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Posts Tagged ‘Flexible Working’

Carers Rights Day – how can you support your employees who have caring responsibilities?

In absence, business principles, contracts, Employment law, Equality, family, Uncategorized on November 25, 2021 at 11:25 am
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Thursday 25th November marks ‘Carers Rights Day’ – an opportunity to recognise all that carers do, as well as for employers to find out more about how to support carers in the workplace.

Research by Carers UK and Age UK shows the importance of employers engaging with employees who are carers. One report found that 10 hours of caring per week can make it a significant challenge to stay in work. Their recent research in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic also tells us that:

  • Four in five unpaid carers are providing more care for relatives
  • 78% reported that the needs of the person they care for have increased during the pandemic
  • Two thirds (67%) worried about how they will cope through further lockdowns or local restrictions.

Those in their late thirties to fifties, known as the ‘sandwich generation’ may be balancing caring for elderly parents whilst also bringing up children and working. They are also likely to represent a higher proportion of those at the peak of their profession – talent that businesses want to retain.

According to Carers UK, leading companies, such as Centrica, have demonstrated strong business benefits to supporting carers and have suggested that, cumulatively, UK companies could save up to £4.8 billion a year in unplanned absences and a further £3.4 billion in improved employee retention by adopting flexible working policies to support those with caring responsibilities.

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

For short-term temporary arrangements, an employee may seek time off for dependants.

The length of this leave is meant to be short and no longer than two days in most situations. It can be longer in some circumstances. An employer is not permitted to require an employee who has requested or taken time off for dependants to rearrange their working hours or make up the time that has been lost. What is reasonable time off will depend on the specific circumstances.

Trial periods, temporary changes, or even career breaks / sabbaticals, in support of retaining a skilled and knowledgeable worker who would otherwise be lost to the business could be a possibility. However, employers should seek advice if they intend to amend terms or have a break in the relationship as continuity of employment needs to be specifically addressed as well as arrangements to return back to previous terms and conditions if that is the intention.

For permanent changes to the working relationship an employee can make a request for flexible working.

Employees, part time or full time, with 26 weeks of service, have the right to request a flexible working arrangement. However, currently, the Government has launched a consultation into changing current flexible working legislation, with the proposal to make the right to request flexible working from day one of employment.

Flexibility is commonly around times of work, or days of work; however, this can also include the type or pattern of work, or even the place or work. The employer has a duty to consider the request in a reasonable manner and respond in writing as soon as practically possible no later than three months after a formal request. An employee making a request has protection from any dismissal or detriment due to their request being made.

If you would like help reviewing your employment policies, please get in touch – 01462 732444  www.robbryanassociates.org.uk 

For further reference: https://www.employersforcarers.org/resources/research/item/1460-juggling-work-and-unpaid-care-a-growing-issue

Proposed Flexible Working from Day One

In business principles, contracts, Employment law, family, government on September 27, 2021 at 10:47 am

The Government has launched a consultation into changing current flexible working legislation. This is open until 1 December 2021. Its proposal is to make the right to request flexible working from day one of employment.

Its aims to bring more employees in to the scope of the legislation and believes it will benefit productivity, motivation, retention and help attract more talent to organisations.

Its proposal is to introduce measures to help make flexible working the default, unless employers have good reasons not to. The consultation will also assess whether the current 8 business reasons for refusal are still valid. The process of managing flexible working requests and the time scales will also be assessed. There is also consideration to allow employees to submit more than one request per year, which is currently all they are entitled to do.

We will await the outcome of the consultation and if the proposal is approved we can assist you with amending your current policy within the handbook to ensure you continue to be legally compliant.

Until then, all current rules and processes will remain in place as usual.

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

Right to Request Flexible Working Extended to All Employees

In Uncategorized on March 24, 2014 at 10:10 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:

Click to access 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