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Our HR Blog

 
Amy Douthwaite
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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...
James Champness
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A key commitment within the Conservative Party’s general election manifesto of 2015 was to introduce an apprenticeship levy, funded by a 0.5% tax on the payroll of employers in excess of £3 million per year.  However, before the levy even...
Amy Douthwaite
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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...
James Champness
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Powers for employment tribunals to levy additional fines on rogue employers who flout employment laws with “aggravating factors” have led to an income of under £18,000 since they were introduced in April 2014.  The figures, released by...
Kathryn Dooks
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Mr Doug Paulley, who is disabled and uses a wheelchair, has won his widely publicised case at the Supreme Court regarding the use of the disabled wheelchair space on a bus operated by FirstGroup. Mr Paulley wished to board the bus but could not due to the...
David Williams
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Following the Uber judgment late last year, 2017 opens with more implications for the “gig economy” – the handle given to the increasingly popular working arrangement whereby people work on a job-by-job basis, often facilitated by...
James Champness
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German discount supermarket Aldi has announced that it will increase the minimum level of wage paid to its staff, in a response to the announcement made only weeks earlier by its rival Lidl, which has also stated that it will also be increasing minimum rates...
James Champness
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In a report published today, the charity Working Families has released results of a study interviewing some 2,750 parents about the challenges they face balancing work and family life.  In particular, the Modern Families Index 2017 paid attention to...
Anna Byford
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There has been both good and bad news reported on the gender pay gap this morning. The think-tank, Resolution Foundation, compared the typical hourly pay between generations of men and women over the course of their careers. In its report published today,...
Amy Douthwaite
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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 SMCR...
Amy Douthwaite
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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...
Amy Douthwaite
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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...
Anna Byford
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Executive pay has come under scrutiny again today. On Radio 4’s Today Programme this morning the business secretary Greg Clark referred to the steep rise in executive pay by comparison to the average pay of remaining staff and the fact that executive...
Anna Byford
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The Chancellor announced in his Autumn Statement today that tax advantages linked to Employee Shareholder Status will be abolished, in response to evidence those advantages are primarily being used for tax-planning purposes by high-earning individuals The...
Anna Byford
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As part of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement today, it was announced that tax savings on salary sacrifice schemes will be stopped, with the exception of salary sacrifice arrangements regarding pensions, childcare, ultra-low emission cars and cycling to...
Kathryn Dooks
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In the recent case of Brown v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis and the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police,  the County Court awarded £9,000 in damages for data protection and privacy breaches.  The Court also held that...
Kathryn Dooks
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Two Uber drivers today won their employment tribunal claim against the “gig economy” app. The decision means they are classified as “workers”, entitling them to the National Living Wage (£7.20 / hour for drivers over the age of...
Amy Douthwaite
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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...
Amy Douthwaite
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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 put into...
Marian Bloodworth
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According to research released last week by Totaljobs, age discrimination is still rife. The statistics show that  almost two-thirds (63%) of 55-64 year olds said that they have felt discriminated against by a prospective employer because of their age....
Kathryn Dooks
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Asda may well turn out to be falling foul of its marketing strapline as thousands of female employees have now secured the right to lodge the UK’s largest private sector equal pay claim. Back in June of this year, the Court of Appeal confirmed that...
Marian Bloodworth
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Today’s report in CityAM that employees in the banking industry feel unable to admit that they are suffering from stress will be a blow to the many employers in the sector who are actively trying to remove the stigma surrounding mental health at...
David Williams
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A male employee has been awarded almost £30,000 for sex discrimination after his employer refused to pay him the same rate as female employees during parental leave. The case is a timely reminder to employers to review the terms of their maternity and...
Amy Douthwaite
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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...
Kathryn Dooks
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At the Conservative Party Conference, the Home Secretary announced that she is proposing to require companies to disclose how many of their workers are non-British, in order to encourage them to hire more British workers. This is part of the Home...
Kathryn Dooks
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Theresa May’s speech at the Conservative Party Conference at the weekend arguably gave us a much clearer picture of what Brexit will look like: She will invoke article 50 no later than the end of March 2017, meaning we will leave the EU in around...
Kathryn Dooks
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Theresa May has ordered a review of workers’ rights and practices, with a particular focus on addressing concerns about a lack of protection for those working in the “gig economy”, for companies such as Uber and Deliveroo. Mrs May has...
