Training

Our expert employment lawyers are also able to offer training to your staff in key HR areas.  The training is primarily focussed at your managers who will have day to day responsibility for ensuring you comply with employment legislation. Our training will give your staff essential know-how and the confidence to deal with difficult HR issues, for example, dealing with poor performance. Tackling this area will often provide significant benefits to your business including increased profitability and improved staff morale.

Our standard training modules are listed below.  Alternatively, bespoke training on particular areas can be arranged.  Sessions can be run at our offices or at yours and they can take the form of either a half day or full day sessions.

Our training is charged at a fixed price and is an important way of you establishing the statutory defence to any discrimination claims.

Recruitment
  • The Application Form
  • Interview Questions
  • Obtaining the correct documentation, i.e. visas, references, qualification certificates
  • Importance of job descriptions and person specification
  • Recording who you selected and the reasons behind that decision
  • Repercussions for failure to follow the correct procedure
  • Data protection compliance
Grievance Procedure
  • How to deal with a grievance
  • Investigation
  • Grievance meetings
  • Potential Outcomes
  • Appeals
  • Complaints of bullying/harassment
Managing Sickness Absence
  • Sickness reporting by the employee
  • Self certification/Medical certificates
  • Long Term Absence
  • Frequent short term absences and how you can prevent them
  • Keeping in contact and return to work interviews
  • Requests for a medical report
  • Phased return to work
  • Dismissal on grounds of ill health
  • Disability Discrimination
Appraisals
  • Why have appraisals?
  • Employment law and appraisals
  • Preparation for carrying out appraisals
  • The meeting
  • Things that could go wrong
  • The write up
  • Disputes over appraisals
Performance Management
  • Dealing with concerns informally
  • The formal performance review procedure
  • What happens if you don’t manage the process correctly
  • Dismissal under performance management
  • The difference between disciplinary and performance management
Dismissal and Resignation
  • Resignation
  • Constructive Unfair Dismissal
  • Dismissal
  • Entitlements on leaving
  • Exit interview
Disciplinary Procedure
  • Different types of misconduct examined
  • Suspension
  • Investigation
  • The Disciplinary Meeting
  • Potential Outcomes
  • Gross Misconduct
  • Dismissal
  • Appeal
Equality & Diversity
  • Protected characteristics
  • Discriminatory behaviour
  • Consequences of not dealing with discrimination
  • Types of discrimination
  • Reasonable adjustments for disabled employees
  • Recruitment and selection
  • Conditions of employment
  • Promotion, training and career development
  • Dismissals (including redundancies)

More from the Downs Blog

Uber Drivers are workers and not self-employed, Supreme Court rules

19 February 2021. The UK Supreme Court has issued its judgment in the highly anticipated case of Uber BV v Aslam, in which the key issue was the employment status of Uber drivers. The ruling reinforced the findings of earlier legal challenges (most recently the Court of Appeal in 2018), which found that Uber drivers are workers and not self-employed.

Can I force my staff to have the Covid Vaccination?

Recent news reports indicate that some employers are considering making it compulsory for their staff to have a Covid vaccination.  Is this a lawful, or even sensible, move by employers?

Caring for your employee’s mental health

The WHO defines good mental health as: “a state of wellbeing in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stress of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”

Millions of UK workers to receive increase in pay from April 2021

In April of each year, the Government increases statutory payments that are payable to workers and employees. 

Working from home - where do you stand?

Under new government guidance, you should work from home if you can effectively do so. However, some employers may ask their employees to return to work whilst restrictions are in place - particularly if it is not reasonable to carry out that work at home. For those who are concerned about health problems, or juggling childcare, where do you stand in the eyes of the law?

What the new lockdown means for businesses, employees and workers

The third lockdown in England legally came into force on 6 January 2021. How long it will last is uncertain. At least until mid-February and possibly until late March. Vaccination provides a route out of the pandemic, but businesses need to survive this final and possibly longest of the lockdowns.

We are open

During these uncertain times, it is good to know you can count on us.

Even after the recent Government announcement of another national lockdown we remain open for business and are here to help you.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Extended Until March 2021

On Thursday 5 November 2020, the Chancellor announced that the furlough scheme is to be extended until the end of March 2021. During this period you will be able to claim up to 80% of an Employees salary up to a cap of £2500.

 

Coronavirus Update - CJRS Extended

The Chancellor announced over the weekend that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) that was due to end on 31st October will be extended until 2nd December.  The level of support available under the extended scheme will mirror that of what was available under the CJRS in August, with the Government paying 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500.

Chancellor announces changes to the Job Support Scheme

The Chancellor announced on Thursday 22 October that the Government contribution to employers’ wage costs under the Job Support Scheme (JSS) will be increased. Employers will be expected to pay 5% of the cost of unworked hours instead of the 33% originally announced.

Coronavirus Update - CJRS Bonus - Are you eligible?

