Landmark employment law cases: Uber/Deliveroo – The decision on drivers and riders rights; what could this mean for your business?

This has been a very hot topic recently and we have been overloaded with articles about what the “workers” versus “self-employed” issues/rights means, so now the ruling has been made HR Revolution discuss what this means for businesses going forward.

The Employment Appeals Tribunal ruled on Friday that Uber’s drivers qualify as workers, giving drivers rights such as the minimum wage and holiday pay, resulting in potentially damaging the way the company operates.  Currently the average hourly rate minus fees, petrol and expenses may mean an Uber driver is not earning the minimum wage.

Although Uber argued that their drivers have the freedom to choose when and where they work, the EAT ruled that drivers were effectively working for Uber while the app was switched on, and were not able to make themselves available to other operators as Uber had claimed.  In addition, the way Uber limits driver contact with customers, the language it uses when recruiting drivers and the way it treats those drivers who refuse a fare, resulted in the EAT concluding that Uber exerts control over the drivers, meaning they are to be deemed as workers as opposed to being self-employed and are therefore entitled to worker rights.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2017/11/10/uber-loses-key-appeal-drivers-rights/

Conversely in the case brought by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain, Deliveroo riders have been ruled “self-employed” by the labour law body the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC).  This further highlights the complexity of determining the employment status and why it is imperative care is taken when considering whether the individual has worker rights including holiday pay and minimum wage.

The key to this case was that in the contract between Deliveroo and the riders; riders had the freedom to substitute the services to a “mate” both before and after they had accepted a particular job if they wished – allowing other riders to take their place on a job. The CAC found that the right to substitution was genuine in day to day practice and therefore found the riders be self-employed. To further support Deliveroo’s case, the new terms also stated that riders did not have to wear branded clothing.

Both of these decisions have been based on whether there is “control” from the employer to the employee and in the case of Deliveroo the lack of control meant the balance was tipped as the riders having self-employed status.

Riders enjoy being their own boss – having the freedom to choose when and where they work, and riding with other delivery companies at the same time.  In practical terms, this implies they are genuinely self-employed.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-41983343

What could these rulings mean for your business?

Both of these rulings although contradictory, have significant implications for the gig economy in particular.  It also clearly demonstrates that there is still a lot of ambiguity and confusion around employment status, which is expected to be given clarity by the government by the end of the year.

The outcomes of both these cases emphasises the importance of ensuring you are giving those entitled to employment rights, just that and also ensuring any contractors are complying with any IR35 rules.  It means care and consideration should be exercised by both the employer and employee when entering into an independent contractor agreement on a self-employed basis.

Any business should take guidance from both of these cases as they demonstrate how important it is that your employee status is. Make sure the use of self-employed contractors are being used correctly within your business and not just as a label to get around the rules.  With the number of self-employed contractors increasing significantly, both of these rulings are likely to be significant for employment law in the UK.

The lesson from both of these cases lies around the control identified in the terms and conditions of an independent contractor agreement.  Although this doesn’t set a new precedent as all cases will be judged on their own merits, the control you exert over anyone self-employed within your business should be carefully considered to avoid any similar claims.

Deciding on the appropriate employment status can be difficult for many companies. If you have concerns regarding this, HR Revolution are here to help, get in touch with one of our consultants who can offer you a free consultation to ensure that you are compliant.

Give HR Revolution a call +44 203 538 5311 or email: hello@hrrevolution.co.uk or visit www.hrrevolution.co.uk  where our expert CIPD HR professionals are waiting to help you with any questions you may have.

HR Revolution; supporting you, your employees AND your business.

 

 

Cyber security – Managing the risk

For cyber risk to be adequately addressed, cyber security strategies should be secure, vigilant and resilient and identifying the risks is a good place to begin.

Workplace Risks

  • Sensitive information on the walls and left uncovered on desks
  • Sharing passwords/passwords kept in easy to find places
  • Unlocked computers

Home Risks

  • Document disposal is not secure
  • Unsecure networks
  • People overhearing discussions or viewing sensitive information
  • Documents left lying around
  • Burglary
  • Use of personal social media accounts may create a risk

On The Move Risks

  • Discussing sensitive information in public areas
  • Your security pass is easily accessible/visible to the public
  • Equipment is left unattended even for a brief moment
  • Sensitive documents are in clear view of onlookers

Get Technical – protect company equipment:

Malware protection: install anti-virus solutions on all systems. Consider restricting access to inappropriate websites to lessen the risk of being exposed, maybe create a policy governing when and how security updates should be installed.