Marian Bloodworth
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On Friday the Government’s Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Committee launched its  inquiry into corporate governance, which comes after investigations into BHS and Sports Direct’s business activities. The inquiry will look at...
Kathryn Dooks
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Concerns have been raised in the past about the merits of using LinkedIn for recruitment, given the very low representation of Black and Minority Ethnic populations on the site, leading to a potential for racial or ethnic bias if that is the sole means used...
Kathryn Dooks
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During the EU Referendum debates, Leave campaigners advocated a points based system for EU migrants in order to reduce the numbers of migrants entering the UK. Theresa May has now scorched this idea, saying that it would not provide sufficient control and...
Anna Byford
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The government has published its response to its July 2015 consultation on simplifying the tax and National Insurance treatment of termination payments , together with draft legislation which will change the way termination payments are taxed in the future...
Anna Byford
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Two reports hit the headlines this week, painting a disheartening picture of working environments in the UK – particularly for women. On Wednesday the TUC published a survey in collaboration with the Everyday Sexism Project, in which over 50% of the...
Anna Byford
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Further to our blog last Friday, Owen Smith has now officially published his workplace manifesto , setting out his pledges to improve workers’ rights in Britain.  His sweeping plans seek to make some wholesale changes to the landscape of...
Anna Byford
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A clause in Deliveroo’s contracts with its deliverers was exposed this week, which is designed to prevent its self-employed staff from bringing employment-related claims in the courts. The wording in question allegedly reads: “You further...
Anna Byford
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Owen Smith gave a speech on Wednesday in which he promised ‘fair employment’ as a key pledge in his bid to replace Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the labour party. Speaking from Orgreave, Yorkshire, once the site of a high profile confrontation...
Anna Byford
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Acas published a report highlighting the tendency of company management to stereotype the merits (or otherwise) of different age groups. According to Acas , too many employers subscribe to the “ truism ” that “ younger workers prefer...
Anna Byford
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“ Regulation already in place will stay for the moment, but the flood of new regulation from Europe will be halted ”. The words of our new Secretary of State for Exiting the EU , David Davis, on his blog for the Conservative Home website...
David Williams
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The Common’s BIS Select Committee has published its report on the Digital Economy and there were a number of employment hot topics in the mix. According to the report, the government must provide a clear strategy in relation to employees and workers...
Anna Byford
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As the dust settles after the EU referendum decision announced on 24 June, we asked HR professionals who attended our seminar on 14 July how their employees and the market they operate in have reacted in the Brexit aftermath: More than 70% of respondents...
Kathryn Dooks
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Back in July last year the UK Government announced its plans to introduce a UK wide Apprenticeship Levy from April 2017.  In response the Scottish Government has now launched a consultation which ends on 26 August 2016, into how the Apprenticeship Levy...
Kathryn Dooks
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Following the momentous decision announced this morning that Britain is to leave the EU, we’ve taken a look at what the immigration and employment law implications might be. Free movement of workers/work visas In the short-term, pending the...
Anna Byford
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Once you start noticing something for the first time, you spot it everywhere. In preparation for our next HR Forum on 29 June on tackling mental health issues in the workplace, I have noticed several reports all corroborating the fact that so many of our...
Elizabeth Marshall
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In July 2015 the House of Commons Justice Committee commissioned an inquiry into tribunal fees. Almost a year later, the results have now been published, revealing some rather interesting findings… Tribunal fees were introduced in July 2013, and have...
Elizabeth Marshall
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Findings from a report published by the Science and Technology Committee suggest that the UK could be facing a future where its workforce lacks basic digital skills. The report indicates that, at present, 12.6 million adults in the UK lack what are felt to...
Amy Douthwaite
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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 Parliament to the Business...
Anna Byford
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A temporary receptionist working for outsourcing company Portico, claims that she was sent home without pay from a job at PwC last December when she refused to wear 2-4 inch heels in breach of Portico’s appearance guidelines. Ms Thorp said that she...
Anna Byford
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Employers could be on the hook for employee fraud and money-laundering The Prime Minister has today unveiled plans to introduce new criminal offences for employers who fail to properly police their employees in relation to fraud and money-laundering...
