We have recently launched our new Strictly Employment Law Newsletter which is distributed monthly by email.  In order to receive it, you need to subscribe.  Just enter your details into the Mailing List box to the right here, and you'll get a FREE Technology, communications and internet acceptable use policy download as a thankyou.

Employment Law Roundup – October 2017

October 9th, 2017

The unmistakable hints of Christmas that are appearing in shops are signaling that 2017 is nearing its close.

With next year just around the corner, employers are being urged to make preparations for one major shake-up that will take effect in May 2018. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) looks set to change the way organisations handle personal data – whether by processing, storing, or disposing of that data. It’s an overhaul of our existing laws, and something that businesses of all sizes should be getting to grips with now.

The GDPR will introduce some enhanced versions of individuals’ rights already in play under the Data Protection Act, and there will be some new provisions too. And the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has advised that now is a good time to check company procedures to make sure, among other things, that your systems would help you locate and delete relevant personal data if asked to do so.

Getting a good understanding of what the GDPR will mean for your business and for your employees is the essential first step, and one that should be taken without delay. Reviewing and updating your systems, policies, contracts, notices, and consents, will ensure that you are ready for the changes when they take effect.  Read the rest of this entry »

Employment Law Roundup – September 2017

September 4th, 2017

July and August may not have delivered the perfect summer. But, by way of silver lining, we have had some significant employment law developments.

One of these is the publication of the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices, addressing many of the issues that have been bubbling away in workplaces since new models of working emerged and established themselves. The report talks about an overriding ambition: ‘All work in the UK economy should be fair and decent with realistic scope for development and fulfillment.’

Among its recommendations is the re-labelling of some workers as ‘dependent contractors’, with a clearer distinction between that category and the self-employed. The report also talks about gig economy workers and the National Minimum Wage, holiday pay for atypical workers, statutory sick pay, and tax.

We shall have to wait and see what comes of the proposals and whether any of our laws and practices will change as a consequence. Read the rest of this entry »

Employment Law Roundup – July 2017

July 4th, 2017

Love it or loathe it, the intensity of this summer’s spell of sunshine and high temperatures took many by surprise.

And let’s assume that summer is not over. Are you set up to handle yet more hot days, sunny rays, and a distracted workforce? Employers are expected to be ‘reasonable’. That might simply mean adjusting the air con or installing a set of fans. It might also mean relaxing your dress code to make workers feel more comfortable – something that needs careful thought so as to avoid problems around health and safety, your professional image, and discrimination.

It’s safe to say that the heat won’t last for very long. So, while it does, you’ll probably find that staff will appreciate a dash of empathy. And that doesn’t need to be at the expense of taking a firm approach where workers step out of line. The key is to be clear about what is expected, and about what the consequences of rule breaches might be. Read the rest of this entry »

Employment Law Roundup – June 2017

June 5th, 2017

We begin this bulletin with news of a must-have accessory in workplaces, and it’s of the canine variety.

According to the Guardian, around 8% of employers allow dogs at work. It’s an idea that seems to be taking off, perhaps with good reason. A survey last year by Banfield Pet Hospital revealed that more than 80% of employees feel a greater sense of loyalty to companies that are pet-friendly. Many believe that pets improve morale and reduce stress.

And did you know that June 23 is Bring Your Dog to Work Day? It might be calming; it might be carnage. But it’s a chance to test out the theory. Read the rest of this entry »

Employment Law Roundup – May 2017

May 8th, 2017

May has arrived and with it, no sign of the public spotlight on zero-hours contracts dimming.

Amid the ongoing scrutiny of modern workplace practices, fast food giant McDonald’s has said that it will offer members of staff a significant choice: remain on a zero-hours contract or move to fixed hours.

Take-up during a trial period is reported to have been pretty low, with only about 20% of staff having chosen to move away from zero-hours. An indication, perhaps, that in spite of the criticisms and concerns there is something to be said for having less secure but more flexible arrangements in place for those that want them.  Read the rest of this entry »