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Legislation Governing Unfair Dismissal

The Employment Rights Act 1996 points out clearly that before an employee can be dismissed, there must be fair reasons based on their capability to do the job, conduct or other substantial reasons.

Some pieces of legislation that cross refer to unfair dismissal issues include:

  • Employment Act 2002 – for example, sections 29-44
  • Employment Relations Act 1999 - for example, sections 12, 34 and 37
  • Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 – for example, sections 152-167
  • The Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment ) Regulations 2000 (SI 2000/1551) – paragraph 2(2) of the schedule
  • The Fixed-Term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment ) Regulations 2002 (SI 2002/2034) – Regulation 6(3)
  • The Maternity and Parental Leave Regulations 1999 (SI 1999 No 3312)
  • The Public Interest Disclosure (Compensation) Regulations 1999 (SI 1999/ 1548)
  • The Unfair Dismissal and Statement of Reasons for Dismissal (Variation of Qualifying Period) Order 1999 (SI 1999/1436)
  • The Employment Act 2002 (Dispute Resolution) Regulations 2004 (SI 2004/752) - repealed on 6 April 2009
  • Employment Relations Act 2004 (Commencement No 3 and Transitional Provisions) 2005 (SI 2005/872)
  • The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 (SI 2006/1031)
  • Employment Act 2008
  • The Employment Tribunal (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) (Amendment) Regulations 2008
  • The Employment Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) (Amendment) Regulations 2010 (SI 2010/131)
  • The Employment Equality (Repeal of Retirement Age Provisions) Regulations 2011
  • Unfair Dismissal and Statement of Reasons for Dismissal (Variation of Qualifying Period) Order 2012 (SI 2012/989) – came into force 6 April 2012 and applies to Great Britain
  • The Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) Order – updated annually                 (culled from CIPD 2015).

For assistance or clarification, please call us on 01909512149

 

How often do you check your emails?

HR departments are being urged to send ‘urgent messages’ to workaholics who check their emails out of working hours obsessively, as it could be damaging their family life and productivity.

Excessive email communication is leading to the UK’s employees to become less productive in comparison to their international counterparts. ONS figures show that the UK has the second lowest rate of productivity.

A professor of organisation psychology and health at Lancaster University, Cary Cooper, states that Britons work the longest hours in the world, in which we’re the most substantial user of technology than almost any other country, which contributes to an over-worked nation.

Cary Cooper stated that although emails and mobiles are there to support individuals, the overload of information is adding more pressure to people, rather than supporting them. He states that emails request an immediate response, which means that they are managing us, rather than us managing the emails.

The ease and accessibility to work emails beyond the desk, is seriously damaging the UK’s health. Nearly a quarter of people check their emails whilst they are on holiday, at night and long after they have left work.

Cooper mentioned that family destruction has been caused and health problems. Personal time is not being spent with children or extended family, as they’re too busy accessing their emails from home.

Not only is it affecting employees personal lives, it is taking away hours which should be spent doing work as excessive time is spent dealing with emails.

How can this be managed?

Some businesses have started to close down their servers overnight, this means that employees can’t access work emails and they can manage their own time and health correctly.

This wouldn’t need to be done for ever, it could be done for a week so that the temptation and habit is broken.

HR departments shouldn’t monitor the use of emails, however guidelines could be provided so that employees are aware that businesses want, as Cooper says “people who are fresh, who bring value, creativity and innovation and that isn’t going to happen if you are working all the time.”

Are your employees misusing drugs?

Do you know if your employees are taking drugs or misusing alcohol in work time? Drug taking was found to be a big issue for younger people, after 90% of people admitting to using drugs through the following survey, were aged under 30 years old.

2,600 workers were polled in a survey by protecting.co.uk from offices, factories, retail and the public sector.

85% of employees admitted they have been drunk in the workplace in the last year and 28% have admitted to drug use (legal highs, cannabis and other illegal narcotics) whilst at work. 31% of people also admitted to being drunk at work, at least once a week.

This survey showed that office workers were the most likely to be drunk at work whilst retail and public sector workers are more likely to be sober. But 14% of factory workers admitted that they had drunk alcohol on their breaks and then operated machinery, whilst 5% of factory workers admitted to using machinery after taking drugs at work.

This shows that employers HR departments need to make it clear that drug use and alcohol misuse is unacceptable, and policies need to be enforced. If these policies are not enforced there is an increased risk of an accident as the employee puts both themselves and the workforce in danger.

What should you do about it?

Acas, a free employment advice service, said employers have to have an alcohol and drug related policy in place, as it’s becoming increasingly common. The policy should be introduced to employees so trade unions know what the policy is, what is expected of them and the implications are if the policy is broken.

