.uk

 

Equality Act

In Uncategorized on July 5, 2010 at 11:43 pm

The Coalition government will be implementing the first stages of the Equality Act from 1 October 2010.

Is you organisation ready for the changes?

Discrimination definitions will be standardised across many different headings including; age, disability, gender reassignment,race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage or civil partnership and maternity and paternity.

See details at http://www.acas.org.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=2840&p=0

Whilst traditionally discrimination was limited to actions against a person with specific personal characteristics – Discrimination by Association means new claims can now arise from a person’s ‘association’ with that person. i.e. discrimination against a parent with a disabled child or removing a job offer upon discovering an employee’s partner was black or gay.

So when did your organisation last review the diversity / equal opportunity policy or carry out any in house seminars for managers supervisors.

For more information and practical help go to http://www.robbryanassociates.org.uk

Rob Bryan LLM MA FCIPD MIOSH