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.

uber-deliveroo landmark ruling2

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.

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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.

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How to manage gender reassignment in the workplace – Part 3

In yesterday’s blog we discussed disclosing gender identities, so in this blog we cover how to support your employees and what changes you can make in the workplace.

Managing changeover of an employee’s personal details:

Terminology – You should ask the employee how they wish to be addressed. If the employee is in agreement inform their colleagues and ensure they use the correct terminology.

Documentation – Employer and employee should agree what details need to be changed i.e personal records, access passes etc. A discussion of what will happen to previous records relating to gender should take place to ensure confidentiality is maintained.

Appearance and dress code – A gender neutral dress code could be applied or if not appropriate the employee should be able to follow the dress code in a way which best fits their gender identity.

Toilet, changing and shower facilities –  An employee should never be segregated and told to use particular facilities but be allowed to use those they feel best match their identity following gender reassignment.

Irvine, California, USA. 15th Feb, 2015. The University of California at Irvine campus has designated nearly two dozen public bathrooms as gender neutral using signage with ''Inclusive Restroom, '' written out in white letters below a white triangle featu

Dealing with a sensitive gender identity matter – Issues such as names and/or gender not matching their passport/ID need to be handled sensitively whilst still ensuring the company is compliant in its checks.  Having a third party a business can turn to, to handle these issues can be reassuring for both employer and employee.

Company health insurance scheme – To ensure trans employees are treated fairly, it is recommended for an employer to include treatments and procedures for gender reassignment in its scheme.

Absence from work because of gender reassignment – It is discriminatory to treat an employee, who is absent from work to undergo gender reassignment, less favourably. Depending on an employer’s policy for managing absence, they may wish to record absences due to gender reassignment, but shouldn’t include them in ‘absence triggers’. It may be worth considering if you offer limited special leave (at your discretion) which maybe paid or unpaid

Performance – It is recommended to make allowances for the trans employee’s job performance during transition and a short period afterwards, as surgery is likely to have temporary side effects.  An employee may ask to move to another role or change some duties which may cause difficulties whilst they transition or they may request a phased return to work, wherever possible this should be considered and catered for.

Trans and mental health – A person questioning their gender may experience mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. An employer can support the employee, by providing a welcoming and safe environment at work.

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Support an employee with a family member transitioning – It is a type of direct discrimination to treat an employee less favourably than another because of the gender reassignment of someone they are associated with. The impact on an employee with a family member who is transitioning can be considerable; therefore you should treat them with sensitivity and provide them with support such as time off.

Develop trans inclusive policies  – Trans inclusive policies will need to be rolled out. Matters covered should include:

  • Transitioning at work including leave and pay
  • Dress code
  • Toilet, changing and shower facilities
  • Employee’s personal records and how these will be dealt with
  • If possible how an employee can transition to another role/department
  • How an employee should report any gender reassignment discrimination
  • Unacceptable behaviour towards employees inclusive of those of non-binary identities
  • Maternity/paternity/adoption/shared parental leave

These processes are always best supported by HR and it may be advisable to outsource your projects where possible. HR Revolution can carry out any project to ensure the process is performed unbiasedly.

If you need further information or guidance, give HR Revolution a call +44 203 538 5311 or email: info@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.

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How to manage gender reassignment in the workplace – Part 2

In yesterday’s blog we talked about discrimination in the workplace, today we discuss disclosing gender identities.

The job applicant: A ‘transsexual’ person is not required to tell a prospective employer they have changed gender when they apply for a job, it should always be up to them to decide whether to disclose or talk about their gender identity – for fear being misunderstood and/or treated unfairly.

The employee: A person who is starting (or intending) to go through gender reassignment will in practice have no choice but to tell their employer.  The employee will then agree with the employer what information can be shared with whom and when.

Other general rules: Employers and colleagues must not ‘out’ an employee or applicant as trans as they could breach laws. Also, apart from in certain circumstances, it is a criminal offence to reveal, without the person’s permission, that they hold a gender recognition certificate or have applied for one.

Transgender discrimination4

If an employee or applicant who is trans decides that some information can be shared, the employer should, without pressuring the employee, talk to them about:

  • What they do and don’t want their colleagues to know
  • Who will be told, who will do the telling, where, when and how, and
  • Whether the employee will be there.

It is advisable that communication of any information to be shared is noted and recorded, and happens before the employee changes their appearance.

Employees disclosing their trans identity to a supportive employer can feel more comfortable at work, with a likely improvement in their morale and productivity, too.

