Employment law news from Spirit HR
Jump into Spring Newsletter from Spirit HR

Our Spring News brings you key HR issues that you need to be aware of in an quick-read style.  First, we have many conversations about constructive dismissal, often about how likely an employee could successfully claim it.  You'll find below a summary of a case where an employee successfully won around £55,000.  Next it's all change for parents at work.  The big changes are to the new Shared Parental Leave, but other parent entitlements change too.  Read our useful summary.  From 6 April we see some statutory pay rates increase - we've set these out in a useful table.  And finally, Acas have introduced a new 2015 Code on Discipline and Grievances.  Even if you have your own policies, you must still comply with this Code.  Our Top Tip this month is about keeping up to date with the continually changing employment laws.  Finally, we hope our Thought for the Day will raise a wry smile!


Company looses at ET | £55,000 payout awarded | Director discredited

In this case the Judge found the employee had been constructively dismissed from her post, identifying three incidents of sexual harassment and hearing of her being subject to "a tirade of criticism" in front of colleagues.  Much of the background relates to personal relationships in the workplace and allowing tempers to show at work.   Read more here and follow the links to the Appeal judgement.  If you think you might be exposed to a constructive dismissal or harassment claim, ring us now on 0845 463 3231 - waiting won't make it go away.

New Shared Parental Leave & other changes for parents at work

The big news for parents at work is that Shared Parental Leave comes fully into force on 5 April 2015, but don’t loose sight of the other changes to rights for adopting parents, and to parental leave.  The short story is, if you have any employees expecting a child, including expecting to adopt a child, or who have a child up to the age of 18, then check, check, and check again what they are entitled to, and how to manage the process.  Better still, call us on 0845 463 3231 and we'll help you out.  Here's our quick summary.  Below you'll read about the statutory pay rates increasing for parent related leave.

Statutory Pay Rate Rises from 6 April 2015

April brings some statutory pay rate changes.  These include pay rate increases for shared parental, maternity, paternity, adoption and sick pay.  Also increased is the rate of a week's pay which is used to calculate redundancy and unfair dismissal awards while maximum award for unfair dismissal edges closer to the £80,000.  Read the exact rates here and here's the link again to our quick summary of changes for parents at work we mentioned above - remember, you can always ring is at the office (0845 463 3231) if you want to discuss anything.  

Acas's New Code on Discipline & Grievance

Acas have introduced a new 2015 Code 1 on Discipline & Grievance procedures.  As you know, employment tribunals will look closely to the Acas Code to ensure employers have followed it.  Even if you have your own in-house policy and process, you must still ensure you comply with the Code.  Read our summary here, and follow the link to the new 2015 Acas Code.  If you have any discipline or grievance matters you'd like to talk through, call us at the office on 0845 463 3231.

Thought for the day

Better be wise by the misfortunes of others than by your own.

~ Aesop

Diary Dates
Diary Dates
1 December 2014
Parents can choose to share the care of their child in the first year following childbirth in the new Shared Parental Leave

11 March 2015
Acas new 2015 Code 1 on Discipline & Grievances comes into force

6 April 2015
New Statutory pay rates for: sickness, maternity, paternity, adoption & shared parental leave as well as a week's pay and a new cap on unfair dismissal awards

6 April 2015
Changes to statutory adoption rights including pay

6 April 2015
Parental Leave extended

6 April 2015
Some surrogate parents may be eligible to Adoption leave
Employment law is constantly changing 

You can see from the news items here about changes to employment rights for parents that employment law, and therefore how you correctly manage your employees, is constantly changing.  Changes also come from decisions at Employment Tribunal - which may not attract so much publication.  Whatever HR processes you followed yesterday, may be out of date, unacceptable or even discriminatory by tomorrow.

Don't get caught out doing something that you thought was correct, but turns out not to be.  Even best intended actions can have dreadful and expensive consequences.  

Whatever your HR concern, our TOP TIP this Spring is ... call us in the office on 0845 463 3231 and we'll talk things through with you.

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Here's what our Clients think of us ....

Running a business is tough enough without the nightmare of ploughing through the legal minefield of HR issues.  As a small health & social care business we have to be focused on caring for our clients 100% throughout the working day, so when employee issues arise we need to be able to call upon the services of a professional. Having worked with other HR companies in the past we never felt totally satisfied or confident, so when an HR issue occurred over the Christmas period we contacted Donna Fairbrass at Spirit HR. Donna was an absolute star, she met with us in the evening so that it didn’t encroach on the business during the day & she even met with us whilst she was closed over the Christmas period.

Donna handled the HR issues with complete professionalism & we had 100% confidence in her knowledge and abilities.  We would thoroughly recommend Donna & Spirit HR, her guidance & expertise is invaluable.

Rachael Warwick - Director  | Brixworth Nursery Farm

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