Tag Archive | "ACAS"

Contractors…SNOW Your Rights

The last few years have seen winters in the UK remain unusually snow free, but this year it looks like the snow is here for a while.

Which brings us to an important point…what rights do contractors have when it comes to taking days off from their place of employment if it snows? Obviously if you are one of those contractors who work from home then this doesn’t apply to you, but everyone else, read on…

One possible option an employer might put into action when snow is covering our nations roads is to ask contractors to do some work from home, or even make up the time later. However, it’s worth noting this must be specified in your contract, and if it’s not then you can refuse.

What if you want to go into your place of work but the workplace is actually closed, are you supposed to not get paid? The answer to that one is NO, because legally any employer cannot deduct pay if you can’t work due to the workplace being closed.

This type of situation is the perfect opportunity for contractors to put their feet up and relax for a change, safe in the knowledge they are still getting paid for a day lounging around at home. No need to venture out of the house if you ask me, just watch some TV or read a book.

The workplace being closed due to snow might not be enough to keep you away though, as the law does state that employers can demand you work from another suitable location if they get it ready in time.

Many times, when snow hits the ground in the UK then schools everywhere close down for a day or two, or even more if the teachers have anything to do with it no doubt.

When this happens, some contractors are confused about whether or not it gives them the right to also take the day off because they don’t have anyone to look after their kids.

In this type of situation an employer will usually allow time away from the workplace, although they might want you to work from home or make up the time at a later date for any work you miss.

Sometimes a disagreement happens between contractors and their employers about what should happen during times of snow. If this happens and you can’t come to an agreement then it’s possible to contact the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, or Acas as they are also known.

Although snow can be a disruption for contractors around the country my advice is to enjoy it while it’s here.

Posted in newsComments (0)

Employers should not be fined for breaching employment law!

The Association of Recruitment Consultancies recently held a think-tank meeting to give input into the coalition’s employment tribunal reform consultation.

During this meeting senior recruitment professionals and other hirers unanimously rejected a proposal from the government to impose financial penalties on employers who breach employment laws.

On April 14th, the ARC brought together senior HR practitioners, as well as its own members, to put forward their concerns to a panel of representatives from the government. Included on the panel were the head of the Employment Tribunal Service and dispute resolution officials from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The debate centred on eliminating the blackmail effect of employment tribunal claims. A lot of employers feel that they have to pay claimants even though the employment claim has little merit. It is hard to have a claim struck out and in nine out of ten cases settled through the mediation service ACAS, the employer has to pay compensation.

The government has proposed to raise the qualifying period before an employee can seek redress through a tribunal to two years instead of the current one. This proposal was rejected by the attendees and one HR director said if the measure was implemented it could actually lead to an increase in the number of discrimination cases.

Attendees came out in favour of measures that encourage mediation and the speedy resolution of disputes. Another proposal that would be welcomed involves setting up a vetting process to strike out weak cases or asking the claimant to pay a deposit before pursuing a claim.

The head of the Employment Tribunal System, Craig Robb, said that it was vital to hear the opinions of people who deal with tribunal claims when faced with a suite of proposals. The ARC meeting helped us gather evidence and develop technical details, he added.

© 2011 All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

Image: Gavel by walknboston

Posted in newsComments (0)

REC welcomes government plans to reform the tribunal system

The government has confirmed that it will reform the tribunal system in the UK, a decision that has been welcomed by the REC.

This is a highly relevant area for recruiters. The Agency Workers Regulations will be implemented later this year and this could lead to an increase in the number of claims that are brought before a tribunal.

As part of the new proposals, claimants would have to pay a fee in order to lodge a tribunal action. The qualifying period before people can claim unfair dismissal will be raised to two years and all cases must first go through ACAS before being brought before a tribunal. The net result of these changes should limit the amount of frivolous and unfounded claims.

Tom Hadley from the REC said this was a step in the right direction to help businesses. Members of the REC have already said they feel employment tribunals are a source of unnecessary bureaucracy and expense. ACAS is not predicting a massive increase in tribunals when the AWR are implemented but there are bound to be some claims from umbrella company contractors who feel they are not getting the benefit of equal treatment.

Reforming the tribunal system will reassure both recruiters and clients that the AWR will not add considerable risk to the supply of contractors and temporary workers, Hadley added.

Another grey area for recruiters surrounds the question of equal treatment of benefits and bonuses for agency staff. The REC has been participating in some consultation workshops aimed at addressing recruiters’ concerns. The Confederation will continue working with the coalition to ensure that the Agency Workers Regulations are workable and that comprehensive guidance is provided to recruiters. It will also work alongside recruiters to ensure the necessary implementation systems are in place.

© 2010 All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

Image: face value by tuppus

Posted in newsComments (0)

Your information will NEVER be shared

stay up to date:

our top 5 twitter posts

umbrella companies


twitter Join the conversation
Free Telephone Advice