Anna Byford
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Following lengthy litigation, Unite Union reached a settlement with eight of the UK’s largest construction firms to compensate 265 workers who were named on a secret recruitment vetting system. The settlement figure reached today is understood to...
Anna Byford
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The Trade Union Bill received royal assent on Wednesday to become the Trade Union Act 2016. With it comes: A required ballot turnout of at least 50% in order to commence lawful industrial action. An additional requirement of 40% support for industrial...
Kathryn Dooks
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An employment tribunal has ruled that when employees undertake voluntary overtime, voluntary standby duty or voluntary call-outs with “sufficient regularity”, pay in respect of such duties should be considered part of normal pay and should...
Elizabeth Marshall
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We are about to find out… An announcement was made on Monday that a new survey is being launched by the Government with the aim of gathering views on the use of non-compete restrictions across the UK employment market. The UK is currently ranked...
Elizabeth Marshall
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A recent article in the Times has raised the questions of whether the removal of the default retirement age and the increase in discrimination protection has had a knock on effect on the employment and promotion rates for millennials. With many employees...
Anna Byford
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“ This is one of the worst statistics we have ever looked at ” said Radio 4’s ‘More or Less’ producer Charlotte McDonald last week. ‘More or Less’, which investigates headline statistics, picked up on the highly...
Anna Byford
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Starting one year ago today, parents of babies born or placed for adoption have been able to elect to share one year’s leave to care for the child (subject to various criteria being met and notices being served).  Previously, fathers were able to...
Elizabeth Marshall
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Scottish company Sweett Group plc has been ordered to pay £2.25 million after falling foul of the provisions set out in the Bribery Act 2010. The business was found guilty of failing to prevent an act of bribery intended to secure and retain a...
Elizabeth Marshall
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ACAS have just released new guidance for employers dealing with the issue of sex discrimination. This comes in the wake of the Equality and Human Rights Commission report which recently revealed that between 2012 – 2014 only 47% of FTSE 350 companies...
Amy Douthwaite
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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...
Anna Byford
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Just before Easter, the House of Lords Select Committee published the results of its review into how effective the Equality Act 2010 (the “EqA” ) is in helping disabled people in the UK ( ...
Anna Byford
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Yes, according to today’s Equality and Human Rights Commission report . The report, which reviewed appointment practices at the FTSE 350 between 2012 – 2014, states that whilst progress at some of the UK’s biggest companies makes...
Anna Byford
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George Osborne presented the government’s 2016 budget today. As part of a bundle of tax measures, it was announced that employers will be obliged to pay National Insurance contributions on termination payments above £30,000 from April 2018. The...
David Williams
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Following concerns raised by the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards in 2013, PRA and FCA introduced a new set of rules to counteract the reluctance of individuals to blow the whistle in financial services firms, an issue that contributed to the...
Anna Byford
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Avid readers of our blog may remember our post back in January following the EAT hearing of a claim relating to childcare vouchers and discrimination.The EAT has now handed down its judgment… The EAT found that there was no discrimination where an...
Kathryn Dooks
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The Government has rejected calls to put an end to the overseas domestic worker tied visa system. The system, which was introduced in 2012, has come under public scrutiny following accusations that its prohibition of migrant domestic workers being permitted...
David Williams
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The Government’s BIS department has put an order before parliament that increases compensation limits. The changes, that will apply to dismissals from 6 April 2016, include a rise in the week’s pay limit from £475 to £479 and the...
Amy Douthwaite
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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...
Anna Byford
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In the  Mohamud v WM Morrison Supermarkets plc   case,   the Supreme Court has held that the unprovoked and violent actions of a Morrisons’ employee against a customer were sufficiently connected to his employment with the...
Amy Douthwaite
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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...
Elizabeth Marshall
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The press is reporting that, thanks to the new national living wage and the apprenticeship levy, businesses facing rising employment-related costs will soon start to re-think their business models in an attempt to reduce overheads. This, together with the...
Anna Byford
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The EAT has upheld the original Tribunal ruling in the Lock v British Gas case, which held that British Gas should include commission in the calculation of Mr Lock’s holiday pay. The EAT decision follows a series of recent cases regarding holiday pay...
Amy Douthwaite
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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...
Anna Byford
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Our latest survey at our HR Forum this month provided some interesting insights into HR Managers’ views when it comes to a couple of key changes affecting employers in the coming couple of years. Shared parental leave and grandparental leave You...
