Know Your Stuff - People Archive Return to current edition of Know Your Stuff Edition: Thursday 23rd March 2023 Pay setting in 2023: how much should you award? Useful article setting out current surveys but also some advice about how to approach making your own decisions. Three in five employees feel stressed at work because of cost of living An Acas survey found that three out of five (63 per cent) employees felt stressed because of the rising cost of living, while just over a third (36 per cent) of workers said they did not feel stressed amid the economic situation. What adjustments can HR make to support ADHD employees? Explains how businesses can help those with the condition to thrive in the workplace Is your social media policy fool proof? Following Gary Lineker’s fallout with the BBC, experts say the headlines should act as a wake-up call for employers to eliminate grey areas in their policies. The legal difference between hybrid and flexible working Discusses these two working arrangements and their pitfalls, and explains why organisations need different policies to cover both practices Spring budget 2023: six key points for employers People Management breaks the chancellor’s ‘back to work’ budget into bite-size chunks. Government whitepaper calls for ‘inclusive’ employers and OH overhaul to get disabled people into the workplace Organisations will be offered support, but commentators warn of additional pressure on employers. Dorset Skills Needs Survey Employers and managers across Dorset are asked to complete a short online survey to help understand the skills needed for the county’s workforce to thrive and businesses to grow. The results will be used to shape the provision of all the training providers operating in the post-16 Education and Training system. This may include apprenticeships, T-levels or other workplace learning opportunities as well as online and college based courses. It’s really important that our sector responds so its not just driven by the private sector. Also, to highlight any training needs we specifically need in the sector such as fundraising skills and volunteer management. So please take 10-15 minutes to complete this. Edition: Thursday 16th March 2023 Looking After Your People - Free Human Resources Advice Session Join experienced HR professional, Sonia Wilson, for the next monthly Human Resources Q&A for small charities and social enterprises on 22 March 10-11am on Zoom. Sonia will update on changes in best practice as well as answer your questions on people related issues. Plant pot packer who was deemed unfit for work after epileptic episodes was victim of unfair dismissal and discrimination Judge says a lack of formal invitation to discuss the occupational health report, which contained inaccuracies, was ‘procedurally unfair’. The case highlighted “just how important it is that a fair process is followed” by employers before dismissing an employee, pointing out the risks from malpractice. Assistant restaurant manager ‘P45d’ in ‘underhand’ way before maternity leave was unfairly dismissed Judge says allocation of fewer shifts followed by sudden dismissal was down to her pregnancy. This case serves as a reminder to employers to take extra care when dealing with maternity and pregnancy issues. Two fifths of female senior managers quizzed about plans to have children in interviews Experts warn employers asking these questions could face discrimination, victimisation and harassment claims under the Equality Act. What to consider when revisiting disciplinary measures If an employee is disciplined twice for the same offence, is the subsequent dismissal automatically unfair? This article discusses this in light of a recent tribunal and concludes that while there would need to be unusual facts for an employer to be justified in reopening a disciplinary matter, it would not necessarily lead to a finding that dismissal following the second hearing was unfair. A guide to ethical recruitment A look at the practices and protocols charities might want to put in place in order to keep hiring ethical – and why it matters. Why survey (charity) staff? Although a couple of years old this useful report; Why you should survey your staff (and volunteers) Good, evidence-based, survey design and management What's important when analysing and acting on the findings Almost half of employees think the praise they receive at work is an empty gesture Survey points out the need for personal and sincere recognition as a third said it was received in an ‘uncomfortable’ way Resignation and notice periods Acas have updated their online advice pages recently on resignation and notice periods. Apprenticeships Watch new videos where the Acas learning and development team discuss the value and format of apprenticeships and also hear from people who have undertaken apprenticeships at Acas. You can also view full Acas advice on apprenticeships. How to work with freelancers effectively Explores some of the best ways that charities can improve their relationships with freelancers. Dorset Skills Needs Survey Employers and managers across Dorset are asked to complete a short online survey to help understand the skills needed for the county’s workforce to thrive and businesses to grow. The results will be used to shape the provision of all the training providers operating in the post-16 Education and Training system. This may include apprenticeships, T-levels or other workplace learning opportunities as well as online and college based courses. It’s really important that our sector responds so its not just driven by the private sector. Also, to highlight any training needs we specifically need in the sector such as fundraising skills and volunteer management. So please take 10-15 minutes to complete this. Edition: Thursday 9th March 2023 Looking After Your People - Free Human Resources Advice Session Join experienced HR professional, Sonia Wilson, for the next monthly Human Resources Q&A for small charities and social enterprises on 22 March 10-11am on Zoom. Sonia will update on changes in best practice as well as answer your questions on people related issues. Mechanical engineer who ‘suspended himself’ without presenting a sick note was unfairly dismissed Judge says employer did not properly consider employee’s ‘sudden display of potential mental health issues’ before firing him for gross misconduct. An employment lawyer said the message for employers was that “although it might be a rule to provide a sick note to cover absence, it is very dangerous to apply that rule strictly without looking at the individual circumstances. The tribunal felt there was more that the employer could have done that may well have avoided a dismissal decision.” Employee Appreciation Day Was on Friday 3 March. This short article discusses some ideas about how to show appreciation. Maybe more relevant to private sector but some ideas for thought. Supporting neurodivergent employees Small adjustments to the workplace will ensure businesses bring out the best in their neurodiverse staff. Managing family friendly policies Employers are increasingly realising that a flexible and people-centric approach can be a valuable tool. This article explores the legal