FRIDAY HR FAQS – Can an employee take annual leave whilst on long term sick leave?

Understandably an employee who is on long term sick leave and taking their annual holiday might make some employers raise their eyebrows, after all if they are well enough to take annual leave, why can’t they return to work?

Not quite, employees on long term sick leave are entitled to take annual leave and there are a multitude of reasons why an employee might be on long term sick leave from work and this does not impact their ability to use their accrued annual leave.

Some key points to consider:

  • Employees on sick leave continue to accrue holiday in line with the Working Time Directive.
  • If company policy is that holiday cannot be carried over into the following year, it is not lawful to enforce this onto employees on long term absence, they must be entitled to carry it over.
  • Even though employees are entitled to take annual leave, as an employer you are not able to force employees to take it whilst on sick leave nor are you able to tell them that if they don’t use it they will lose it on their return.

As an employer you have a duty of care to your employees so it is important to consider their rights in this situation.  Think about the reasons why they may be taking their annual leave, rather than presuming this is indicative of them being well enough to return to work.

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One key reason that employees might want to use some of their accrued leave during their absence is financial necessity. Whilst some employers are able to offer benefits to their employees such as Income Protection or Critical Illness, a large majority, particularly small to medium sized business, are not able to. For this reason and depending on the employer and the length of the absence, they may no longer be on company discretionary sick pay, but on statutory sick pay and beyond the 28 weeks of statutory sick pay, be living on no pay at all. Taking annual leave, which is paid at their usual salary rate, can be a financial necessity at a difficult time.

Other reasons for employees taking leave might be to reduce the amount they have in preparation of a return to work, or they may need to take annual leave for their own well being. Taking annual leave doesn’t necessarily mean that they are going abroad or taking a wild holiday!

As an employer, it can be beneficial for the employee to take some of their accruing annual leave whilst on long term sickness:

  • It can help improve the well being of the employee – financially and psychologically.
  • Allowing leave to be taken during extended periods of absence, will reduce the amount that they will be entitled to when they return to work, which would then therefore reduce them needing to take more time out of the business for holiday.
  • If the employee decided to leave the company, any accrued leave not taken would need to be paid out and depending on the length of the absence, this could be a substantial sum of monies to be paid at one time.
  • Remember, there is no real reason for refusing annual leave and doing so could potentially put an employer under breach of contract (for lack of trust and confidence), as they have no valid reason for declining leave, as they can not claim operational reasons.

Whilst we acknowledge that employers generally want to encourage employees to return to work, they should also support them to improve their well being.

One way to ensure clarity for all parties, is to have comprehensive annual leave and sickness policies, which need to be reviewed regularly to ensure legal compliance.

If you would like further HR advice on handling long term absence get in touch with HR Revolution:+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 improve your HR practices by the end of the year…

Ok business owners it’s now the final quarter of 2018! if you still have some goals that you haven’t quite achieved, now’s the time to do it and make that final push.  It’s also time to look back and see over the year and work out your wins, losses and what needs to be done differently in 2019!!

When you are reflecting on the year make sure that you don’t forget to factor in your people practices and how they have performed over the last 12 months.  Of course we know that most HR challenges can’t just be achieved overnight, however, that doesn’t mean you can’t act now to make positive and noticeable changes.

We outline/suggest a few ways in which you can take control and start making changes before 31 December.

Make a plan for 2019

You may be looking at what is needed to be done around the Christmas period, maybe recruiting temporary employees or tying up any loose ends an that is great.  But what about the bigger picture, will you be facing any challenges it the coming months?, are there any opportunities you can look at to help you meet your wider strategic goals?

Planning or having a plan will help to put your mind at ease that you have thought about things and hopefully not be faced with any nasty surprises.

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How compliant are your legislative changes?

I’m sure you would like to say that you are fully compliant, but when it comes down to it are you absolutely positive that you’re doing everything you should be?

We understand that the day-to-day complexities of running a business can sometimes get in the way, but if you haven’t done everything that’s required of you, you could be leaving yourself very vulnerable to problems in the future.

Do you need an HR audit?

Keeping on top of everything people orientated as your business grows can be a daunting process, but it need not be and as an early Christmas present why don’t you benefit from an having an experienced HR professional come in and assess what is working and what needs to be improved.

By having an end-of-year HR audit HR Revolution can help, let us carry out a HR healthcheck on your company and assess what’s working and what needs to be improved, this could be just what you need to make sure that you end the year on a high note and put practical steps in place to raise your game.

