This week has seen a couple of key issues in the news that employers need to take note of. One issue is the European Court of Justices judgment that employees who are sick before or during a planned holiday can now reclaim lost holiday due to sickness. The reasoning behind the judgment is that under the Working Time Directive (WTD) all employees are entitled to 4 weeks (pro rata for part-time employees) paid annual leave to rest and recuperate from work. Therefore, if an employee is sick they are not, by definition, having the opportunity to achieve the rest and recuperation that their holiday should have provided. Whilst there will be some debate over the application of this judgment, you should check your policies to see that they are compliant with current and changing legislation.
The other issue is the tricky subject of the illegal employment of immigrants. You will no doubt have seen in the news the fact that the Attorney General, Lady Scotland, has employed somebody who is not entitled to work in this country. The legislation states that it is the employer’s responsibility to make every effort to check a prospective employees entitlement to work in the UK. Failure to do so will mean that the individual, not the company, who recruited the employee, will potentially be subject to a fine and prosecution.
Are you sure that you are taking all the right steps to ensure that all of your employees are entitled to work in this country? Are you also sure that the steps you take at the time you recruit somebody is not discriminatory? There are a number of documents that you could ask for and take a copy of but probably the safest option is to ask to see a passport and look to see if there are any restrictions and take a photocopy of it. To avoid claims of discrimination however, you should ask for documentation from everybody and not just those that you 'think' may need to be checked.
Do you think that you may have problems in these areas or any other employment practice? If so, would you be more confident if you had someone provide you with an independent review to see whether your policies and procedures are compliant with legislation? Then why not take up the FREE Policy and Practice Business Health Check offer currently available from DEMand RESULTS – see our feature on thebestofhinckley and follow the ‘member offer’ link. Or, simply contact us now on 01455 240638 or 0116 242 9484 to discuss just how we can help you with your employment practices and policies.