World Mental Health Day 2019

Today
is World Mental Health Day 2019…with the Government reporting that one in four
people will suffer from mental health issues in their lifetime, it is not
surprising that in our work we see the challenges that mental health can bring
when dealing with workplace issues. Whether you are running a business or an
employee with mental health issues it requires sensitivity, patience and a
clear understanding of the various mental health conditions that exist. Every
individual is different too and their own circumstances can also dictate how
they react and feel about certain situations, so it can be very difficult to
know how best to help.

I
recently attended a Mental Health First Aid course with MHFA England as one of
a number of steps towards increasing my understanding of how to help our
clients, both employers and employees, manage mental health in the workplace
more successfully.

There are also many other courses and sources of information out there if you are business facing these challenges. Acas have also recently published their own advice aimed at supporting positive mental health in the workplace: Acas Advice

Today
must be the day to put some time aside to be better informed about mental
health.

Conduct your own HR audit: 6 checks that will help your business succeed

Many smaller employers operate day-to-day without any specialist HR support and usually quite successfully. They seek advice when they need to and otherwise spend their time getting on with running their business. We would argue that the key to their success is ensuring they have good HR practices and procedures in place from the outset. So this our 6 point checklist that should help you get the most from your staff and in turn see an improvement in your business. Read More

Employers must have a reliable and objective system to record their workers working time…

In a recent case, Federación de Servicios de Comisiones Obreras (CCOO) v Deutsche Bank
SAE, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) has held that in order to
comply with the EU Working Time Directive (“the Directive”), employers must
have a reliable and objective system of measuring actual daily time that  their workers have worked.  

This is a decision which could have a significant practical and financial impact on employers wanting to avoid the potential for action against them by the Health and Safety Executive and so we wanted to share our views on the steps we would advise employers to take in response to the case.

The
Facts

The facts of this case were that a group action was
brought by a number of Spanish unions against Deutche Bank, claiming that it
was under an obligation to set up a system which measured working time in order
to comply with the Directive.

This arose following concerns about whether the bank
was meeting its requirements in respect of providing the minimum periods of
daily and weekly rest periods, together with ensuring that workers were not
working more than an average of 48 hours in any seven day period. Whilst Deutche
Bank had in place a computerised system that recorded absences such as holiday
and whole day sickness absences, it did not measure actual time worked or the amount of overtime worked.

The ECJ ruled that in order to ensure the effectiveness
of the rights provided by the Directive, employers must provide an
objective, reliable and accessible system which records the time worked by each
worker so that it can be measured.

The
Implications for Employers

The …Read More

Increase in rates for employment claims and redundancy payments…

It’s that time of year again when new rates apply for the purposes of
calculating compensation and statutory redundancy payments.

The main changes in rates are:

The maximum amount of a ‘week’s pay’ used to
calculate statutory redundancy pay and other payments increases from £508 to
£525.The maximum that can be awarded for unfair
dismissal increases from £83,682 to £86,444. 
The upper limit stays the same at the lower of one year’s gross salary
or the maximum limit.The limit on the daily amount of guarantee payment
increases from £28 to £29 per day.

The increases apply where the event giving rise to the entitlement to
compensation or other payment occurs on or after 6 April 2019. In unfair
dismissal claims, this date is the effective date of termination of
employment.  If the dismissal was before
6 April 2019 then the old limits still apply.