August 2019


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This month we would like to share with you the latest news within Cluer HR, as well as keeping you up to date with developments in the world of HR and employment law as they occur.

It’s all part of the service. We hope you find it useful. Your comments and suggestions are always welcome.

New Laws on NDAs

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This month, our owner, Kirsten, spoke to Law Donut about the new laws that have been introduced to ban employers from using non-disclosure agreements in the workplace.

NDAs have previously been used to silence victims of workplace abuse – but it should never be the case that employees are made to feel as though they can’t voice their problems.

Mental health issues are a rising concern in the workplace, and one of the most important ways to tackle this is by creating an open-door policy: a workplace culture that encourages and recognises the importance of communication.

NDAs were initially introduced as a measure to protect commercially sensitive information, but have since been used by employers to cover allegations of unlawful discrimination and harassment.

Signing an NDA, however, does not prevent staff or students reporting acts of criminal behaviour, and new laws in the UK will ban these from being used in the workplace for such purposes.

To read the full article, click here.

The extent of employees’ annual leave rights

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Law Barrister, Daniel Barnett, recently investigated a case which raised the question of exactly how far annual leave entitlements can stretch before they breach the guidelines of an employee’s contract.

In a case between Upton-Hansen Architects and Ms Gytaki, there had been confusion about whether she had been granted additional leave, before her request was denied just the night before she was due to go – but she proceeded to embark on her travels.

Ms Gyftaki was suspended by her employer for this, and in response, she resigned from the company, before being constructively dismissed. Following this, Ms Gyftaki brought a claim for unfair dismissal against the employer, and in court, the ET found that the decisions to suspend Ms Gyftaki breached the implied duty of trust and confidence, deeming the dismissal unfair.

Click here to read the full court case.

Kirsten Cluer

We featured in HR News!

Whilst today’s society encourages people to embrace their individual differences, when does discussing an employee’s sexual orientation in the workplace become discriminatory?

Putting any individual under pressure is unacceptable, particularly when they are being obliged to accept a perceived ‘label’. Under the Equality Act 2010, targeting an employee because of their age, disability, race, religion or beliefs, gender or sexual orientation is unlawful discrimination.

No employee should feel pressured to disclose any aspect of their personal identity to others, or be made to feel as though they should be ‘labelled’ in a certain way.

Employers can address situations such as these by putting in place relevant codes of conduct, and actively creating an open culture within the workplace where everyone feels comfortable expressing themselves, should they wish to do so.

Kirsten, our owner, gives her advice on how employers can address sexual discrimination in this month’s article for HR news – click here to read more.

Blog of the month

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This month, we’ve looked at the issue of mental health in the work place. As we head further into the 21st century, it’s becoming significantly more important to boost its awareness in the workplace, not only for our personal wellbeing, but also for the benefit of overall productivity levels amongst workforces.

It’s no secret that mental health is somewhat of a grey area, and as a result has become a difficult topic of conversation amongst many. Still, it remains a very real issue – both in the workplace and in our personal lives. Mental health issues, from stress to anxiety, can take their toll on our mood and productivity levels – but how, exactly, can we ensure that this is given enough attention in the working environment?

Click here to read the full blog.

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