HR Expert: Staff Bullying on Whatsapp

Q- My client has received complaints from a member of staff that they have been bullied by a colleague on a works’ WhatsApp group chat. What should they do about this?

A- Whilst work related WhatsApp groups can be a force for good, creating an informal environment to brainstorm ideas and share important information quickly, their use does carry some risk with employees often seeing this as a grey area where the normal rules of work conduct do not apply.  Read More

HR Expert: Keeping in contact on Maternity Leave

Q- My client runs a small business and has an employee that is about to go off for a year on maternity leave and want to know if they are allowed to contact the employee during her leave. Are there any rules on this? 

A- Business owners can often feel uneasy at the prospect of communicating with staff during a period of leave, however, your client should understand that keeping in contact with an employee on maternity leave is perfectly acceptable and widely encouraged.

Read More

HR Expert: Planning Annual Leave During Christmas Period

Q- My client wants to put plans in place to manage time off over Christmas and New Year, how should they do this?

A- Annual leave can be an important topic in any workplace, particularly in the period around Christmas and New Year, which is often the end of the leave year. Your client may be concerned at the thought of handling an influx of annual leave requests during this time, however, this can easily be done so long as they plan accordingly.  Read More

HR EXPERT: Tipping Waiters

Q- My client has heard that the law on dealing with tips is going to change. He runs a restaurant and currently passes on only 75% of tips to the employees. Will he be able to carry on doing this?

A- Recently, many high-profile businesses have attracted criticism for making tip deductions and using the funds to cover business charges in other areas. Although taking a percentage of tips given to employees can be common practice for employers it can also be significantly frustrating for the workforce. Despite the fact that a voluntary code of conduct for fair tipping procedures exists there is currently no law prohibiting employers from making deductions from tips. However, this position is due to change. Read More

HR Expert: Annual Leave & Productivity

Q- My client is planning to take a period of annual leave and is concerned productivity will drop off as a result, what can they do to address this?

A- As we enter what is commonly known to be the peak season for summer vacations, it is likely that many clients will choose this time to take a prolonged break from work. With this in mind, there are a number of simple steps clients can take to ensure productivity levels remain high during their absence.  Read More

HR EXPERT: Managing Overtime

Q- My client anticipates needing their staff to work overtime during an upcoming busy period, can they just make them do this?

A- Overtime is often used by employers as a way of managing times of peak business or high customer demand. The way in which overtime is managed can differ significantly and your client should consider the pitfalls that can come with introducing this to their organisation. Read More

HR EXPERT- Religious Jewellery Policy

Q- My Client has a no jewellery policy and have asked if they can still prevent staff from wearing religious jewellery such as crucifixes?

A-  It is not uncommon for clients with a dress code policy to have specific requirements on jewellery.

Whilst some will allow staff to wear certain types of jewellery at work, others will

Read More

HR EXPERT: Mental Health First Aiders

Q- My client has asked me about the need for a mental health first aider at work, is this a legal requirement?

A- Whilst the need for a mental health first aider is not currently a legal requirement, it is a practice my client should consider implementing given the rise in reported instances of work-related mental ill health and the detrimental impact this can have for employers.

It is likely Read More

HR EXPERT: Bank Holiday

Q- A client has told me their employees are questioning if they have to work on the upcoming bank holiday, what should I tell them?

A- As Brits we all look forward to a bank holiday, whether we take the opportunity to enjoy an extended weekend away or to catch up on some DIY around the house. Therefore, bank holiday entitlement can be a particularly emotive issue in the workplace. Whilst many organisations offer these to staff as an automatic day off, others may Read More

HR Expert: Hot Weather

Q- Several clients have asked me about the recent hot weather and if staff have a right to be sent home when it is too hot. Before summer starts, can you help clarify this?

A- Given the recent upturn in weather staff may be forgiven for looking wistfully out of the window longing to enjoy the British sunshine before the inevitable downpours return.There is a common theory amongst employees that they have the legal right to leave work if the workplace reaches a certain temperature, however, this is not the case. Instead, the Health and Safety Regulations state that workplace temperatures must remain ‘reasonable’.

Read More