considerations when implementing new initiatives. Volunteering hits nadir According to the latest Community Life Survey, the proportion of adults volunteering either formally or informally, monthly or annually, all fell to their lowest levels since it began collecting data in 2013-14. In 2021-22, 16% of adults said they took part in formal volunteering at least once a month and 27% once a year, compared to 17% and 30% respectively the year before. Some 26% of respondents said they had informally volunteered in the past month and 46% in 2021-22 overall, compared to 33% (the highest ever recorded by the survey) and 54% respectively the year prior. Coronation Champions Awards Royal Voluntary Service has launched new awards in celebration of the Coronation of His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Queen Consort. The Coronation Champions Awards will recognise exceptional volunteers from across the country, and from a wide range of causes. Royal Voluntary Service is seeking volunteer nominations in eight award categories including: supporting older people; supporting young people and children; crisis and welfare; community; sports, culture, and heritage; health and care; sustainability and the environment; and animal welfare. Aiming to celebrate and inspire the next generation of volunteers in particular, nominations are open to people aged 14 and over. The deadline is Sunday 2 April. Dorset Skills Needs Survey Employers and managers across Dorset are asked to complete a short online survey to help understand the skills needed for the county’s workforce to thrive and businesses to grow. The results will be used to shape the provision of all the training providers operating in the post-16 Education and Training system. This may include apprenticeships, T-levels or other workplace learning opportunities as well as online and college based courses. It’s really important that our sector responds so its not just driven by the private sector. Also, to highlight any training needs we specifically need in the sector such as fundraising skills and volunteer management. So please take 10-15 minutes to complete this. Edition: Thursday 2nd March 2023 Looking After Your People - Free Human Resources Advice Session Join experienced HR professional, Sonia Wilson, for the next monthly Human Resources Q&A for small charities and social enterprises on 22 March 10-11am on Zoom. Sonia will update on changes in best practice as well as answer your questions on people related issues. Museum cleaners accused of being ‘rude and abusive’ were unfairly and wrongfully dismissed Judge said that the employer ‘had not carried out a reasonable investigation’ which could have repaired the relationship before dismissal. Another example of where not following ACAS process meant it cost the employer about £9,000. Guide to understanding discrimination claims in the workplace Short article summarising the law on discrimination, harassment and victimisation. Also have a look at CIPD’s simple inclusion health checker tool. Charities consider permanent four-day week switch after trial Charities that took part in the world’s largest four-day week trial have said they are now considering making the change to working patterns permanent. The initiative, which was piloted in the UK between June and December 2022 by 61 organisations with around 2,900 workers, published its results today. Around seven charities piloted the scheme, whereby employees received 100% of their pay for 80% of their usual hours and a commitment to deliver 100% of their normal productivity. The importance of a well-handled employee departure Some advice on how to try and project yourself from disgruntled employees. Mobilising young adult volunteers The National Lottery Community Fund have this useful piece. Dorset Skills Needs Survey Employers and managers across Dorset are asked to complete a short online survey to help understand the skills needed for the county’s workforce to thrive and businesses to grow. The results will be used to shape the provision of all the training providers operating in the post-16 Education and Training system. This may include apprenticeships, T-levels or other workplace learning opportunities as well as online and college based courses. It’s really important that our sector responds so its not just driven by the private sector. Also, to highlight any training needs we specifically need in the sector such as fundraising skills and volunteer management. So please take 10-15 minutes to complete this. Edition: Thursday 23rd February 2023 Disabled postal worker told to remove bag of medical supplies from work area was victim of disability harassment Judge found that even though the manager was unaware of disability, it did not prevent their conduct from being ‘disability-related’. A disabled postal worker who was told to remove a bag of medical supplies from their work area by an “insensitive” manager was a victim of disability harassment, a tribunal has ruled. Although the manager had the legal right to speak about the bag since they were a manager, their behaviour in doing so was inappropriate and amounted to “unwanted conduct”, which had the effect of “violating her dignity.” Florist delivery driver handed P45 without disciplinary process unfairly dismissed Despite a reduction of 50 per cent for ‘blameworthy conduct’, judge says employee was not given opportunity to ‘explain what was going on’. So even if the reason for dismissal is legitimate not following any sort of fair process can get an employer in trouble. Factory worker was victim of sex discrimination when HR took female colleague’s complaint more seriously than his A factory worker was a victim of direct sex discrimination when HR subjected him to “less favourable treatment because of his sex” following a series of complaints made between him and a female co-worker, a tribunal has ruled. The tribunal found that the woman’s complaint against a male colleague was handled more promptly and “expeditiously” by the employer and that while he was suspended during the proceedings, she was “stepped up” to team leader. Proof of discrimination: handling tribunal requirements Employers defending Equality Act claims can take some comfort from a recent EAT ruling. The key questions here were whether the poor performance was caused by the disability and whether the unfavourable treatment was because of something that arose because of the disability. In practice, the required evidence will depend on the particular facts. It will usually be in the form of witness statements, medical reports and documentary evidence to show the link between the impact of the disability and the treatment of the employee. Understanding and managing conflict in hybrid teams In spite of its many benefits, hybrid working brings some unique challenges here are some tips on addressing potential areas of tension. Dorset Skills Needs Survey Employers and managers across Dorset are asked to complete a short online survey to help understand the skills needed for the county’s workforce to thrive and businesses to grow. The results will be used to shape the provision of all the training providers operating in the post-16 Education and Training