Depending on the employee’s role, it may be beneficial to discuss and agree whether some limited information about their trans identity or gender reassignment should be communicated to clients and customers the employee regularly deals with.

These processes are always best supported by HR and it may be advisable to outsource your projects where possible. HR Revolution can carry out any project to ensure the process is performed unbiasedly.

Look out for Part 3 of the blog tomorrow.

If you need further information or guidance, give HR Revolution a call +44 203 538 5311 or email: info@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.

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How to manage gender reassignment in the workplace – Part 1

The Equality Act 2010 says that you must not be discriminated against because you are transsexual – that is, your gender identity differs from the gender assigned to you at birth.  In the Equality Act it is known as gender reassignment. All transsexual people share the common characteristic of gender reassignment.

Employers, managers and colleagues should be aware that no two gender reassignment situations or two ‘trans’ identities are likely to be exactly the same.  If an employee feels they have been discriminated against, they will be able to bring a claim to an Employment tribunal.

We have put together a three part blog that highlight where you need to be more vigilant when it comes to gender reassignment discrimination in the workplace.

Recruitment

Job advert/job description – These documents can be difficult to write at the best of times; try to ensure they are clear on exactly what is needed for the post.

Advertising – You should consider more than one type of media or advertising platform to avoid ending up with too narrow an audience.

Personal information – Make sure any information you request is relevant to the recruitment process.

Interview – When you meet an applicant, do not assume someone’s gender by their appearance.

References – When contacting a previous employer for a reference always ensure you have the employees consent and be careful to use the correct name and title.

Transgender discrimination6

Equality monitoring form – You do not have to track how many job applications you receive from different groups of people, or the characteristics of the people working for you. However, if you do collect personal information (e.g. ethnicity, gender, faith, sexuality) about job applicants or an employee, you must protect their data. You must not discriminate against a candidate based on their personal information.

Pay, terms and conditions of employment

It is important to ensure there are no terms and conditions or contractual benefits that disadvantage or exclude someone based on their gender or gender reassignment.

Promotion

In promotion opportunities, discrimination can be:

  • Turning down applications from anyone because they are proposing to reassign their gender
  • Discourage an employee from applying because they have or are reassigning their gender
  • Not promoting an employee who is the best person for the job based on gender reassignment.

As an employer you have a duty to assess someone’s promotion based on their ability and performance. It is advisable to have a well-structured process for promotions and link these to performance reviews where possible to eliminate the risk of discrimination.

Training

An employer should ensure training opportunities are equally accessible for employees who propose to go through, are going through or have gone through gender reassignment. You should also ensure that you do not withhold training due to those reasons as it could be discriminatory.

Transgender discrimination2

Dismissal

It is unlawful for an employer to dismiss an employee because of their gender reassignment, perceived gender reassignment or association with someone else’s gender reassignment.

Redundancy

An employee must not be at a disadvantage or discriminated against in a redundancy process because of their gender reassignment, perceived gender reassignment or association with someone else’s gender reassignment.

When going through redundancy consultations any employees absent because of gender reassignment should still be consulted with.

These processes are always best supported by HR and it may be advisable to outsource your projects including redundancy where possible. HR Revolution can carry out any project to ensure the process is performed unbiasedly.

Look out for Part 2 of the blog tomorrow.

If you need further information or guidance, give HR Revolution a call +44 203 538 5311 or email: info@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.

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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:

cyber security 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.

gdpr hr rev graphic

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.

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Cyber security – What are the responsibilities?

It is a company’s responsibility to identify information that could be at risk and needs to be protected and also understand the ethical, legal and regulatory requirements relevant to holding and protecting such information.

The company also needs to establish policies and procedures to manage the risks and reduce the impact to the business should a breach occur. Companies can do this through training employees, contractors and suppliers etc. on the policies and procedures in place; this will ensure they are aware of what is required of them.

The company will need a mechanism for managing and reporting cyber security incidents ensuring they do not transfer ownership of risk through outsourcing.

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Companies are legally bound by certain acts within the law, the most important being the Data Protection Act 1998. There are eight principles to follow however the following two principle’s are worth  highlighting:

Principle 7 – Information security; Appropriate technical and organisational measures shall be taken against unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data and against accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal data.

Principle 8 – International; Personal data shall not be transferred to a country or territory outside the EEA unless that country or territory ensures an adequate level of protection for the rights and freedoms of data subjects in relation to the processing of personal data.

All other legal requirements to be followed can be found in the Companies Act 2006 and Computer misuse Act 1990.

What are the employee responsibilities?

It is important for employees to be aware of the potential risks in their day to day tasks. They need to be aware of and adhere to companies security policies and procedures and understand their personal, legal and ethical responsibilities for protecting the business.

