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Amy Douthwaite

Amy Douthwaite

Senior Associate
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Following concerns at the treatment of whistleblowers, and in order to encourage firms to foster a culture where staff could speak up without fear, the FCA and PRA introduced new rules regarding whistleblowing arrangements in September 2016. This...
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Working from home – a slackers’ charter or the route to better performance? Working from home, remote working or agile working are concepts being bandied around more and more often these days. It’s often seen as a good...
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Tax-free childcare is the new government scheme to help working parents with the cost of childcare. It is starting from 28 April this year, but there hasn’t yet been that much publicity about it. We have summarised the key points of the new system...
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After having lost its case in the employment tribunal late last year, gig economy business Uber are now facing more woes. Former Uber engineer Susan Fowler recently posted a blog which detailed a number of disturbing instances of sexual harassment and...
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New rules requiring employers with 250 or more employees to produce an annual report on their Gender Pay Gap are due to come into force in April this year. Our recent webinar took our clients through the requirements of the regime and what practical...
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The CMI published results of their "Men as Role Models" survey yesterday revealing that gender bias in the workplace is still rife. The survey results revealed that 4 out of 5 managers had witnessed gender discrimination or bias in the last...
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Operating within and preparing for the SMCR framework can be challenging and many of our clients are looking for guidance. If this is on your to-do list for 2017 we can help you to ease the burden: If you are already operating within the...
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The long awaited draft regulations were published yesterday – with some distinct changes compared with the first draft. You can read them here . Whilst the new draft regulations clarify some points around who is caught (for example, partners do not...
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Back in October, Theresa May announced that Matthew Taylor (the Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Arts) would conduct a review into modern employment practices to look at whether/how they needed to change in order to keep pace with modern business...
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The CBI has sent a number of policy recommendations to the Chancellor for the Autumn Statement next month, some of which relate to employment. In a potentially surprising development, the CBI’s submission, which calls on the Government to...
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The House of Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee has launched an inquiry into the future world of work, focussing on the rapidly changing nature of work, the status and rights of agency workers, the self-employed, and those working in...
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Recent research reveals that more employers are making use of online platforms to recruit workers for short-term, piecemeal or casual working, showing that there has been a significant increase in this recruitment method over the last five months. The...
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A number of companies have found themselves airing their dirty HR laundry in public this week. Sports Direct Firstly, we’ve had Mike Ashley of Sports Direct finally succumbing to pressure from MPs to give evidence in...
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This Treasury-commissioned review on gender parity in financial services was released last week with some potentially challenging recommendations for financial services firms. Read the report here . The review was led by Jayne-Anne Gadhia (CEO of Virgin...
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Today is International Women’s Day – a day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women. It’s also a day to be aware that progress has slowed in many places across the world and that urgent action is...
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According to research by Canada Life in which it polled 1,000 employees, 57% of UK employees have suffered from mental health problems at work. Rather worryingly one third say their situation was made worse by the negative and dismissive approach taken by...
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It has been reported today that UK productivity levels still fall well below the other G7 nations, with estimates that output per hour is 18% lower than the average of the other nations. But what can be done about it? According to Condeco Software...
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Artificial Intelligence has recently hit headlines, with the Telegraph reporting that robots will have taken over most jobs within 30 years according to experts. Professor Moshe Vardi (of Rice University in the US) is reported as claiming that many...
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Yes, according to this report published by the CIPD. The report recognises that health and well-being has risen up the public policy agenda over the last decade and there is a greater appreciation of employee well-being and the long term health of...
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The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has published its review of Tier 2 visas, which was commissioned by the Government back in June last year. The Government was seeking advice on five main issues: the prioritisation of applications, skills levies,...
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Penguin Random House have hit the headlines this week by announcing that they are removing the requirement to have a university degree to work at the publisher. It’s an interesting move by the firm with its HR Director, Neil Morrison commenting...
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The Living Wage Foundation came into the public eye last summer when George Osbourne announced during his budget proposals that a statutory national living wage would be introduced. The LWF’s Living Wage, which is designed to reflect the basic cost of...
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Over Christmas it was reported in the Sunday Times that Ros Altmann, the pensions minister, is calling for new rights for workers to take time off to care for sick or elderly relatives. Pointing out that parents have such rights in relation to children, but...
