Author Archive

Shared parental leave to be extended to grandparents

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

As you will have heard in the news and seen in the press the Government is planning to extend shared parental leave to include grandparents.

The idea is for the mother to return to work, so ending her maternity leave and for the grandparent to be given the opportunity to share the rest of the leave entitlement, as set out in the recently introduced shared parental leave.

A few points that have not been widely reported are that:

  • The aim is to introduce this in 2018
  • To be eligible the grandparent will need to be working.
  • There will be a consultation during 2016.


Mandy Brearley, MB HR Support

Dealing with employees who misuse social media at work

Sunday, July 12th, 2015

Social media is good for business.  It reinforces positive images of your company, but it has a downside….

When faced with an employee whom you suspect has misused social media, here is some practical advice for what you can do:

1.  Quickly understand the facts – what has been posted, when, where and how?  What are the actual and likely consequences?

2.  Take PR advice, if necessary.

3.  Be clear about the policy breach you believe the employee may have committed.  How serious is it?

4.  Check that the relevant policies have been communicated to the employee.  Some will be quick to plead ignorance.

5.  Meet with the employee to discuss the posting, and carry out any further investigations that prove necessary and reasonable.

6.  Deal with any underlying grievance or whistleblowing issues.

7.  Decide whether or not to discipline.


New payments to employers employing military reservists

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

New regulations come into force on 1 October 2014 which will help employers employing military reservists. At the moment, when called up, military reservists are paid directly by the Ministry of Defence. Employers can claim expenses in respect of additional costs incurred whilst replacing the reservist (to a maximum of £110 per day).

However, from 1st October, small and medium sized employers will also be able to receive up to £500 per month for each full month a reservist is absent from work (reduced pro rata for parts of a month, or part-time workers).

Severely obese staff may gain disability rights

Monday, July 21st, 2014

The Advocate General of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) stated that morbid obesity may come within the meaning of “disability” under EU law, following his opinion on the case of Karsten Kaltoft v Billund.  The Advocate General’s opinion is not binding on the ECJ. However, if the ECJ agrees its decision will be binding on UK national courts and tribunals, which will need to consider morbid obesity as a potential disability under the Equality Act 2010.

Implications for employers

If morbid obesity is deemed to be a disability under UK law, employers will be obliged to make reasonable adjustments for morbidly obese staff who are placed at a substantial disadvantage by their medical condition.  Which will mean employers will find themselves under a legal obligation to make adjustments, such as providing parking spaces close to the workplace entrance, special desks, duties which involve reduced walking or travelling or possibly even ensuring healthy meal options are provided in the staff canteen.

We await the decision from the ECJ

Reforms for shared parental leave and flexible working systems from 2015

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

The Government has today published the Children and Families Bill, which includes reforms to the way in which parents can share maternity leave as well as the extension of the right to request flexible working.

Under the new system of shared parental leave:

·      fathers will gain a new right to take unpaid leave to attend two antenatal appointments;

·      there will be new statutory payment for parents on shared parental leave with the same qualifying requirements that currently apply to statutory maternity and paternity pay; and

·      those who have adopted a child will be entitled to the same pay and leave as birth parents.

The Bill also extends the right to request flexible working to all employees and removes the current statutory procedure for considering requests. Instead, employers will have a duty to consider all requests in a reasonable manner.

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More Support to SME’s to Offer Apprenticeships

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

The Government has announced plans to offer more funding support to small and medium sized businesses to offer apprenticeships.

An extension of the Apprenticeship Grant for employers of 16 to 24 year olds has been granted to March 2014, with £1,500 available to assist companies with les than 1,000 employees to offer an apprenticeship.


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DBS checks (formally CRB checks) are portable

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks (formally Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks) are portable between employers, from March 2013.

On payment of a fee employers that register with the DBS can apply for access to standard and enhanced criminal records checks.

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Unpaid parental leave increases to 18 weeks from 8th March 2013

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

The right to unpaid parental leave increases from 13 weeks to 18 weeks from 8th March 2013.

Every employee who is the parent of a child can take up to 18 weeks’ unpaid parental leave during the first five years of the child’s life.  Adoptive parents must take their parental leave by the 5th anniversary of the adoption or the child’s 18th birthday, whichever occurs sooner.

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Maternity, paternity, adoption & sick pay increase April 2013

Saturday, January 5th, 2013

The standard rates of statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay increase from £135.45 to £136.78 per week from 7 April 2013. 

Statutory sick pay will increase from £85.85 to £86.70 per week from April 2013. 

Other increases to statutory rates in April 2013 include the national insurance lower earnings limit, which increase from £107 to £109, and the basic state pension, which increases from £107.45 to £110.15.

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Government announces adoption reforms

Saturday, January 5th, 2013

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, has announced a "new package of support for people who want to adopt", which will include a new right for adoptive parents to take time off work to meet the child they are set to adopt before the child moves in with them, and improvements to statutory adoption leave and pay. 


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