Presentation on theme: "Introduction to Employment Law and HR practices"— Presentation transcript:
1Introduction to Employment Law and HR practices Louise PlantUniversity Human Resources
2Morning session - plan Introduction to HR issues Recruitment & SelectionBreak at approx. 11:30amComplaints & GrievancesLunch 1-2pm
3Afternoon session - plan Line Management in briefDisciplinary & Performance Incapability ManagementManaging Sickness AbsenceConfidentiality & Data ProtectionFinish approx 4:30pm
4An introduction to Human Resources (HR) The management of people at workIs a management advisory function, both strategic and operationalChartered Membership of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), plus DegreeDetailed knowledge of employment law and practical applicationAdvising, negotiating, influencing, persuading, defending, justifying, challenging, decision-making
5Role of Human Resources Managing employee relations casesSupporting and advising managersCompiling detailed case files, and documentation for Employment TribunalsAttendance in Court – justify decision-making and defend University’s positionProviding Management training, development and coachingEnsuring best practice is followed and avoiding claims of discrimination
6What do HR deal with and why? Sickness management, and cases linked to the DDA (1995)Performance Management and incapabilityComplaints and grievances- Harassment & Bullying- DiscriminationDisciplinary cases & DismissalsResourcing and Workforce PlanningChange Management – VS, re-structuring, redundancyManagement developmentPolicy formulation and implementation
8Recruitment & Selection Use fair and equitable processesPlan and prepare to ensure the process is effective and professionalAim to provide a positive experience for all applicantsHighlight the University / Students Union as an employer of choice
9Recruitment & Selection It is unlawful to discriminate on grounds of:gendermarital statusmaternityracedisabilitysexual orientationreligion or beliefgender reassignmentage
10Discrimination - definitions Direct DiscriminationTreating a person less favourably than another because of actual or perceived gender, race, disability, marital status, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, religion or belief, age.Indirect Discrimination (not disability)Applying a provision, criterion or practice to everyone which disadvantages people of a particular gender, race, marital status, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, religion or belief, age.
11Disability Discrimination Discrimination either direct or disability-relatedEmployers are required to make reasonable adjustmentsKeele operates the ‘two ticks’ scheme:-Promoting Equality, Valuing Diversity.
12Harassment & Victimisation It is unlawful to victimise or harass a person on the grounds of gender, race, disability, marital status, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, religion or belief, age.Harassment – Conduct which violates a person’s dignity or creates an environment for them which is intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive.Victimisation - Treating someone less favourably when they have made a complaint or allegation, or have given evidence in such a complaint or allegation of discrimination
13Impact of Poor Recruitment Service/workload issuesOpportunity costsRe-recruitment costsImpact on other staffTraining costs/inputs/timeLegal costsPublic relations costs
14Immigration 5 Tier Framework New Points Based System Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT)Certificates of SponsorshipChanges to process and documentationInterview Notes
15Advert Text Q. Which of these are unsuitable and why? Words/phrases that are commonly used in adverts:Young EnergeticAble bodied DynamicMotivated Newly QualifiedTeam Player ExperiencedSelf Starter MatureSense of humour FlexibleQ. Which of these are unsuitable and why?Remember discrimination applies to all applicants and potential applicantsYoung - UnsuitableMature - Probably unsuitable but could ask for someone with amature attitudeExperienced - Suitable, as long as can be measured - competenciesNewly qualified - SuitableDynamic - requirements should be relevant to the job,assessable and measurable – how would you assess it? Energetic – as for dynamic..Able bodied - UnsuitableMotivated – OK but how would you assess?Team Player - OKSelf Starter – odd phrase, what do you mean by it?Sense of humour – Why? Humour is subjective, how would youassess?Flexible – Flexible in what way? Can touch their toes?If want to be flexible in working hours clearlystate but ensure it’s relevant to job – could be discriminatoryTouched on this in first workshop - Remember discrimination applies to all applicants and potential applicants
16Advertising DO: Advertise in suitable locations Include a contact name and number for enquiriesKeep the advert text relevantAdvertise for at least two/four weeks for external adverts