system. This may include apprenticeships, T-levels or other workplace learning opportunities as well as online and college based courses. It’s really important that our sector responds so its not just driven by the private sector. Also, to highlight any training needs we specifically need in the sector such as fundraising skills and volunteer management. So please take 10-15 minutes to complete this. . Edition: Thursday 16th February 2023 Female office clerk required to use men’s toilets was victim of direct sex discrimination Judge says a woman being at risk of seeing a man using the urinals is ‘not the same’ as the risk of a male seeing another male. The ruling found that the toilet facilities were “inadequate” because of the risk of coming across a man using the urinal and the lack of a sanitary bin. The EAT found that the provision of toilet facilities was “inadequate in comparison to men” and that she suffered “less favourable treatment”. Receptionist fired due to suspected testifying against his employer in sexual harassment case was unfairly dismissed Judge made ‘no hesitation’ in ruling the dismissal was unfair and would also be classed as victimisation under the Equality Act 2010. It ruled that employer’s “blanket denial” response meant it failed to show that it dismissed them for a potentially fair reason, and that the general manager tried to delay the proceedings to “avoid judgement being made against him” by complaining that they were in pain during the hearing. The case clearly demonstrates that employers cannot cut corners with disciplinaries. Estate agent who went off sick with stress was unfairly dismissed after ‘manufactured complaint’ Judge says there was ‘little or no independent investigation’ before the decision to dismiss the employee. How to identify fraudulent job applications In light of recent headlines regarding falsified qualifications, this short article explores what may be lurking beneath the surface of candidates’ CVs and what employers can do to mitigate the risks Workplace dispute resolution: without prejudice meetings In light of a recent tribunal ruling, this explains when employers can rely on the ‘without prejudice’ rule when holding discussions with staff. 5 things you can do today to boost menopause support in the workplace Ministers have rejected a recommendation to make menopause a protected characteristic under the Equality Act. There is a significant evidence base for the change, with more than two in five (44%) of women saying their ability to work had been affected due to the menopause. However, despite ministers rejecting the change in the law, employers can still embed menopause support within their people practice, contracts, and policies. Avoiding sexual orientation discrimination: a guide for employers Following official guidance form the Equality and Human Rights Commission and taking action to build an inclusive culture will reduce the risk of claims Two thirds of UK women from underrepresented groups experience racism at work Experts say organisations need to be at the ‘forefront of change’ and adopt a zero-tolerance approach towards bullying and harassment. Still sad but true and the report reiterates the good practice needed in the workplace. Mental Health in the workplace New videos from Acas Head of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Time to talk about mental health at work Mental health in the workplace Workplace romances: what to consider In Valentine’s Day week, this outlines how employers should deal with office relationships. Employee financial wellbeing: A practical guide This guide provides practical advice to employers of all sizes and sectors on how to take action to promote and support their employees’ financial wellbeing, including the five critical steps to developing an effective policy. Looking After Your People - Free Human Resources Advice Session - Wednesday 22nd Ferbuary Join experienced HR professional, Sonia Wilson, for the next monthly Human Resources Q&A for small charities and social enterprises on 22 February 10-11am. Sonia will update on changes in best practice as well as answer your questions on people related issues. Dorset Skills Needs Survey Employers and managers across Dorset are asked to complete a short online survey to help understand the skills needed for the county’s workforce to thrive and businesses to grow. The results will be used to shape the provision of all the training providers operating in the post-16 Education and Training system. This may include apprenticeships, T-levels or other workplace learning opportunities as well as online and college based courses. It’s really important that our sector responds so its not just driven by the private sector. Also, to highlight any training needs we specifically need in the sector such as fundraising skills and volunteer management. So please take 10-15 minutes to complete this. Edition: Thursday 9th February 2023 Dorset Skills Needs Survey Employers and managers across Dorset are asked to complete a short online survey to help understand the skills needed for the county’s workforce to thrive and businesses to grow. The results will be used to shape the provision of all the training providers operating in the post-16 Education and Training system. This may include apprenticeships, T-levels or other workplace learning opportunities as well as online and college based courses. It’s really important that our sector responds so it’s not just driven by the private sector. Also, to highlight any training needs we specifically need in the sector such as fundraising skills and volunteer management. So please take 10-15 minutes to complete this. Graduate worker who faced jokes about deportation was racially harassed Judge says manager’s comment was ‘ill-judged’ and failed to take into account employee’s visa situation. The key point from this case is that “it does not matter” if a comment has no intention of causing offence. Some employees may not realise that observations they make or comments they intend to be a joke may well amount to harassment. Training with clear examples of what is not acceptable is key. Employees should understand that workplace ‘banter’ can easily land them and their employers in legal hot water. The menopause at work: resources Access resources to help you break the stigma in your workplace. How to manage your volunteers without the paperwork Twine Volunteer is a free mobile app helping your volunteers record their contributions without any paperwork, and helping you better understand the work they're doing. It’s a hassle-free way to keep tabs on your activities and projects and how much time and effort each requires. Twine Volunteer is free and easy to use. Volunteers log their time and the data is instantly available to you in an interactive, customisable dashboard. You can also enter data on their behalf, upload historical logs and download data for your records. Edition: Thursday 2nd February 2023 Factory supervisor who handed keys in and said ‘I’m done’ did not resign and was unfairly dismissed A factory supervisor who handed in her keys in an “anxious state” and said she was “done” did not resign and was unfairly dismissed, a tribunal has