This article from Local interest magazine "Valley Life", introduces some interesting reminders to any small business on the subject of auto-enrolment.
My Comment: As a small business it is all too easy to miss significant pieces of legislation as you may think it doesn't apply to you, well this one certainly will. At least take some professional advice, and don't leave it too late!
Well, as the general election draws ever nearer, the promises and posturing are coming thick and fast. Some of the promises do have an effect on employment law, if implemented, (ie if elected!) and some are already scheduled to enter the statute books this year. Keep up to date and informed, as you never quite know what will affect you . Read on for details, and, as always, call me or mail me if you have any concerns about this edition's content.
Kind regards, Paul
First The News: Could stronger strike controls backfire ?
The Conservatives' proposals to limit and control strike action could backfire and lead to an increase in illegal activity. The Conservative party has called time on public sector strikes. If victorious at May’s general election, it plans to introduce measures that require 40% of eligible union members working in health, transport, fire services or schools to back industrial action (currently only a simple majority is required). In its manifesto, the party is also set to publish plans to end a ban on using agency staff to cover striking workers and place curbs on picketing. -
My comment: a great deal of damage has been done with public relations in the past, perhaps, just perhaps, striking of essential public services might be looked at? my thanks to HR MAGAZINE for this excellent article see the full article read more
Newsflash:The zero hours contracts problem, which political party holds the solution ?
In the run-up to the general election, consultant editor Darren Newman (EXPERT HR) looks at the hot topic of zero hours contracts and what both the coalition partners and the Labour Party propose to do about them.
In this general election year, there is one employment law issue that the major political parties are agreed on: something needs to be done about zero hours contracts. My Comment: This topic has been very misunderstood in the media, there's nothing wrong with zero hours contracts per se. They suit a lot of people on both sides. It is the larger companies who had the additional exclusivity clause that prevented individuals from having other jobs that causes all the criticism. If you are not sure, call me, take advice early on!read more My grateful thanks to those nice folk at EXPERT HR see them at expert HR
Labour promises to double paid paternity leave A Labour government would double paid paternity leave from two to four weeks, leader Ed Miliband is expected to announce later today. The Labour leader will also pledge to increase statutory paternity pay (£138.18 per week) by more than £120 a week to £260 a week. Legislation around shared parental leave comes into force in April, but government predictions show only 5,700 men are expected to apply for shared parental leave over the next 12 months. Currently just over half (55%) of new fathers take the two weeks' paid leave, which was implemented in 2003. Research has found many working fathers do not take the full two weeks off due to financial pressures. The plans will be funded by savings made from tax credits, Labour claims. - See more at:
My Comment: I've said this before too, there is growing pressure on all parties to increase social benefits in general, one good way is improve maternity/paternity provision, and have the employer pay for it! our thank to HRMagazine for this item.
And finally tonight !
.E-cigarettes in the workplace: first vaping tribunal decision is a warning for employers
E-cigarettes in the workplace pose a difficult question for UK employers. Should you treat them as if they are cigarettes or have different rules for their use? A recent UK employment tribunal case has highlighted how important it is for employers to ensure that the use of electronic cigarettes or “vaping” is included in their smoking policy.
The employment tribunal in Insley v Accent Catering considered a claim by a school catering assistant that she had been constructively dismissed by her employer.
The headteacher of the secondary school where the catering assistant, Ms Insley, was working complained to her employer, Accent Catering, that he had seen her using an e-cigarette at the beginning of the school day in full view of pupils. My thanks to Personnel Today for their excellent article see the full item at My Comment: It was only ever a matter of time before this one came up! If you don't want your employees taking "vaping" breaks, you'll need a clause or statement on your current handbook, if you do, call me !
Most employment issues can be sorted, provided action is taken before the problem puts down roots. Seek advice at an early stage. Call me if you're not sure about an issue, it might not even be a problem !
A light hearted look at some of the idiotic things we hear. As ever I couldn't produce this stuff on my own, my continuing thanks to the HSE website for all this informationsee them
Case 344 - Village hall clock causes high ding-dong
A press article reported that a new member of the village had threatened to sue the parish council if the village hall clock strikes after 11pm. He claims the tranquil environs of the village had been disturbed by chiming every 15 minutes and will claim under health and safety legislation to stop this.
There is nothing in workplace health and safety law that requires the chimes to be silenced. The issue is one of noise nuisance which is dealt with under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA). If residents think noise is affecting their health they can take this up either with their local council, who will investigate whether a nuisance exists, or directly through the courts. We have been advised that each case is considered on its own merits and the silencing of bells elsewhere does not create a precedent for all other cases.
Case 309 - University bans the throwing of mortar boards on graduation day.
A university has banned the throwing of mortar boards on graduation day. The university collected the hats after the graduates ceremony finished, to avoid them throwing their caps into the air. Enquirer was told they do this because of health and safety issues.
There is nothing in health and safety law which stops graduates having fun and celebrating their success in the time-honoured fashion! What a shame that jobsworths choose to stand in the way of this great photo opportunity. If the concern is really about the hats being returned in good condition then the University should say that and not use health and safety as an easy excuse.
Our grateful thanks to the HSE website for this excellent source material see them at
The information contained in these pages is an HR overview and not intended to be comprehensive legal advice, always seek specific qualified advice before taking any action that could lead to litigation. Equally, were we have provided links to external web pages, we are not responsible for the content of other sites.