September 2019


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.

SMEs: More prone to burnout?

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In the 21st century, we’re working longer days than ever before – and it seems this is catching up with us, causing feelings of overwhelm and burnout. Research by the National Accident Helpline has revealed that, shockingly, nine out of 10 British workers would still turn up to work if they were sick. However, presenteeism has actually been shown to have adverse effects on businesses and employees – so, should we really be working these long days?

Owners and employees of UK SMEs are, in fact, their own worst enemy – leaders will commonly use their devices to work whilst on holiday, or during out-of-work hours. In the best interests of the business, though, it’s essential that SME leaders take responsibility for their own wellbeing and ‘switch off’ in order to perform at their best during work hours.

Whilst looking after their own physical and mental wellbeing, employers should also discourage millennials from taking up the unhealthy long-hours working culture. Although it might seem a good idea at the time, in the long term, this will lead to burnout – eventually jeopardising the success of the business. Employers can tackle this by introducing team building activities and health initiatives, such as yoga classes.

The definition of disability in the eyes of the law

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This month, Daniel Barnett, Employment Law Barrister, looked at a case between Mr Parnaby, the defendant, and Leicester City Council, his former place of employment. Mr Parnaby suffered from depression caused by work-related stress, and was able to show that this negatively impacted his normal daily activities. However, at the time of Mr Parnaby’s dismissal, his impairment had not lasted one full year – which, according to the employment tribunal, did not meet the requirements of a long-term illness that would allow him to be classed as disabled.

Mr Parnaby claimed that his dismissal was a form of discrimination against him, and consequently appealed the decision of the EAT.

To read the full case, click here.

How do the new Parental Bereavement Leave rights affect businesses?

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It’s hard to comprehend the pain that comes with the loss of a child, and the effects that this can have on the bereaved parents. As an employer, it can be difficult to know how to approach and handle this situation. In light of this, the government has laid out new proposals, due to be put into action in April 2020.

Child loss, when it happens, is an unbearable, unavoidable issue that can unfortunately affect anyone – so it’s important that this issue and its consequences are not ignored in the workplace. New in this legislation, though, is the inclusion of primary carers, who, in the event of a child loss, will have the same rights as biological parents. This has been praised by charities such as The Lullaby Trust, who have highlighted the importance of giving time and flexibility to bereaved parents.

Kirsten Cluer, our owner, recently contributed an article to People Management on this issue. Click here to read more.

Blog of the month

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In today’s digital age, too many of us have our eyes glued to a mobile phone screen – and over time, this can have adverse effects on our concentration, ability to socialise with others and our general mental and physical health.

Many of us have no choice but to use technological devices for business purposes – but there’s no doubt that limiting our exposure to screens each day can offer myriad health benefits to employees.

As an employer, try allocating device-free slots throughout the day in your workplace. You could perhaps ban the use of technology during breaks, and encourage employees to talk to each other or spend some time outside.

Furthermore, exposure to screens, particularly late at night, inhibits our ability to have a good night’s sleep. Employers can tackle this by stopping access to e-mails after working hours, and by asking employees to leave their work devices in the office at the end of the day.

To read the full blog, click here.

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