ruled. The employee, anxious after a colleague accused her of bullying and then her stoma bag leaked, was a victim of unfair and wrongful dismissal when her employer took her leaving the workplace as a resignation. The tribunal found that they took the chance to dismiss her as her dispute with a colleague was “a troublesome situation”, and “grasped the opportunity” to determine that Cope resigned so they could keep the other colleague on – and that managing both parties was a “difficulty”. The judge said a ‘reasonable employer’ could not have considered the actions to be an ‘unambiguous’ resignation. Advice is that this case should remind employers that it’s wise to allow a “cooling off period” to any employees who infer a resignation when emotions are running high. There is no fixed amount of time for this cooling period as it will depend on all the circumstances and will ultimately be for a tribunal to decide what is reasonable. It's often sensible in such cases to follow up in writing to confirm that the employee intended to resign. Two airport workers made redundant during the pandemic were wrongfully dismissed A reminder that you must follow a fair process with criteria that are objective and measurable and the criteria is precise, clear and transparent. Navigating maternity leave issues Highlights some of the key considerations surrounding maternity leave that every employer should be aware of. Menopause leave trial rejected by ministers but employers can still create supportive policies A parliamentary committee and many pressure groups had pushed for menopause to be a protected characteristic. However, the government has rejected this but says it will encourage employers to introduce policies, etc. Disability discrimination update Outlines the latest developments in this area, including pay gap reporting, long Covid and flexible working. Looking After Your People - Free Human Resources Advice Session Experienced HR expert, Sonia Wilson from Populo HR will lead this free recurring monthly session to help support you and your organisation. It will include a brief update on employment legislation and people-related issues, followed by an open question and answer session with Sonia. Next session: 22 February, 2023, 10-11am. Big Help Out (BHO) To celebrate the coronation, BHO aims to: Mobilise people on the Bank Holiday Monday (8th May) of the coronation weekend to make a difference in communities by volunteering Create opportunities in every community to take part in local volunteering - e.g., taster volunteer sessions – which could lead to longer term commitment Tell a story about the personal and community benefits of volunteering. How volunteering will develop in 2023 Charity Digital looks at how the cost-of-living crisis will affect volunteering trends in 2023 . Edition: Thursday 26th January 2023 NHS sonographer subjected to ‘angry tirade’ by senior midwife during scan was harassed Judge says the grievance was managed ‘poorly’ as it took months to start the process and was ‘woefully inadequate’, finding that the complaint was “swept under the rug” during an informal process to protect the senior team member “from the consequences of her conduct towards a younger member of staff”. Employers should ensure the status of a complaint is clarified at the outset and that internal grievance processes are followed fully and promptly. Presenteeism and disability discrimination Explores a recent tribunal ruling that highlights the risk of employers ignoring the health concerns of their staff. Working with trade unions New guidance from CIPD aims to provide practical advice and recommend actions on building an effective working relationship with trade unions and members. Government consultation on holiday pay Has been launched on the way holiday pay and entitlement is calculated for temporary, part-year and zero-hours workers, open to 9 March 2023. People Management explores the aims of the consultation and asks experts for their views New employment laws for 2023 What upcoming legislation do you need to know about? Half of British public intend to volunteer in 2023 A survey by National Lottery Community Fund has found almost half (49%) of British people intend to volunteer in 2023, an increase of 3% on the year prior. Young people aged 18-24 were most likely to say they would volunteer (69%). Meanwhile, food banks were the most likely to receive help, with 42% of respondents intending to support one through volunteering. . Edition: Thursday 19th January 2023 Ten key employment law cases from 2022 As we begin a new year, this pulls together a selection of employment law cases from the last 12 months which brought to light key employment issues. Really recommended read. Its very short and succinct but sets out some clear learning points. Train driver who shared racially charged posts after being 'sucked in' to Twitter during Brexit was unfairly dismissed Another example of making sure as an employer that you cross the t’s etc. HGV driver involved in fight with colleague was unfairly dismissed Another example of getting process wrong and that employers must genuinely believe an employee was guilty of misconduct, that this belief was based on reasonable grounds, that a reasonable investigation and fair process was completed and that dismissal was a reasonable outcome. Disabled employability adviser fired for requesting a suitable work chair was victim of disability discrimination A disabled employability adviser who was dismissed after asking for a suitable work chair during lockdown was a victim of disability discrimination, a tribunal ruled. The employer failed to make reasonable adjustments that placed them at a “substantial disadvantage” when compared with non-disabled persons, because they were unable to work while sitting on a dining chair. The tribunal ruled that this disadvantage may have been mitigated by providing them with a suitable chair, which was an auxiliary aid. How to support disabled employees Outlines how businesses can make their workplaces and recruitment practices disability friendly. Also ACAS has produced a new video about how to better support disabled employees. Investigations and disciplinaries – how to manage and disclose information ACAS are providing free webinars to help employers improve their processes and avoid making potentially costly mistakes which could lead to conflict and potential tribunal claims at a later stage. They include the information employers should provide a person being investigated and whether witnesses can remain anonymous. Thursday 9 Feb 2.00pm - 2.30pm and Thursday 16 Feb 11.00am - 11.30am How to manage employees with side jobs In response to a recent case involving a cake-making second job, experts outline what employers should consider when handling supplemental incomes. A recent survey has found that more than four million (16%) UK workers are considering a second job to combat cost of living. One-off payments: what do you need to know? This short article sets out what demand/expectation there is from employees and what employers are saying about their intentions to help people with cost of living, and sets out pros and cons. How to handle employees going through divorce