Network security: increase protection of your networks, including wireless networks.

Secure configuration: maintain an inventory of all IT equipment and software.

Managing user privileges: restrict employees and third-party access to IT equipment, IT systems and information to the minimum required.

Home and mobile working, including use of personal devices for work: ensure that sensitive data is encrypted when stored or transmitted online so it can only be accessed by authorised users.

Removable media: restrict the use of removable media such as USB drives and protect any data stored on such media to prevent data being lost and malware from being installed.

Monitoring: monitor use of all equipment and IT systems, collect activity logs, and ensure that you have the capability to identify any unauthorised or malicious activity.

Ensure the correct policies are rolled out to the employees based on home working and remote working. These policies will detail the specifics on how the employee is responsible for mitigating the risks when working from home or on the move.

Training can also be rolled out to educate employees on the risks, the signs of potential breaches and how to mitigate these. For example how to conduct their business when working in exposed public places.

Make sure HR work closely with IT to incorporate appropriate IT training and schedule regular IT ‘check ups’ for employees workplace devices.

We hope you enjoyed our article, look out for tomorrow’s blog; “Cyber security – How HR can help”

Get in touch and let HR Revolution run through a GDPR audit to see where and how quickly changes can be implemented.

Call +44 203 538 5311, email: hello@hrrevolution.co.uk or visit www.hrrevolution.co.uk  where our expert CIPD HR professionals are waiting to help you with any questions you may have.

HR Revolution; supporting you, your employees AND your business.

 

Three signs that your business isn’t ready for the festive rush…

The decorations, tinsel and chocolate tubs are filling up the shops.  There is no way to avoid it, Christmas is most definitely on its way.. and it offers some wonderful opportunities for businesses, but if you are not prepared, you could find yourself hugely disappointed come January when you’re taking a look at your figures and assessing how your operations shaped up.

So how do you know if you are ready?  Below, we’ll take a look at three important indicators that you’ve still got some serious work to do.

You haven’t started recruiting your Christmas staff

Maybe you’re planning on getting started with your festive recruiting as soon as possible.  You already know that it’s a really important task, but you just can’t seem to find any spare time to give it the attention that you know it deserves.  Before we get into anything, it’s vital that you don’t panic, that isn’t going to help you and it’s not going to help your business.

You don’t have a back-up plan

Even the most inexperienced business owners realise that Christmas presents its own unique challenges and opportunities, so they get to work creating a plan that will help with them to get the best results possible.  The problem is that this is often where the preparation ends, you need to ask yourself whether you’ve got a Plan B and whether you know what to do if things don’t work out the way you first imagined.

What will you do if your new recruits decide that the role isn’t for them, and leave you in the lurch? What if your management team comes down with a nasty bug and can’t get to work? What if your Christmas party turns into a disaster that could do some serious damage to your business’s reputation?  Hopefully, these things won’t happen, but you don’t want to find yourself in a situation in which you have no idea how to pick up the pieces.  Having compliant Employee Handbook will help you manage your staff effectively, take a look at HR Revolution’s ready to use handbooks.

You haven’t made customer service training a priority

High levels of customer service are essential at any point in the year, but now is the time to make sure that it is firmly at the top of your agenda.  There are numerous reasons for this, you’ll hopefully have more customers coming through your doors and you need to ensure that standards aren’t gong to slip, as well, you’ll probably have the opportunity to impress prospects for the very first time.

Refresher training should be rolled out so carry out an audit of where you are right now, and where improvements can be made.  You don’t necessarily have to invest huge amounts of time and money.  It’s about establishing your current position and working out where you want to go next.  HR Revolution will be happy to carry out a full HR Audit of your business, click here to read more. (Free when you mention “Festive rush” normal audit price £750).

Of course, you now have an option, do you want to do all of this on your own or do you want to call upon some expert help? HR Revolution have a wealth of  HR experience and can work to tackle the issues you may face by providing you the HR solutions you need to overcome them. Have a look at our Outsourced solution below…

If you’ve recognised that you need to make improvements, you are already in a great position for making sure that you really raise the bar this Christmas, acknowledging that there’s work to do is the very first step and HR Revolution can help.

