Employers Direct Archives: HR

Workplace discrimination: Answers to the questions you’re afraid to ask

Each month, Employers Direct gives small business leaders FREE, confidential advice on how to avoid discrimination claims. Here are three questions asked by anonymous UK bosses in July, plus the answers we gave to keep them out of trouble…

“My employee is a security guard and he failed a drug test. He is Rastafarian and says smoking cannabis is part of his religion. Can I take action ag... Read More

Your HR questions: answered

Each week, hundreds of business owners call Employers Direct for free advice on how to fix their biggest HR issues. Here are the top three questions we received in June, and the answers we gave to stop bosses like you from breaking the law… “I overpaid my employee. Can I get my money back?” Yes, you can—so don’t panic. Talk to your employee and tell them that you’v... Read More

HR simplified: sick pay, bereavement leave, and time off for unwell children

“My employee’s off sick for the first time since she started, but Statutory Sick Pay is confusing. When should I pay it?”

Don’t pay it from the first day she’s off sick. Before you do anything else, work out if she qualifies for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). She must have been ill for four consecutive days (that can include non-working days), done some work fo... Read More

TUPE, probation and parental leave

I’m buying a business and the seller says I have to take on the staff. Is that right?

Yes it is. According to the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006, also known as TUPE, you mustn’t dismiss the employees of the business you’re buying. For the purposes of TUPE, the term 'employee’ also includes apprentices, but doesn’t include agenc... Read More

Working in hot weather, work-related stress, and antenatal appointments

During the recent heatwave, my staff said it was too hot to work and that I should have sent them home. Were they right?

In short, no. And despite what your staff might claim, no law exists about a temperature limit while working. But your staff could still have a point. The HSE’s health & safety regulations advise that workplace temperatures should re... Read More

Drink driving, transgender staff and time off for dependants

One of my drivers has been arrested for drink driving and could lose his license. Can I dismiss him?

If your driver hasn’t lost his licence yet and is still able to do his job, then no—you shouldn’t dismiss him. If you do, an employment tribunal may class it as unfair dismissal. Have a look at what other jobs he could do for you. Could you get another staff member ... Read More

Arrested employee, subcontractor holiday pay & pregnant staff…

I’ve found out my employee’s been arrested! Do I just dismiss him?”

This is a difficult one. At this stage, he’s only under suspicion of a criminal act. There’s no proof… yet. Depending on the type of business you run, you may be able to dismiss him. That’s if the arrest could damage your company reputation, but you must have evidence for that. ... Read More

Closed beause of snow, pro rata holidays & firing someone

We’ve had to close because of the snow. Do I still have to pay my staff?

Whether you haven’t had enough custom or it’s too unsafe to work, closing because of the weather is a business decision. That means you should pay staff in full for hours they would have worked had you stayed open. So if you completely close, open later or close earlier, you... Read More

Sacking whistleblowers, overtime in holiday pay & bereavement leave

My new employee’s already complaining about health & safety issues. She’s still on probation, so can I sack her?

No. Dismissing her because she raised health & safety issues—even though she’s on probation—will be an automatic unfair dismissal. And depending on what those health & safety issues are, she may be protected by whist... Read More

Sick leave, half term holidays & TUPE

My employee is off sick. He says if I contact him, it’s harassment. Is this true?

Keeping in contact with sick employees is an important part of managing absence. It can help make his return to work easier and quicker, as he won’t feel forgotten about or isolated.

But don’t repeatedly contact him. That may be harassment.

To get the balance right, take i... Read More