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Employment and HR Blog

Please find below the latest blog posts from our Employment & HR team.

Clear Attendance Policies Assist With Unpredictable Weather

Natasha Johnston
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Most HR departments will have to deal with the issue of poor attendance from time to time.  Unusual or unpredictable weather can add to that conundrum with absences that don’t fit neatly into many companies defined attendance management or unpaid...

High Heels, Crucifixes and Tattoos - Do you Know Your Dress Code Duties, as an Employer?

Sophie Ray
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Legal cases involving dress codes at work – whether they are about high heels, religious-themed jewellery or tattoos - always grab headlines, and they can leave some employers feeling embattled and nervy. The Government has just issued guidance for...

Ask the Legal Expert: Advice on making redundancies

Sophie Ray
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Associate Employment Solicitor and HR Professional at JCP Solicitors,Sophie Ray, advises a farmer on making redundancies.   I plan to move out of dairy farming so, regrettably, I have to make my herdsman redundant.  He’s lived in a...

Will Pimlico Plumbers Case Put a Spanner in the Works for Employers?

Sophie Ray
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Self-employment and the gig economy has never been a hotter topic within employment circles, and since our way of working is becoming less traditional, there is a feeling that the established employment models are being scrutinised and tested. The Pimlico...

Tribunal Finds In Favour of Oakwood Park in Employment Dispute

Sophie Ray
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An employment tribunal judge has found that Oakwood Leisure Ltd/Deep Sea Leisure Plc acted lawfully when it deducted from an employee’s final salary, the costs incurred as a result of  his leaving the company without giving his full contractual...

Facing Snowbound Staff? Clear Policies and Sound Judgement Will Help Employers Deal With Attendance Issues

Natasha Johnston
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With the so-called Beast From the East sinking its claws into the UK, many employers will be worried about implications for their business, particularly if staff live in remote or rural areas and are struggling to get to work in the ice and snow. ...

Good Work From the Government's Taylor Report Response, or Must Try Harder?

Natasha Johnston
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One of the Prime Minister’s most memorable moments has been her assertion, made on the steps of Downing Street in 2016, that Britain should have a labour market and employment conditions that worked for all. Fair working practices, a decent wage and...

Employers Face Increasing Pressure Around Equal Pay

Shan Evans
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The BBC is feeling the pressure at the moment over some alarming incidences of pay inequalities among its workforce, with BBC bosses now making a rare move to cut some male news reporters’ wages by 30 percent, in a bid to close some of the gap. In...

Social Media - Clear Guidance Trumps Wishful Thinking

Natasha Johnston
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Social media is such an integral part of our working lives now that it is hard to remember how we used to function without it. However, as illustrated by the recent kerfuffle caused by Donald Trump’s sharing of a Britain First video, it is vital to...

Subject Access Requests - What is classed as personal data?

Natasha Johnston
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With the impending changes to data protection legislation being the hot topic in the run up to May 2018 implementation of GDPR, it is important that organisations understand their obligations to both storing and distributing data responsibly. What is...

Weinstein Affair Reminds Employers of Responsibility To Safeguard

Shan Evans
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The recent slew of allegations about Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein has been shocking for many reasons – not least because their scope and their extended timeline illustrate how reluctant victims can be to speak up, for fear of being disbelieved or...

Are You Being Fair? How to Guard Against Unconscious Bias As An Employer

Shan Evans
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While most people do their best to treat people equally and try to avoid making judgements or assumptions about others based upon the way they look, dress, their age, their sex and their educational achievements, human beings are programmed to do just this. ...

How to Prevent Office Tensions When the Heat Soars

Natasha Johnston
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The sight of people wilting under fans and going about their daily lives in shorts and sandals is a rarity in Britain – we are more used to being buffeted by the wind and rain during our daily commute. But as temperatures soar, we are facing some less...

Are We Discriminating Against Potential Employees Without Even Realising?

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When it comes to body modifications, such as tattoos or piercings, in certain industries questions are often raised regarding employer and employee rights: what they can and can’t ask their employee to cover or remove  Although tattoos, piercings...

Directorship Success for City Solicitors

JCP Solicitors
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Leading South and West Wales law firm, JCP Solicitors, has appointed two new Directors from within its ranks. Head of Commercial Lending Recoveries, Sophie Thomas, and Head of HR Services, Clare Bowen,  have been appointed Directors at JCP Solicitors...

Substance Abuse at Work - A Legal Headache for Employers

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Alcohol and drug misuse in the workplace is a growing issue, with key ethical and legal implications for employers. According to latest figures* one in 12 16 to 59-year-olds have used an illicit drug, so it is no wonder that misuse at work is something many...

Farming Employers Duties to Staff in a Fluctuating Market

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Employers’ circumstances change and, by its nature, farming work is subject to all kinds of fluctuations that farm owners need to accommodate. So it is common that farming employers need to alter their employees’ terms and hours from time to...

Are you affected by the apprenticeship levy?

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The apprenticeship levy is a levy (charge) on UK employers to help fund the costs of apprenticeships training and assessment. The levy will be set at 0.5% of an employers pay bill, (a pay bill is the employer’s total employee earnings subject to Class...

Tax-free childcare scheme

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A scheme will be introduced in early 2017 where the Government will pay 20% of families’ yearly childcare costs for children under 12 years old, (capped at £2,000 per child), or under 17 years old if the child is disabled (capped at...

National minimum wage increases (for some age bands)

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April saw the introduction of the new living wage of £7.20 per hour. Following on from this on 1st October 2016, the national minimum wage for some age bands has increased: A rise to £6.95 per hour for workers aged under 25 but aged at least 21...