Call +44 203 538 5311, email: hello@hrrevolution.co.uk or visit www.hrrevolution.co.uk where our expert CIPD HR professionals are waiting to help you with any questions you may have.

HR Revolution; supporting you, your employees AND your business.

 

 

How to nail your 2018 HR planning…

Any business owner knows the importance of using the end of the year as a chance to return to their people policies, consider the achievements and challenges of the past 12 months, and do some careful planning for the future. Keeping on top of your HR can be tricky, but it’s also essential to running a successful business.

However, before getting stuck into finer details, it is wise to take a step back and think about the big issues that need your attention. Here, we’re going to provide you with the inspiration you need to make your planning as effective as possible.

Anticipate any key legislative changes

Not a year goes by without a new piece of legislation coming in that will have an impact on your business. Of course, these are often for the greater good, and will help you to build a stronger workforce. But if you’re not prepared, they can catch you off-guard and cause you significant problems.

Make sure this doesn’t happen by taking the time to anticipate any legislation that will be coming into force, and working out what you need to do to ensure that you’re compliant. In 2018, necessary considerations are likely to include gender pay reporting, taxation of termination payments, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and restricting employment allowance for hiring illegal workers.

Consider external forces that are out of your control

Often, a lot of thought is given to planning for internal factors, such as sales that you might be running, employee holidays, and so on. You need to make sure though that you’re also thinking about external forces that may have a significant impact on your business.

Are there any big events coming up in your area, and what will they mean for your operations? Are there any other businesses that are likely to be setting up shop, and what are the implications? Could your top talent be tempted to look elsewhere? You can rarely stop these things from happening, but you can make sure that you’re as prepared as possible.

Ask yourself whether you’re really considering strategic goals

We’re past the days of HR being all about tea and sympathy. Savvy business owners know that HR needs a seat at the table and that it can play a significant role in meeting strategic goals. Despite this though, many business owners still aren’t using policies and practices to truly drive their business forward, to say that this is a wasted opportunity would be a huge understatement.

So how are you nurturing your teams so they can fulfill their potential? Are your performance management processes encouraging employees to excel? Is everyone up to date and on-board with the future direction of your business and do they understand the part that they will play? It’s easy to get caught up with all the everyday, operational concerns. And these are of course important. But if you want to move forward, you need to ensure that you’re taking the time to think strategically.

Finding enough hours in the day to plan your 2018 can be a challenge in itself, but it’s non-negotiable though if you’re serious about smashing your goals.

The good news is that you don’t have to do all of this on your own. HR Revolution have many years of experience and can help. Get in touch today for an initial chat about how we may be able to work together, call +44 203 538 5311 or ask us a question below…

 

HR… your secret weapon…

Without HR expertise, growing a business is very challenging and if you’ve ever had to tackle a people issue without professional help, you’ll know just how stressful it can be.

Between trying to manage legal obligations, and meeting operational requirements, solving HR problems can become part of your everyday routine if you aren’t careful.

There is always the option to call upon help on a project-by-project basis, but if you’re ready to raise the bar (and give yourself the valuable gift of peace of mind along the way), then it might be time for you to start a retainer solution with your HR consultant.

This could be the HR secret weapon that you need and here’s why:

You know and trust your dedicated consultant so you can get straight to the heart of any issue

If you’ve ever outsourced work to a consultant in the past, you’ll know that there’s often a steep learning curve called ‘getting to know each other’ and before you can really get down to business, the right foundations have to be laid. You have to gain an understanding of how they operate, and they need to find out what your business is really all about.

So if you have a pressing HR issue and you’re working with someone who you’ve never worked with before, it’s inevitable that you aren’t going to immediately hit the ground running. When you’re using retainer services though, this isn’t a problem. You know your consultant, you know how they do things, and you trust in their decisions and advice. It’s not difficult to see the massive difference this will make.

You don’t have to face the prospect of hunting down a expert when something goes wrong

Leaders often don’t expect to go into work on any given morning and find themselves faced with handling the fall-out of an HR issue. These things happen though, and it’s vital that you’re ready to respond as soon as possible. Many issues can spiral out of control if you don’t formulate a solution within a quick timescale.

