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Introduction to Employment Law and HR practices

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1 Introduction to Employment Law and HR practices
Louise Plant University Human Resources

2 Morning session - plan Introduction to HR issues
Recruitment & Selection Break at approx. 11:30am Complaints & Grievances Lunch 1-2pm

3 Afternoon session - plan
Line Management in brief Disciplinary & Performance Incapability Management Managing Sickness Absence Confidentiality & Data Protection Finish approx 4:30pm

4 An introduction to Human Resources (HR)
The management of people at work Is a management advisory function, both strategic and operational Chartered Membership of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), plus Degree Detailed knowledge of employment law and practical application Advising, negotiating, influencing, persuading, defending, justifying, challenging, decision-making

5 Role of Human Resources
Managing employee relations cases Supporting and advising managers Compiling detailed case files, and documentation for Employment Tribunals Attendance in Court – justify decision-making and defend University’s position Providing Management training, development and coaching Ensuring best practice is followed and avoiding claims of discrimination

6 What do HR deal with and why?
Sickness management, and cases linked to the DDA (1995) Performance Management and incapability Complaints and grievances - Harassment & Bullying - Discrimination Disciplinary cases & Dismissals Resourcing and Workforce Planning Change Management – VS, re-structuring, redundancy Management development Policy formulation and implementation

7 Intro to Human Resources
Any Questions?

8 Recruitment & Selection
Use fair and equitable processes Plan and prepare to ensure the process is effective and professional Aim to provide a positive experience for all applicants Highlight the University / Students Union as an employer of choice

9 Recruitment & Selection
It is unlawful to discriminate on grounds of: gender marital status maternity race disability sexual orientation religion or belief gender reassignment age

10 Discrimination - definitions
Direct Discrimination Treating 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.

11 Disability Discrimination
Discrimination either direct or disability-related Employers are required to make reasonable adjustments Keele operates the ‘two ticks’ scheme:- Promoting Equality, Valuing Diversity.

12 Harassment & 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

13 Impact of Poor Recruitment
Service/workload issues Opportunity costs Re-recruitment costs Impact on other staff Training costs/inputs/time Legal costs Public relations costs

14 Immigration 5 Tier Framework New Points Based System
Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) Certificates of Sponsorship Changes to process and documentation Interview Notes

15 Advert Text Q. Which of these are unsuitable and why?
Words/phrases that are commonly used in adverts: Young Energetic Able bodied Dynamic Motivated Newly Qualified Team Player Experienced Self Starter Mature Sense of humour Flexible Q. Which of these are unsuitable and why? Remember discrimination applies to all applicants and potential applicants Young - Unsuitable Mature - Probably unsuitable but could ask for someone with a mature attitude Experienced - Suitable, as long as can be measured - competencies Newly qualified - Suitable Dynamic - requirements should be relevant to the job, assessable and measurable – how would you assess it? Energetic – as for dynamic.. Able bodied - Unsuitable Motivated – OK but how would you assess? Team Player - OK Self Starter – odd phrase, what do you mean by it? Sense of humour – Why? Humour is subjective, how would you assess? Flexible – Flexible in what way? Can touch their toes? If want to be flexible in working hours clearly state but ensure it’s relevant to job – could be discriminatory Touched on this in first workshop - Remember discrimination applies to all applicants and potential applicants

16 Advertising DO: Advertise in suitable locations
Include a contact name and number for enquiries Keep the advert text relevant Advertise for at least two/four weeks for external adverts

17 Recruitment & Selection
Quiz! (10 mins)

18 Person Specification Description of qualifications, skills, experience and personal attributes required to do the job Usually broken down into essential (minimum) and desirable criteria All criteria must be relevant and assessable Avoid criteria which could be viewed as discriminatory

19 Role of the Chair of the panel
Chair is responsible for entire selection process Agree shortlisting and selection processes Ensure processes meet Equal Opportunities requirements Agree format of interview and allocate areas of questioning Keep notes of decision-making process Open, control and close interview

20 Shortlisting Carried out by Appointment Panel
Input from outside Appointment Panel Based on Person Specification Process must be fair and non-discriminatory to all candidates Sponsorship/Eligibility to work in the UK