18Person SpecificationDescription of qualifications, skills, experience and personal attributes required to do the jobUsually broken down into essential (minimum) and desirable criteriaAll criteria must be relevant and assessableAvoid criteria which could be viewed as discriminatory
19Role of the Chair of the panel Chair is responsible for entire selection processAgree shortlisting and selection processesEnsure processes meet Equal Opportunities requirementsAgree format of interview and allocate areas of questioningKeep notes of decision-making processOpen, control and close interview
20Shortlisting Carried out by Appointment Panel Input from outside Appointment PanelBased on Person SpecificationProcess must be fair and non-discriminatory to all candidatesSponsorship/Eligibility to work in the UK
21Interviews Prepare and plan the structure of the interview Questions based on Person SpecificationAsk open, probing questionsLet the candidate do the most of the talkingKeep master copy of notesTreat internal applicants exactly the same as external applicants
22Making the most of interviews Ask job-related questionsListen to the answersAsk follow-up job- related questionsLet the candidate do most of the talkingGive the candidate the opportunity to ask questionsMake notesGet someone else to make notes when you are asking questions
23The Offer of Employment Offer comparable salary for postConsider all conditions of employment before making offerBeware of verbal (legally binding) contract when offering jobAll offers should be conditional – subject to references, CRB, etc
24Feedback Responses should be carefully prepared Non-selection for interview feedback must relate to the Person SpecificationNon-selection following an interview must relate to the job requirements and performance at interview/assessments etcRefusal to give feedback may infer culpabilityIf in doubt, please contact your HR Link
25Conclusion – Recruitment & Selection Remember - it is an important processMake sure your process is fair and compliant with all relevant legislation – check with HR if not sureAvoid personal opinions/prejudicesRelate everything to the requirements of the jobPlan and prepare thoroughly
30The Employment Life Cycle Recruitment andSelectionAppointment andInductionProbationCapability andPerformanceProcessesConfirmation ofProbationDuring employmentprocessesNotes to this and next slide:Recruitment & Selection –Non-selection complaints (application & interview) (associated to discrimination by the applicant)Non-selection complaints (application & interview) (process and/or criteria)Non-selection complaints from internal candidates (application & interview) (possibly due to communication and/or feedback)Equality of treatment during selection processConduct of panel (possibly associated to discrimination)Appointment & Induction -Expected salary / incrementLack of / poor inductionProbation -Disagreement over length of probationExtension of probationDisagreement over targets and PDPManagement of probationary period, process followed, and any extension periodConfirmation of probation -Delays in decision to confirm or not confirmNon-confirmation of probation (termination of employment)Capability and performance processes -Explain definition of capability and performance, and what it encompasses, such as sickness incapabilityThe most common complaint arises from the employee disagreeing with being managed under capability or performance process:Being managedProcesses requiring them to be monitored and reviewedDisagreeing that their performance is poor or lackingDisputing the KPI’s used to measure performanceComplaining about lack of or poor management guidance, instruction and clarity around expectationsManner in which issue dealt with (particularly formal proceedings – hence better to deal with informally)Complaints about reasonableness of management expectations around performance and attendance in sickness casesDisciplinaryProcessesDisciplinary processRetirement/ resignationLeaving employmentprocessesEnd of Fixed TermContracts
31Managing Complaints – the role of the Manager To support by providing opportunities for individuals to raise concernsTo endeavour to resolve a complaint informallyTo have a working knowledge of the policiesNot to form an opinion at an early stageTo establish the factsTo facilitate the individual to identify their preferred resolution to the issueTo ensure the individual is treated fairlyTo have processes and mechanisms in place to ensure that staff feel they are being treated fairlyNotes to slide:Managers need to ensure they have an understanding of the complaints process, and that people are treated fairly, and work in an environment that is ‘felt fair’It is also the responsibility of the individual to explain why the feel they way they do – act to understand the complaint
