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18 November 2019 Employment advice

Bowls of fresh fruit and mindfulness sessions are becoming increasingly common in the workplace as employers try to promote the wellbeing of their staff. A successful wellbeing strategy can improve employee attendance and  retention, as well as productivity.  It can also help shield you from compensation claims brought by employees for stress-related conditions which may be exacerbated by their work. Gill Wilkinson, employment law expert with Ware & Kay in York & Wetherby sets out an employer’s legal obligations for employee wellbeing and suggests initiatives for you to adopt. Stress at work Employers are under an obligation to protect their employees from the risk of injury while at work, including the risk of injury to their mental health caused by the development of depression and anxiety as a result of work-related stress.  Where it can be…
05 November 2019 Employment advice

Employers should have a disciplinary process in place, but just following this may not be enough to avoid falling foul of the law and exposing yourself to the risk of an employment tribunal claim. Your procedures need to be fair and your decisions need to be justifiable. Gill Wilkinson, employment law expert with Ware & Kay in York & Wetherby offers employers six tips for the fair handling of disciplinary issues.  When to suspend an employee If an allegation of misconduct arises, suspending the accused employee should not be the default response. Instead, you should consider: the seriousness of the alleged misconduct and whether the employee’s behaviour could justify summary dismissal; the risks of further problems if the employee is allowed to remain in the workplace; and the possibility of interference with the investigation…
04 June 2019 Employment advice

  Brexit has dominated the agenda and so, when it comes to introducing new employment law, April 2019 is unusually quiet compared to previous years. However, as Gill Wilkinson, employment law expert with Ware & Kay in York & Wetherby explains, the government has found time for a few changes. Gill also outlines the anticipated effect of Brexit on UK employment law and the implications for EU workers in the UK. April 2019 changes Employers need to be ready for changes which are expected to come into effect from the following dates: 1 April 2019 increase in the national living wage for workers aged 25 and over from £7.83 to £8.21 per hour; increase in the national minimum wage for workers aged at least 21 but under 25 from £7.38 to £7.70 per hour; increase…
21 October 2018 Employment advice

With only months to go until the UK leaves the EU, businesses and individuals are trying to plan for Brexit amidst uncertainty. Gill Wilkinson, employment law expert with Ware & Kay Solicitors in York, Wetherby & Malton , looks at what we know about the likely affect of Brexit on UK employment law and the rights of EU workers, both in the event of a deal and a no deal exit. Gill also highlights a couple of changes in employment rights for October. How will Brexit affect employment law? The UK's membership of the EU has significantly shaped employment law in the UK, much of which is based on EU law. In the time immediately after Brexit, it is unlikely there will be any changes to employment law. Unless the EU and the UK agree…
15 October 2018 Employment advice

With reports about differences in pay between high profile men and women seemingly in the news on a daily basis at the moment, there cannot be many people in the UK who have not wondered how their pay compares to colleagues of the opposite sex. In this article, Gill Wilkinson, employment law expert with Ware & Kay in York, Wetherby & Malton , explains the rules on equal pay and what you, as an employer, can do to ensure you comply with them. The law in a nutshell Under the Equal Pay Act 2010, it is illegal to pay men and women in the same organisation different amounts for doing equal work, unless there is a justification for doing so. To be classed as equal work, the work being compared must be: the same…
17 July 2018 Employment advice

If you use self-employed contractors to deliver services for your business, then you need to familiarise yourself with the Supreme Court's decision in the Pimlico Plumbers case. In a stark warning to employers to get their contracts in order, and to ensure they reflect the reality of agreed working arrangements, the court ruled that a plumber who had been labelled as a self-employment contractor with no employment law rights was in fact a 'worker' with entitlement to a range of benefits, including paid annual leave and the right not to be discriminated against. Gill Wilkinson, employment law specialist at Ware & Kay in York, Wetherby & Malton explains the reasoning behind the decision and its implications for employers. Worker status - what the court decided To be a worker under employment legislation, the plumber needed…
11 July 2018 Employment advice

The financial pressures on the care sector are never out of the news for long. However, employers providing round-the-clock supervision or care to the elderly and infirm, vulnerable adults and young people are breathing a sigh of relief following a recent judgment on entitlement to the national minimum wage. Gill Wilkinson, employment law expert with Ware & Kay Solicitors in York, Wetherby & Malton , explains that most workers who sleep during a 'sleep-in' shift are not entitled to the national minimum wage while asleep. Why is this significant? Employers in the care sector may need staff such as nurses and care assistants at night to be awake and active on the job as if it were a day shift.  This is known as working a 'waking night'.  Depending on the staffing requirements, employers may…
22 June 2018 Employment advice

References are a delicate area for employers; you want to be helpful to staff by providing references for them but you do not want to be held liable if you get it wrong.  Gill Wilkinson, employment law solicitor at Ware & Kay in York, Wetherby & Malton clarifies whether you have to give a reference, your liability as an employer, what you can and cannot say and what to do when requesting a reference. Do you have to provide a reference? There is no legal obligation to provide a reference unless an employee's contract of employment states that they are entitled to one or the employee is employed in a regulated industry, such as the financial services sector.  You can refuse, but a refusal could be seen as discrimination if you normally give references and…
27 May 2018 Employment advice

Settlement agreements are legally binding contracts in which one person, usually an employee, agrees to waive their rights to bring a claim in the employment tribunal or a court in return for another person, typically their employer, agreeing to do something, such as paying them a sum of money and agreeing to give them a reference. As Gill Wilkinson, employment lawyer at Ware & Kay in York, Wetherby & Malton explains, used properly settlement agreements can be an effective tool for dealing with workplace problems in a discrete and controlled way: 'If you have an issue with an employee or someone else who works for you, negotiating a mutually acceptable resolution is often the best way to deal with things.  Recording the terms of that resolution in a settlement agreement ensures there can be no…
03 March 2018 Employment advice

There have been some significant cases in employment law recently, with further developments expected this year as several ongoing cases work their way through the appeals system.  There are also increases to pay rates and new rules on tax and national insurance contributions due to come into effect in April. Gill Wilkinson, employment law specialist at Ware & Kay Solicitors in York, Wetherby & Malton summarises some of the recent cases of note concerning the gig economy and entitlement to paid holiday and provides an overview of the expected April changes. Gig economy Cases affecting the rights of individuals working in the gig economy hit the headlines in 2017, as individuals described as self-employed sought to argue the right to be recognised as workers with entitlement to certain employment rights, including paid holiday. These cases…
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