21 Interviews Prepare and plan the structure of the interview
Questions based on Person Specification Ask open, probing questions Let the candidate do the most of the talking Keep master copy of notes Treat internal applicants exactly the same as external applicants

22 Making the most of interviews
Ask job-related questions Listen to the answers Ask follow-up job- related questions Let the candidate do most of the talking Give the candidate the opportunity to ask questions Make notes Get someone else to make notes when you are asking questions

23 The Offer of Employment
Offer comparable salary for post Consider all conditions of employment before making offer Beware of verbal (legally binding) contract when offering job All offers should be conditional – subject to references, CRB, etc

24 Feedback Responses should be carefully prepared
Non-selection for interview feedback must relate to the Person Specification Non-selection following an interview must relate to the job requirements and performance at interview/assessments etc Refusal to give feedback may infer culpability If in doubt, please contact your HR Link

25 Conclusion – Recruitment & Selection
Remember - it is an important process Make sure your process is fair and compliant with all relevant legislation – check with HR if not sure Avoid personal opinions/prejudices Relate everything to the requirements of the job Plan and prepare thoroughly

26 Recruitment & Selection
Any Questions?

27 Break! 15 minutes

28 Complaints & Grievances
Q. How and when do complaints arise? (group discussion – 10 minutes)


30 The Employment Life Cycle
Recruitment and Selection Appointment and Induction Probation Capability and Performance Processes Confirmation of Probation During employment processes Notes 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 process Conduct of panel (possibly associated to discrimination) Appointment & Induction - Expected salary / increment Lack of / poor induction Probation - Disagreement over length of probation Extension of probation Disagreement over targets and PDP Management of probationary period, process followed, and any extension period Confirmation of probation - Delays in decision to confirm or not confirm Non-confirmation of probation (termination of employment) Capability and performance processes - Explain definition of capability and performance, and what it encompasses, such as sickness incapability The most common complaint arises from the employee disagreeing with being managed under capability or performance process: Being managed Processes requiring them to be monitored and reviewed Disagreeing that their performance is poor or lacking Disputing the KPI’s used to measure performance Complaining about lack of or poor management guidance, instruction and clarity around expectations Manner 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 cases Disciplinary Processes Disciplinary process Retirement/ resignation Leaving employment processes End of Fixed Term Contracts

31 Managing Complaints – the role of the Manager
To support by providing opportunities for individuals to raise concerns To endeavour to resolve a complaint informally To have a working knowledge of the policies Not to form an opinion at an early stage To establish the facts To facilitate the individual to identify their preferred resolution to the issue To ensure the individual is treated fairly To have processes and mechanisms in place to ensure that staff feel they are being treated fairly Notes 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

32 Role of the Manager To discuss with the individual as to what their desired resolution would be, and how they might achieve it When appropriate, to provide or offer a resolution To be able to recognise when to seek advice from HR, or when it is appropriate to escalate To keep a record of the discussions To resolve the complaint as quickly as possible To provide a working environment for staff, which is ‘felt fair’

33 The principles of Informal Meetings
1 to 1 with the member of staff Conducted in a private room/setting where the member of staff feels comfortable No HR or Trade Union presence Open and probing discussion to establish facts Recommended 80:20 ratio for discussion Establishing: What the individual wants to achieve How they would want to achieve it What role the manager has in achieving the resolution No formal action or decision made against any party involved

34 Complaints 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)

35 Summary Complaints can arise at any time, for almost any reason, due to individual perceptions and views of the world Complaints need to be dealt with as early as speedily as possible to avoid escalation Managers need to confident in taking control of situations, and to work with employees to resolve issues raised HR provide an advisory service to managers, and will facilitate proceedings when appropriate

36 Summary It is always preferable to resolve complaints and grievances at the informal stage, wherever possible There is a required skill set, which managers need, to deal with complaints effectively, which will sharpen with experience HR are available to provide management guidance, advice and support, as well as policy and legal knowledge and expertise It is imperative that notes of meetings are taken, and retained for future referral and to build a clear, detailed case file for future reference

