In this month’s HR News

Holiday woes

It’s peak holiday season when workers look forward to ‘downing tools’ and enjoying a relaxing break. However, what happens when employees can’t take annual leave due to work pressures? In the case of The Sash Window Workshop Ltd and another v King an Employment Appeal Tribunal has suggested that employees should be allowed to carry over untaken annual leave into the next year if they couldn’t take the holiday due to “reasons beyond their control.” While the full and binding decision is still awaited, businesses would do well to ensure that staff are able to take the holiday due to them. Otherwise, not only might it cause future operational problems but staff can become exhausted and prone to illness – so check your schedules and holiday calendars to make sure everyone takes the time off they’re due.

Tribunal fees to be scrapped

Originally introduced in July 2013, the Supreme Court has now ruled making claimants pay employment tribunal fees is unlawful. While it’s good news for employees seeking legal reddress, it means that employers can’t be complacent and need to ensure as always that they are treating their employees fairly. The introduction of tribunal fees had seen a dramatic fall in the number of claims, by some 66 to 70%. There had been concerns however that the tribunal fees had been set too high. Not only are fees to be scrapped going forward but the government will have to seek out and repay claimants who have paid the fee since 2013.

Contract changes now mean union consultation

Hot on the heels of the tribunal fees decision, a Court of Appeal has found that the trade union of two park police officers could take action against their employer, a London Council, for failing to consult on their redundancies. The implication for employers of the decision is that they will need to consult unions about a wider-than-before set of changes to contracts. Whereas the law had previously explicitly stated when unions must be consulted (for example, in TUPE or redundancy negotiations), the new Court of Appeal decision means that other decisions, e.g. on holiday pay or working hours, may also now require union involvement.

Probationary period sees over 20% of workers leave

A study by a leading UK recruitment website has revealed that around one in five workers (22%) have left their job during their probationary period. The most common reason given for leaving was that the role was not as expected (43%), followed by 23% having found a better role, 13% disliking the company’s culture and 8% not liking the boss. Conversely, the top reasons when dismissed by employers were poor performance (27%), being unable to continue employing them (22%) and being a wrong fit for the company (20%). The findings point to the need for employers  to ensure that new recruits are properly supported and engaged once they start with the firm as other recent research has highlighted that good on-boarding practices lead to greater staff retention.

Taylor Review unveiled

And finally, businesses and employment experts are still digesting the implications of the long-anticipated Taylor Review published in July. The government-commissioned report, “Good Work: The Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices”, which looked into areas such as worker status, zero-hour contracts, the use of agency staff and employee engagement generally, could have far-reaching consequences for employers. Look out for our analysis coming soon when we’ll be taking a more in-depth look as the dust settles.

The Chronologic Workforce Management System helps you keep track of your employees and keep on top of management information; including holidays, onboarding and flexible working.

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