Marital breakdown can drastically impact on staff wellbeing and performance, so what’s the best way to support those experiencing problem? Here are 5 tips. Government advises feverish children to stay at home – what does this mean for employers? As cases of respiratory-related illnesses increase, People Management asks how employers should respond. Volunteering intentions from young adults could see extra 2.5mn give their time this year Research found that one in six of 18-34 plan to start volunteering in 2023. . Edition: Thursday 12th January 2023 Married restaurant workers who faced homophobic bullying were discriminated against A waiter and his husband who were “bullied for months on end” because of their sexual orientation by their colleagues and boss were discriminated against, a tribunal has ruled. The case serves as an important reminder to employers to proactively facilitate a working environment that promotes genuine equality and inclusion at all levels, and that employers should engrain robust policies and procedures at all levels and conduct regular training with staff members. What is the law around special benefit conditions and discrimination? Although this case may seem to be very specific it does imply that if an employer does offer special or further benefits that this will be assumed to be favourable and so employees won’t be able to claim loss or discrimination. Combating sexual harassment at work Report on a recent workplace scandal that serves as a timely reminder for employers to get their harassment policies in order Recruitment & retention one of top 3 keeping charity leaders awake at night The findings are revealed in a new publication. The report reveals that the top three concerns for charity leaders at the current time are: Continuing and unprecedented volatility and the resulting stress Exhaustion across the sector Recruiting and retaining staff New guidance to help employers recruit inclusively CIP article discusses their recently published practical guidance on inclusive recruitment, one guide aimed at employers and another at managers responsible for recruiting. CIPD is also urging employers to take a proactive, long-term strategic approach to inclusion and diversity. Menopause: how to support your team Some ways leadership can support staff through the menopause Supporting employees experiencing pregnancy or baby loss Pregnancy and baby loss can be a very difficult time and, unfortunately, it’s more common than many people think. It’s estimated that one in four pregnancies in the UK end in loss during pregnancy or birth. CIPD wants to help bridge the lack of workplace provision by encouraging organisations to view pregnancy and baby loss as an important workplace issue and by providing practical guidance. This guide aims to: raise awareness of the prevalence and impact of pregnancy and baby loss highlight the need for effective workplace support and what that might look like inspire employers to create an environment where individuals feel able to access support if they want to. Supporting employees whose children have died or are hospitalised Footballer Ronaldo’s recent criticisms of Manchester United shone a spotlight on how employers deal with grieving parents and those with seriously ill children. This short article discusses how. Working with long Covid Explains how employers can best support staff suffering from the condition in the workplace Handling holiday entitlements Disputes over annual leave can lead to workplace tension, grievances and tribunal claims, making it critical for managers to understand the rules. Dealing with dying at work Should organisations do more to support employees facing a terminal diagnosis? This short article looks into recent research to reflect on this question and make the case for better employer support. . Edition Week Commencing: Thursday 15th December 2022 Youth worker was disadvantaged in redundancy interview, but adjustment would provide unfair edge Interesting case that shows that an “adjustment is not reasonable” if it eliminates the substantial disadvantage for the disabled employee while giving them an advantage over other employees in the process. Dyslexic shop worker made redundant for inaccuracies in emails was discriminated against Judge says M&S had ‘no reason’ not to comply with employment law principles. A dyslexic store layout planner was dismissed and discriminated against when she was selected for a redundancy process based on her ability to communicate and express her thoughts in emails. The tribunal ruled that M&S did not seek expert opinion from occupational health, and that it “discriminated against her because of things arising in consequence of her disability”. The Tribunal ruled that M&S’s selection criteria was unfair as it “contained no purely objective elements and left a great deal of scope for subjective opinion”. The latest age discrimination tribunal cases With current economic conditions increasing the risk of claims, this article provides an update on developments in this field. Exclusivity clauses - changes to the law from Dec 5 Now bans exclusivity clauses for the lowest paid not just those on zero hour contracts. This means they can work more flexibly, boost their pay and choose when and where they work. ACAS have amended their guidance (look towards the bottom of the page). Investigations Investigations are, unfortunately, a fact of life for many charities. Law firm Bates Wells have learned through experience that it’s important for charities to have a plan in place, as well as a thorough and objective process that will stand up to scrutiny and minimise the risks to your charity. Here is a short guide. Why employers should beware of office banter Guidance on how to deal with banter-related bullying complaints More than 30 million working days lost to work-related ill health over the past year The primary causes of ill health being work-related stress, depression or anxiety, musculoskeletal disorders and exposure to coronavirus at work. The latest annual statistics also found that new cases of ill health in the workforce cost £11.2bn in 2019-20, which is having a detrimental impact on the economy. Separately ACAS survey shows that 1 in 4 employers have seen an increase in staff being off sick compared to a year ago. Cold, flu or Covid? Taking sick days in an always-on era Outlines how to create a healthy, happy and productive workforce and empower staff with personal accountability. In the era of hybrid work, many employees feel conflicted about what is sick enough to take a day off, and how to have these conversations with managers. On the flip side, for those managing a workforce, understanding how to empower staff with personal accountability and supporting their wellbeing is incredibly important every day of the year – but even more so in winter flu season. Supporting employees after a cancer diagnosis Outlines what managers should and shouldn’t do when a member of staff becomes seriously ill Two in five workers with less visible disabilities have not disclosed to their employer Employers encouraged to take a ‘holistic view’ of inclusion as separate poll reveals disabled employees could be harbouring financial woes