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At our recent masterclass on discrimination, participants were asked their views on the law in this area which produced some interesting insights. 34% of those surveyed said that their organisation carries out equal pay audits, not bad given that...
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It would be difficult for any company to forget the concerns surrounding the gender pay gap with new reporting obligations coming into force in March next year meaning that all employers in the UK with more than 250 employees will have to report on their...
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This weekend saw some interesting headlines indicating a rise in fathers wanting more of a work-life balance in order to spend time with their children. The Telegraph reported that Mark Zuckerberg is to take two months paternity leave when...
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Oisin Tymon, the BBC producer who was physically and verbally attacked by Jeremy Clarkson early this year has brought a claim for race discrimination and personal injury against the BBC and Clarkson himself in the Employment Tribunal. A preliminary hearing...
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It is often said that happy workers are more productive workers, but the wellbeing of staff is often overlooked or not quite understood by employers, meaning businesses are potentially missing an easy way to a more productive workforce. High employee...
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The government has announced that it will add Product Manager, Data Scientist, Senior Developer and Cyber Security Specialist to the Home Office's Shortage Occupation List (SOL), a list of jobs that the Home Office recognises are in short supply and...
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With the pressure on high street stores to compete with the accessibility of online retailers, in the July budget the government announced a consultation on giving local councils the power to relax Sunday trading rules. The consultation into the proposed...
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The term ‘banter’ has been variously described including as “the playful and friendly exchange of teasing remarks” and “good humoured, playful or teasing conversation”. But is office banter just light-hearted, harmless fun...
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Although criminal sanctions can impact the employment arena, this is not an overly common occurrence as the majority of misdemeanours in the world of employment are matters for civil law. However, the chief of major sports retailer Sports Direct has...
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George Osborne announced today that the Government is planning on extending shared parental leave to working grandparents. This change, which recognises the role of grandparents in childcare, will introduce greater flexibility for working families by...
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The advent of websites such as Glassdoor where people can rate their employers, ex-employers or prospective employers has been surprisingly successful, particularly in the United States. On home turf, they have been less popular to date but this may well...
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The new Immigration Bill has recently been published by the Government which proposes to clamp down on illegal working and protect migrant workers against exploitation. This would involve increasing the criminal penalties associated with employing illegal...
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A Tribunal has made an award of nearly £200,000 in unpaid wages to a household assistant after she was discriminated against because of her caste. Her employers were Indian, as was she, but they considered her to be of a lower caste and subjected...
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…but only if you are not office-based. In a recent Spanish case, the European Court of Justice has ruled that for workers who travel to various appointments throughout their day, working time starts when they leave their home to travel to their first...
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Liz and I attended a great session on gender neutrality last week, organised by Women in Wireless. Kate Russell provided a thought provoking presentation on the issue in the tech sector, including some interesting views on how branding, workplace environment...
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Unison’s appeals against its challenge to the legality of employment tribunal fees has been dismissed by the Court of Appeal. Underhill LJ observed that it is clear from the comparison of the number of claims brought in the ET before and after fees...
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HR Magazine recently published an interesting article “ The power of introverts in innovation ” considering the differing needs of introverts and extroverts in the workplace. It points out that the modern world generally plays to the...
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UK whistleblowing charity, Public Concern at Work has recently released a report with some interesting and some quite worrying figures about how employers deal with whistleblowing. The report relates to data gathered in 2014 from individuals seeking advice...
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The Government has confirmed that it will require certain companies to publish gender pay gap information. The requirement will apply to those companies employing 250 or more employees and they will be required to report on the pay of female and male...
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In a joint statement on Tuesday, the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority announced new rules for deferral and clawback of bonuses in the banking sector. Changes that are due to apply to performance periods commencing...
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Every man and his dog is aware of the Bear Scotland case last year in which it was decided that certain forms of overtime should be included in holiday pay and additional wording could be read into the Working Time Regulations (WTRs) in order to allow for...
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A legislative change requiring companies with over 250 employees to report on gender pay disparities is expected to be approved by the House of Lords this week. Previously, the government has only introduced voluntary reporting of such data through...
