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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Government Moves Closer to Paid Bereavement Leave

Government Moves Closer to Paid Bereavement Leave

Employment law provides a structural mechanism to help employees deal with many significant life events: sick pay during times of illness, maternity leave and pay when an employee has a baby, for example. Until now, however, the Government has avoided creating a minimum set of rights for employees who experience bereavement. A new Bill will change this and for the first time employees will get paid time off to grieve. Current Position on Bereavement Leave Employers are currently able to set their own rules on bereavement leave and pay for their employees because of an absence of law in this area. Because of that, contractual entitlements differ from organisation to organisation. Many use their discretion in individual circumstances depending on various factors including the relationship of the employee to the person who has died. There are already special provisions within laws on maternity leave which allow a mother to still take all of her maternity leave in the event that her child is...
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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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