Employment Law – Dealing With Employee Absence

It is your duty as an employer to keep a close eye on your employee’s absences from work. This is for two main reasons; firstly, to ensure that your business does not suffer due to staff absence and secondly, to ensure that your staff are well, healthy and happy.

Every company should keep a record of employee absence. Keeping this record will help you identify any emerging patterns of absence or alert you to a member of staff suffering from a long-term illness. Each department within your business should keep its own records, you are then able to compare company absence from sector to sector. Employee absences records should always be managed in light of the Date Protection Act (1998). Any records of employee absence should then be destroyed after 3 years (of the financial in which it was made) and if you are monitoring any statistics then employees should be made aware.

If a pattern of absence appears which is inter-departmental, i.e. one department has a considerably higher level of absence, then you should take the appropriate steps into looking at that departments working environment. Not only this but you should look to your senior members of staff to report on issues within the department, which could be causing the higher levels of absence.

Another good procedure to implement is the ‘return to work interview’. This face-to-face meeting should be done in private with the relevant line manager for that employee. The interview has several purposes; it details why the employee was off work, if they are suffering from something which may cause further absence and most importantly if they are well enough to come back to work. It can also provide the employee with a private outlet to complain about their working environment and/or fellow staff members, which incidentally could be causing their absence.

If you do not deal with employee absence at an early stage you run the risk of the following occurring:

– Low staff esteem due to increased workloads in covering the absent colleague

– Agency staff bills being extraordinarily high

– The company failing to reach targets or provide a good service due to a lack of consistent staffing

In order to deal with an emerging absence pattern there are some steps you can take to ensure that you investigate the problem scrupulously. Firstly, you should compare the employee’s absence over your last 3 years of records to establish any recurring pattern. Secondly, compare the employee’s absence record to that of the other employee’s within the same department, this may identify a work related issue. Lastly, check that the employee does not have an illness which fits the criteria of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. The area of disability discrimination is particular complex — don’t risk being grounds for a potentially highly expensive disability discrimination claim — take advice from expert employment solicitors first.

For the first few absences the employee needs to be dealt with amicably. Discuss with the employee the reasons why they have had continued absences or absences which form a pattern. Solutions such as flexible working arrangements, changing work location or job description can offer lower cost results for you and the employee.

If no solution can be found or the problem is merely unauthorised absence, then you have the option of disciplining the employee under capability and/or conduct. An approved disciplinary handling procedure should be used at this time.

If you are in any doubt as to the reason for the employee’s absence or the grounds upon which you are starting the disciplinary procedures, then you should seek legal advice immediately from specialist employment solicitors. A dismissal based upon an employee’s absence has to be legal and if it is not you could face claims of an unfair dismissal via the Employment Tribunal.

Perhaps the very simplest step is to make sure that you have clear policies on employee absence. If you don’t and you are not sure where to begin, contact specialist Employment Solicitors who should be able to provide you with appropriate policies dealing with employee absence at a relatively modest cost.

Employment Law Laws That Protect Employees In The Workplace

In the nineteenth century and parts of the twentieth century, employees and employers were largely left to themselves to arrange a working agreement, including payment, work conditions, and so on. Employees had to trust that their employers would treat them fairly, and employers knew that if they didn’t treat their workers well, they might leave to work somewhere else. Although this arrangement worked well for many, during the industrial revolution, employees began to lose their leverage of leaving that kept employers in check.

During the industrial revolution, large factories rose up, employing workers by the thousands. Employers rarely had direct contact with their employees, and people akin to task masters oversaw the workers. Working conditions were harsh. If a worker showed up late to work, was in any way disorderly, or tried to unionize, he or she could be fired. Even children were hired and forced to work long hours in unhealthy environments.

And despite poor working conditions, long hours of arduous labor, and low wages, factory employees had nowhere else to go because most places of employment were the same. These difficulties were most often experienced by immigrants and the poor, and because they had no way to improve their situation, these workers had no choice but to work in these factories and other similar places.

Eventually, in the early twentieth century, the government passed a series of labor laws that helped rectify the poor working situation. These laws established minimum wages, work environment regulations, and union rights. And throughout the century, more laws were periodically passed that made illegal any discrimination (based on gender, religion, age, and so on) against employees.

Because of the sufferings of thousands in those prior years, employees today enjoy the benefits of being guaranteed certain rights. Unfortunately, some employers are still found guilty of disobeying these employee-protection laws.