Putting the HR in Christmas parties As offices are adorned with tinsel and celebrations begin this short article explores the risks that come with the festive season. A Christmas party organised by an employer – even if away from the office – is likely to be viewed as an extension of the workplace. This means any misconduct at work Christmas parties will be considered to be 'in the course of employment' and can lead to a flurry of grievances, disciplinaries and even discrimination or harassment claims for which the employer can be held vicariously liable. Charities adopt permanent four-day week to boost efficiency and staff wellbeing Charities including those taking part in a six-month pilot programme have moved to a permanent four-day working week to boost staff wellbeing and increase efficiency. How cold is too cold for employees who can't afford to turn the heating on? As the Met Office issues yellow snow and ice warnings across the UK, People Management asks legal experts what duty of care extends to home workers. A Guide to HR Systems This guide for charities and not for profits provides information on various software. . Edition Week Commencing: Thursday 8th December 2022 Sales adviser who gave personal number to customers and waited five months for disciplinary hearing was unfairly dismissed Despite wrongdoing by the employee, judge says the delay in proceedings was ‘surprising’ and objectively unreasonable. A guide to inclusive recruitment for employers CIPD’s new step by step guide for employers to ensure fair processes are set up to attract a more diverse talent pool. Key steps to consider when making recruitment more inclusive include: role design and the job advert attracting diverse candidates the application process the selection process monitoring and measuring How to handle redundancies with compassion Five important practices to keep in mind when laying off staff Why employers should do more to support dyslexic staff A neurodiverse workforce can bring significant benefits to businesses. More than six million adults in the UK have dyslexia, amounting to one in six adults. A recent survey found that three-quarters of employees hide their dyslexia at work. Clearly, employers need to do more to support and empower employees, as well as broaden their recruitment to be more inclusive. Should employers adopt the NHS guidance on menopause? The NHS has issued guidance that encourages line managers and employees to adopt practices such as “normalising asking for help”. It also aims to introduce practical measures such as flexible working, lighter duties, fans to reduce temperatures, cooler uniforms and staff training. This article urges organisations to follow the new guidelines, and asks if it is enough to spark real change Supporting male staff beyond Movember Employers urged to focus on men’s health and wellbeing all year round as16 per cent of men feel work provides little or no wellbeing support, compared to just 8 per cent of women. Is hybrid working damaging productivity? Research suggests fears that homeworking is less efficient are unfounded – using this arrangement sensibly will help firms retain engaged and high-performing staff, this article argues. . Edition Week Commencing: Thursday 1st December 2022 Rail employee who faced racial comments about knives and drugs was discriminated against A tribunal found that the employee was labelled “threatening and intimidating” due to his Black Caribbean origin. It found that the process was flawed as it did not involve all witnesses and did not explore the relationship between the employee and the colleague who reported him. This case highlights the need for clear equality policies and proper training of managers and employees. GP receptionist in high-risk group was discriminated against when she couldn't work remotely during pandemic Legal experts say ruling is a ‘sign of things to come’ as judge throws out defence that it is ‘not practical’ for a receptionist to work from home as a reasonable adjustment. Employee treated like ‘femme fatale’ by HR was harassed and victimised Employer perpetrated stereotype of worker as someone who ‘sought to make money’ from manager’s unwanted sexual conduct. The tribunal shows the importance for those investigating grievances to do so properly and “to be trained accordingly and to investigate with an open mind”. World Cup 2022: Six things employers need to be aware of Outlines the workplace issues that could arise due to the World Cup More charities agree to pay real living wage despite increased rate More charity sector employers have committed to paying staff a real living wage (RLW) in 2022 than last year, according to campaigners. Labour Market Outlook CIPD’s latest quarterly report 46% of recruiting employers have hard-to-fill vacancies. These are most common in transport and storage (60%), voluntary (56%) and healthcare (55%). Upskilling the most popular response to hiring difficulties Redundancy intentions tick upwards median expected basic pay increase stands at 4% in total. Expected pay awards in the private sector have risen to a median of 5% and 4% for the voluntary sector. Almost half of firms would hire someone with convictions but bias remains Study reveals one in three would reject a candidate with a criminal record as experts warn businesses are missing out on talent. Two-thirds of working mothers say their career stalled after having children Experts are ‘unsurprised’ by findings and call for firms to introduce more flexible work options for staff. Organisations need to take action on mental wellbeing With the WHO issuing new guidance relating to mental health at work, this article discusses exactly what employers can, and should, do How to spot and stop burnout Short useful guide. . Edition Week Commencing: Thursday 24th November 2022 What workplace model best suits neurodiverse employees? Discusses the mix of office, home and hybrid working to ensure employers are being inclusive and retain their staff. Four top tips for disciplinary and grievance investigations A step-by-step guide for employers on conducting effective workplace inquiries Redundancy and the ‘pool of one’ Employers should beware applying a single criterion for redundancy selection, warns CIPD. And a recent judgement finds airline made length of service the ‘de facto selection criterion’, putting younger employees at a disadvantage. How to address mental health at work New blog from ACAS. . Edition Week Commencing: Monday 14th November 2022 Pharmacy assistant fired by 'hot headed' director over anonymous complaint was unfairly and wrongfully dismissed Judge finds director was not ‘truthful’ as he made attempts to ‘rewrite history’ and cover up wrongful dismissal. The case was a “stark reminder” for employers to follow a fair process, and acting in the heat of the moment may mean having to pay significant sums to compensate an employee who is unfairly dismissed. Also any attempt to cover one’s tracks by trying to mislead a tribunal is doomed to failure and the best way of dealing with mistakes is to acknowledge them and try to put them right, properly, by applying a fair procedure. Third of workers have looked for a second job as inflation rises