Amy Douthwaite
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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...
David Williams
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In 2014, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills consulted on proposals to limit the number of times parties can be granted postponement of a tribunal hearing in an effort to reduce the length and cost of tribunal proceedings. As a result of the...
Anna Byford
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The Government has today confirmed that gender pay gap reporting will be coming into force later this year, with employers required to report their first set of gender pay gap figures annually from 30 April 2017 – although they will have a further 12...
Elizabeth Marshall
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Whilst the latest news reports have been focusing on the rise in employment figures across the country, they seems to be overlooking some interesting statistics on the trends we are seeing in age and unemployment figures. The latest Saga Employment Report...
Marian Bloodworth
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An employment tribunal has held that Starbucks discriminated against a woman with dyslexia.  The employee, a supervisor who had made mistakes whilst taking the temperature of fridges, had been accused by the coffee giant of falsifying documents. ...
Elizabeth Marshall
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Over the last few years there has been a growing focus on the number of millenials (being those born between the early 1980s and 2000s) engaged in the UK job market. However, a recent study by PWC has estimated that by 2020 millennials will form 50% of the...
Kathryn Dooks
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A survey by Macmillan Cancer Support has revealed that employers fail to comply with their duty to consider reasonable adjustments for employees who are diagnosed with cancer. Employees with cancer reported that employers failed to discuss sick pay...
Elizabeth Marshall
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Yesterday, it was announced that the EU Commission and United States have agreed on a new framework for data sharing between the EU and the US. This new framework, which is expected to take effect in around three months, has been dubbed the “EU-US...
Kathryn Dooks
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In July of last year, an interim report from Lord Justice Briggs was commissioned to coincide with a programme for reform of the courts by her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Services (HMCTS). The report has now been published and will be followed by a...
Anna Byford
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Today is National Sickie Day, the day on which employees are most likely to call in sick from work. It is estimated that this day alone could cost businesses in the UK over £34 million and that 100 million days per year are lost to sick leave, a...
Anna Byford
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The EAT last week heard an appeal against the lawfulness of suspending membership of childcare vouchers while the employee member is on maternity leave.  The Appellant argued that her access to childcare vouchers should not be removed as a result of her...
Amy Douthwaite
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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...
Marian Bloodworth
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The annual increase in the weekly rate of statutory maternity pay, statutory paternity pay, statutory adoption pay and statutory shared parental pay will not happen this year. The rates’ normal annual increase has been the victim of a fall in the...
Amy Douthwaite
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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,...
Amy Douthwaite
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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...
Elizabeth Marshall
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Back in October last year the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills issued a guide for employers  to avoid any unlawful practices relating to the use of zero hours employment arrangements. From 11 January 2016 new protection came into force...
Amy Douthwaite
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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...
Kathryn Dooks
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More problems for the troubled Co-op Group last week, as a former procurement director Kathleen Harmeston launched an employment tribunal claim alleging that she had been sacked for blowing the whistle. Ms Harmeston is claiming £5mn in damages,...
Amy Douthwaite
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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...
Elizabeth Marshall
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ACAS has published a special report on its website which looks back at the workplace trends of 2015 – the report is aimed at helping employers and managers to identify how best to manage workplace relationships going forward into 2016. In particular,...
Marian Bloodworth
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Two news stories yesterday on women's pay at work should act as timely reminders to employers of the need to review their pay and bonus systems, ahead of the introduction of gender pay gap reporting in 2016. Research published by recruitment firm...
Marian Bloodworth
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The arrival of Facebook at Work will no doubt be welcomed by employees used to managing their personal lives and interests outside of work– as it will now allow them to do the same for their work lives with similar levels of functionality. For...
Amy Douthwaite
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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...
Elizabeth Marshall
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The Guardian has been busy carrying out a study that looks at the way we work as employees, and how that might change in the future. Possible changes include the adoption of more flexible career paths, increased monitoring by employers (including intimate...
Amy Douthwaite
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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...
Amy Douthwaite
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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...
Elizabeth Marshall
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On 18 November 2015, the European Commission launched a public consultation on ways to improve the work-life balance for working parents and caregivers. The aim of the consultation is to gather views on a range of possible tools available at EU-level to...
Amy Douthwaite
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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...
Amy Douthwaite
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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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