ROBERT GIBSON MANAGING PARTNER  SAMUEL PHILLIPS LAW FIRM [email_address] 15 February 2011 Service Network Legal Update Ass...
<ul><li>SOCIAL MEDIA </li></ul>
SOCIAL MEDIA – vital marketing tool <ul><li>Vital marketing and communication tool </li></ul><ul><li>Love it or loathe it,...
SOCIAL MEDIA - using social media for your business <ul><li>Intellectual property rights </li></ul><ul><li>Assess specific...
SOCIAL MEDIA – personal use of social media by employees <ul><li>Have a policy that clearly sets out guidelines for person...
<ul><li>FLEXIBLE WORKING </li></ul>
FLEXIBLE   WORKING  –who can request flexible working? <ul><li>Employees (not workers) with 26 weeks’ continuous service <...
FLEXIBLE WORKING – what can they request? <ul><li>To care for the child or, if they are a carer of an adult, for that depe...
FLEXIBLE WORKING – making a request <ul><li>Within 28 days of receiving a request, employer makes arrangements to meet </l...
FLEXIBLE WORKING – employee wants to complain <ul><li>Employer failed to follow procedure </li></ul><ul><li>Employer’s rea...
FLEXIBLE WORKING – what next? <ul><li>Right to request flexible working being extended to parents of children under 18 fro...
<ul><li>SICKNESS ABSENCE </li></ul>
SICKNESS ABSENCE - general <ul><li>Deal differently with short-term absences (conduct) as opposed to long-term (capability...
SICKNESS ABSENCE – short-term absence <ul><li>If sick on series of individual days, investigate for pattern </li></ul><ul>...
SICKNESS ABSENCE – long-term absence <ul><li>Disability discrimination provisions of Equality Act may apply </li></ul><ul>...
SICKNESS ABSENCE – long-term absence ( continued) <ul><li>Warning someone with sickness certificates not appropriate </li>...
<ul><li>BANK AND PUBLIC HOLIDAYS </li></ul>
BANK & PUBLIC HOLIDAYS - introduction <ul><li>Workers not entitled by law to time off work on bank holidays </li></ul><ul>...
BANK & PUBLIC HOLIDAYS – statutory holiday entitlement <ul><li>Full-time workers entitled under WTR to 28 days’ paid holid...
BANK & PUBLIC HOLIDAYS – contractual entitlement   <ul><li>Can offer more generous holiday entitlement than under the WTR ...
BANK & PUBLIC HOLIDAYS – contractual entitlement  <ul><li>ECJ decision Gomez v Continental Industrias del Caucho </li></ul...
<ul><li>EQUALITY ACT OVERVIEW </li></ul>
EQUALITY ACT OVERVIEW - general <ul><li>Legal framework for discrimination law in England, Scotland and Wales </li></ul><u...
EQUALITY ACT OVERVIEW – discrimination and harassment <ul><li>Associative and perceptive direct discrimination (n/a to pre...
EQUALITY ACT OVERVIEW – pay and public sector equality duty <ul><li>Claimants can rely on hypothetical comparator if evide...
EQUALITY ACT OVERVIEW – positive action and health-related checks <ul><li>Can treat someone with protected characteristic ...
<ul><li>  NEW LEGISLATION </li></ul>
NEW LEGISLATION  - April 2011 <ul><li>3 APRIL   2011 </li></ul><ul><li>Additional paternity leave regulations become effec...
NEW LEGISLATION  - April 2011 <ul><li>6 APRIL   2011 </li></ul><ul><li>Public sector equality duty introduced </li></ul><u...