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There is always a real and present danger and both companies and employees need to be aware of the damage that can be caused by a cyber incident. Here are some statistics from 2016:

46% of small businesses experienced at least one cyber security breach or attack in the last 12 months (2016 – 2017).  The average business faced costs of £1,570 as a result of these breaches.

(April 2017, Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2017)

Cyber breaches are caused by system failure, human error or maicious acts.  Not only resulting in the loss of revenue and damage to the companies reputation, but a potential for personal and professional embarrassment, potential legal action and possible career consequences.

HR can put systems in places to monitor:

  • Employees working unusual hours
  • Employees requesting access to information that they are not allowed
  • Employees who are leaving with a thorough exit interview
  • Sharing of passwords
  • Sharing of computers
  • Using company computers for personal emails and social accounts
  • Emailing confidential information without adequate protection
  • Emailing confidential information to organisations external to the company without adequate checks.

We hope you enjoyed our article, check in tomorrow for the next blog in this series: “Cyber security – Managing the risks”

Why not 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.

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Cyber security – What is it and what does it mean?

Cyber security is the protection of computers, networks, programs and data from unintended or unauthorised access, change, theft or destruction. It is a company’s responsibility to protect and keep secure data such as;

  • Personal information – names, addresses, NI numbers, ethnicity, bank details
  • Customer information – financial data, business data

A breach is cyber security can greatly affect you and your business so it is important to understand what the potential risks are and where they come from to be able to guard against them.  Let’s go through some key points to be aware of:

Firstly you need to understand the main things that are at direct risk in the event of a security breach: your money, your information/data and your reputation.

So you know what’s at risk,  now you need to know who could pose a risk?

  • Negligent employees
  • Disgruntled employees that may have malicious intent
  • Business competitors for economic advantage
  • Criminals for financial gain

cyber security

A breach in your Cyber Security can be carried out in many different ways including:

  • Theft/unauthorised access
  • Remote attack / hacking
  • Attacks on third party systems i.e. company bank account
  • Accessing information from employees

Ok so now you know what is it at risk, who might want to carry out a cyber threat/attack and how they might do it, but do you know what the fundamental impact is on your business? The bottom line, a Cyber attack can result in:

  • Financial loss from theft
  • Financial loss from disruption to trading
  • Loss of business from bad publicity/damage to reputation
  • Costs for cleaning up effected systems
  • Costs of fines if personal data is lost
  • Damage to companies you work closely with

All of the above can truly be the undoing of a business.

There are many different types on Cyber Security attackers: 

Opportunists – Usually attack for personal gain, reputation or financial gain. They only target organisations when an easy opportunity presents itself.

Cyber Criminals – Steal information e.g. credit card or bank details for financial gain.

Hackers – Usually attack for financial gain and the breaking of a secure site. Hackers access information or deface websites for political or ideological ends.

Insiders  Usually disgruntled or dishonest employees who destroy or steal information to cause embarrassment. They may damage or steal equipment to disrupt the business. Employees may mistakenly send confidential information to the wrong recipient.

And they have many ways in which they will carry out an attack: 

Social media exploitation  – Is the act of using sites, such as Facebook, Twitter etc. to attack a computer system

Hacking – A type of remote attack to gain unauthorized access to data in a system or computer, mainly via personal IT equipment

Phishing – Fake emails and/or web links.

Malware – Software with a hidden function to capture data. This software can also encrypt workstations and demand ransom money.

Denial of Service – A type of attack that is designed to bring a network to its knees by flooding it with useless traffic, preventing legitimate users from accessing information or services.

Insider threat – Is a malicious attack perpetrated on a network or computer system by a person/employee with authorized system access.

scammer fakeOne of the  most common attacks is fake emails, and we have all had them, but if you are unsure if an email is real or not follow these tips: 

  • Do I recognise the senders email address?
  • Do I know this person?
  • Is this their usual email address?

Note: Be aware, spammers attempt to send email using your legitimate friends, colleagues or family email addresses. They may have obtained these email addresses from contact lists using malware installed on their computers

Emails should always have meaningful subject lines. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Does this email subject look unusual?
  • Are there spelling mistakes?
  • Is there excessive punctuation?

Out of the ordinary or poorly written subject lines may hint to a fraudulent or spam email.

Lastly be wary of links in emails, they can be easily disguised and may take you to malicious websites.

We hope you enjoyed our tips and advise on Cyber Security and what to look out for, check in tomorrow for the next blog in this series: “Cyber security – what are the responsibilities”

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.

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