37 Helpful 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 mind Be calm and careful and avoid giving your opinion Prepare well for meetings, try to anticipate what might be said and how you could respond Deal with matters without undue delay Always keep proceedings, statements and records strictly confidential ‘Soft’ management skills and qualities are vital to defuse situations – empathy, listening, emotional intelligence and conflict management Maintain regular contact and communication with the employee

38 Helpful Hints and Tips! Take time to look for and notice any early signs of problems Ensure recruitment and selection is fair, and that you appoint the best person for the post Have good induction policies and processes Use the informal stages of counselling and advice effectively Ensure equality of opportunity to avoid complaints of this nature Refer to formal procedures as a last resort, not as your first port of call Consult HR if you’re unsure - before acting!!

39 Complaints & Grievances
Any Questions?

40 Lunch time! 1pm – 2pm

41 Line Management in brief
What is Line Management about? Motivating team of employees Responsible for their development and performance Professional relationship based on mutual respect Day to day, on-going communication Clarifying role and providing direction Working towards common objectives: service delivery, customer satisfaction, etc Responsible for welfare at work Being fair, and dealing with problems as they arise to ensure equality

42 Line Management in brief
What is it not? Abusing position of authority in terms of power and control Harassing or victimising one or several employees Solely concerned with status or pay Delegating unnecessarily or unfairly Accepted that employees should do/act without reasonable debate, questioning or challenge Solely about formal processes such as appraisal, disciplinary, performance, etc

43 Line 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?

44 Line 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

45 Line Management in brief
Any Questions?

46 Disciplinary Management & Performance Incapability

47 Disciplinary Management
What governs disciplinary management? Employment Legislation ACAS Codes of Conduct Case Law HR policies and procedures Expected standards of behaviour: organisational culture, society, rules and regulations Where the rules come from Legislation defined by the Government, Equal pay act etc ACAS an advisory body who seek to promote best practice within employment Case law from tribunals/Court of Appeal/House of Lords The statutes, as defined in the calendar which is issued Human Resource Policies , Discipline Grievance etc that are there to assist and to guide managers and employees and the HR department Is it normal / resaonable to act how they have?? If not, why not, and what evidence is there?

48 Disciplinary Management
What are and aren’t Disciplinary issues? They are: Breaches of standards of conduct and behaviour e.g. timekeeping, breach of policy/procedures, theft, abuse, violence, fraud, etc Won’t Do They are not: Related to under-performance – genuine incapability Capability issues- where due to ill health or disability Can’t Do

49 Disciplinary Management
An incident takes place, so you: Gather the information Decide whether any rules/procedures/policies have possibly been breached Decide how serious the matter is Consider whether the matter can be dealt with informally/formally Initial 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 fade Ensure have enough information to make an informed decision Pitfalls Preconceived notion as to what happened Opinion of the person who has committed the allegation There can be a a tendency it rush in so make sure thought it through

50 Disciplinary Management
Informal Action: Used wherever possible Used for minor offences - a “quiet” word Highlight the areas of concern and consider the use of guidance/training Warning that more formal action may be taken if unacceptable conduct continues Confirm in writing the details of the issue and what improvement is required Highlight this may be referred to if formal action is necessary Must be done promptly If initial problems then have a word with the employee Ensure they know the rules Tell them where they have overstepped the mark Consider what action has gone before Can it be addressed quite simply and effectively Must be done immediately

51 Disciplinary Management
Formal Action: Used when Informal action is not appropriate or has not been successful More serious offences Consistent breaches of rules and/or procedures Serious breach of rules and/or procedures Employee must be informed of allegations in writing Investigation required - no disciplinary meeting can be convened without an investigation May need to consider suspension depending on the seriousness of the offence Formal warnings can only be given at formally convened disciplinary hearings

52 Disciplinary 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

53 Disciplinary Management
Gross Misconduct (GMc) – what is it? Serious offence Disciplinary action that warrants suspension from duty whilst investigated Normally results in the employee’s dismissal from the University if the allegation is upheld Can 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 required With immediate affect No notice payment required Reserved 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