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This week Labour announced some further policy proposals in the employment arena, specifically focussing on increasing the availability of apprenticeships. In a speech this week at the Jaguar Land Rover factory in Wolverhampton , Miliband said that...
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As the volume and availability of data increases, data analytics is increasingly becoming a focus for HR, but many HR professionals don’t have much experience in this area and it can be a daunting task to devise a process where useful data is collected...
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The results of a recent government poll suggests they might. According to the report, 53% of respondents said that childcare responsibilities should be divided equally between the parents and 80% of those considering having children in the future...
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Public Concern at Work has released its Annual Report covering whistleblowing during 2013. It’s an interesting read, showing that whistleblowing continues to be on the rise. Some of the headlines from the report: 17%...
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The FCA yesterday levied fines totalling £1.1 billion on five banks in relation to fixing the foreign exchange market. Whilst the fines are much smaller than those levied in the LIBOR scandal, this is yet more negative press for the banks. It...
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It has been reported today that Apple and Facebook are introducing an unusual new ‘benefit’ for its female employees. According to this report Facebook are offering female staff up to $20,000 towards paying to have their eggs frozen in order to...
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From 1 October employment tribunals will have the power to order employers to conduct equal pay audits. The tribunals have the power to do this where an employer loses an equal pay case. This is part of the government’s approach for closing the gender...
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It has been reported that an individual has been convicted under the Data Protection Act and fined £300, ordered to pay £30 victim surcharge and £438.63 prosecution costs, for walking away from his job with personal information. Mr...
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Back in April Kathryn reported on the class action brought by 64,000 engineers in the US against Google, Apple, Intel and Adobe alleging that over a number of years the companies colluded not to poach each other’s staff which drove down the...
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Shared Parental Leave is the hot topic at the moment. It’s likely that employers will soon start to receive notifications of pregnancies from the first women who will be entitled to shared parental leave in April 2015, so it’s important for...
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Yes, according to this interesting article published by HR Magazine . Recent research suggests that social events and access to training for employees can increase employee engagement. These sorts of benefits make staff feel valued and therefore...
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Following on from my blog in April , the Met are in the press again for issues around diversity. Judgement has been given on the claim I reported on in April and the Employment Tribunal has found that the Metropolitan Police subjected PC Carol Howard, a...
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For those who are interested in TUPE issues on business transfers and outsourcings, you may want to check out some recent guidance published by ACAS: A guide on handling TUPE transfers: TUPE Guide A...
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It’s been reported that the Court of Appeal has granted Unison leave to appeal the High Court’s decision refusing its Judicial Review application over tribunal fees. Unison challenged the government’s introduction of fees for the...
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Although shared parental leave only applies to babies due on or before 5 April 2015 which seems like a long way off at the moment, it is likely to start having an impact on employers much sooner than this. Check out our timeline for some key dates to...
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Zero hours contracts are in the news yet again, with reports in the media this morning that unemployed people who turn down certain zero hours contracts without good reason could face losing their benefits for up to three years. Until now,...
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Rosamund Irwin wrote an interesting piece in the Evening Standard last night on the rise of ‘returnships’. For women and men who take career breaks, perhaps for childcare or care for an elderly relative, there is often no clear way of...
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The focus is on zero hours contracts again following the publication of an interim report by the Scottish Affairs Committee on zero hours contracts in Scotland. It suggests that if the Government introduces an employer led code of practice, this should...
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In the latest development on the London Underground’s proposal to close tube station ticket offices, workers are to take five days of strike action. The last strike on this issue took place in February but was postponed after the first day to...
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hrmagazine has published an interesting article ( http://bit.ly/ 1oH873q ) suggesting that fathers want more choice and flexible working. But will Shared Parental Leave which is due to be introduced next year lead to a more even division of...
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Diversity in the Police seems to be the hot topic in the news at the moment. There has been a lot of coverage of a race and sex discrimination claim against the Metropolitan Police by a black firearms officer, whilst it has also been reported that...
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Are employers doing enough to support their staff? An article on recent research which suggests that stress is the most common reason for long-term absence. Interestingly it is suggested that 84% of the factors which cause problems come from outside...
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