London Eye

12 days of Christmas for HR professionals

Published: 19th December 2017

Author: Fudia Smartt

Given that we are a giving bunch at Hine Legal – we set out below our 12 days of Christmas HR tips:

  1. GDPR will take effect on 25 May 2018. We will have a January special just to get you and your organisation prepared!
  2. Holiday pay: Following a recent ECJ judgment, self-employed staff may be able to claim unlimited unpaid holiday under the Working Time Directive.
  3. Following the numerous sexual harassment cases engulfing both sides of the Atlantic, we recommend that all employers have: (i) equal opportunities; and (ii) bullying and harassment policies and ensure staff receive training on these. It also would not go amiss if managers reminded staff of their obligations under the policies to avoid any Christmas party issues.
  4. Suspension is not a neutral act! As our case update highlights, suspension should only be used in serious cases and the duration of any period of suspension should be kept under review.
  5. Employers can require employees to take annual leave during the Christmas period (even if there is no shutdown provision in the employment contract). However, an employer will be required to provide twice the length of notice as the period of leave they are requiring an employee to take.
  6. Given the wintry weather and the likely travel disruptions over the festive season – it is worthwhile discussing with staff how they may be able to undertake work from home (if possible) and perhaps implementing a policy.  This provides an opportunity for employees to consider flexible/agile working and whether some/any roles in your organisation can be conducted outside of the office.
  7. Public sector and large private and voluntary sector employers will be required to report gender pay gap reports in 2018. Given the impact of the BBC reporting its pay gap, many employers may be very concerned about the impact of their reports.
  8. The Shared Parental Leave Regulations will be reviewed by BEIS in 2018. Will this lead to the Regulations being changed and how good has the take up by fathers been?
  9. Providing an untrue reason for terminating an alleged poor performing employee could result in successful constructive dismissal claims, as highlighted in the Rawlinson case.
  10. The Taylor Review on “Good Work” is to be considered next year. Mr Taylor’s recommendations included redefining workers as “dependent contractors” and providing lifelong training. Will any of his proposals see the light of day with Brexit looming?
  11. Following the Supreme Court decision in Walker v Innospec, employers need to ensure that same sex pension survivors are treated the same as heterosexual couples.
  12. Brexit: We still do not know what the implications of this will be for employment law but hopefully in 2018 we will be provided with greater clarity.

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