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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 Reid, 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 Reid, 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 Reid, 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…
10 February 2018 Employment advice

The average British worker takes 4.4 days' sickness absence every year and minor illnesses such as coughs and colds are often cited as the reason.  However, more days are lost on average to more serious complaints such as back, neck and muscle pain. High levels of sickness absence can lead to reduced production, low staff morale, increased costs and poor customer service.  For small employers in particular this can be very disruptive.  Gill Reid employment law solicitor at Ware & Kay in York, Wetherby & Malton advises what steps you can take to reduce sickness absence within your organisation. Sickness absence policy You should have a sickness absence policy in place so that employees understand what is expected of them.  It should set out your arrangements for sick pay and for reporting and managing sickness…
02 January 2018 Employment advice

Many businesses rely on foreign nationals to fill skills shortages in the UK and to help get new ventures off the ground. However, recent measures aimed at reducing net migration may make this more complicated going forward.  For businesses reliant on foreign workers, the time has come to consider if the costs of recruiting outside of the UK outweigh the benefits. Gill Reid, employment lawyer at Ware & Kay Solicitors in York, Wetherby & Malton looks at the rules on employing foreign nationals, obtaining a business visa and setting up a business in the UK.  She also looks at how to challenge decisions refusing foreign nationals entry to the UK or permission to remain. Employing foreign nationals You can employ many categories of non-UK nationals without special permission. These include those with indefinite leave to…
09 November 2017 Employment advice

Goodwill may be in short supply when you start to receive a flurry of holiday requests for the Christmas and New Year period or if winter travel disruption leaves you short staffed. The Christmas party could also end in more than just a hangover if clashes between co-workers result in claims of assault, if unwanted attention leads to allegations of sexual harassment or posts on social media damage your reputation. Gill Reid, employment law specialist at Ware & Kay Solicitors in York, Wetherby & Malton explains how planning ahead for the festive period can help to reduce any risks to your business. Holiday requests Some employers take a first come, first served approach to holiday requests for the festive period, but this may not be seen as the fairest approach, particularly if you also have…
04 November 2017 Employment advice

Employment tribunal claims for disability discrimination can lead to the imposition of huge financial penalties for employers.  It therefore pays to be aware of your responsibilities to disabled persons under the Equality Act 2010. From determining whether it is discriminatory to ask a job applicant about their health and abilities, through justifying a refusal to allow a disabled worker to opt out of shift working, to dismissing a disabled employee for high rates of disability related absence - consideration of the law relating to disability discrimination is needed at all stages of the employee life-cycle. Gill Reid, Employment Law Specialist at Ware & Kay Solicitors in York, Wetherby & Malton , outlines the key principles and ways to reduce the risk of claims. What is a disability? For the purposes of the Equality Act, a…
27 October 2017 Employment advice

The issue of how to calculate holiday pay has rarely been out of the news in the last few years with a steady stream of case law on the topic.  This time we turn our attention to an issue on which there has been little guidance: voluntary overtime. Gill Reid, employment law specialist at Ware & Kay in York, Wetherby & Malton , advises on whether you should include voluntary overtime in your holiday pay calculations. Compulsory overtime In Bear Scotland Ltd v Fulton 2014 the Employment Appeals Tribunal decided that employers have to take into account compulsory non-guaranteed overtime payments when calculating holiday pay in respect of the four weeks' annual leave given by the Working Time Regulations 1998 (WTR).  So, if you do not guarantee overtime but your employee must work it if…
02 October 2017 Employment advice

Gill Reid, employment law specialist at Ware & Kay in York, Wetherby & Malton, provides a round-up of the main employment law changes that have recently come into effect, including those taking place from autumn 2017, and explains the action you need to take as a result. Employment tribunal fees scrapped Unison won a landmark court case against the government in July 2017 when the Supreme Court found that the government acted unlawfully when it introduced employment tribunal fees in July 2013. The decision of the court means that, from July 2017: those eligible to bring an employment tribunal claim (or appeal) will no longer have to pay a fee to do so; and the government will have to refund over £27 million to those charged a fee for submitting a claim to the…
10 September 2017 Employment advice

There will be a change to the compensation bands for the 'injury to feelings' award in discrimination cases in the employment tribunal and will apply to any claims issued on or after 11 September 2017 and will be: lower band (less serious cases): £800 to £8,400 middle band: £8,400 to £25,200 upper band (the most serious cases): £25,200 to £42,000 exceptional cases: over £42,000   The previous bands were: Lower band: £600 to £6,000 Middle band: £6,000 to £18,000 Higher band: £18,000 to £30,000.   Published: September 2017 For more information contact Gill Reid, Head of Employment, on 01904 716050 or email Gillian.Reid@warekay.co.uk.
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