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60 second guide to avoiding victimisation claims 23/02/2015

Victimisation is detrimental treatment of employees and workers who perform "protected acts" under the Equality Act 2010 (EqA).

Employment law SOS: managing a frequently sick employee 23/02/2015

Q I have an employee who is regularly off sick – an average of two working days a month. How do I go about dismissing him without any legal comeback?

Employment law SOS: avoiding army/working life clash 23/02/2015

Q I'm in the Army Reserve (formerly the Territorial Army) and it looks as if I will soon be called upon to go on active duty. What are my employment rights? Will I get my job back when I return?

Employment law SOS: Electronic cigarettes 25/01/2015

Q A few individuals in our design office have started smoking electronic cigarettes. What does the law say about my responsibilities as an employer when it comes to e-cigarettes at work?

60 second guide to overtime and holiday pay 23/01/2015

Based on an earlier UK court decision employers have traditionally based the calculation of holiday pay on basic salary for those who have normal working hours.

Employment law SOS: Funding the cost of action against an employer 23/01/2015

Q I want to bring a case against my former employer for constructive dismissal, but I'm concerned about the price tag. Can you explain ways I might fund my legal costs?

60 second guide to absenteeism 01/12/2014

Absenteeism and sickness absence costs the economy billions of pounds each year in lost revenue and therefore it is vital to your business resilience, profitability and success that absence is managed as soon as it arises.

Employment law SOS: changing employees' duties 01/12/2014

Q A reorganisation of our factory will result in slight changes to the duties of some employees and will involve changing their terms and conditions. How can we do this in a way that prevents them from taking legal action?

Employment law SOS: returning to work after giving birth 01/12/2014

Q I am due to have a baby in two months and am keen to move to part-time working. Is my employer obliged to offer me that option?

Employment law SOS: Stealing from a vending machine and catch-up pay settlements 22/10/2014

Q We've become aware that confectionery items have been going missing from one of our factory vending machines and it appears that an employee may have been rocking the machine in order to dispense items. How should we handle this situation? Can we dismiss the culprit? What evidence would we need?

Employment law SOS: job interviewing 28/08/2014

Q I need to recruit a machine operator, but have no experience of conducting a job interview. Can you give examples of the sorts of questions that are illegal or questionable in an interview setting, and why?

60 second guide: to employment tribunals 06/08/2014

Employment tribunals deal with legal claims made against employers, by employees or former employees in relation to their employment or its termination.

Employment law SOS: compromise agreements 06/08/2014

Q I need to make an employee redundant and want to ensure that there are no legal ramifications for the company. I was thinking of using a compromise agreement. Would this be appropriate and, if so, what is the process for drawing one up and what are the potential costs?

Employment law SOS: incompetent employee 28/06/2014

Q One of my machine operators produces consistently poor work. I have sent him on countless training courses, but he hasn't got any better at the job. How can I fire him without getting sued?

60 second guide: to disability discrimination 27/06/2014

The Equality Act replaced the Disability Discrimination Act in 2010 as the statutory protection for disabled people. The definition of disability in employment differs from the criteria considered for the issue of disability benefits.

Employment law SOS: employment contracts 27/06/2014

Q I started work at my current employer – a medium-sized manufacturer – about nine months ago, but I have never been given an employment contract. Should I have? If so, what should it contain?

Employment law SOS: alleged victims of theft 16/05/2014

Q One of our shift workers claims to have been the victim of theft. He has alleged that someone stole a substantial amount of cash and an iPod from his locker while he was working. How should we proceed and could we, as his employer, be held responsible for his loss?

60 second guide: to the government's Health and Work Service 15/05/2014

The government's latest statistics show that workers in the UK take in excess of 130 million days of sickness absence per year.

Employment law SOS: requests for time off work 15/05/2014

Q My company – an SME – is under increasing pressure to boost productivity and, to this end, it is 'every hand to the pump' on the factory floor. However, I am receiving more and more requests for time off for training. What are my obligations in this area as an employer?

Employment law SOS: competition from an ex-employee 30/04/2014

Q Our sales director, who has been with the company for more than two decades and has many valuable contacts, has decided to leave and set up a company that will compete directly with us. Is there anything we can do to stop him or, at the very least, prevent him from stealing our customers?

60 second guide: to disciplinary procedures 16/04/2014

Employers that need to formally discipline an employee for misconduct or poor performance should follow their internal procedure, which must comply with the ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures (the code). Failure to comply with the code can result in successful employment tribunal claims and an increase in compensation awarded.

Employment law SOS: managing mental health issues 16/04/2014

Q I have just been offered a job as a senior production technician. However, I suffer from bipolar disorder which I have not disclosed to my prospective employer. Am I obliged to reveal the fact that I have a mental health issue?

Employment law SOS: whistle blowing 19/03/2014

Q My company is involved in what I believe is illegal activity. I have evidence that shows bribes have been offered to secure work overseas. What are the legal consequences for me of 'blowing the whistle' on this?

60 second guide: to grievances at work 18/03/2014

Many organisations have experienced an increase in workplace conflict in recent years with employees more readily using internal grievance procedures.

Employment law SOS: part-time worker rights 18/03/2014

Q I have been employed as a part-time worker at a small manufacturing company for the past three months. I am contracted to work 16 hours a week. However, when I finish my shifts, my manager often approaches me and asks me to work an extra hour or so for free. He has intimated (although not said directly) that I might lose the job if I refuse. What can I do?

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