This week we thought it would be worth sharing a cautionary tale with you regarding the impact a lack of an employment contract can have.
As a business owner, your contacts database is likely to be something that you guard closely. Ownership of those contacts whose details are in some form of CRM is easy to determine.
But what about those contacts who are gathered through employee networking and stored on privately owned social media accounts? They are still very valuable to the business but how do you prevent them disappearing out of the door at the same time as the employee leaves?
For years we’ve heard about the benefits of flexible working and home working, and many predicted that this would be the way of the future. A survey in 2011 found that 59% of employers offered employees the option to remote work, up from just 13% in 2006 but is this trend in increased working from home about to reverse?
As you’ll no doubt be aware, HMV went into administration recently and many staff were put at risk of redundancy. One particularly disgruntled employee took over the HMV corporate Twitter account and posted live updates as the news was announced to the staff. Not exactly the publicity that HMV needed!
This past week has seen the NHS come under fire for including a gagging order in a compromise agreement with Gary Walker, the ex-chief executive of United Lincolnshire Hospital trust, which prevented him from speaking out about his concerns regarding patient safety.
The NHS clearly operates in a very different environment to our clients but it has got us thinking about what can and can’t be achieved through compromise agreements.
It’s that time of year again when the weather is unpredictable and, when you pull back your curtains to see snow, you know you’re going to receive a flurry of text messages and calls from your staff telling you that they can’t get to work because they are snowed in. Whilst this subject is particularly relevant at this time of year, public transport is not always reliable and the same types of challenges can arise at any time. So, what are your options?
In recent months, we have spoken with clients who have found themselves being accused of discrimination because they have treated individuals differently when it comes to areas, such as making up time for medical appointments or the approach they have taken to sick pay. So, is it really possible to have policies which offer flexibility but prevent these types of claims of unfair treatment in the work place?
Managing long-term absence can present a real challenge to all businesses but particularly to small and medium sized companies. There’s a need to move the business forwards but this can be very difficult when you have a staff member on long-term sickness absence and you’ve no real insight into when or if they will be fit to return to work. Whilst the financial burden of long-term absence can be managed through insurance schemes and statutory sick pay, the practical issue of “who performs this work?” presents a far larger challenge.
It’s the day after the office party. You know that you perhaps had a few too many glasses of wine and that there are things that you did that you wished you hadn’t. Even if you behaved impeccably, there’s a chance that members of your staff did not. Unfortunately, the days are long gone where you can be confident that “What happens at the Office Party stays at the Office Party”.
Obviously, giving individuals a right to request flexible working is different to obligating employers to grant flexible working arrangements but in order to avoid claims of discrimination you need to have solid reasons for refusing requests. There are also legal obligations on employers when they grant flexible working arrangements particular when this includes a right to work from home.