54 Disciplinary Management
The Right of Appeal This is a Statutory right – open to everyone Appeal chair cannot have been involved in the original meetings or decision Cannot be used to increase the warning or to penalise the employee for appealing Must be in writing, and be received by the correct person, within the timescale prescribed in the policy Must invite employee to meeting to hear appeal Must have an adjournment to consider the appeal, and reconvene to deliver decision Exactly 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

55 Disciplinary Management – Employment Tribunals
A Dismissal may result in a Tribunal claim from the employee To successfully defend the claim, the employer will need to be able to evidence that: KUSU Policy was followed A full, fair investigation was completed The decision was considered and justified based on the best information available at the time Employee was informed of their right to appeal There has been no discrimination of any kind They are a reasonable employer Successfully respond to all cross-questioning A tribunal looks for Did 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 have Was 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 available What is reasonable – varies? Best you can do is follow policy, complete investigation, keep accurate records Right to appeal confirm both verbally and in writing

56 Disciplinary Management – the cost of getting wrong
Impact on the employee Impact on the department Unfair dismissal claim - ET Reputation of the University / KUSU Progression to Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT)/ European Court of Justice (ECJ) - further exposure and bad press The 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

57 Disciplinary Management
Any Questions?

58 Performance 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 problem Most harmful consequence was the impact on colleagues, 90% of respondents thought that poor performance by individuals affected overall levels of motivation and morale Most common manifestations were : Absence from work (cited by 79% of employers) and Failure 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 SPRE Want: Performing team, ‘happy’ team, meet service delivery

59 Performance Incapability
How do you clarify performance expectations and standards? Use Job Description Job Plan WAM Agreed objectives What measures do you have in place? How can you evidence shortfalls in performance?

60 Performance 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 action Initiate 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 SLIDE Set clear, specific, measurable standards of performance. Outline how it will be managed, monitored assessed e.g 1:1 discussions, counselling Soft/support counselling – we’ll talk a bit more about that in a moment, basically supportive supervision. Record diary discussions/key performance incidents Flag continued problems with HOS Consider alternative role Counselling as prelude to formal action Initiate formal proceedings

61 Performance Management – the Counselling Interview
Definition: One-to-one, two way discussion designed to facilitate improvement Explain 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 solutions Discuss 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 SLIDE Explain 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.

62 Performance 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 reduced At the end of the review period, there are 3 possible situations: Employee has not met action plan Employee has met part of the action plan – some improvement Employee has performed well You 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 process Extend counselling 2 Counselling 1

63 Performance Management
Formal Process: Stage 2: First Formal Written Warning Stage 3: Final Formal Written Warning Stage 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 , etc Only needs to be based on their perception of how they have been treated – need to ensure procedure has been followed Stage 2: First Formal Written Warning Stage 3: Final Formal Written Warning Stage 4: Dismissal

64 Performance Management - Dismissal
Normally with notice Communicated within a reasonable timeframe Give right of appeal Hold appeal hearing if appeal letter received Same principles as Disciplinary Appeals Management

65 Disciplinary Management & Performance Incapability – failure to follow the correct procedures
What happens when organisations fail to follow the correct procedures? Unfair dismissal claim Possible discrimination claims ET will look at whether we have followed ACAS code and our own procedures Impact on the employee Impact on the department Unfair dismissal claim £65,300 maximum Reputation to the University

66 Performance Incapability
Any Questions?

67 Sickness Absence Management
Shout out: What are the reasons for managing sickness absence?

68 Sickness Absence Management – why manage it?
Cost Impact on service Impact on others – morale, pressure of work Contagion! Responsibility to individual member of staff Managers have a moral and service obligation to deal with it Cost - Paying sick pay, paying someone else to perform the absent employee’s work Impact on service - Continuity, reduced level of service, loss of service completely Impact on others- High levels of absence can cause resentment, low morale and demotivate those employees who have to take on the absent employee’s work Contagion - If left unmanaged, high levels of sickness absence will be seen as acceptable Responsibility - 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.