32Role of the ManagerTo discuss with the individual as to what their desired resolution would be, and how they might achieve itWhen appropriate, to provide or offer a resolutionTo be able to recognise when to seek advice from HR, or when it is appropriate to escalateTo keep a record of the discussionsTo resolve the complaint as quickly as possibleTo provide a working environment for staff, which is ‘felt fair’
33The principles of Informal Meetings 1 to 1 with the member of staffConducted in a private room/setting where the member of staff feels comfortableNo HR or Trade Union presenceOpen and probing discussion to establish factsRecommended 80:20 ratio for discussionEstablishing:What the individual wants to achieveHow they would want to achieve itWhat role the manager has in achieving the resolutionNo formal action or decision made against any party involved
34Complaints Management Scenario: How would you manage a situation, where an employee verbally raises a complaint with you that they are being racially harassed by a colleague, but asks for it to remain confidential?(Group discussion - 10 minutes)
35SummaryComplaints can arise at any time, for almost any reason, due to individual perceptions and views of the worldComplaints need to be dealt with as early as speedily as possible to avoid escalationManagers need to confident in taking control of situations, and to work with employees to resolve issues raisedHR provide an advisory service to managers, and will facilitate proceedings when appropriate
36SummaryIt is always preferable to resolve complaints and grievances at the informal stage, wherever possibleThere is a required skill set, which managers need, to deal with complaints effectively, which will sharpen with experienceHR are available to provide management guidance, advice and support, as well as policy and legal knowledge and expertiseIt is imperative that notes of meetings are taken, and retained for future referral and to build a clear, detailed case file for future reference
37Helpful Hints and Tips! Act promptly and gather all the relevant facts Be firm and fair – manage the situation, but remain objective and keep an open mindBe calm and careful and avoid giving your opinionPrepare well for meetings, try to anticipate what might be said and how you could respondDeal with matters without undue delayAlways keep proceedings, statements and records strictly confidential‘Soft’ management skills and qualities are vital to defuse situations – empathy, listening, emotional intelligence and conflict managementMaintain regular contact and communication with the employee
38Helpful Hints and Tips!Take time to look for and notice any early signs of problemsEnsure recruitment and selection is fair, and that you appoint the best person for the postHave good induction policies and processesUse the informal stages of counselling and advice effectivelyEnsure equality of opportunity to avoid complaints of this natureRefer to formal procedures as a last resort, not as your first port of callConsult HR if you’re unsure - before acting!!
41Line Management in brief What is Line Management about?Motivating team of employeesResponsible for their development and performanceProfessional relationship based on mutual respectDay to day, on-going communicationClarifying role and providing directionWorking towards common objectives: service delivery, customer satisfaction, etcResponsible for welfare at workBeing fair, and dealing with problems as they arise to ensure equality
42Line Management in brief What is it not?Abusing position of authority in terms of power and controlHarassing or victimising one or several employeesSolely concerned with status or payDelegating unnecessarily or unfairlyAccepted that employees should do/act without reasonable debate, questioning or challengeSolely about formal processes such as appraisal, disciplinary, performance, etc
43Line Management in brief Group Discussion: 1. What makes a good line manager? 2. What makes a good leader? 3. What is the difference? Is there a difference?
44Line Management in brief Shout out:What do managers have the right to expect from their staff?What do staff have the right to expect from their manager?Get notes from SPRE slides
47Disciplinary Management What governs disciplinary management?Employment LegislationACAS Codes of ConductCase LawHR policies and proceduresExpected standards of behaviour: organisational culture, society, rules and regulationsWhere the rules come fromLegislation defined by the Government, Equal pay act etcACAS an advisory body who seek to promote best practice within employmentCase law from tribunals/Court of Appeal/House of LordsThe statutes, as defined in the calendar which is issuedHuman Resource Policies , Discipline Grievance etc that are there to assist and to guide managers and employees and the HR departmentIs it normal / resaonable to act how they have?? If not, why not, and what evidence is there?
