Providing HR & employment law support

Welcome to the JMA Blog!

Follow our blog to keep up to date with us here at JMA and any significant developments in HR and employment law

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New Acas Guidance on Overtime

Acas has produced new Guidance on Overtime 

The guide covers:-

Is overtime compulsory or voluntary?
Is there a limit to how much overtime can be worked?
Pay when working overtime
Overtime for part time workers
Impact of overtime on holiday calculations

If you offer overtime to your employees this is a useful read to ensure you are getting it right and do get in touch if you would like to discuss.

Brexit – where are we now…

The status of EU nationals post referendum has been the source of endless speculation and uncertainty and the cause of much anxiety not only to them but to their employers and businesses generally.

The Home Office has in April 2018 published on its website the latest developments in the negotiations regarding the status of EU nationals and their immigration status. The publication sets out the key terms of the agreement reached with the EU as follows:Read More

All Change for the Spring!

It’s that time of year again when we see a number of employment law related changes.  The following is a summary for your diaries and includes:

the change to the taxation of termination payments;
the increase in the figure for weekly pay used, amongst other things, for the statutory redundancy calculations and the unfair dismissal basic award;
the national minimum wage increases;
the rise in other statutory payments, such as SMP and SSP; and
the much publicised GDPR.

Of course, not all changes will affect your business. However, please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about these changes and how they may affect your business.Read More

Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year from JMA

As we near the close of another year, we would like to wish you a very happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year. This year I was fortunate to become a trustee of a locally based charity, Peer Productions. For those of you who have not come across the amazing work that this charity does, Peer Productions is an award winning youth arts charity specialising in combining high quality arts practice with peer education.Read More

New campaign for protection for mothers rights at work…

Maternity Action has released a report which claims that one in every twenty mothers are made redundant during pregnancy, maternity leave or upon their return to work and some of these redundancies are unfair and/or amount to discrimination. Maternity Action is the UK’s leading charity committed to ending inequality and improving the health and well-being of pregnant women, their partners and children and this latest campaign calls on the Government to urgently act on its commitment made in January this year to review redundancy protection. The report recommends that the UK adopts the German model of redundancy protection which would mean that women could not be made redundant from the point at which they notify their employer of their pregnancy right through to six months after their return to work, subject to some limited exceptions.

The report forms part of a manifesto produced by Maternity Action last year. Other policy changes which form part of this manifesto include revised guidance for employers conducting health and safety risk assessments for pregnant women and new mothers; better protecting those in precarious forms of employment; the removal of employment tribunal fees; a right to breastfeed at work; and an increase to the flat rate of parental pay by 2020.

Court highlights the importance of the decision-makers’ role in an unfair dismissal claim

The Court of Appeal has considered the extent to which an employment tribunal may take into account the mental processes of anyone besides the decision-maker when establishing the reason for dismissal in an unfair dismissal claim.

The case is important as it reverses the EAT’s decision and holds that, in an unfair dismissal claim, it is the person who is designated by the employer to take a decision to dismiss whose state of mind needs to be considered when assessing what was the reason for the dismissal.

The judgement in the case can be summarised as follows:
• the reason for dismissal is the set of facts known to the employer, or of beliefs held by him, which cause him to dismiss the employee;
• for the purpose of determining ‘the reason for the dismissal’, the tribunal is obliged generally to consider only the mental processes of the person(s) who was (or were) authorised to, and did, take the decision to dismiss; and
• it is unlawful to consider the mental processes of anyone besides the decision-taker, but it may be possible to bring a claim where the decision-taker has been manipulated and the manipulator is “a manager with some responsibility for the investigation’.

From a practical point of view, this emphasises the significance of the decision makers’ evidence in any claim for unfair dismissal, and employers will therefore want to make sure that they select the most suitable and credible person to make the decision and keep good records of how the decision was reached in case of a claim.

Government puts forward new proposals for bereaved parents…

The Government has proposed new laws to give parents the right to parental bereavement leave where they lose a child under the age of 18. The intention is to give parents two weeks’ paid leave, which employers would also be able to claim back from the Government. It is proposed that the right apply to employees with a minimum of 26 weeks’ continuous service. Currently making its way through Parliament, the aim is for the new law to come into force by 2020.

The updates in this blog are published for information only and provide an overview of employment law and best practice as at the date of publication. No action should be taken without seeking professional advice.