Are we discriminating against potential employees without even realising?

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Tattoos...piercings....body modifications....In certain industries questions are often raised regarding body modifications such as ‘can I ask an employee to remove a nose stud?’ Although tattoos, piercings and other body modifications are not...

Ask The Legal Expert - Common HR Questions

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Today we answer three common questions often asked by business owners and those working in HR roles. 1. Can an employer recover training costs from an employee after they have left? Companies will often want to invest in their workforce through...

Ask The Legal Expert - Altering Employees Hours in a Farm Business

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I run a small farm and I need to alter some of my employees’ hours. Am I on a shaky legal footing if there is no provision in their individual contracts for me to do so? Employers’ circumstances change and, by its nature, farming work is...

A brief Employment Update from 2016

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Here is a quick rundown on the biggest changes of 2016 in the world of Employment Law......... April saw the introduction of the new national living wage. Workers over the age of 25 are now entitled to the national living wage rate of £7.20 per hour....

What impact will BREXIT have on employers?

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A very common question amongst employers and employees right now. There will be no immediate changes to UK employment law; withdrawal negotiations need to take place starting when the UK triggers art.50 of the Treaty on European Union; it is not yet known...

Substance Misuse in the Workplace

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We are pleased to announce a HR workshop being run in December 2016 that will focus on substance misuse in the workplace.  It is our aim to help businesses understand some of the policies and procedures that are needed to look after and deal with...

JCP Recognised By Lexcel Assessors For Practice Management Excellence

JCP Solicitors
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JCP Solicitors has once again been recognised by the Law Society’s practice management standard body, retaining their Lexcel Version 6 Award.  After a rigorous assessment of JCP’s practices and procedures, carried out across JCP’s...

Ask The Legal Expert The Farm Business and Contracts of Employment.

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I run a farm and I use a number of casual workers during busy periods – often for six months at a time. What are my obligations regarding giving them contracts? This is a common issue in the farming community partly because of the seasonal nature of...

Legal Representation at Disciplinary or Grievance Hearings

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A question that is often asked by our Employer clients is whether in the course of a disciplinary proceeding, an employee is entitled to bring along their Solicitor as the accompanying person. The answer to the question is invariably no, since there is no...

Calculating Holiday Entitlement

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Sounds simple right? But take into account part time workers, shift workers and bank holidays and it all gets very complicated.  Getting it wrong is more common than you may think and could even potentially give rise to a financial lost within your...

New Trainee Solicitor Opportunities At JCP Solicitors In 2015 & 2016

JCP Solicitors
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We are delighted to announce that we have exciting new opportunities for trainee solicitors commencing in September 2015 and 2016. We are looking to recruit two trainee solicitors who will be primarily based in our West Wales offices. One vacancy will...

Apprenticeships Get Youngsters Off To A Flying Start

Christina Coates
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“When I left school I had no idea what I wanted to do for a living. I remember being 17, and knowing I had big life choices to make but not knowing which way to go. I was terrified to be honest. And I think a lot of young people feel that way at that...

Is It Time For Jeremy Clarkson To Pack Up His Gear?

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Over 900,000 people think not, having signed an online petition to reinstate Jeremy Clarkson to Top Gear, and this number is growing. Jeremy Clarkson has been suspended for allegedly punching producer Oisin Tymon. Here comes yet another controversial issue...

Career Drop In Session

JCP Solicitors
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Did you know that you do not necessarily need to be a Solicitor to work in a law firm? If a legal career has ever appealed to you, why not come along and talk to us about our operational, administrative, paralegal and apprenticeship opportunities.  JCP...

HR Lunch And Learn With JCP Solicitors

JCP Solicitors
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We are pleased to announce that we have released new topics and dates for our HR workshops for 2015. Renamed as HR Lunch & Learn, these informal and bite sized sessions will be taking place in Swansea and Carmarthen. They cover various HR...

Shared Parental Leave Regulations - Is Your Business Ready?

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Last week the Shared Parental Leave Regulations 2014 came into force. This will enable employees who have babies due on or after 5 April 2015 to share up to one year’s leave with their partner. The Regulations will allow Mothers, or the primary carers...

Human Resources Five Minute Top Tips

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If you have five minutes to spare, grab a coffee and have a look at the below quick top tips I have put together for local businesses.   H – HR Policies R – Recognition T – Time off I  – Issues with Staff P –...

Employment Law And Mums-To-Be: A Blog For Mothers Day

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With Mothering Sunday fast approaching on 30th March 2014, we thought it timely to blog about working mums and expecting mums-to-be!  There are many rules and regulations surrounding new and expectant mums within the workforce, for example, the right...

Do You Have An Adverse Weather Policy?

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With the recent extreme weather conditions and the continuing storms many businesses and their employees have been affected by substantial flooding and wind damage.  In these situations it is important that you provide information to your employees...

The Importance Of Human Resources When Expanding Or Relocating A Business Overseas

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The importance of your HR department when expanding a business overseas is paramount; it would be the role of HR to ensure that all employees in the overseas office are following the Organisational Strategy of your founding UK company. When expanding your...

Abercrombie & Fitch's 'Look Policy'

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The recent revelation that Abercrombie & Fitch’s ‘look policy’ includes strict guidelines on acceptable hairstyles throws into consideration the legal consequences of such policies. In short, policies like this can be legal, provided...

Your Office Christmas Party...

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Towards the end of summer companies tend to start putting those finishing touches to the Staff Christmas Party Plans! But beware the Employment Law pitfalls. It is important that all employees regardless of their age, sex, religion and disability are...