Experts say it is difficult for employers to impose an absolute ban on staff running a side business, but contractual clauses can ensure it doesn’t interfere with their work. Flexible working: the challenges of a two-tier workforce With figures showing most employees want to split their time between home and the office, this short article explores the negative implications of having a hybrid workforce. How can employers help to stamp out microaggressions at work? Advice on tackling discrimination in the workplace and building an inclusive environment (survey found that four in 10 UK employees have experienced microaggressions at work related to their identity). Handling discrimination-based grievances Explores considerations outside of the Acas Code of Practice when dealing with a complaint that involves discriminatory behaviour. . Edition Week Commencing: Monday 7th November 2022 The latest in sex discrimination tribunal cases Outlines the latest case law developments in the realm of sex discrimination Unqualified director who installed a cryo-chamber which leaked harmful gas was unfairly dismissed Another example of where an employer has got policies and process wrong! So make sure yours are up to date and fit for purpose. Office assistant called ‘fatty’ by boss who wanted ‘slim, smart’ workers was victim of harassment Judge rules director’s comments imply women were employed for reasons unrelated to an ability to do the job, and created a hostile, degrading environment. Can employers insist staff use other people's preferred pronouns? In light of a recent EAT ruling, this explores how the Equality Act applies when an employee's beliefs clash with an aspect of their job National Stress Awareness Day This was on 2 November. ACAS has produced a short video about work-related stress, especially recognising the signs of burnout and how we all can support our mental health and wellbeing at work and a blog. Whistleblowing: a guide for employers With the number of cases rising, now is the time for organisations to get their cultures sorted. . Edition Week Commencing: Monday 31st October 2022 Bus driver who fought with driver from another company was unfairly dismissed Again another example of what would seem to be a reasonable decision by an employer fails because due and fair process was not followed. Is a cybersecurity incident cause for a disciplinary? Outlines what employers should do if a member of staff enables a cyber attack Common HR horrors Outlines common themes that are haunting employers this autumn, and give tips on how to avoid them developing into a nightmare scenario, including sexual harassment, long term sickness and new annual leave rules for part year staff. Rolling blackouts: what does HR need to know? Will there be blackouts? What should you plan to do when thinking about your workforce? Right to work checks Following the end of temporary measures for right to work checks on 1 October, this article provides guidance for employers on how to do them properly. Right to work checks must be conducted in relation to all potential employees, regardless of nationality or ethnic origin, before the employee starts work. If an employer gets this wrong they are risking a civil penalty of up to £20,000 for employing an illegal worker! Two-thirds of Black employees experienced racism last year Data reveals a decline in workers reporting racism to HR as experts suggest leaders “speak out” to improve transparency. How to make recruitment disability-inclusive You want to attract brilliant candidates to your charity. Yet common recruitment practices put up barriers that stop all kinds of talented people from learning about, considering, or applying to join your team. Find out how to improve things. . Edition Week Commencing: Monday 24th October 2022 Race and employment CIPD have updated their fact sheet which explores the UK legal position and main issues employers face when dealing with race discrimination in the workplace. NHS worker who threatened to rip off colleague’s beard was unfairly dismissed Again an example of where the ‘offence’ may have been a reasonable reason because the of procedural defects and breach of policy it rendered the entire dismissal process unfair. Disabled lawyer snubbed during recruitment process was discriminated against This was a result of receiving a less than complimentary references and HR experts have said employers should “take care to investigate these fully to understand any link with any potential disability and should consider seeking legal advice before acting upon these”. Supporting disabled employees The government has launched a new £6.4 million online service to help employers better support disabled people and those with health conditions in the workplace. The early test version of the Support with Employee Health and Disability service provides essential information about supporting and managing employees with disabilities or health conditions at work. Any employer can access the service, which provides free advice on how to manage staff who may be in or out of work with a disability or long-term health condition in a user-friendly online Q&A format. The service is aimed at smaller businesses, many of which do not have in-house HR support or access to an occupational health service. Why every day should be World Mental Health Day at work Short article making the case. How to confront flagging staff performance Avoid the awkwardness and address underperformance with these tips. Pay cuts: the law and potential pitfalls Outlines what employers need to know when considering reducing their employees’ salaries World Menopause Day Managing the effects of the menopause at work is important for both employers and their staff. A new survey from Acas has found that a third of employers (33%) do not feel well equipped to support women going through the menopause. For those experiencing symptoms it can be a difficult and stressful time. Everyone will experience the menopause differently and for some, symptoms can be quite severe and can affect people both physically and mentally. Acas’s advice for employers includes: Develop a menopause policy that explains how the menopause can affect people differently and what support is available; Provide awareness training for managers on the menopause and how to deal with it sensitively and fairly; and Consider making practical changes at work to help staff manage their symptoms such as the availability of cold drinking water and temperature control.. . Edition Week Commencing: Monday 17th October 2022 Insurance worker compared to Pontius Pilate by head of HR was victim of harassment and discrimination Judge rules statement displayed ‘complete lack’ of diversity training and could be ‘deeply offensive’. It’s a reminder that a seemingly harmless comment made to lighten the tone of redundancy conversations can be considered harassment. Arguing that a comment was made light-heartedly or was banter is rarely successful as a defence and as such care and thought is taken to minimise the risk of claims. Dismissal protection for time off A recent tribunal ruling is a reminder that employees have a day one statutory right to take unpaid leave to deal with