All posts by Wendy

Increases to Statutory payments 2019

From 6th April 2019  Statutory Redundancy rate will increase from £508 per week to £525 per week

From 6th April 2019 Statutory Sick Pay rate will increase from £92.05 per week to £94.25 per week

From 7th April 2019 all Family Related Pay (Maternity, Paternity, Shared Parental & Adoption) will increase from £145.18 per week to £148.68 per week

Company Handbook

The perfect handbook brings protection and peace of mind.

Policies set out in a Handbook provide a framework and sets out standards of behaviour expected by the business of it’s employees and workers.

It assists in the running of the business

It reduces legal risks

It enables the business to comply with good HR practice.

Einon HR highly recommends that all businesses have a Company Handbook in place,  here at Einon HR we are able to provide a bespoke Company Handbook which covers all policies covering areas such as Whistleblowing, Bribery, Equal Opportunities, Data Protection, Bullying & Harassment, Social Media, Disciplinary & Grievance etc….

Working practices which are Company specific are also included.

Contact Einon HR today to discuss your requirements and to find out how Einon HR can help support you and your business.

National Minimum Wage 1st April 2019

There will be increases to the National Minimum wage rates including the National Living Wage.

Workers aged 25 and over will rise from £7.83ph to £8.21ph
Workers aged 21 to 24 will rise from £7.38ph to £7.70ph
Workers aged 18 to 20 will rise from £5.90ph to £6.15ph
Workers under 18 will rise from £4.20ph to £4.35ph
Apprentice rate will rise from £3.70ph to £3.90ph

When does overtime have to be included in holiday pay

Holiday pay must be calculated on the basis of the employee’s normal pay. Where an employee normally works overtime, this should be included in the calculation of his or her holiday pay.
Overtime that the employer is contractually obliged to offer and that the employees are required to work must always be included in holiday pay.
Recent cases have highlighted the need to ensure that regular overtime, even if it is not guaranteed but employees are required to work when it is offered, must also be included.
There is no definition setting out how regularly overtime must be worked for it to be included, but the general principle is that pay that is “normally received” should be included in holiday pay.
If an employee has worked a settled pattern of overtime over a period of time, payment for that overtime is pay that the employee normally receives and must therefore be included in holiday pay. Where there is no settled pattern the employer should calculate average pay over a reference period leading up to the period of annual leave.
Currently the courts have yet to address what a suitable reference period should be.
Case law has not yet determined whether or not overtime that is voluntary must be included in holiday pay. However, it is likely to come down to whether or not the employee regularly works voluntary overtime, so that overtime pay is routinely expected as part of the employees normal pay.

How to avoid Christmas Party problems

A Christmas party can often boost morale, increase employee satisfaction and promote team building.
Preparation is key to a successful Christmas party!


Think twice about mistletoe at your Christmas party, whilst it may appear to be innocent fun, mistletoe may increase the risk of sexual harassment claims. This applies even if your Christmas party is held outside working hours and not in the office. The party is still a work event meaning employers are likely to be vicariously liable for acts of their employees (particularly if you organised and funded the event) unless you take reasonable steps to prevent those acts occurring. If a complaint is made during or after the Christmas party, you should follow your usual disciplinary policy and investigate the complaint thoroughly.

Employers owe their employees a duty to take reasonable of care towards their health and safety, therefore if you ask employees to decorate the office you need to provide them with the appropriate equipment to do so, for example providing step ladders in order to ensure employees do not use swivel chairs to stand on. On a similar note if you hold the Christmas party in the office, dancing on desks or the like could cause damage not only to the employee but to the employer’s property. Make it clear that such behaviour will not be tolerated or that certain parts of the office are out of bounds during the party.


Employees need to be aware that the Company policies on harassment and discrimination continue to apply when socialising with work colleagues. Ensure employees know the consequences of breaching such policies. The employer continues to be liable for the acts of their employees when socialising with each other. Employers are also responsible for harassment by third parties. Third parties at a Christmas party could includ entertainers and bar staff.


