Latest Posts

What can we learn from P&O, Meta and Twitter?

November 30, 2022 11:28 am Published by

You will have heard that P&O Ferries fired 800 staff with immediate effect in March. Similarly, technology company Meta and social media giant Twitter have laid of thousands of staff in an attempt to significantly reduce costs. It has been reported that Twitter offices were closed overnight and employees found out whether they were to be made redundant by email en masse – seemingly without any consultation – some having already been locked out of company systems in advance of the company email. This type of approach can open up a company extensive liability, as well as negatively impacting their image, reputation and employee relations. Staff with over two years service have the right to claim unfair dismissal in an Employment Tribunal. Considering all options prior to restructuring  Ideally all options should be considered prior to proposing redundancies. For example,...

Is long covid a disability?

August 9, 2022 11:19 am Published by

Sadly, many of us are aware of friends, family or employees who are or have been suffering from long covid. Symptoms include shortness of breath, cognitive dysfunction or brain fog and fatigue. Symptoms can last for up to nine months or longer and as at May 2022 there were estimated to be 1.8 million people in the UK (2.8% of the population) suffering from this. Recently, an employee with long covid won an Employment Tribunal claim for unfair dismissal, successfully claiming that the condition should be classed as a disability.  Under the Equality Act 2010 you are disabled if you have a physical or mental impairment which has a ‘substantial and long term’ (likely to last at least 12 months) negative...

Changes to calculations for holidays for staff on zero hours or part-year contracts

August 4, 2022 5:03 pm Published by

As you may be aware, a recent decision in the Supreme Court (Harper Trust v Brazel) will affect how we calculate holiday for any employee who works under either a zero hours contract or a part-year or term-time contract. Essentially these individuals need to be treated in the same way as full-time workers for calculating holiday pay. We can no longer use the calculation 12.07% of hours worked. Instead they are entitled to 5.6 weeks holiday regardless of how many hours they have worked.  To calculate holiday for zero hours and part-year workers going forward you must calculate their weekly pay by averaging their pay over the previous 52 weeks. You must ignore any weeks where they are on holiday, not working or on unpaid leave. This amount will be their ‘week’s pay’ and if they...

Checking employee right to work in the UK

July 18, 2022 4:16 pm Published by

As you will know, to ascertain whether an individual has the right to work in the UK, and to prevent illegal working, employers should carry out right-to-work checks. These checks should be carried out against prospective employees in advance of employment, although the Home Office guidance advises that employers can carry out the checks either on the same day employment starts before any work is carried out, or a reasonable time in advance. Care needs to be taken to avoid carrying out these checks too far in advance because an individual’s right-to-work status could change within this period. Check all prospective employees Organisations need to ensure they are carrying out these checks against all prospective employees, including those who are British or Irish. This will remove the risk...

Unconscious bias

May 20, 2022 4:49 pm Published by

What is unconscious bias?It describes the associations we hold outside our conscious awareness and control. It affects everyone and is triggered by our brain automatically making quick judgements and assessments.Think about recruitment you may have carried out recently – did you recruit someone with a similar background to you? (Affinity bias)Did you reject a candidate because they had different politics to you? (the Horns effect)Have you found yourself swayed by a panel away from your own views (Conformity bias)Unconscious biases can lead to unintentional discrimination, but if we are aware of them we can try to limit their impact. If you would like training for your team on unconscious bias please get in touch via or come to our seminar

What can we learn from unfair dismissal cases of 2021?

March 7, 2022 1:27 pm Published by

In reviewing case law from 2021 there are a number of useful reminders:– In the case of Jaguar vs Rumbold, Mr Rumbold had worked for Jaguar for over 20 years, but had missed 808 shifts during that time, costing the company approximately £95,000 in sick pay. He was dismissed in 2018 but successfully claimed unfair dismissal because his employer, Jaguar Landrover Limited, failed to follow its own absence management procedures. They left it so long before deciding to dismiss him that the Tribunal did not consider dismissal a ‘reasonable response’. What we learn from this case is that disciplinary action should be proportionate – in cases of gross misconduct, dismissal may be a clear outcome, but where misconduct has been tolerated for a...

National Insurance increases can be offset by pension contributions

March 7, 2022 1:25 pm Published by

From April 2022, employees and employers will face a National Insurance (NI) rise of 1.25 per cent. From 2023, the tax will be renamed as a health and social care tax, to pay for the social care system. However the figure of 1.25 per cent is deceptive, because the actual increase employees and employers will have to shoulder is more like 2.5 per cent. Employees will see a greater reduction in their salary, and employers will face higher NI costs.  You can, however, mitigate against these NI rises to benefit both employer and employee. Assuming you have a workplace pension in place, through salary sacrifice, where an employee agrees to reduce their gross earnings by the same amount as their pension contributions, in exchange, you...

SSP Rebate Scheme for covid-related absences to end

March 7, 2022 1:19 pm Published by

The Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will close on 17‌‌‌ ‌March‌‌‌ ‌2022. You will no longer be able to claim back Statutory Sick Pay for your employees’ coronavirus-related absences or self-isolation that occur after ‌17‌‌‌ ‌March‌‌‌ ‌2022.  You have until 24‌‌‌ ‌March‌‌‌ ‌2022 to submit any new claims for absence periods up to 17‌‌‌ ‌March‌‌‌ ‌2022, or to amend claims you have already submitted. After that, there is a return to the normal SSP rules, which means you should revert to paying SSP from the fourth qualifying day your employee is off work regardless of the reason for their sickness absence.

Changes to statutory sick pay from March 2022

February 23, 2022 12:42 pm Published by

The Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will close on 17‌‌‌ ‌March‌‌‌ ‌2022. Employers will no longer be able to claim back Statutory Sick Pay for their employees’ coronavirus-related absences or self-isolation that occur after ‌17‌‌‌ ‌March‌‌‌ ‌2022. Employers have until 24‌‌‌ ‌March‌‌‌ ‌2022 to submit any new claims for absence periods up to 17‌‌‌ ‌March‌‌‌ ‌2022, or to amend claims they have already submitted. After that, there is a return to the normal SSP rules, which means employers should revert to paying SSP from the fourth qualifying day their employee is off work regardless of the reason for their sickness absence.

Temporary changes to employee fit notes

January 5, 2022 11:14 am Published by

In light of the rates of covid the Government have made temporary changes to the rules regarding fit notes until 26 January 2022. Previously if an employee was off sick they could self-certificate for up to 7 days after which they required a fit note from a doctor. However in order to relieve the burden on GPs for the next few weeks, employees can now self-certificate sickness for up to 28 days, including non-working days such as weekends and bank holidays and will not require a doctors note. If staff are self-isolating for a covid-related reason they will be eligible to receive SSP from day one. However for all other illnesses SSP applies from day four.