Category Archives: General

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.

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.

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

 

 

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.

Bullying and Harassment

Bullying and Harassment is a constant concern for many businesses.
Einon HR has helped many of their clients by providing policies and procedures with regards to Bullying and Harassment which provide a framework (e.g. professional, polite etc). This can be referred to very positively especially if any behaviour doesn’t match up.

It is important to recognise that it is not only Managers who can be the bullies, junior members of staff can also bully their Manager.

Einon HR has also come across many instances where allegations have been made where a Manager has raised concerns over an individuals performance in a perfectly reasonably manner, however, the member of staff hearing the message did not like what they were hearing, and therefore tried to argue that the Manager was bullying them.

The workplace needs to be a safe place where members of staff are encouraged to raise concerns, and if they do observe poor behaviour they know when they raise their concerns the necessary action will be taken.

Conducting Investigations

There are many reasons for holding an internal investigation within the workplace. Investigations are held in order to clarify and establish the facts of an individual case and to assist in a decision as to whether there are grounds to call a disciplinary hearing, or dismiss a member of staff.

Employers could be held liable if a poor investigation leads to an unfair dismissal.

For further help and guidance please call Einon HR 07764 948898

 

Managing sickness during pregnancy

Employers need to take care when managing sickness absence during pregnancy, to ensure that they comply with their legal duties and protect the welfare of theirs employees.

Pregnancy – related illness is protected under the Equality Act 2010.

If you have a policy with regards to attendance, does this need to be modified ?

If you have a pregnant employee who is absent due to sickness, do you know whether or not the sickness is related to the pregnancy ?

It is also particularly important  to be aware of any pregnancy-related sickness as the expected birth date approaches, as any absence could automatically trigger the start of the maternity leave period.

Are any aspects of the pregnant employee’s work contributing to her illness ?

Are you paying the employee correctly? if there are a number of short -term absences from work which are due to pregnancy – related illness, these may be linked for the purposes of SSP.

Auto-Enrolment

From October 2012 a number of new employer duties were introduced in relation to workplace pension provision.  These are contained in the Pensions Act 2008, these apply to every employer, from small to large public limited companies regardless of the size of their workforce.

Each employer must be ready to comply with the new duties with effect from its “staging date”. The exact date depends on the size of an employer’s PAYE scheme.

The Pension Regulator will notify all employers around 12 months before their staging date.

If you have less than 50 employees your staging date will be a date between 1 July 2014 – 1 February 2016 (depending on your PAYE scheme size).

For more information and support please call

Einon HR on 07764 948898

 

Welcome to the new look site

I hope you find the new site more useful.  I’ve listened to customer comments and organised the content to be easier to access.

I plan to add articles soon so watch this space.  Please contact me if you want to suggest ideas and topics to cover.

Regards
Wendy