MPs to consider whether unpaid trial shifts should be made illegal

MPs to consider whether unpaid trial shifts should be made illegal

Several MPs led by SNP MP Stewart McDonald are proposing that unpaid trial shifts should be banned and made illegal. The Unpaid Trial Work Periods (Prohibition) Bill seeks to make all unpaid trial shifts (used primarily to determine whether or not a prospective employee has the necessary requirements for a position) illegal and suggest that potential staff should be at the very least offered minimum wage for any work undertaken. Should the bill be passed, employers will need to detail exactly how many roles are available, agree to provide feedback following the trial, provide a job description and inform all applicants how long the trial period will last. The bill has received huge support, including from the likes of Union Unite who state that within the hospitality section there were several organisations using trial shifts regularly, even one forcing new employees to carry out 40 hours of training. MP Stewart McDonald claimed that the current law around trials shifts was ineffective and businesses were...
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ACAS on the Pros and Cons of Social Media in the Workplace

ACAS on the Pros and Cons of Social Media in the Workplace

Despite the ever-increasing scope of social media, it is no longer a new phenomenon. Employers are now wiser to the risks that technology can pose in their organisations in terms of lost productivity from employees. Because of its continued growth, however, employers must continually review their stance to ensure they keep up with both the positive and negative effects. ACAS encourages employers to have an extensive awareness of social media in its guidance, set against the background of its research paper. Focus Areas Acas focuses its guidance on social media for employers into the following sections: Recruitment; Discipline and grievance; and Cyber bullying. It also places significance on the development of a policy to ensure employees know exactly where they stand. Recruitment In this section, ACAS explains the benefits that social media can bring to a business, and how employers can use it to their advantage. For example, advertising vacancies through social media channels is a direct route to a huge audience, however, the guidance stresses,...
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ACAS on Workplace Bullying

ACAS on Workplace Bullying

ACAS statistics show that their helpline receives around 20,000 calls from employees relating to workplace bullying and harassment each year. An increase over the last 20 years of almost 50% in employers reporting that they have grievances involving workplace bullying further highlights that this is a growing problem with effects for both employees themselves as well as employers. The difference between workplace bullying and harassment - Employees may use the term Workplace Bullying & Workplace Harassment interchangeably when speaking of ill-treatment that they allege they have suffered in the workplace. However, they have distinctly different meanings in the eyes of the law. Harassment is behaviour that creates an intimidating or offensive environment for an employee which is related to a protected characteristic that the employee possesses e.g. their sex, age, disability etc. Bullying, on the other hand, is behaviour which creates the same environment but is not related to a protected characteristic. Acas guidance points out that the Equality Act 2010 prohibits harassment...
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ACAS Code Of Practice

ACAS Code Of Practice

As part of the advisory nature of Acas’ work, it publishes various statutory ACAS Code of Practice which provide guidance for employers undertaking certain procedures with their employees. The Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures is by far the Code with the most impact on employers simply because it deals with the everyday issue of conduct i.e. when employees break the rules. Status of the ACAS Code of practice - The Code in itself is not a piece of law; it does not create statutory requirements for employers on how they should operate a disciplinary or grievance procedure. It sets out basic practical guidance on, essentially, what an Employment Tribunal would like to see in a disciplinary or grievance procedure. Some parts are based on natural justice, to ensure that an employee has sufficient opportunity to defend himself if it is alleged that he has broken workplace rules. If an employer does not follow the detail of the Code in, for...
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