By the time you’ve contacted your business peers, asked for recommendations, and managed to get hold of someone who has a solution, serious damage might have already been done. When you have an HR expert who you can get in touch with at any time, there’s no panicking and no fuss. You’ve already got your plan in place, and you know that your consultant has already got you covered.

You will save yourself a money

Contrary to popular belief (although very outdated!!), HR isn’t all about soft tactics that can’t be measured in terms of true business success. The best HR professionals understand their role in contributing to the bottom line of your business, and play a role in helping you to exceed your strategic objectives.

And we know that you have a keen eye on your costs. Yet another benefit of working on a retainer basis is that you’ll know what you’re paying each month, so you’ll never have to face any nasty surprises.

Are you ready to make the change? Give HR Revolution a call today for an initial chat about how we might be able to work with you. Tel: +44 203 538 5311 or email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk

HR Revolution – www.hrrevolution.co.uk

How to manage stress in the workplace

Stress is a very real problem in the workplace and so it is really important that businesses have a genuine and supportive culture, not just policies that are applied inconsistently by different managers.

Losing a valued member of staff as a result of Stress, is expensive not only in terms of absence but potentially in any discrimination claim they could bring if it is found an employer has contributed to their condition.

Below are five tips for employers and businesses on how to ensure a culture that guards against workplace stress:

Communicate – Employers should have open lines of communication with all employees, making them feel valued and involved in their company.

Consult on change – Employers should inform and consult employees on changes that are likely to affect them before they take place and encourage them to ask questions, before, during and after any changes so that they feel involved in the process, making sure that their opinions are valued ad respected.

Manage Absence – Make sure you are dealing with employee absences appropriately, helping people return to work with the appropriate health services, such as, occupational health and return to work interviews.

Offer Help – Employee assistance programmes should be made available, for example confidential or in person counselling.

Lead by Example  Employers should lead by example and actively promote healthy lifestyle themselves by having a good work/life balance, managing working hours, using full holiday allowance and taking lunch breaks.

Stress is a tricky subject to handle, so if you are unsure we are here to help. For further advice or assistance relating to Stress Management or Stress in the workplace, please contact HR Revolution on +44 203 538 5311 or email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk

We are friendly expert HR professionals who can help you resolve any issues whilst supporting your employees and minimising any risk to your business.

 

 

How to identify stress in the workplace…

What is stress?… the definition provided by the Healthy and Safety Executive (HSE) is “the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demands placed on them”.

As most people are aware stress is not a new problem, but it is something that employers now need to treat very seriously.

For employers the impact of stress is a very real problem.  Not only does it effect an employee’s health, morale, productivity, performance and attendance it can affect business productivity, employee turnover and reputation.

There is also a marked difference between stress and pressure.  In most jobs there is an element of pressure, but this can make employees feel challenged and motivated which can have a positive effect on performance.  Stress however, can cause a detrimental effect to employee’s mental and physical health and well-being.

According the the HSE there are six main causes of stress in the workplace:

  1. Demands – Employees may be unable to cope with the demands of their job, feel overwhelmed with work pattern, workload or environment.
  2. Control – Employees may feel stressed if they feel they are not in control about how they carry out their work, this can lead to them under-performing and feelings of isolation.
  3. Support – Employees can feel stressed if they are not being supported in the workplace by managers or colleagues.
  4. Relationships – If relationships within the workplace are causing stress, this can lead to allegations of bullying, harassment and bad team dynamics, and can lead to employee grievances being raised.
  5. Role – Employees can experience stress if they don’t understand what is expected of them in their role and responsibilities.
  6. Change – Managing change can be very stressful for employees, causing them to worry about how change will effect them.

As an employer it is always good to be vigilant as it is not just the workplace that causes stress.  In many instances personal issues such as relationships, family bereavement, illness and money can have an impact on a employees health.

Spotting signs of stress is key.  You may notice a change in an employee’s behaviour, habit or routine, for example smoking or drinking more, taking more time off or making uncharacteristic mistakes.

If you feel that you have an employee that is suffering with any of the indicators above and don’t know how to handle it, please get int touch with us at HR Revolution +44 203 538 5311 or email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk, we can help you navigate any issues and make sure that your employee feels fully supported.