Back in the summer the Chancellor announced that employers could receive a one-off payment of £1,000 for every employee who had previously been furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme  provided they remained continuously employed to the end of January 2021.  Businesses will be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus from 15 February 2021 and the Government has stated that further guidance will be provided by the end of January 2021.

Coronavirus Update - Jobs Support Scheme announced

With new government guidance on Covid coming into force today and the current furlough scheme coming to an end next month, as expected, the Chancellor has today announced a new scheme to help businesses.  

Latest government Covid measures re-introduce work from home message

As Covid-19 cases continue to climb, the UK faces ever tougher restrictions. But, with the furlough scheme winding down, what rights do employers and employees have when returning to work?

 

Barclays backtracks in privacy row over worker surveillance project

Barclays Bank has withdrawn a system that monitored employees’ computers, tracking individual working patterns and how much time each day was spent on breaks. Details of the pilot project came to light after a Barclays whistle blower reported it to a newspaper.

New contract terms affecting all new employees and workers to come into force on April 6 2020

From 6 April 2020 there will be changes to the minimum written terms that must be provided to employees AND the timing of when these terms must be provided to them. These terms are known as Section 1 statements, referring to Section 1 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA).

The Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Regulations set to come into force on 6 April 2020

Downs Solicitors is pleased to play a small part in helping to raise awareness of a new and important piece of employment law that is coming into force in April 2020. The Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Regulations will be known as Jack’s Law. This is in memory of Jack Herd who died in 2010 and whose mother, Lucy, has campaigned tirelessly ever since for mandatory leave for grieving parents.

What could work look like in 2020?

One of the big focuses in recent years has been on flexible working and how it has changed the concept of a “normal” working day. From challenging the norms of 9-5 working to commuting time counting as working time, there’s no doubt that the new decade could bring a new shape of working – but what does that mean for business leaders and their HR teams?

How might the decision to make ethical veganism a philosophical belief affect employers?

Jordi Casamitjana was dismissed in 2018 by The League Against Cruel sports for gross misconduct. Mr Casamitjana, an ethical vegan, claims that his dismissal came after telling colleagues that their employer’s pension fund was being invested in companies involved in animal testing. His solicitors claimed that the decision to dismiss was made because of his beliefs around ethical veganism.

Workers’ Rights – What the main parties are saying in their election manifestos

With the General Election looming on 12th December what are the main parties saying in their election manifesto's on workers' rights.  David Seals, Head of Employment, takes a look at the key messages.

Workplace health and well-being – It’s time to talk the menopause. A guide for employers

Introduction

Improving the conversation about the menopause at work is important for both workers and employers. For the worker experiencing symptoms, the onset of the menopause can be a challenging time and one that is a sensitive and personal matter. For an employer, menopause is a health and well-being concern for their workers and one that needs managing sensitively.

Time to call for further workplace flexibility

Whilst many see flexible working as an opportunity to juggle a work life balance more successfully, a lot of work needs to be done around overall wellbeing for the employee – and ways in which the employer can help facilitate that.

Stress in the workplace

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), stress, depression and anxiety were the main factors for time off work in 2017/18, equating to 15.4 million working days lost.

3 Ways employers can take better care of the older workforce

People are living longer and therefore, they are working longer. According to the latest data from the ONS, there has been a rise in the number of over-50s in the workplace due to changes in the state pension age and shortfalls in pension payments.

Working on the go is creating new choices

Self-employment is on the rise with more people “going it alone” than ever before. With a rise in easy-to-use, on the go technology more accessible, it’s hardly surprising that more people are opting for self-employment to cater to more adaptive lifestyles. But, what sort of impact is it having in the wider professional environment?

Working 8–4? What a way to make a living!

As if Ms Dolly Parton’s appearance at the recent Grammy Awards wasn’t enough, her new Netflix series beginning in 2019 will soon have reminisces tapping their feet to some of her major hit records. Perhaps working “9-5” is one that resonates most – and what a way to make a living indeed. Since writing her hit, the workplace has changed considerably and it is interesting to see how employers and employees alike are adapting to that change.

Roses are red, violets are blue, I'm not sure WORK is the place for romance, are you?

Valentine’s Day has gone for another year, but it got us thinking about the consequences of romance in the workplace, for both employees and employer.

Truth, proof and the right to work

Right-to-work checks and dismissal have always posed a challenge to employers. Recent inconsistent Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) judgments have exacerbated the difficulties. What is an employer to do? Head of Immigration, Samar Shams recent article in the Employment Law Journal goes back to basics and extracts the most important lessons from the muddled judgments.

Managing a more flexible workforce

To follow up on a couple of recent news stories relating to flexible work, for employers thinking of adopting change, you will also need to know how to effectively manage a more flexible workforce.

The email train: Does the commute count as working hours?

It seems the debate about “working hours” rages on. We recently wrote a blog about how working hours have changed and that people are moving towards much more flexible models.

Working 9-5: Not the way to make a living

Despite Dolly Parton's smash hit, it seems that just 6% of working people are sticking to the traditional 9-5 shift pattern, according to a recent survey by YouGov.

Show More

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