The policy should be then linked to the disciplinary policy so employees are aware these things could potentially lead to dismissal or a misconduct issue.

However it’s not suggested that you dismiss employees on the spot, if concerns are raised suspension should happen, however if they are drunk they shouldn’t be allowed to drive home. The suspected employee should be suspended, investigated and then a final decision be made.

Who’s Holding Your Money?

There has been a proposal by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC)  to set up new standards that will help auditors check financial service providers’ money is kept separate from their clients.

It has been estimated about £100bn of client money and £11tr of custody assets are held by 1500 investment businesses.

According to the FRC, auditors should express an opinion whether clients’ assets are safe in case the financial service provider collapses.

The collapse of investment companies such as Lehman Brothers during the financial crisis highlighted weaknesses in “client asset” rules.

The draft rules set up by the FRC will improve the audit of client assets, strengthen auditor training and shield client assets.

A consultation period by the FRC is ongoing and will end on the 31st July 2015.

Building Talent To Gain Competitive Advantage

Organisations are operating in an increasingly volatile and complex environment, fiercely competing to recruit, engage and retain  talent. Effective talent management strategies are crucial to enable business success. The role of HR  in embedding talent management into business strategy has never been more important (CIPD 2014).

Talent management must be portrayed as a differentiating strategic capability that can offer real and substantial competitive advantage. To achieve this, talent must be managed to be:

  • Rare
  • Valuable
  • Inimitable
  • Non-substitutable  (Barney 1991)

 

 

Does remote working work?

A survey with more than 200 HR executives, showed us that 60% of them believe that giving employees greater autonomy over how they work, such as remote working, will boost staff productivity and bring positive business results – according to research from Robert Half UK.

51% of the respondents of the survey said that greater employee autonomy brings more creativity and 45% said employees would be made easier to manage.

Is this the reason the number of UK businesses have adopted flexible working has increased?

Public sector employers have increased remote working by 47%, whilst 55% more of employers in the Midlands saw the greatest rise in worker autonomy, as they offered staff flexible working.

The Times newspaper has recently reported that M&C Saatchi, has removed the majority of their desktop computers, in favour of “free ranging” laptops and smartphones. As well as this, the majority of big professional services have introduced hot-desking.

But, is this efficient? Critics are saying that the expense of office space, and the shortage of office space, is behind these changes.

Yet it is argued that even though employees are at their desks in an office, doesn’t mean that they are being productive, employees can be just as productive remotely and technology now allows us to share files, communicate without the added burden of the commute and distractions of an office environment.

It’s also suggested that as business are facing skills shortages, remote working is a consideration as it supports, attracts and retains the top talent.

Should your company be offering remote working?

Although it’s a positive step to take, before a flexible working environment is implemented, companies need to make sure a structure is in place to ensure that employees are balanced.

If you need support or advice, you can contact us today on 01909 512 120.

Employment is increasing!

Good news!

Unemployment in the UK has continued to fall from January to March, bringing in the highest number of people in work since mid-2008.

Employment levels increased to the total number of people in work to 31.1 million. Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published that employment for 16 to 64 year olds has risen up from 72.5% to 73.5%.

The ONS also published that 202,000 people had found jobs between January and March which has boosted the level of employment in the UK. However, not only has employment risen, wages have increased too. The average weekly earnings have risen to 2.2% compared to 1.8% previous.

This is encouraging for our economy as the employment data shows the growth in employment was mainly full-time working employees. Howard Archer the chief UK and European economist states that the number of people who are jobless to steadily downward over the next few months, this will take the unemployment rate down to 4.9% by the end of 2016.

However, the drawback is that employment and wage growth will contribute to interest rates rising this year, which is predicted by the manager of the UK equity income fund, Clive Beagles.

Let’s celebrate the fact the job market is getting better and more of us are getting jobs!

Entrepreneurs Relief Attack Again

As of 18th March 2015 corporate partners in a joint venture trading company claiming to be “indirectly” trading cannot claim Entrepreneurs’ Relief (ER).

ER will only be available to companies which themselves directly carry on a trade.

You can find out more information by reading here or contact Paul by email or by calling 01909 512 120 .

Welcome!

As you may have been aware, we were recently recruiting for a Junior Accounts Assistant.

We are happy to announce that we have recruited Paul Maina, who’s going to be undertaking this role.

He will be supporting Holly, our Finance Manager and Tax Assistant with any accounting queries, tax returns, invoicing and other finance issues that come from our clients. In Paul’s words “the team here are friendly and show a high amount of enthusiasm in all that they do, which I enjoy being part of”.

Paul has settled in extremely well and we are looking forward to you meeting him!

Femi Ogunshakin Managing Director
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