48Disciplinary Management What are and aren’t Disciplinary issues?They are:Breaches of standards of conduct and behavioure.g. timekeeping, breach of policy/procedures, theft, abuse, violence, fraud, etcWon’t DoThey are not:Related to under-performance – genuine incapabilityCapability issues- where due to ill health or disabilityCan’t Do
49Disciplinary Management An incident takes place, so you:Gather the informationDecide whether any rules/procedures/policies have possibly been breachedDecide how serious the matter isConsider whether the matter can be dealt with informally/formallyInitial fact finding, useful to take a step back and consider options, discuss with managers take HR Advice, gather statements form those involved quickly before memories fadeEnsure have enough information to make an informed decisionPitfallsPreconceived notion as to what happenedOpinion of the person who has committed the allegationThere can be a a tendency it rush in so make sure thought it through
50Disciplinary Management Informal Action:Used wherever possibleUsed for minor offences - a “quiet” wordHighlight the areas of concern and consider the use of guidance/trainingWarning that more formal action may be taken if unacceptable conduct continuesConfirm in writing the details of the issue and what improvement is requiredHighlight this may be referred to if formal action is necessaryMust be done promptlyIf initial problems then have a word with the employeeEnsure they know the rulesTell them where they have overstepped the markConsider what action has gone beforeCan it be addressed quite simply and effectivelyMust be done immediately
51Disciplinary Management Formal Action:Used when Informal action is not appropriate or has not been successfulMore serious offencesConsistent breaches of rules and/or proceduresSerious breach of rules and/or proceduresEmployee must be informed of allegations in writingInvestigation required - no disciplinary meeting can be convened without an investigationMay need to consider suspension depending on the seriousness of the offenceFormal warnings can only be given at formally convened disciplinary hearings
52Disciplinary Management Group Activity – refer to Disciplinary handout:How serious is each matter?Consider:Could the situation be resolved through formal/informal action?Is there a need to suspend the employee? If so, why?Is this situation likely to result in a warning/dismissal?Get activity scenarios from Brian’s workshop and formulate activity handout
53Disciplinary Management Gross Misconduct (GMc) – what is it?Serious offenceDisciplinary action that warrants suspension from duty whilst investigatedNormally results in the employee’s dismissal from the University if the allegation is upheldCan result in dismissal with immediate effect and without notice (Summary Dismissal)Examples of GMc are available in the KUSU Disciplinary Procedure – the list is not exhaustive!!No prior warnings requiredWith immediate affectNo notice payment requiredReserved for the more serious offences- theft, fraud, assault, attending work under the influence of drugs/alcohol, serious detriment to health & safety of self or others, etc etc.GMc is Not being late, making a typing error on a letter
54Disciplinary Management The Right of AppealThis is a Statutory right – open to everyoneAppeal chair cannot have been involved in the original meetings or decisionCannot be used to increase the warning or to penalise the employee for appealingMust be in writing, and be received by the correct person, within the timescale prescribed in the policyMust invite employee to meeting to hear appealMust have an adjournment to consider the appeal, and reconvene to deliver decisionExactly the same as the disciplinary hearing.Looking to see if the process was followed and whether a fair decision was reached.Options available, overturn the decision, uphold it, substitute a lesser penalty
55Disciplinary Management – Employment Tribunals A Dismissal may result in a Tribunal claim from the employeeTo successfully defend the claim, the employer will need to be able to evidence that:KUSU Policy was followedA full, fair investigation was completedThe decision was considered and justified based on the best information available at the timeEmployee was informed of their right to appealThere has been no discrimination of any kindThey are a reasonable employerSuccessfully respond to all cross-questioningA tribunal looks forDid you follow the process, comply with policy, complete a thorough investigation, was it a fair and equitable- 50% there – not always necessary Polkey case but why have a fight that you don’t need to haveWas it a fair decision? Common sense usually prevails, e.g. if I assaulted an employee then dismissed but always a possibility not find in your favour tribunal will look at what is reasonable and whether a reasonable decision was made based on the information availableWhat is reasonable – varies? Best you can do is follow policy, complete investigation, keep accurate recordsRight to appeal confirm both verbally and in writing
56Disciplinary Management – the cost of getting wrong Impact on the employeeImpact on the departmentUnfair dismissal claim - ETReputation of the University / KUSUProgression to Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT)/ European Court of Justice (ECJ) - further exposure and bad pressThe reason we follow the process is to minimise the chances of getting it wrong.There is an impact on the employee and the department and we can wind up in court, however, use common sense, follow the process and maximise your chances of getting it right
58Performance Incapability What is performance incapability?“Incapability is where, despite receiving appropriate support and training, a member of staff still cannot achieve a satisfactory level of performance. ……..When it is apparent that a member of staff is not capable of achieving the required level of performance, the University will deal with the situation in a reasonable manner.”(University HR policy introduction 2.2)August 2009 IRS survey of 107 employers:75% said poor performance was a problem, 16% a considerable problemMost harmful consequence was the impact on colleagues, 90% of respondents thought that poor performance by individuals affected overall levels of motivation and moraleMost common manifestations were :Absence from work (cited by 79% of employers) andFailure to meet objectives (cited by 74% of employers)Expectations: Listened to, treated fairly and equally, offer training and support, kept informed and given feedback generally, receive job description, objectives and SPREWant: Performing team, ‘happy’ team, meet service delivery
59Performance Incapability How do you clarify performance expectations and standards?Use Job DescriptionJob PlanWAMAgreed objectivesWhat measures do you have in place?How can you evidence shortfalls in performance?
