Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Military reservists


The Reserve Forces (Payments to Employers and Partners) Regulations 2014 have been published - coming into force on 1st October 2014.                                           
At present, when called up, military reservists are paid directly by the Ministry of Defence - and employers can claim expenses in respect of additional costs incurred whilst replacing the reservist (to a maximum of £110 per day).      read official details:
My Comment:   in these troubled times,  you may need to know this .

Expectant fathers and partners to have the right to time off for antenatal .

October sees the introduction of brand new antenatal rights for fathers and partners to take time off work to accompany a pregnant woman to see a midwife or

The right is to time off on up to two occasions for a maximum of 6.5 hours each. Pregnant women normally attend around 10 antenatal appointments and it is open to employers to be more generous in how much time off they give to employees.        Eligibility for the new right depends on an employee having a “qualifying relationship” with the pregnant woman or the child.
                The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has published guidance on the new rights, which points out, among other things, that more than one employee may have a qualifying relationship with the same woman. For example, where the father of the child and the woman’s partner or husband are different people, both individuals may well be eligible to time off.
The new right, which is introduced on 1 October 2014, is a “day-one right”, so employees will not need to accrue a minimum amount of service with their employer before taking advantage of it.
Agency workers may also qualify for time off under the new right, however, their eligibility will depend on accruing the prescribed service.
Stephen Simpson, senior employment law editor at XpertHR, said: “This new right will sit alongside the existing right for pregnant women to paid time off to attend any appointments for antenatal care.
                        “The right allows employees and some agency workers who qualify to take unpaid – although the employer could choose to make it paid – time off to accompany a pregnant woman to two antenatal appointments.”

He added that by the end of the month, employers should provide their staff details of the new right and review their documents, including their maternity, paternity and agency workers policies.

Intended parents in a surrogacy situation also qualify for the new right.
My Comment :  I think I may have mentioned before about the inexorable march of employment rights,    well,  here's another I saw coming,. As of today 1st October 2014,   partners of pregnant women will have the right to time off work to accompany them to antenatal appointments.    Limited to two visits and without pay, at the moment.
Thanks to Personnel Today and XpertHR for this item  see them

Monday, 1 September 2014

September edition, employment law newsletter

My periodic newsletter on all things employment law related that I think you should be aware of.
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Hello  << Test First Name >> ,
 Well,  hardly had I posted last months newsletter going on about the long hot summer, when the weather changed!  Still it's not been a bad year all told, and I do hope you have managed to have some time to relax away from business. Several EAT decisions this month that might have an impact on future cases,  and some reminders about forthcoming changes.         Read on for details, and, as always, call me if you have any concerns about this edition's content.

Kind regards,     Paul 

First The News:   When being asleep on the job, counts as working time!

Recently, courts have focused on the issue of whether employees who are on call and required to be present at a specific location, but who do not have any tasks to perform and often spend the time asleep, are working within the meaning of the Working Time Regulations 1998.

My Comment :      Well of course they're at work,  I'm only surprised that this has to be debated, if an employer is paying someone to "be available",   then they're working.  If that employee fails to respond when called,   say,  gone to the pictures, got drunk,  they would be disciplined, which means they're at work!     read full details

Newsflash:   Shared parental leave regulations come in to force 1st December 2014
Shared parental leave regulations will come into force      

 on 1 December 2014 and mean that working couples with babies due on or after 5 April 2015 will be able to share leave and pay, provided each parent qualifies for leave and pay in their own right. Similar rights will apply for adoption                   

My Comment:    This simply marks the inexorable march of family friendly employment rights. Industry commentators have said the take up will be small, as the loss of the major family income could be a burden as partners could only claim SSP.      read more    


Health visitor convicted of theft, battery and dangerous driving....Wrong to dismiss her ?    
Was there a failure to make reasonable adjustments in dismissing a health visitor following her conviction for theft, dangerous driving and battery?
No, held the EAT in Howorth v North Lancashire Teaching PCT.Mrs Howorth had been suffering from mental illness and pleaded guilty to the offences despite apparently suffering from automatism at the time they were committed. The employment tribunal found that the Trust's failure to consider alternatives to dismissal was a failure to make reasonable adjustments.

My Comment:  This case just goes to prove, as an employer you must not assume you are doing the right thing because it's common sense or obvious!      Even though they won their case on appeal,   this will have cost the PCT  thousands in legal fees.       read more
Must an employer adjust redundancy scores for disabled employees?
Yes, according to the Employment Appeal Tribunal ,   even though the end result would have been the same !!             Mr Dominique was disabled and had previously suffered a stroke. As a result, he frequently made mistakes at work and generally struggled with computers.       Mr Dominique was selected for redundancy on the basis of his poor productivity and accuracy; their selection criteria.     Mr Dominique brought claims for unfair dismissal and disability discrimination, alleging that his employer had failed to make reasonable adjustments to the selection criteria applied to him.
My Comment   As I 've said before,   always take advice, consider your options, before you make any decisions on an employee.     read more 


And finally tonight ! 
TUPE exemption for micro businesses  
Following a consultation last year, the government decided to relax the information and consultation obligations for small businesses, with the change taking effect yesterday – 31 July 2014.   full details

National Minimum wage goes up 1st October 2014
Year21 and over18 to 20Under 18Apprentice*
2014 (from 1 October)£6.50£5.13£3.79£2.73

 Auto enrolment is upon us............ 
CAMS  (Computer Aided Management Services)  are SAGE partners and are rolling out a SAGE pensions module.
   CAMS  are hosting a free seminar at their HQ in LEEDS on Wednesday 3rd. SEPTEMBER 2014,    1:30 - 4:30. 
These free  spaces are limited, so you must pre book your place,  go to this link for your  e-invitation or details of their services.

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Health& Safety Myths

A light hearted look at some of the idiotic things we hear.
CASE 303     Burger van refuses to cut burger in half!    
Enquirer was queuing at a burger van when the customer in front of them received their freshly cooked food and asked if one of the burgers could be cut in half as it was for her children. The stall owner immediately said "Can't do that - health and safety. We're just not allowed to do that." They accepted this excuse and left with the burger intact.
CASE No. 306   Retailer removes free gift razor from cover of mans style magazine :
The retailer removed the free gift razor from the men's fashion and style magazine for health and safety reasons. (despite having similar razors on sale nearby)

I don't just report these silly stories, I actually live them too!   The present Mrs Murray and I took the grand children to a park last weekend, in a cafĂ© I bought 2 coffees and 2 hot chocolate to take out. The assistant put the cups on the counter without lids, I enquired as to the availability of suitable lids, and was told I would have to put my own on as she wasn't allowed for "Health & Safety" reasons.  !