Pay data: October 2014

Various research organisations have published data on average pay settlements for the three months to September 2014 and some predictions for the coming year.
 
 

NHS sickness absence increases

Overall staff sickness absence in the NHS currently stands at 3.95%.
 
 

When can an employer start a formal disciplinary process?

Simply put, when it has reasonable grounds and evidence. An employer who instigated disciplinary proceedings without a fulsome enquiry beforehand neither breached trust and confidence nor the employer’s duty of care.
Coventry University v Mian
 
 

‘Enforced’ subject access requests to be banned

From 1 December 2014 employers will be banned from demanding as a condition of employment criminal records checks from job applicants or employees – so-called ‘enforced’ subject access requests.
 
 

Date of dismissal unaffected by altering dismissal decision on appeal

The effective date of termination remained the date the original summary dismissal took place despite an internal appeal substituting a finding of dismissal with notice.
Rabess v London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority
 
 

BSI kitemark on valuing people

HR professionals are being urged by the British Standards Institute to help shape the development of its new kitemark for valuing people.
 
 

September 2014 inflation data

UK Consumer Prices index inflation fell in the year to September 2014 to 1.2%. The detailed figures are as follows:
 
 

Employers’ liability under health and safety regulations and common law

The employer of a home carer, who fell and broke her wrist, did not have a statutory duty to provide her with special footwear suitable for icy conditions, nor had its breached its common law duty of care.
Kennedy v Cordia (Services) LLP
 
 

Employment status review

A ‘wide-ranging employment law review’ has been announced by BIS to help ‘clarify and potentially strengthen’ the employment status of workers.
 
 

Apprenticeships and the National Minimum Wage

The Low Pay Commission is to be asked to approve a single national minimum wage (NMW) rate for apprentices and 16-17-year-olds, with the apprenticeship rate rising by just over £1 to match the rate for 16-17-year-olds.
 
 

Oral assurance by HR officer didn’t trump specific contractual term

Specific contractual terms prevented an employee relying on a prior oral assurance that her salary would increase by annual increments subject to satisfactory performance and as such there was no breach of contract.
Equality and Human Rights Commission v Earle
 
 
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Monday, 20 October 2014

Why bother with two-stage settlement agreements?

It’s become increasingly common for employers to use two-stage settlement agreements where there is a material gap between the employee signing up to severance terms and the eventual termination of the employee’s employment, e.g. after a period of garden leave or the employee dealing with handover of work for a significant period. 
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