60Performance Management - principles Set clear, specific, measurable standards of performance and explain their importance.Outline how performance is managed, monitored, assessed.Provide specific concerns as a basis for providing help and guidance – reinforcing standards and facilitating improvement = COUNSELLING (1).Support Counselling (1) with guidance, training, information, supportive supervision.Record/Diary All discussions/Key Performance Incidents.Flag continued problems with relevant Head.Consider scope for role modification/alternative role.Consider Counselling as a prelude to formal actionInitiate formal proceedings.You have been through the normal 1:1 meetings, have established what the indvidual is expected to undertake e.g. WAM, research objectives, course revisions, Academic administration and these are not happening.Provide specific concerns – e.g. agreed objectives - not happened - why not?You do need to offer help – this is an ongoing process that needs to be evidenced.TALK THROUGH THE SLIDESet clear, specific, measurable standards of performance.Outline how it will be managed, monitored assessed e.g 1:1 discussions, counsellingSoft/support counselling – we’ll talk a bit more about that in a moment, basically supportive supervision.Record diary discussions/key performance incidentsFlag continued problems with HOSConsider alternative roleCounselling as prelude to formal actionInitiate formal proceedings
61Performance Management – the Counselling Interview Definition: One-to-one, two way discussion designed to facilitate improvementExplain concerns – cite specific examples, share records, if appropriate.Invite employee to comment on concerns / examples.Ask if employee is encountering any problems which may have contributed to the concerns raised as a basis for finding informal and formal solutionsDiscuss and agree the requirement for further direction and / or training.Outline the effects of your concerns, thereby reinforcing standards.Type up a note of interview including expected standards, review and monitoring procedures, copy - employee to sign.TALK THROUGH THE SLIDEExplain concerns, give specific examples. Ensure you enable the employee the opportunity to respond. Try to establish if the employee is encountering any problems which may have contributed to the concerns raised – could be personal issues you were not aware of, could be lack of understanding of specific task?Agree any support mechanisms – ensure you follow up and evidence.Reinforce standards expected and improvements required, timeframe for improvement.Main points off difference to the counselling 1 is that this is a prelude to going into more formal procedures and the employee is advised of the consequences of failure to improve.Copy of discussions needs to be typed and a copy given to the employee including how the performance will be reviewed and monitored.You are on a path to confirming concerns and setting the structure - it can be done,but you need to evidence what you do and blend this in day to day workings of the department.