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Samuel Phillips Employment Law Update Feb 2011

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Robert Gibsons presentation on the most recent Employment Law changes plus tips on the law relating to, Social media, Equality Act, Sickness Absence, Flexible Working and the new Bank Holidays

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Samuel Phillips Employment Law Update Feb 2011

  1. 1. ROBERT GIBSON MANAGING PARTNER SAMUEL PHILLIPS LAW FIRM [email_address] 15 February 2011 Service Network Legal Update Assembly Rooms, Newcastle Tuesday 15 th February 11.30 am – 2.00 pm SAMUEL PHILLIPS LAW FIRM
  2. 2. <ul><li>SOCIAL MEDIA </li></ul>
  3. 3. SOCIAL MEDIA – vital marketing tool <ul><li>Vital marketing and communication tool </li></ul><ul><li>Love it or loathe it, here to stay </li></ul><ul><li>Some courts even allow it </li></ul><ul><li>Important to have social media policy </li></ul>
  4. 4. SOCIAL MEDIA - using social media for your business <ul><li>Intellectual property rights </li></ul><ul><li>Assess specific risks </li></ul><ul><li>Provide staff with clear guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>Appropriate compliance and quality control procedures </li></ul><ul><li>Take legal advice in case of posts containing unlawful content </li></ul>
  5. 5. SOCIAL MEDIA – personal use of social media by employees <ul><li>Have a policy that clearly sets out guidelines for personal use of social media </li></ul><ul><li>Guidelines should cover both social media at work and at home </li></ul><ul><li>Set clear standards for comments that employees may make </li></ul><ul><li>Make clear consequences of breaching guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>Business may be liable for damages caused by personal social media posts </li></ul><ul><li>Note case of civil servant who complained about her job on Twitter </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>FLEXIBLE WORKING </li></ul>
  7. 7. FLEXIBLE WORKING –who can request flexible working? <ul><li>Employees (not workers) with 26 weeks’ continuous service </li></ul><ul><li>Available to employees looking after children 16 or under (18 if disabled) </li></ul><ul><li>Available to employees looking after an adult (over 18) in need of care </li></ul><ul><li>Not available to agency workers or members of armed forces </li></ul>
  8. 8. FLEXIBLE WORKING – what can they request? <ul><li>To care for the child or, if they are a carer of an adult, for that dependant: </li></ul><ul><li>A change to the hours they work </li></ul><ul><li>A change to the times when they are required to work </li></ul><ul><li>To work from a different location (for example, from home ) </li></ul>
  9. 9. FLEXIBLE WORKING – making a request <ul><li>Within 28 days of receiving a request, employer makes arrangements to meet </li></ul><ul><li>Within 14 days of meeting, employer writes agreeing or rejecting request </li></ul><ul><li>Specified grounds for rejection </li></ul><ul><li>Employee can appeal within 14 days </li></ul><ul><li>After another 14 days, employer must give final decision </li></ul>
  10. 10. FLEXIBLE WORKING – employee wants to complain <ul><li>Employer failed to follow procedure </li></ul><ul><li>Employer’s reason for refusal wasn’t one of the prescribed reasons </li></ul><ul><li>Decision to reject was based on incorrect facts </li></ul>
  11. 11. FLEXIBLE WORKING – what next? <ul><li>Right to request flexible working being extended to parents of children under 18 from April 2011 </li></ul><ul><li>Government has also said it will consult later this year on extending the right to all employees </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>SICKNESS ABSENCE </li></ul>
  13. 13. SICKNESS ABSENCE - general <ul><li>Deal differently with short-term absences (conduct) as opposed to long-term (capability) </li></ul><ul><li>Need policy that looks at when to discipline for absence; how often you make contact with staff when off sick, etc </li></ul>
  14. 14. SICKNESS ABSENCE – short-term absence <ul><li>If sick on series of individual days, investigate for pattern </li></ul><ul><li>Interview informally – give timescale for improvement and explain consequences </li></ul><ul><li>If no improvement, interview formally and may need to give warning </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure employee not suffering from underlying medical problem </li></ul><ul><li>If condition unlikely to improve, treat as long-term illness </li></ul>