69 Sickness Absence Management – why do people go off sick?
Personal/Domestic Factors: Childcare and Dependent responsibilities Personal or family problems Transport Leisure Activities/lifestyle Location of home relative to work

70 Sickness Absence Management – why do people go off sick?
Work Related Factors: Working patterns making it difficult to manage work/family commitments Terms and conditions eg pay, holiday etc Career or job frustration – leads to boredom and inertia Management style – need for direction, support, recognition, development Perceived stress Specific problems at work, e.g. bullying, workload Environmental factors affecting employee’s levels of comfort at work

71 Sickness Absence Management – types of sickness absence
Long-term or sporadic Short-term intermittent Non-compliance with sickness absence reporting procedures

72 Managing Sickness Absence – the framework:
Long term or sporadic – underlying health problem. CAPABILITY Short-term intermittent – no underlying health problem. ATTENDANCE (Some Other Substantial Reason) Non compliance with sickness absence reporting procedures. Unauthorised Absence. DISCIPLINE - CONDUCT Capability Issue – could be dismissed on the grounds of capability No essential underlying health problem – Could be dismissed on the grounds of conduct or SOSR – disciplinary Conduct NEVER QUESTION THE GENUINESS OF THE SICKNESS. THIS IS ABOUT ATTENDANCE! Fair reasons for dismissal 1. Conduct - 2. Capability - 'Capability' as assessed by reference to skill, aptitude, health or any other physical or mental quality. 3. Redundancy 4. 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 reason 6. 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.

73 Sickness Absence Management – determining acceptability
Take a specific period of absence as a basis for the review – e.g. six months Look at recent attendances Consider pattern of absence – e.g. regularity of single days off; or absences taken either side of weekend Consider level and frequency of absences – frequency is key Be consistent – use relevant benchmarks – e.g. five days or more absence over three occasions in three months Review ‘worst offenders’ first and work down Starting point is gathering information

74 Sickness 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

75 Sickness Absence Management – Medical Investigation
Refer to Occupational Health and request information on: The nature of the illness Expected period of absence Possible return in foreseeable future Limitations/constraints in work upon return Reasonable adjustments to support/facilitate a return NB. 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.

76 Sickness 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 substantial and long-term adverse effect on an employee's ability to 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.

77 Sickness Absence Management – Reasonable Adjustments
The key steps in planning adjustments are: Consider your employee’s needs and what they can do Assess the possible barriers to your employee’s return Consider the adjustments needed to overcome these barriers Review health and safety risk assessments in the light of the proposed adjustments Review how well the adjustments work Seek professional advice, where necessary, to help you make informed decisions Ill 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.

78 Sickness Absence Management – Unauthorised Absence guidance
Make sure people are aware of the reporting procedures Do not assume Unauthorised Absence immediately Contact them at home and enquire why they are not at work If 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 Absence May be formally investigated – pay may be withheld If you do not hear – suspend + set up disciplinary hearing NB. 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 warning Disciplinary hearing Suspend pay Can dismiss on the grounds of conduct (fair reason)

79 Sickness Absence Management
Any Questions?

80 Confidentiality and the Data Protection Act (DPA)(1998)
Confidentiality and the protection of people’s personal information by organisations, governed by the DPA 1998 Conflict with Freedom of Information Act (2005) which permits people to make requests to organisations for access to sensitive or personal information What problems / issues do you think there are for organisations with this?

81 Confidentiality & Data Protection
Confidentiality underpins all HR practices, and is the most important principle of case management and line management Must never be breached Breach can leave the University / KUSU open to all kinds of claims – would be hard to defend

82 Confidentiality & Data Protection - guidance
Keep all confidential documents/information filed, and locked away in drawers/cupboards Password protect your PC and files Ensure employee information is stored on individual personal files, and stored in a locked cupboard Ensure that case work and information is never discussed with anyone If an FOI request and payment is received, ensure it is dealt with under the appropriate procedure and timescales

83 Confidentiality & Data Protection
Any Questions?

84 Introduction to Employment Law and HR practices
Any Questions? Thank you ! If in doubt, please contact HR – before acting!

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