June 2018

Welcome

Image credit: Flickr Commons: Lindsaylouloubella “Holidays” 2009

Hello, 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.

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Job

Image credit: From a report of the municipal telephone service, 24 October 1946; Ben van Meerendonk / AHF, IISH Collection, Amsterdam

With the majority of our lives spent in work, it’s important we enjoy what we do and get the most out of it – that includes taking advantage of the personal benefits entitled to us.

Most large businesses will inform employees of changes to their contracts, especially when this opens up new benefits but, the reality is, for the managers and business leaders of many SMEs, this isn’t always at the forefront of their minds.

So, it’s important to have a thorough understanding of what benefits and opportunities you are contractually obliged to, otherwise you could be missing out.

Our owner, Kirsten, recently spoke to the Metro about how staff can get the most out of their jobs.

To read the full article, click here.

Landmark ruling on workers’ rights

Image credit: Plumber, Amsterdam, November 5, 1951; Photo Ben van Meerendonk / AHF, IISH Collection, Amsterdam

Plumber Gary Smith recently made national news when he won a landmark legal case for workers’ rights.

Under Section 230(3)(b) of the Employment Rights Act 1996, the Supreme Court ruled that Mr Smith, despite being VAT-registered and paying self-employed tax, was entitled to workers’ rights in Pimlico Plumbers v Gary Smith.

An employment tribunal held in 2011 found that Mr Smith, who had worked solely for Pimlico Plumbers for six years, was not an employee, but was a ‘worker’ and ‘in employment’ within the meaning of the Equality Act. This finding was upheld by the EAT and the Court of Appeal.

For Mr Smith to qualify as a worker, the Supreme Court had to agree that he had undertaken work for Pimlico Plumbers and the company was neither his client nor his customer.

Accordingly, the employment tribunal was entitled to conclude that Mr Smith was a ‘worker’ and would be entitled to employment rights, such as holiday and sick pay.

The case is expected to have huge ramifications for freelance workers, many of whom work for firms in the so-called gig economy.

Unfair Dismissal?

Image credit: Adelaide Girl Reading; State Library Victoria Collection; Circa 1945

In Morris v Metrolink RATP Dev Limited, Mr Morris, a trade union official, received a photograph (taken secretly) from a colleague of an entry in a line manager’s diary about how candidates had performed in a restructuring exercise assessment, which resulted in five union members being placed at risk of redundancy.

Mr Morris thought the comments were detrimental to the unsuccessful candidates and asked to meet with HR.

But when it became apparent how the information had been obtained, disciplinary proceedings resulted in Mr Morris being dismissed for storing and sharing the manager’s private and confidential information.

Mr Morris brought claims of ordinary unfair dismissal and automatically unfair dismissal against Metrolink, with the tribunal upholding both claims.

The Court of Appeal also upheld Mr Morris’ appeal that the dismissal was automatically unfair, under Section 152 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.

The core issue was whether his conduct in keeping the photograph was fairly separable from the context in which it occurred – the collective grievance. There was no suggestion that he had acted in an underhand manner as he had asked for a copy of the photograph to look into a potentially serious irregularity affecting the interests of his members.

Cluer HR Blog

Image credit: Waiting Outside Relief Station, Urbana, Ohio, Shahn, Ben, 1938

In our most recent blog, we looked at what an employer, manager or team leader should do following a workplace dispute.

Although workplace conflicts can often be avoided through correct managerial practices, they are not always preventable, so it is fundamental a manager has the necessary resources and skills to quickly resolve such a situation.

A dispute can take many forms, whether it be a conflict between two employees or a grievance with the manager. Regardless of the circumstances, however, workplace disputes can impact a businesses’ productivity and possibly, its reputation.

But if the situation is dealt with at an early stage, it can save the company time and money and stop the situation developing into a full-blown dispute.

You can read the full blog here.

And finally…

Our very own Kirsten is taking part in the Cheltenham Pretty Muddy 5K this Saturday in aid of Cancer Research UK!

One in two people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. Every single pound donated makes a huge difference to the charity’s ground-breaking work.

We wish Kirsten all the best and thank her for fund-raising towards such an incredible cause.

If you want to support Kirsten, it’s not too late! Visit, https://bit.ly/2twYcnO

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