December 2018


Image credit: Shutterstock

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.

May we take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Dealing with Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Image credit: Shutterstock

Although women’s working rights have seen positive developments in recent years, it still stands that sexual harassment statistics against women in the workplace are worryingly high.

It appears that sexual harassment claims are not taken seriously enough, with the lack of concern possibly due to the fact that many people across the world are unsure of what constitutes sexual harassment. Despite this, statistics have suggested that many individuals in the workplace do agree that there is a clear understanding of what defines sexual harassment in the workplace – and it may actually be a lack of relevant laws that is causing harassment claims to be undervalued.

This month, our owner, Kirsten Cluer, has contributed to a ‘Lexology’ feature article, giving her tips on the actions that the workplace can take to ensure that sexual harassment claims are taken more seriously: “By creating a clear code of conduct for employees to adhere to from the outset, an environment of respect and open communication is developed and nurtured.”

To read the full article, please click here.

Long-term Disability Benefits

Image credit: Shutterstock

Is it fair for an employer to dismiss an employee on the grounds of physical, mental or emotional incapability at a time when the employee is receiving (or about to receive) long-term disability benefits?

This report looks at the case between Awan v ICTS. Mr Awan began his employment contract with American Airlines; the content of which allowed him to receive long-term disability benefits. If Mr Awan was to terminate his employment, then he would no longer be entitled to these benefits. Soon after, Mr Awan was diagnosed with depression before going on sick leave and he was dismissed on the grounds of incapability.

ICTS believed that the dismissal was fair; but the EAT disagreed with this, stating that the original contract should imply that once an employee is granted disability income, then he/she should not be dismissed by the employer. To see the full case, please click here.

The Benefits of Hiring a Contractor and/or Subcontractor

Image credit: Shutterstock

This month, Kirsten Cluer takes a look into how hiring contractors and/or subcontractors can impact a business, by looking at the specific case of Uber.

Despite being independent contractors, Uber drivers are pushing to receive the national minimum wage in addition to paid holiday.

It’s now emerging that UK employers in the gig economy should adopt more caution when hiring contractors. This is due to the fact that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate when a self-employed contractor with employment rights becomes an employee that’s entitled to paid holiday and the national minimum wage.

Hiring a contractor and/or subcontractor can be beneficial to a business with regards to providing expertise knowledge or fast turnaround. They also provide flexibility for a specific job or task.

On the other hand, contractors/subcontractors can be more expensive for an employer, as opposed to paying someone else to take on the same job on a permanent basis. Additionally, by relying on temporary contractors, businesses will fail to develop skills in the same way that they would with permanent employees.

To read the full article, please click here.

Blog of the Month

This month, we’ve taken a look into the actions any employer can take to reduce absenteeism rates and remain professional during the Christmas season.

As the Christmas season draws closer, workload isn’t the only thing that’s sky-high. Research shows that during this time, absenteeism rates dramatically increase due to the fun events and activities that occur during December.

A key way to start December in the right way is by setting rules regarding sickness and unauthorised absences.

Offering flexible working, if your business allows, will most likely work in your favour. Allowing employees to take turns working from home, or in their chosen location, will give them the time they need out of the office to make the most of the festivities. Alternatively, if you’re particularly quiet in the Christmas season, you might consider closing until the New Year.

To read the full blog, please click here.

Sign up for HR updates

Receive regular HR updates and access to free resources.