Menopause and productivity

Menopause and productivity

Research by Health and Her and the Office for National Statistics has shown that 14 million working days are potentially lost to menopause symptoms each year. Research revealed that a third of women in the 50-64 age category were taking time off work due to menopause symptoms. Over 370,000 women admitted they had either left or considered leaving a job due to difficulties in managing menopause symptoms at work.

(more…)

Employee monitoring by artificial intelligence

Employee monitoring by artificial intelligence

Is employee monitoring by artificial intelligence (AI) the way to boost productivity? Some UK businesses are using AI package Isaak to monitor employees at work. Data gathered can include information on who employees are emailing, who accesses and edits files and even which employees are meeting and when. Instead of relying on managers, computer algorithms are being used to manage people. The system can show how collaborative employees are. It can also measure activity data against information from other sources, like personnel files or sales figures, to give a picture on how behaviour affects productivity.  Is this a good thing?

(more…)

Unfair dismissal and permanent health insurance (PHI)

Unfair dismissal and permanent health insurance (PHI)

PHI provides employees with pay during long term sickness or incapacity. Policies can define incapacity differently. Some policies define it as an employee's inability to return to their actual job. Some policies define it as an inability to return to any job. Sometimes the courts get involved if the parties don't agree on the meaning of the policy terms, as was the case in ICTS v Visram.

(more…)

Directors’ liability

Directors' liability

The High Court has recently looked at whether directors can be liable for a company's breach of employee contracts. Directors are governed by the Companies Act 2006, which requires them to act in good faith in the best interests of the company, taking into account the interests of employees. Directors must also exercise reasonable care, skill and diligence in their duties. A director will not be liable for a breach of contract if they are acting in good faith and within the scope of their authority.

(more…)

National minimum wage

National minimum wage

The issue of payment for being on-call has reared its head again in the Employment Appeal Tribunal. In Frudd v Partington, the employees were a husband and wife warden/receptionist team at a campsite. They lived on site. During the open season, they were on call from the end of their day shift until the next day's shift began. The on-call period was divided into three: evening, night and early morning. The evenings were busy and involved numerous tasks. They didn’t get paid at all for evenings or early mornings and only got paid overnight if they were disturbed.  

(more…)

Vicarious liability

Vicarious liability

The High Court has recently looked at another Christmas party case where an employee was injured and then sued her employer. In Shelbourne v Cancer Research UK, the employer held a Christmas party for its staff at its research institute. They did a risk assessment before the party and took appropriate steps including hiring security to prevent access to research labs. At the party, an employee was seriously injured on the dance floor after being picked up and accidentally dropped by a scientist.

(more…)

ACAS guidance on Brexit

ACAS guidance on Brexit

ACAS has issued new guidance to assist both employers and employees in understanding the impact of Brexit in the workplace. Much employment law comes from EU directives so being prepared is vital. Whilst the government still appears to be doing the hokey-cokey when it comes to Brexit, the guidance will help employers be prepared if the UK does leave the EU.

(more…)

Tribunals and the press

Tribunals and the press

Usually, employment law cases are conducted in public and the press may report on them. In cases involving sexual harassment and sexual offences, employment tribunals may grant privacy orders in the interests of justice or to protect people's privacy under the European Convention on Human Rights ('ECHR'). Orders can include anonymising the parties, holding hearings in private and restricted reporting orders. In granting these orders, the employment tribunal must properly balance privacy rights against the principle of 'open justice'.

(more…)