Recent HR audit conducted for a Northamptonshire based client highlighted areas to be addressed.

Einon HR has recently completed an HR audit for a Northamptonshire based client.

The HR audit identified several areas which needed addressing.

Contracts of employment:  Did you know the law states that an employee is legally entitled to a contract of employment within 8 weeks from commencement of employment.

Employee Handbook: It is good practice to have an employee handbook where policies and procedures are contented in one easy reference point and which are easily accessible for both Managers and staff.

Job Descriptions: Although job descriptions are not a legal requirement they do provide a framework in which training and development needs can easily be identified.

For more information regarding HR Audits please contact Einon HR 0776 494 8898



Mother dismissed over absenteeism suffered sex discrimination

In Van Heeswyk v One Call Insurance Services Ltd, the GMB union represented a woman who was dismissed after she requested time off to spend with her baby daughter and her husband during his leave from service in Afghanistan.

According to the GMB, shortly after Van Heeswyk’s request, she was invited to a disciplinary hearing for alleged “persistent absenteeism” and “unsatisfactory standards or output of work”, despite her exemplary record and no previous warnings.

She was later dismissed without notice for gross misconduct, even though her absenteeism was linked to her daughter’s hospital visits.

The GMB supported her successful employment tribunal claims, including sex discrimination and unfair dismissal.

The tribunal described the company’s procedure as “cynical” and its treatment of the claimant as “unsympathetic”. The tribunal found that the company was “scrapping the barrel” to find reasons to dismiss her.

This recent case highlights again the need to ensure that you follow an absence procedure which is fair to all employees and the need to consider all factors before holding a disciplinary hearing.

Breaking news!! National Living Wage April 2016

Prime Minster David Cameron has kicked off the autumn political season with a pledge to crack down on employers who fail to pay the National Living Wage (NLW).    Stating that the fines for non-payment will double, hitting employers with a penalty worth 200 per cent of unpaid wages, up to a maximum of £20,000 per underpaid worker. HMRC will investigate the most serious cases of employers not paying the National Minimum Wage  (NMW) and NLW when it is introduced in April 2016.

Employers that fail face disqualification as company directors for up to 15 years.  So it is imperative that companies get it right.

The NLW will replace the existing NMW for all workers aged 25 and over with effect from next April 2016.  For this age group the current NMW is £6.50 per hour, this will rise to £6.70 per hour from 1st October 2015 and will be replaced with NLW and a new rate of £7.20 per hour in April 2016.  This rate is expected to rise further to more than £9.00 per hour by 2020.

Employers will need to consider their approach and any measures carefully.

For help and support please contact Wendy at Einon HR

Getting communications right during and after maternity leave.

Under the 1999 maternity and parental leave regulations, an employer is allowed to maintain “reasonable contact from time to time” with an employee on maternity leave.
Employees on maternity leave can take up to 10 KIT (keeping in touch) days during their maternity leave, the dates must be agreed by the employer, and taking such days will not terminate the employee’s maternity leave. It is important to note that either parent may also have 20 SPLIT (shared parental leave in touch days) in addition to KIT days if they take shared parental leave.
There is no obligation for an employer to offer KIT days, and similarly, there is no right for an employee to insist on having a KIT day, or any obligation to accept any KIT days offered.
Good communications with the employee may include providing them with company updates, job vacancies or information about business changes. It is not advisable to provide the employee which could be construed as work, or which could cause the employee to worry about their work duties.

Our Company does not recognise any unions, do employees still have a right to be accompanied by a trade union representative?

Even if your Company does not recognise any unions, your employees will still have the right to be accompanied by a trade union representative to certain meetings.

Under section 10 of the Employment Relations Act 1999, employees have the right to be accompanied when they are attending a disciplinary hearing or a grievance hearing.

This section gives the unfettered right to be accompanied by a union representative or work colleague, and as such a union representative cannot be refused simply because the Company does not recognise their (or any other) union.

The right of appeal

In any disciplinary process the right of appeal is a fundamental step. Not only is this right a matter of good HR practice, the ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures confirms that an employee should be allowed to appeal any formal decision.  This covers each stage from a warning or a dismissal where the employee consider it is wrong or unjust.


Although it is not common, employees may have a contractual right to an appeal and, if so, the contract of employment will dictate the process that must be followed.  Employers are advised to check the contractual status of the process.

A failure to offer a right of appeal may provide an employee with a basis for a claim.

Although there is no statutory obligation to follow the ACAS Code, breaches of the Code can result in an uplift of up to 25% of any compensatory award made by a tribunal.

A fair appeal process should therefore be followed.

For further help and guidance on the appeal process please contact Einon HR on 07764 948898 or send us an email.