  15. 15. SICKNESS ABSENCE – long-term absence <ul><li>Disability discrimination provisions of Equality Act may apply </li></ul><ul><li>If not and you dismiss, dismissal may still be fair as long as you: - </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Discover true medical condition </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Consider alternative employment </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Consult with the person </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Get consent to see individual’s medical records </li></ul><ul><li>Access to Medical Reports Act 1988 </li></ul><ul><li>Alternative employment </li></ul><ul><li>Reasonable adjustments </li></ul>
  16. 16. SICKNESS ABSENCE – long-term absence ( continued) <ul><li>Warning someone with sickness certificates not appropriate </li></ul><ul><li>Consult regularly </li></ul><ul><li>Stringer and Ors v HMRC </li></ul><ul><li>Pay in lieu of notice </li></ul><ul><li>Allow employee to appeal against decision to dismiss </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>BANK AND PUBLIC HOLIDAYS </li></ul>
  18. 18. BANK & PUBLIC HOLIDAYS - introduction <ul><li>Workers not entitled by law to time off work on bank holidays </li></ul><ul><li>Currently 8 bank holidays per year in England and Wales, plus additional one this year to celebrate royal wedding on 29 April </li></ul><ul><li>Difference between statutory and contractual entitlement </li></ul>
  19. 19. BANK & PUBLIC HOLIDAYS – statutory holiday entitlement <ul><li>Full-time workers entitled under WTR to 28 days’ paid holiday per year </li></ul><ul><li>Up to the employer to decide whether the 8 bank holidays count </li></ul><ul><li>If given time off on bank holidays, no need for enhanced rate (unless contract/collective agreement states something different) </li></ul>
  20. 20. BANK & PUBLIC HOLIDAYS – contractual entitlement <ul><li>Can offer more generous holiday entitlement than under the WTR </li></ul><ul><li>Can also decide whether bank holidays are to be included within entitlement </li></ul><ul><li>Contract should stipulate rate that employees entitled to be paid for bank holidays </li></ul><ul><li>Note effect of custom and practise </li></ul>
  21. 21. BANK & PUBLIC HOLIDAYS – contractual entitlement <ul><li>ECJ decision Gomez v Continental Industrias del Caucho </li></ul><ul><li>ECJ agreed she was entitled to take her annual leave after usual summer shutdown </li></ul><ul><li>May mean that women have right to substitute leave for bank holidays they cannot take during their maternity leave in certain circumstances </li></ul>
  22. 22. <ul><li>EQUALITY ACT OVERVIEW </li></ul>
  23. 23. EQUALITY ACT OVERVIEW - general <ul><li>Legal framework for discrimination law in England, Scotland and Wales </li></ul><ul><li>Covers discrimination for nine “protected characteristics” </li></ul><ul><li>Applies to all employers and anyone providing a service or exercising public function </li></ul><ul><li>Covers all job applicants, employees, workers (including some agency workers) </li></ul>
  24. 24. EQUALITY ACT OVERVIEW – discrimination and harassment <ul><li>Associative and perceptive direct discrimination (n/a to pregnancy and maternity) </li></ul><ul><li>Indirect discrimination n/a to pregnancy and maternity </li></ul><ul><li>Discrimination arising from disability </li></ul><ul><li>Three different types of harassment </li></ul><ul><li>N/a to protected characteristics of pregnancy and maternity and marriage and civil partnerships </li></ul>
  25. 25. EQUALITY ACT OVERVIEW – pay and public sector equality duty <ul><li>Claimants can rely on hypothetical comparator if evidence of direct discrimination </li></ul><ul><li>“ Gagging clauses” outlawed </li></ul><ul><li>Public sector equality duty </li></ul><ul><li>General duty to have “due regard” to combating discrimination </li></ul><ul><li>Specific duties to publish information and prepare and publish equality objectives </li></ul>
  26. 26. EQUALITY ACT OVERVIEW – positive action and health-related checks <ul><li>Can treat someone with protected characteristic more favourably in recruitment and promotion </li></ul><ul><li>Employers must not ask about a job applicant’s health before offering them work, except in certain circumstances </li></ul>
  27. 27. <ul><li> NEW LEGISLATION </li></ul>
  28. 28. NEW LEGISLATION - April 2011 <ul><li>3 APRIL 2011 </li></ul><ul><li>Additional paternity leave regulations become effective </li></ul><ul><li>Increase in rates of statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay </li></ul>
  29. 29. NEW LEGISLATION - April 2011 <ul><li>6 APRIL 2011 </li></ul><ul><li>Public sector equality duty introduced </li></ul><ul><li>Positive action introduced </li></ul><ul><li>Right to request time off for training extended </li></ul><ul><li>Right to request flexible working extended </li></ul><ul><li>Default retirement age abolished </li></ul>

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