62Performance Management Monitoring and Reviewing Performance:Vary – normally 6 weeks minimum, if satisfactory then extend reviews over longer timeframe.Not constraining - can be extended - can be reducedAt the end of the review period, there are 3 possible situations:Employee has not met action planEmployee has met part of the action plan – some improvementEmployee has performed wellYou don’t need to wait until the end of the review period i.e. if rude on the phone next week and continues to be rude on the phone then can bring things forward.You are in control of this process – it is different from appraisal.Formal processExtend counselling 2Counselling 1
63Performance Management Formal Process:Stage 2: First Formal Written WarningStage 3: Final Formal Written WarningStage 4: Dismissal (and Right of Appeal)Again, any dismissal could result in the employee bringing an Employment Tribunal claim, for any of the following reasons:- Unfair Dismissal- Constructive Dismissal- Discrimination- Harassment & Bullying- Wrongful Dismissal , etcOnly needs to be based on their perception of how they have been treated – need to ensure procedure has been followedStage 2: First Formal Written WarningStage 3: Final Formal Written WarningStage 4: Dismissal
64Performance Management - Dismissal Normally with noticeCommunicated within a reasonable timeframeGive right of appealHold appeal hearing if appeal letter receivedSame principles as Disciplinary Appeals Management
65Disciplinary Management & Performance Incapability – failure to follow the correct procedures What happens when organisations fail to follow the correct procedures?Unfair dismissal claimPossible discrimination claimsET will look at whether we have followed ACAS code and our own proceduresImpact on the employeeImpact on the departmentUnfair dismissal claim £65,300 maximumReputation to the University
67Sickness Absence Management Shout out: What are the reasons for managing sickness absence?
68Sickness Absence Management – why manage it? CostImpact on serviceImpact on others – morale, pressure of workContagion!Responsibility to individual member of staffManagers have a moral and service obligation to deal with itCost - Paying sick pay, paying someone else to perform the absent employee’s workImpact on service - Continuity, reduced level of service, loss of service completelyImpact on others- High levels of absence can cause resentment, low morale and demotivate those employees who have to take on the absent employee’s workContagion - If left unmanaged, high levels of sickness absence will be seen as acceptableResponsibility - Good attendance management conveys to employees that their employer is concerned about their attendance and well-being, that management genuinely wishes to remove or reduce any work-related factors that might discourage reliable attendance, and that taking time off work without good reason will not be tolerated.The majority of sickness absence is genuine and we as an employer have a responsibility to ensure that we provide all reasonable support to facilitate an employee’s ability to return to health and the workplace.
69Sickness Absence Management – why do people go off sick? Personal/Domestic Factors:Childcare and Dependent responsibilitiesPersonal or family problemsTransportLeisure Activities/lifestyleLocation of home relative to work
70Sickness Absence Management – why do people go off sick? Work Related Factors:Working patterns making it difficult to manage work/family commitmentsTerms and conditions eg pay, holiday etcCareer or job frustration – leads to boredom and inertiaManagement style – need for direction, support, recognition, developmentPerceived stressSpecific problems at work, e.g. bullying, workloadEnvironmental factors affecting employee’s levels of comfort at work
71Sickness Absence Management – types of sickness absence Long-term or sporadicShort-term intermittentNon-compliance with sickness absence reporting procedures
72Managing Sickness Absence – the framework: Long term or sporadic – underlying health problem. CAPABILITYShort-term intermittent – no underlying health problem. ATTENDANCE (Some Other Substantial Reason)Non compliance with sickness absence reporting procedures. Unauthorised Absence. DISCIPLINE - CONDUCTCapability Issue – could be dismissed on the grounds of capabilityNo essential underlying health problem – Could be dismissed on the grounds of conduct or SOSR – disciplinaryConductNEVER QUESTION THE GENUINESS OF THE SICKNESS. THIS IS ABOUT ATTENDANCE!Fair reasons for dismissal1. Conduct -2. Capability - 'Capability' as assessed by reference to skill, aptitude, health or any other physical or mental quality.3. Redundancy4. A statutory restriction - because the employee could not continue to work in the position without contravention of a statutory duty or restriction.5. Some other substantial reason6. Retirement - Where the employer has shown that the reason, or principal reason, for the dismissal is retirement, the dismissal will be unfair only if the employer has failed to give proper notification under the statutory retirement procedure, or failed to comply with its duty to consider any request not to be retired or any appeal against its decision to refuse such a request.
