Family Friendly Rights
Employees now enjoy extensive rights that allow them to balance work with family life.
You may be affected by this. For example, if you are having a child and wish to return to work following maternity leave on a part-time basis. Alternatively, perhaps you’ve reached a stage in your career where you want to work from home or combine your current employment with secondary employment or part-time study and need to change your working arrangements.
Our expert employment lawyers can guide you through the maze of employment regulation and help you understand your rights and options.
Flexible working – from June 2014 all employees with 6 months service have the right to request flexible working. Flexible working encompasses any variant on working full-time from the employer’s premises such as:
- Part-time work
- Remote / Home working
- Job sharing
- Shift working
Under the new rules from June 2014 employers must consider flexible working requests reasonably and within three months of receiving the request (including dealing with any appeal). An ACAS statutory code of practice on dealing with flexible working requests must be complied with. Employers wishing to turn down a flexible working request must be able to demonstrate one of eight ‘business grounds’ for refusal. Employees can complain to an Employment Tribunal for breaches of the flexible working regulations. Alternatively, or in addition, such employees may complain that a refusal to allow flexible working gives rise to a discrimination claim.
Family leave and pay – in the UK employees can take statutory leave (often with a statutory right to pay) in a variety of situations such as:
- Shared Parental leave (with statutory Shared Parental pay)
- Maternity leave (with statutory maternity pay)
- Adoption leave (with statutory adoption pay)
- Paternity leave (with statutory paternity pay)
- Unpaid parental leave (under the Maternity and Parental Leave Regulations 1999)
In each case there are complex statutory rules regarding entitlement, notification and employment rights during family leave. Failure to correctly comply with the law can result in Employment Tribunal claims under the relevant legislation such as the Maternity and Parental Leave Regulations 1999 or other employment claims such as for discrimination or unfair constructive dismissal.
We can give clear and comprehensive advice to employees on these issues to assist you to make wise decisions. By seeking our advice you will be better placed to engage effectively with your employer regarding your employment conditions.
More from the Downs Blog
At the press conference on the 5th July, the Prime Minister announced the relaxation of the regulations on the 19th July subject to a review of the latest data on the 12th July. If the regulations are relaxed, then employees will be able to return to the office on the 19th July.
The Government’s roadmap identified that until England reached Step 4 of the Roadmap, employees should work from home where they can. As we are aware Step 4 has been delayed from 21st June to 19th July 2021 and therefore, employers should continue with home working wherever possible until the 19th July.
British Gas has been in the media over recent weeks due to the “fire and rehire” approach with their employees.
Q: I am divorced but when my former spouse and I separated things were amicable and we kept financial agreements friendly as opposed to legally binding.
I own a start-up which grew very quickly and a few years ago I hired in a couple of senior personnel to help run the business. After 5 years, one of these senior hires is now leaving the business and going to a company which isn’t a direct competitor but operates in a very similar field.
When shared parental leave was introduced in 2015, one of the concerns was whether an employer would need to offer enhanced shared parental leave pay if the employer provided enhanced adoption and/or maternity leave pay.
The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy undertook a report into domestic abuse and the workplace. The report identified that the number of domestic abuse cases had increased during the pandemic and that 1 in 5 victims of domestic abuse had time off work. Sadly, research found that few employers were able to identify the signs of domestic abuse and/or had policies or procedures available to help support survivors.
As the UK eagerly tuned in to the most anticipated Budget for a generation, many were left wondering what the Chancellor’s traditional “rabbit out of a hat” might contain - especially as several big measures had been announced beforehand.
There’s no doubt that the continuing “stay at home” orders have put a strain on relationships, but for those who are heading for divorce, the pandemic has been particularly difficult.
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.
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?
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.”
In April of each year, the Government increases statutory payments that are payable to workers and employees.
Last Monday was National Divorce Day - so called because it is the first Monday “back to normal” after Christmas, the bills start landing on the doormat and frayed couples have spent too long in close proximity. However, as the numbers of separations are largely on the decline, it seems there is a rise in the “silver splitter” - and if you’re one of them, you might find you’re in for a financial windfall.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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).
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
The departure of McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook at the weekend for having a consensual relationship with another employee created headlines for numerous reasons. Not least because of the $675,000 severance payment, but because he was the company’s Chief Executive and don’t things like that get conveniently swept under the carpet? No longer it seems.
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.
According to recent news, the average self-employed worker faces working until they are 79 to secure a big enough pension pot to support them in later life.
No sooner have we published a blog about British Airways’ largest GDPR fine on record, we find another story in the news.
British Airways (BA) looks set to face the largest GDPR penalty by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) of £183m for last year’s data breach that put 500,000 customers’ details at risk.
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.
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.
This week, 13 - 19 May 2019, is Mental Health Awareness Week. So, what better time to talk about mental health within the workplace.
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?
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is nearly one year old, having come into effect on May 25th 2018. Many businesses in the UK and abroad have made amendments to elements of their practices to ensure GDPR compliance. As with any substantial change, there has been a steep learning curve and inevitable growing pains. With the one year mark fast approaching it seems an appropriate time to look at the impact and success, if any, of GDPR.
Shared parental leave was introduced in 2015 as a way of redressing the balance between maternity and paternity leave. The purpose was to allow mothers to transfer all or part of their maternity leave to the father, allowing them to return to work.
Each April, the Government may amend employment regulations and set new deadlines for Companies to meet. The following are deadlines and updates which Managers and HR professionals should be aware of:
None of us like to think about getting ill, but if you run a business, it can be helpful to identify the leading causes and reasons for sickness in order to effectively manage workflow.
The Chancellor has just delivered his Spring Statement for 2019 and despite lasting just under half an hour there were certainly a few surprises in store.
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.
It’s been nearly 12 months since the first companies began publishing information about their gender pay gap. One year on, it looks as though we have still quite a way to go as the newest round of pay gap snapshots hit the headlines with Britain having the largest gap between the sexes in the European Union.
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.