Remember their will be employees who do not drink alcohol, perhaps for religious reasons or otherwise. Therefore ensure you supply plenty of non-alcoholic beverages. Also if there will be any employees attending the Christmas party who will be under the age of 18, ensure you keep an eye out to make sure they do not drink alcohol.
If employees are expected to be in work the next day, remind them that disciplinary action could be taken of they fail to attend due to over indulging at the Christmas party. Equally if you are having a Christmas lunch let employees know whether they will be expected to return to work in the afternoon. If you have employees operating machinery then you should emphasise that alcohol will not be permitted.


If you are providing food for your employes, remember that different religions and beliefs cannot eat certain foods. The best way to avoid offending any employees is to ensure you always offer appropriate options for vegetarians, vegans and those who cannot eat specific foods, i.e beef or pork.  It is also advisable, where possible, to offer an alternative to employees with allergies such as wheat, and lactose.

Loose lips

Discussions had at a Christmas party could come back to haunt you.  In 2005 a claim was filed by an employee after a Manager had made a promise at the Christmas party that his salary would be increased to match another colleague within two years.  After two years the employee was not on the same salary and so the employee resigned and claimed constructive dismissal. The employment appeal tribunal eventually decided that the Manager did not intend to enter into a legally binding commitment at the Christmas party.  However, this was an expensive lesson for the employer to learn which could easily have been avoided if the Manager had not discussed remuneration at the Christmas party.

After the party 

Employers have a duty of care towards their employees therefore if an employee appears to have drunk too much, the employer should take responsibility.  Practically it would be sensible to arrange for the party to end before public transport stops running or to provide the numbers of local taxi companies and encourage employees to use them.  Another option (depending on cost) would be to provide a mini bus to take employees back to a place where they will be able to get home easily (i.e a railway station, or the office).

Finally have fun knowing that by following these simple steps you have organised a hassle free Christmas party for all to enjoy!

Modern Slavery Act 2015

The Act introduces a requirement for businesses over a certain size to publish an annual statement setting out the steps taken to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in their organisation or associated supply chains.

The Act consolidates existing offences relating to trafficking and slavery.

It obliges businesses which supply goods or services in the UK (with an annual turnover of more than £36 million) to publicly state each year the action they have taken to ensure their supply chains are slavery free. Turnover includes the turnover of any subsidiary business.

The annual statement must be published on the organisations website, and a link to it must be prominently placed on the homepage. (6 months after end of year accounts).

Non-compliance and enforcement – Secretary of State may enforce duty to prepare a slavery and human trafficking statement through civil proceedings.
The view is to name and shame companies which to do not comply.
More information and guidance can be found at

Managing long-term absence

A common cause of concern for Managers and business owners is the absence of employees due to long-term sickness. In my experience Managers are often nervous in relation to how they should manage long-term sickness absence given the potentially sensitive nature of this area.

Here at Einon HR we often are asked “When is an employee classed as long-term sick”? “How do we get them back to work”? “Can we or should we contact the employee whilst they are sick”? “What happens if they are too unwell to return to work”?

An employee is normally considered as long-term once they have been absent for 4 weeks or more.

Throughout any absence Managers should discuss options with the employee which may facilitate their return to work, including adjustments to their work or a phased return. If the employer decides they wish to obtain medical advice they need to write to the employee and seek the employees consent before approaching the employee’s Doctor or Consultant.

Employers should regular keep in touch with their employees if they are absent, it is also advisable to hold a “welfare” meeting with the employee in order to discuss their absence and to get an up date on their state of health.

When medical advice is obtained it may state that the employee is unlikely to be able to return to work in the foreseeable future due to ill-health, and provided there are no alternative roles or reasonable adjustments that could be made to help the employee return, the employer would need to arrange a capability hearing and dismiss the employee on the grounds of ill-health capability, although this would be the final step an employer would take and only after full consideration of all the circumstances of the employees situation.