 

How to prepare and conduct a grievance meeting

In any business it is important to have a good grievance procedure as it allows employers the opportunity to resolve workplace issues early, saving them from the breakdown of employment relationships and, ultimately, tribunal claims.

Here are the the key steps to carrying out a fair grievance hearing:

1. Decide whether or not the grievance can be resolved informally or if the formal grievance procedure should be used.

2. Make sure you comply with both the terms of your company’s grievance procedure and the Acas code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures.

3. Appoint an appropriate manager to deal with the employee’s grievance.

4. Carry out a full investigation into the grievance and obtain all relevant evidence. Send the evidence to the employee in advance of the grievance meeting.

5. Invite the employee to the grievance meeting and remind them of their statutory right to be accompanied by a colleague or trade union representative.

6. Ensure that someone who is not involved in the case is appointed to take notes on the proceedings.

7. Allow the employee to explain the details of their grievance and how they would like it to be resolved.

8. Adjourn the grievance meeting to give proper consideration to all the evidence before making a decision.

9. Once the decision whether or not to uphold the grievance is made, inform the employee in writing with details of why that decision was reached.

10. Notify the employee of their right to appeal against the outcome of the grievance procedure.

If you would like any further guidance or reassurance contact HR Revolution on +44 203 538 5311 or email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk, we are friendly expert HR professionals who can help you resolve any issues whilst supporting your employees and minimising any risk to your business.

Remember getting the process wrong, can result in costly repercussions for your business, so let HR Revolution help you gt it right.

Why you need HR Revolution

Do you need HR support?  Want to reduce your HR burden?

HR Revolution’s retained HR support could be the solution you are looking for, enabling you to focus on growing your business.

What are the benefits of using our HR Outsourced solution I hear you ask.

Simply put, it gives you peace of mind knowing you can call on professionals to handle HR issues, reducing the risk to your business from employee challenges.  It also helps you cut down the amount of time you spend on HR issues by making sure that all your employee documentation is legal and compliant.

For a fixed monthly fee, you can secure our expert services on a retainer basis. You can choose to get HR support over the telephone and by email, schedule regular onsite visits, or opt for full outsourcing of your HR function. We will discuss the type and level of support you need and allocate an agreed number of hours to be used as you wish.  Our aim is to provide a ‘flexible’ option that meets a changing business environment rather than tie you into a long arrangement that no longer suits your needs.

Bottom line, HR Revolution are a team who are passionate about performance based HR which means we commit to making sure your business and employees excel.

If you would like to discuss any HR issues, please give HR Revolution a call we’d love to help, call us on +44 203 538 5311 or email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk

HR Revolution – www.hrrevolution.co.uk

 

 

Don’t lose track of who’s in and out of the office this summer…

HR Revolution are a gold partner of breatheHR and we couldn’t be happier to recommend them, we love their HRIS software and our clients love it too.  However, this isn’t a sales pitch we want to show you how easy it can be for you to manage who’s in and out of the office over the summer period when the workforce tends to be at minimum strength.

Running a busy office is timely enough without having to check spreadsheets for who’s in and who’s due to go off, can you approve holiday? is your system up to date? well why not let technology to do the leg work for you!

Just for the holiday season alone, here’s how breatheHR can help:

Holiday Booking

Most HR Managers agree that holiday booking is the most time consuming aspect of people management unless it is fully automated. Employees can request holidays online at any time through the website or an app.

Holiday Approval

The approval process needs to be quick and easy too. With breatheHR the line Manager (or approver) receives an email with the holiday request, they can easily compare the request with the calendar of all their teams holidays as well as synchronising holidays through to Outlook or Google calendars.

Holiday Allowance

Not sure how much leave an employee has left to take? Well how about a reliable holiday allowance calculator for dummies. You just choose the holiday rules that apply for each employee (you can have as many as you like) for example full or part time in days or hours and it does it for you, you’ll even find the bank holidays are already in the system. At any time the employee, manager, or HR user can check how much holiday has been taken and how much is available to take.

This cloud based HR System can do so much more than just organise holidays for you, there’s sickness, appraisals, expenses, employee data review and much more.

The best part, if you don’t have time to input all the data to get you started, HR Revolution can do it for you call +44 203 538 5311 or email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk

HR Revolution – www.hrrevolution.co.uk