73Sickness Absence Management – determining acceptability Take a specific period of absence as a basis for the review – e.g. six monthsLook at recent attendancesConsider pattern of absence – e.g. regularity of single days off; or absences taken either side of weekendConsider level and frequency of absences – frequency is keyBe consistent – use relevant benchmarks – e.g. five days or more absence over three occasions in three monthsReview ‘worst offenders’ first and work downStarting point is gathering information
74Sickness Absence Dismissal “There comes a time when the reasonable employer is entitled to say ‘enough is enough’ and, so long as warnings have been given, he will be justified in treating the frequent absences as a sufficient reason for dismissing…”(Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT), 1980)Follows same broad principles as disciplinary dismissal and performance dismissal
75Sickness Absence Management – Medical Investigation Refer to Occupational Health and request information on:The nature of the illnessExpected period of absencePossible return in foreseeable futureLimitations/constraints in work upon returnReasonable adjustments to support/facilitate a returnNB. If an employee refuses to allow information to be released – advise in writing that any decisions related to their continued absence (or if appropriate to their continued employment) will be taken on the basis of the information available.
76Sickness Absence Management – Disability Discrimination A disability is defined in the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA)1995 (and Amendments 1998 and 2005) as:“a physical or mental impairment that has a substantialand long-term adverse effect on an employee's abilityto carry out normal day-to-day activities”.The effect of an impairment is long term if it has lasted at least 12 months, is likely to last at least that long, or is likely to recur if in remission.Discrimination occurs when an employer fails to comply with its duty to make reasonable adjustments in relation to the disabled employee.
77Sickness Absence Management – Reasonable Adjustments The key steps in planning adjustments are:Consider your employee’s needs and what they can doAssess the possible barriers to your employee’s returnConsider the adjustments needed to overcome these barriersReview health and safety risk assessments in the light of the proposed adjustmentsReview how well the adjustments workSeek professional advice, where necessary, to help you make informed decisionsIll health or injury is sometimes caused by a specific event such as an accident. More often it is a combination of factors, such as increased workloads, lack of control over work or a failure to take breaks. Pain and discomfort feel more acute when there are other difficulties to deal with at the same time.If an employee is suffering from back or joint pain,you may need to consider adjustments to ergonomic factors like working posture, the equipment used, the working environment, the pace of production and the spacing of rest breaks.Employees will readjust more easily and gain confidence to cope with lingering pain or depression brought about by events outside work if they feel supported at work, demands are reasonable and tasks are satisfying.
78Sickness Absence Management – Unauthorised Absence guidance Make sure people are aware of the reporting proceduresDo not assume Unauthorised Absence immediatelyContact them at home and enquire why they are not at workIf no response and they fail to attend next day – write to them – ask them to contact you as a matter of urgency;Give a deadline date or no alternative but to regard as being on Unauthorised AbsenceMay be formally investigated – pay may be withheldIf you do not hear – suspend + set up disciplinary hearingNB. If the person contacts you to say sorry they were sick; could not get to a phone … say you are sorry that the are sick, hope they get better soon, but obviously very important that people comply with reporting procedures and will want to discuss with them further on their return:Any action taken obviously depends on circumstances and degree…..Informal warningDisciplinary hearingSuspend payCan dismiss on the grounds of conduct (fair reason)
80Confidentiality and the Data Protection Act (DPA)(1998) Confidentiality and the protection of people’s personal information by organisations, governed by the DPA 1998Conflict with Freedom of Information Act (2005) which permits people to make requests to organisations for access to sensitive or personal informationWhat problems / issues do you think there are for organisations with this?
81Confidentiality & Data Protection Confidentiality underpins all HR practices, and is the most important principle of case management and line managementMust never be breachedBreach can leave the University / KUSU open to all kinds of claims – would be hard to defend
82Confidentiality & Data Protection - guidance Keep all confidential documents/information filed, and locked away in drawers/cupboardsPassword protect your PC and filesEnsure employee information is stored on individual personal files, and stored in a locked cupboardEnsure that case work and information is never discussed with anyoneIf an FOI request and payment is received, ensure it is dealt with under the appropriate procedure and timescales
83Confidentiality & Data Protection Any Questions?
84Introduction to Employment Law and HR practices Any Questions?Thank you !If in doubt, please contact HR – before acting!