Employees who are deemed to have a disability under the Equality Act 2010 are entitled to have reasonable adjustments considered by the employer, to help them at work or return to work. Failure to make reasonable adjustments could result in a disability discrimination claim. Employees with over two years’ service who are either dismissed, or with whom the employer fails to keep in touch with during any long-term sickness absence, may decide to bring a claim for unfair or constructive unfair dismissal against the employer.

Long-term absence therefore, is something that can benefit from a proactive response and having clear policies and procedures which create consistency and add clarity for Managers.

If you need an absence policy or a review of your existing policy please give us a call.

Employee References

Recent work undertaken by Einon HR for a client in Rushden, Northants highlights the need for employers to take care when providing references for prospective employers. Any reference provided should be fair, accurate, true and not misleading, otherwise they risk claims for negligent misstatement or deceit.
It is also important that employers are consistent in their approach to avoid employee allegations of discrimination or victimisation. Having a policy in place on providing references helps.
There is generally no obligation on prospective employers to ask for a reference, but where an employer asks for one and receives a reference that it considers unsatisfactory, it should avoid knee jerk reactions such as withdrawing the job offer or dismissing the employee.

National Minimum Wage – unintentional breach

Recent headlines regarding Monsoon Accessorize where they unintentionally failed to ensure their staff were paid the NMW. highlights a risk that more employers could find themselves in a similar position.
Monsoon Accessorize have been forced to reimburse staff pay and have been fined £28,147.81
The Company are currently working with HMRC and reviewing its payroll processes in order to rectify the breach of pay regulations.

The case: Monsoon requires their staff to wear Monsoon clothes on duty, employees were previously required to purchase clothing but received these at a discounted rate out of their wages, but the compulsory expense meant that many staff were taking home less than the legally required minimum wage.

Foot Locker and French Connection have both failed to pay the minimum wage for the same reason.

It is important that employee benefits are not counted towards a workers average salary.
The strict legal obligation is to ensure that an employee’s average salary over a pay reference period (the interval in which they are paid) does not fall below the minimum. That figure must be calculated after a number of specified deductions and there is a list of items which by law cannot count towards the NMW, these include overtime rates, expenses, allowances, vouchers, loan and wage advances and any other benefit in kind (other than accommodation).

If you offer any additional payments or benefits you need to ensure that you are paying at least the NMW, after appropriate deductions have been made from the calculation.

Zero hours contracts

Zero hours contract is a non -legal term used to describe many different types of casual agreements between an employer and an individual.
A zero hours contract is one in which the employer does not guarantee the individual any hours of work. The employer offers the individual work when it arises, and the individual can either accept the work offered, or decide not to take up the offer of work on that occasion.
Regardless of how many hours are actually offered, the employer must pay at least the National Minimum Wage.
Those employed on a Zero hours contract still has employment rights associated with their employment status and individuals on a zero hours contract will either have employment status of a ‘worker’ or an ‘employee’.
Any individual who is a ‘worker’ will be entitled to at least the National Minimum Wage, paid annual leave, rest breaks and protection from discrimination.
Zero hours contracts are useful where work demands are irregular or where there is not a constant demand for staff. Zero hours contracts may also provide a level of flexibility for the individual.
Zero hours contracts might not be appropriate if the job offered will mean the individual will work regular hours over a continuous period of time.
Employers should consider whether a zero hours contract is the best type of contract for their business need depending on the nature of the work to be offered and the specific circumstances. Depending on the business need, alternatives might include: offering overtime to permanent staff, recruiting a part time employee or someone on a fixed term contract if regular hours need to be worked and considering using agency staff.
It is important to ensure that best practice is followed should you decide to use zero hours contracts, the contracts need to be clear and transparent so that the individual can understand their rights and what the implications of such a contract means to them.