emergencies. Workplace support for employees experiencing pregnancy or baby loss CIPD have published research that finds: Just over a third of organisations (36%) have a policy concerning pregnancy loss/miscarriage, whether it’s a standalone policy or part of a wider one. The top three most helpful forms of employer support, according to employees who had experienced pregnancy and baby loss are: paid compassionate or other special leave, understanding from their manager that it can be a challenging time, paid time off to attend appointments. One in five people (21%) said they didn’t receive any support from their employer. Only a quarter (24%) of senior decision makers surveyed said that their organisation encourages an open and supportive climate to a great extent, where employees can talk about issues like pregnancy loss. Almost a quarter (24%) of employees considered leaving their job because of their experience at work. It recommends: Raise awareness across the organisation about the need for pregnancy or baby loss to be recognised as an important workplace wellbeing issue. Create an open, inclusive and supportive culture. Develop an organisational framework to support employees experiencing pregnancy or baby loss. Manage absence and leave with compassion and flexibility. Equip line managers to support people with empathy and understanding . Edition Week Commencing: Monday 10th October 2022 Black History Month 2022: Time for change ‘Black people are often given the double burden of experiencing racism and discrimination, and then being expected to fix it.’ Look at CIPD’s guide to having better conversations about race in the workplace. World Menopause Month Also held in October. Organisations should help break the stigma of menopause at work and create an inclusive environment where employees and managers feel able to discuss any reasonable adjustments that may be needed. Look at CIPD’s guide. World Mental Health Day Monday 10 October and the theme this year was making mental health and wellbeing for all a global priority. HSE’s statistics show that 822,000 workers suffered from stress, depression and anxiety in 2020/21. The earlier a problem is tackled the less impact it will have for your workers and business. Get started today with five simple steps from the Working Minds campaign. You can support this campaign by signing up to become a champion. Starting a conversation is an important first step. If you need help getting conversations started, HSE's Talking toolkit aims to help managers talk with workers as part of their overall approach to preventing and managing work-related stress. Find out what it takes to be legally compliant and download HSE’s risk assessment template to record your findings and agreed actions. Salary alone not enough to attract talent CIPD report emphasises need to advertise roles as flexible to improve retention instead of focusing solely on pay. Company secretary with asthma was unfavourably treated after sickness absence and work from home request Judge finds claimant’s time off sick and plea for remote working were real reasons for her dismissal, rather than alleged underperformance. This case involved several employment issues including alleged poor performance, working from home, sickness absence, discrimination and a long-hours culture. That the employer got these so badly wrong is evidenced in the successful tribunal claim, and there are many lessons that HR can learn from this case. Barber sacked after falling pregnant while on maternity leave was victim of discrimination Judge finds claimant’s redundancy was related to her pregnancy despite boss maintaining it was down to ‘business reasons’. Experts have said that the ruling was a “clear-cut case” of pregnancy discrimination and that financial woes were no excuse for such treatment and was a reminder that discrimination can be “inferred from what’s happened even without any direct evidence”. More workplace support is needed for staff facing grief Conversations around death and dying don’t have to be uncomfortable if employers are able to foster an open culture. This short article says that over the past five years 57 per cent of people have experienced a bereavement and gives tips about how employers can support this staff. . Edition Week Commencing: Monday 3rd October 2022 Charities advised to support staff with long Covid after disability ruling Article in Civil Society describes the impact of the ruling and how charities should react. How to manage malingerers in the workplace Explains the best way for employers to handle sickness absence when they suspect the member of staff is not genuinely ill. How employers can better support dads in the workplace Explores the difficulties fathers face in taking extended parental leave, and how you can help them play a bigger part in childcare New Living Wage These are not the legal minimum but higher rates accepted that enables people to lead a dignified life and to meet the cost of living. CIPD blog looks at the reasons for paying the Living Wage and how employers can go further to support employee financial wellbeing. Suspension: out of sight, out of mind? ACAS article discusses the issues around the use of suspension with a link to their new advice. ‘Mental health barrier’ preventing young people from volunteering Many young people (11-30 year olds) are being blocked from volunteering due to concerns over their mental health, a government-commissioned report has found. It describes the barriers but also the benefits to mental health and has recommendations to improve the situation, especially mentoring. . Edition Week Commencing: Monday 26th September 2022 Woman wins sex and pregnancy discrimination claims after boss commented on her breasts This still happens in the workplace so ensure you have robust codes of conduct etc. Third of women’s careers affected by sexual harassment This report backs up the experience above that many women face discrimination in the workplace. Poll also reveals majority of female workers have encountered or witnessed inappropriate behaviour from male colleagues. Two in five ethnic minority workers have experienced racism at work This report shows the depressing facts that this still happens. Read this to make sure you think about any changes needed in the workplace to stop this happening. Disability and employment CIPD have updated their factsheet explores the UK legal position on disability discrimination and the importance of making reasonable adjustments for disabled employees. Handling requests for flexible working around school hours As children prepare to return to schools and nurseries, CIPD offers advice for handling applications to work flexibly. New TUPE advice from ACAS Before a TUPE transfer, by law both the old and new employers must inform and consult with a recognised trade union or employee representatives. Read ACAS’s new advice. Trade Unions CIPD’s introduction to Trade Unions and how to work with them effectively Businesses urged to prepare for right to work check changes Poll finds half of employers are not ready for imminent policy updates mean employers will have to use government-certified tech to assess documents if doing so remotely from 1 October.