If you like to book an HR audit or need any HR advice please do get in touch:+44 203 538 5311 or email: talent@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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Want to improve your HR practices by the end of the year?

As we power on through the summer holidays I’m sure most business owners will be focusing on a few things. Maybe there are still some big goals that haven’t been reached and now’s the time to pull your socks up and make that final push.

However, please don’t neglect your people practices, it’s a good chance to reflect on how well they have performed over the course of the past 12 months. Ok it’s true that many HR changes can’t be achieved overnight, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take action. In fact, there are certain things that you can do over the next few months that will help you to make positive and tangible changes.

Are you ready to take on the challenge? We hope so and this is what we suggest:

Start planning for 2019

Always make sure that you’re looking a little further ahead. What key challenges will you face next year? What opportunities could you harness to help you to meet your wider strategic goals? Heading into the new year with a plan will put your mind at ease, and ensure that you don’t find yourself faced with any nasty surprises.

Assess how compliant you are with legislative changes

There have been several key changes to employment law this year and many business owners would like to say that they know they’re fully compliant. When it comes down to it though, are you absolutely positive that you’re doing everything you should be?

We understand that the day-to-day complexities of running a business can sometimes get in the way, but if you haven’t done everything that’s required of you, you could be leaving yourself very vulnerable to future problems.

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Take advantage of an HR audit

As a business grows, there’ll be a wider range of HR tasks and responsibilities that need to be taken care of. Keeping on top everything can be a massive job, and savvy leaders realise that they can’t do everything themselves.

It’s very likely that your business could take many benefits away from an end-of-year HR audit.  That’s where HR Revolution can help, let us carry out a HR healthcheck on your company and assess what’s working and what needs to be improved, could be just what you need to make sure that you end the year on a high note and put practical steps in place to raise your game.

You have a few choices right now, you can carry on doing what you’re doing, and seeing the same results. Or you can recognise that there is always room for improvement and do something about it.

Make sure you make the right choice…  Contact us today for your free no obligation HR Audit +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.

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HR Revolution’s guide for a successful 2018 – PART 1

So the end of the year is getting closer, and as a business owner I’m sure you’re no doubt taking a little time to reflect on your successes during the past 12 months, and assess your growth plans for next year.

So we thought we’d would take the opportunity to put together this three part guide, giving you the perfect opportunity to take stock, get your head well and truly in the game, and work out precisely what needs to be done to allow you achieve your big goals during 2018.

If you haven’t already started the planning process, then you might be feeling the pressure. It’s true that a head start can give you a great advantage, but help is at hand to make sure that you have the key points covered.

HR Revolution specialise in giving SMEs the tools, frameworks, and knowledge to get the most out of their employees ensuring that people practices help them to achieve big things.

In this three part guide, we are going to walk you through the key action points that you need to consider:

Have you translated your business goals into tangible policies and practices?

Your HR policies and practices aren’t just there so you can demonstrate that you’ve ticked a few boxes. They should guide your business, help you to navigate your big challenges, and bring you closer to your goals.

So with this in mind, grab a pen and brainstorm the following points:

  • Do your employees fully understand their personal and team objectives, and how these fit into the bigger picture?
  • Have you considered how you can use reward practices to motivate employees and drive productivity?
  • Do you encourage ongoing learning and development? How can you engrain this into your workplace culture?
  • Are your line managers confident in their roles, and playing a part in your growth plans?
  • Can you clearly articulate how everyday working practices are translating into key results?
  • How confident are you that your plans are robust enough to guide you forward?

Sometimes, taking the time to really assess where you are can make it clear where you need to make changes, or perhaps adapt your approach.

Will you need to bring in new employees?

Recruiting new employees may be essential if you want to expand, so it’s possible that you’re starting to think about how your team will grow during 2018.

Consider:

  • Do you need temporary employees? Could using the services of contractors give you more flexibility?
  • Are your recruitment processes in line with relevant legislation? Do you know your responsibilities in terms of ensuring that you don’t discriminate during the selection process, for example?
  • Do you have a strategy around how you’ll tackle the war for talent? Do you know where to find the very best candidates, and how to get them excited about the opportunity to work with your business?
  • Do you have an induction and onboarding process to help new recruits to really hit the ground running and get off to the best possible start?

Look out for Part 2 of HR Revolution’s guide on Wednesday!

We’ll be attaching the guide in full for you to download and keep in our final installment, so keep an eye out for Part 3…

If you would like to contact us to discuss anything in the meantime, please call us on +44 203 538 5311 or email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk or click here to visit our website.