Today, the most common breach of employee rights is discrimination. Some employers may even inadvertently discriminate against employees based on age, gender, race, religion, or disability. But inadvertent or not, discrimination in the workplace is illegal. One of the only exceptions is discriminating against disability. If a job cannot be performed with reasonable accommodation by a person with a disability, the employer retains the right to not hire that person. Of course what is considered “reasonable” is something of a gray area, but the exception is meant to ensure that employers aren’t forced to hire someone who can’t perform the job.

Another common type of discrimination is based on age. Many have the misconception that someone who is older may not be as good a worker as someone who is young. However, if an elderly person meets all of the requirements of job, he or she must be seriously considered on equal footing with other candidates.

In regards to the payroll, gender discrimination is quite common. In general, women are still paid less than men for performing the same jobs. Although this disparity in pay is becoming smaller and is not as bad as it was just a few decades ago, in general, women are still paid less. The problem in detecting this type of discrimination is that people are often prohibited from discussing income with their coworkers, and many people don’t know what is considered fair pay for their jobs.

Another all-to-common illegal occurrence in the workplace is sexual harassment, particularly toward women. Sexual harassment can range from derogatory or sexual comments to receiving promotions based on sexuality to unwanted forceful actions. And sexual harassment is illegal not only if it comes from an employer but from a coworker as well. Unfortunately, in many cases of sexual harassment, the victims are either too embarrassed or scared to come forward and take legal action against the guilty party.

And although discrimination and harassment are illegal, when people take legal action against their employers on the basis of discrimination, feelings of tension or anger may exist between the two parties. And although there may not be much a person can do to resolve the tense atmosphere, employees can rest assured that if an employer attempts to discharge our fire them because they filed a charge of discrimination, the employer will face additional legal charges.

Employers also cannot legally retaliate against those who take protected leave under the Family Medical Leave Act or who file a workers’ compensation claim. Such retaliation is illegal so that employees will not be threatened or discouraged from filing legal charges.

Sometimes employees find it difficult to prove that they are being discriminated against or they may not be entirely sure what legally qualifies as discrimination or unfair treatment. In these cases, an employment attorney can be helpful. Employment attorneys specialize in labor laws and are familiar with past employment law cases, which can help you better understand your rights and determine if you should take legal action against an employer. And whether you’re looking for a Houston employment attorney or one elsewhere, you should research the attorney’s qualifications and experience before hiring one to advise or represent you.

Labor and employment laws were created after years of worker oppression and in response to employees’ demands for fair and equal treatment. Because of these laws, employees are no longer required to work obscenely long hours for little pay, work in unsafe environments, or suffer from harassment and other abuses. Because of these laws, working conditions have drastically improved, and with the current legal system, employees have a means to constantly evaluate, analyze, and continue to improve working conditions in a way that ensures they can do their best work without fear of oppression or discrimination.

Employment Law Advice That May Facilitate Your Business

Employment Law AdviceSeeking the advice of an employment law skilled may be a sensible idea if you are an employer in the UK. Employment law solicitors and advisors will help you to perceive the ever changing laws in the UK, which may, in turn, help keep you out of pricey lawsuits and other legal trouble that will arise.

Employers are legally accountable for his or her employee’s welfare and should abide by the typically complex employment laws of the UK. Invariably these laws modification throughout the course of the year and keeping latest should be a priority. Employment Law specialists will help to interpret the laws for you and apply them to your particular business. They can also offer regular training if you have got a department at intervals your company responsible for your employees.

There are many totally different laws governing personal leave, vacations, minimum wages, sick time, benefits, the grievance method, discrimination, harassment, and different workplace concerns that you would like to be familiar with and of course abide by. It can be troublesome for busy employers to stay track of all the laws and requirements also run their business.

You’ll find your business in trouble if you are doing not abide by all of these laws, even if the infraction is unintentional. Such an incidence will ruin the reputation of your business in addition to value large sums in legal fees, fines, and settlements. This is often where UK employment law advice from an employment solicitor is notably indispensable; to stay your business protected by keeping you recent and in compliance with the law.

With over one hundred employment laws introduced every year for the last four years in the UK, keeping track of all of your responsibilities as an employer can be challenging. More than 100,000 individuals took their employer to court last year alone over varied violations of those laws. With one third of employment disputes resulting in dismissal and compensation limits currently over ?sixty,000, businesses stand to loose a considerable amount from these disputes. Added to the actual fact that ninety eight% of employers who win their cases are unable to recover their legal fees, being incompliant with employment laws can be pricey and even devastating to a business.

UK employment law solicitors will facilitate your to remain abreast of revisions to employment laws and new ones that can have an effect on your business. They can help you to compile your employment handbooks, training materials, and workplace policies and ensure that they follow the laws. If you want to protect yourself as an employer and your business, consider a specialist employment law solicitor to help you create sense of it all.