Are you up to date?

The last 12 months or so don’t seem to have been so turbulent in Employment Law – or maybe I’ve just got used to the ever changing pace!

However rather than relax it’s a good time to check that your policies and processes are up to date.
A few to think about:

  • Do you pro rata your bank holidays for part time staff?
  • Are you confident your maternity policy is up to date to allow for up to 52 weeks leave and up to 39 weeks Statutory Maternity Pay? Do you ensure the job is kept for the person ready for their return from maternity leave?
  • What about your paternity leave – does it state one or two consecutive weeks?
  • Do you ask previous employers if new employees have used any of their parental leave entitlement? They can now take up to 18 weeks unpaid leave before the child is five.
  • Flexible working – do you check employees are eligible to make the request, do they
    put the request in writing, do you ensure that the employee advises how this will work,
    and how the work will be covered. Do you consider flexible working requests within the time limit?
  • Do you ensure that all disciplinary action follows the ACAS code of practice?

Many employers think that the law is on the side of the employee – but that’s not the case, you just have to follow the process. You don’t have to approve every flexible working request – if it doesn’t fit the needs of your business, you can suggest other hours, or refuse. 

The suggested sharing of Maternity leave is meant to come in during 2015. Nothing I have seen suggests this will be anything other than a procedural nightmare. Consultation is still taking place as to how this will work in practice. It certainly seems that the parents employers are going to have to communicate to discuss who is taking what leave. But that’s something to think about next year!

Employment law is there to support you, and your business. If you’re a bit unsure as to whether you’re on the right side of the law on any of the above, give me a call – it would be great to make sure the law is supporting you!

Julie Brewster