BBC Radio Leeds – Expert Hour

13th Jan – This morning with Jodie Hill, Milners Employment Law specialist.

Employment Law affects everyone in work and it pays to understand your rights as an employee or worker or your responsibilities and rights as an employer.

Jodie Hill, Milners Employment Law Specialist,  joined Richard Stead on BBC Radio Leeds this morning (13th Jan 2015) to answer listeners’ questions.

Some of the issues discussed included:

Can you afford legal advice?

Did you know you may have Cover for employment actions under Home and Contents insurance?

Workplace bullying – is it affecting you?

It may assist a grievance process if others will provide statements for you, so it’s clear who can assist you in explaining your case.

You are entitled to be accompanied to a grievance meeting by a colleague or Trade union rep.

Grievance advice – if you’ve raised a grievance be concise in your reporting.

Overtime – Can an employer enforce overtime?

Check your contract, what would constitute ‘reasonable amount of overtime’ depends on the type of business & type of work. Is reasonable notice given? What is the reason for refusing the overtime?

Part time hours – can a change of hours by your employer be enforced?

An individual worked regular part time hours for over 40 years for the same employer, then came a change of hours from employer. Could it be challenged? It all comes down to your contract, what does it say? Have they consulted with you over the change if it is not something which the contract or handbook already allows.

Annual Leave – can you take it whenever you want?

A student was told to work on Christmas Eve against her wishes (the individual wanted a day’s holiday) – this goes back to the contract what is agreed, and was the refusal to allow annual leave justified? This individual worked Wednesday (the day on which Christmas Eve fell) normally so it’s her normal working day, it is likely she is contracted to work it.

Your employer can dictate when you take your holiday, so long as they allow you to take your holidays in each year or if not you can carry them over.

TUPE – how long after you’re TUPEd over can your T’s & C’s be varied?

You should be transferred with same T’s & C’s and any variance should be agreed with employee. Make sure everything’s in writing if you agree any new terms or proposed changes so that you have a record.

Agency work – When you do regular agency work for an organisation do you become a permanent employee?

You don’t! However in the case of someone working for the same employer on a series of consecutive fixed term contracts, after a period of 4 years they will become permanent. Not because they work at an agency.

 

And if you’re currently looking for a new job, here are Jodie’s Top 10 Tips:

  1. Have you received a contract (section 1 Statement of Particulars) within 2 months from starting your employment?
  2. Sickness absence monitoring policy (may be in your contract) – who do you have to report to and by what time if you are sick?
  3. Disability – is there anything your employer should know in terms adjustments that could be made or may be needed in the future?
  4. Check the social media policy – eg. Tweets/ facebook made even outside of work and not related to work could be caught under this policy if your profile says where you work or you have colleagues on your profile.
  5. Internet usage – personal use or work emails and some websites like Facebook could be restricted or prohibited?
  6. Take you p45 from your previous employer to try to avoid emergency tax.
  7. Check your referees on your CV are aware you are seeking employment so that they respond in a timely manner to avoid any delays in starting new employment
  8. Is your contract a zero hour contract? If so is it lawful and how far in advance do you agree to be informed about available work?
  9. Does your contract contain an exclusivity clause?
  10. If your contract contains additional, restrictive clauses post termination (i.e restrictions on who you can work for and with after you leave employment, copyright and intellectual property rights), seek independent advice BEFORE signing the contract otherwise you are bound by them!

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