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Monthly Archives

October 2016

Whistleblowing

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Financial services sector Additional protections have been introduced for whistle blowers in the Financial Services Sector.  These rules have been launched (effective from 7th September 2016) to encourage more ethical behaviour as a response to the 2008 financial crisis and include a requirement for “Whistleblowing Champions” to be appointed who are to be regulated and have responsibilities to produce annual reports on whistleblowing as well as to update contracts and training to outline improvements to their processes surrounding whistleblowing.

Private Member’s Bill calls for extended maternity and paternity leave for parents of premature babies

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The Maternity and Paternity Leave (Premature Birth) Bill 2016-17 had its first reading on 26 October 2016. It is scheduled to have its second reading on 16 December 2016. The Bill will propose amending Part 8 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 to make provision about maternity and paternity leave for parents of babies born prematurely.

The Bill follows an online campaign that collected over 100,000 signatures and proposed extending maternity leave to take account of the development rate of premature children. According to the campaign, premature babies develop at a slower rate when compared to full-term births and therefore, when a mother has to return to work under the current law the baby is not ready for childcare.

As nights get darker, are your driver risk assessments ready?

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Employers have a responsibility for the health and safety of all employees carrying out work activities, this includes when they are driving for work. They are also required to consider any risks and take reasonable steps to minimise them. When the clocks change and the evenings draw in, many employees who drive for work purposes will be doing so in the dark and you may need to consider the additional hazards of driving in poor light when conducting your risk assessments:

•Depth perception, ability to distinguish colour, and peripheral vision, are all worse in low-light conditions.
•Xenon headlights are becoming more common. They are brighter than conventional halogen headlights. This benefits the driver but can be problematic for people driving oncoming vehicles.
•As we age the lenses inside our eyes lose their transparency, which can result in experiencing more glare when driving at night.

Recruitment

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Does your processes make it difficult for those leaving education to enter your employment?  Do your job adverts and person specifications have non-essential requirements listed which would put off those leaving education from applying?  Think carefully about wording and how you position job adverts and job role specifications, some requirements which block younger applicants may be seen discriminatory on the grounds of age. If in doubt seek further advice from your Advisor.

Bonuses

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In 2015 British businesses made payments amounting to £44bn in monetary bonuses despite research indicating this may lead to lack of collaboration between employees, short sightedness and lack of focus on an individual’s holistic role responsibilities.  Further research indicates that bonuses of this sort have lack of impact on improving performance… It is recommended therefore that equal attention is paid to “how things are achieved” should be measured/monitored just as much as “what the end result is”.   This in turn should promote culture and behaviours desirable by you as an organisation.

Return to Work interviews just for sickness?

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Return to Work interviews just for sickness?  We advise return to work interviews for all instances of absence and lateness which are not authorised prior to them taking place.  Having a consistent approach gives you the best opportunity to investigate and decide appropriate courses of action.  In some cases, there are underlying issues for absence and lateness and additional support to your employee may be required.  A consistent approach also acts as a deterrent to those who do not have genuine reasons for their absence or lateness.