Tag Archives: employment law

Clarkson and the N Word – a slippery slope?

 

Jeremy Clarkson is in the news once again.   Last time for reciting the old nursery rhyme eeny meeny miny mo….and going on to use the now forbidden N word.  And now we have the ‘slopes’ debacle.   It seems there is no end to the ways in which one media person can create offence to various groups.

This is not the first or second time Clarkson has offended. I am not writing to debate the rights and wrongs of old  childhood nursery rhymes, changing language and societal norms or even race discrimination.   But few organisations would be able to endure this kind of publicity…

 

What if you were the BBC?

What if it were your brand being associated with this debate?

Would this be damaging to your business?

Many organisations struggle with managing ‘stars’ who do things everyone else would get fired for.  Jeremy Clarkson is not employed by the BBC. Like so many people he is not an employee of the organisation he is so publicly associated with. If he were an employee, internal rules and policies apply. If necessary disciplinary sanctions, even dismissal, are considered.  But freelancers and sub-contractors  are different.

If your sub-contractor or freelancer starts trashing your brand where do you stand?

Do you have a written agreement with your freelancer?

Does it deal with this sort of thing?

What rights would you have as the person whose brand is under fire if this was going on around your business?

Please complete our survey on freelancers 

Please complete our anonymous survey on the types of freelancers you pay and help us research the issues around managing and contracting freelancers .  Click here to start the survey.   We are not collecting email addresses  – just doing research.  Click the link at the end of the survey and claim your copy of our Freelance Top Tips – will save you time and money.  Usually onlly available as part of packages costing £100 or more…

 

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Filed under discrimination, Freelance Workers

Is freelancing the way to bypass HR?

What is driving the rapid increase in taking on freelancers?  How easy is it to get it right?  Check out our article and let us know what you think.

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March 20, 2014 · 7:07 am

Beyond HR compliance – giving yourself the space to grow – YouTube

See on Scoop.itEmployment law in a mad world

Talking to members of the Professional Development Bureau about how we should not let compliance rule our relationships with the people we pay and why the bo…

Annabel Kaye‘s insight:

There’s a lot more to employing people than mere compliance!

See on www.youtube.com

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Filed under contract, Red Tape

Which Are The Right Contract Options?

See on Scoop.itEmployment law in a mad world

Which Are The Right Contract Options? – Facilitated by Annabel Kaye, Director of Irenicon Ltd, Annabel keeps it clear, demystifies the jargon and keeps the focus on getting the best business res…

Annabel Kaye‘s insight:

Should be using zero hours contracts, freelancers, part timers, What kind of contract works best for you?  Join our free conversation (by phone) on 23 January 2pm (UK time) register for dial in details.

See on koffeeklatch.co.uk

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Filed under contract, Freelance Workers, zero hours

Dickensian: Zero-hours contracts

See on Scoop.itEmployment law in a mad world

I’ve just had two astonishing conversations with two young people. This wasn’t related to wild nights out or any inappropriate behaviour, but their employment conditions. Both are working on zero-h…

Annabel Kaye‘s insight:

There are consequences to zero hours contracts – do you use them?  Are you on one or using them?

See on dorothydalton.com

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Filed under zero hours

Who is to blame? Shoesmith an exception?

shutterstock_81310291The tax payer is about to pick up a mighty bill as the sorry saga of Sharon Shoesmith has ground its way through the courts.

Sharon Shoesmith’s story is just an extreme version of what goes on every day.

To summarise:

  • Under resourced/overstretched team
  • Impossible goals
  • Something goes wrong
  • Something must be done
  • Someone must go
  • Unfair Dismissal

This endless cycle (in small and large organisations) creates an outcry that unfair dismissal should be  abolished or eliminated  – another Something Must be Done.   Shortening the cycle by removing one step is an attractive option but it does not really deal with the fundamental problem.    So often we see organisations remove an individual for underperformance without making any changes to how the business/department is organised, managed, resourced, or run.

Guess what?

A few months or years later we are having the same conversation again about a new person!  ‘Lessons have been learned’ often translated into ‘heads have rolled’ and that’s the end of that.  The real cost to individuals, businesses and in this case the tax payer is very high.

Recruitment errors are not the same as supervision errors

We all recognise that sometime the wrong person is recruited and the only way to solve the problem is to get another person.   But there are some fabulous opportunities to improve our own managerial processes and to learn from when things go wrong.  One of the things we might decide to learn is that sometimes our goals are over ambitious in terms of our resources and we have to be realistic about what real people can achieve.

Frustration isn’t a plan

Reaching for excellence is a fabulous thing, but if you are frustrated by your team’s inability to reach it, then frustration can set in.   So many of us just repeat what we did before (saying it LOUDER) and are surprised that we get the same results (only LOUDER). Then we snap and we want to get rid of the person we feel is to blame.

It’s human.  It’s understandable.   It doesn’t really get anyone to where they want to be.  And it will trigger unfair dismissals.

There is a better way

It is possible to improve performance, but it takes time and thought and effort by the Boss.  Sometimes we are so overwhelmed by struggling with what is going wrong that we can’t even imagine finding the time and energy to create a better way to work.   The whole problem can seem too big to tackle.  The Boss ends up working till 3am to meet deadlines or redo sub standard work .

We see it all the time.  With a bit of support, a bit of clarity and the right arrangements between boss and staff we can all avoid a mini-Shoesmith.

We just need to have the conversations and do the thinking.  Employment law is just one of many reasons why you might not want to sack the person who seems to be to blame without going through any real process.  There are better  (and cheaper) ways to end your frustration than spending a large amount of your (or tax payer’s) money on unfair dismissal awards and legal fees.

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Filed under discipline and dismissal, employment law, performance management

When the music stops…

shutterstock_20212843The Government has published its response to the TUPE consultation.  They intend to change the TUPE regulations with effect from January 2014.  No draft regulations have yet been published.  This leaves a lot of sales teams and HR teams with a dilemma.

What will the TUPE regulations be when the work we are gaining today comes up for rebid?

There are transfers that were TUPE transfers under the current regulations which will not necessarily be TUPE transfers under the new ones.  The clear intention is to reduce the scope of service provision changes that fall within TUPE.  The new regulations are not yet written, and when they come into force it will take several years to get case law on what they actually mean.

The extended uncertainty period

I always think of this as the extended uncertainty period – a sort of Heisenberg’s law of legal change.  That is nothing new for HR. 

Make a plan for uncertainty

We need a plan that integrates with the rest of the business.

Selling/pitching

Is your sales team going to pitch/cost on the basis that:

  • TUPE does not apply to new incoming service contracts
  • TUPE may apply
  • TUPE will apply

The costs of each of these options are different, and so is the price to the customer (who may want the lowest possible price).  Are you going to be working on the basis of ‘costs plus’ where the customer pays if you have to pay off staff?  Who pays when the music stops?  Can you afford it to be you?

Losing/changing

If you are losing contracts that came in as TUPE contracts, are you going to treat this as:

  • TUPE does not apply (and make appropriate redundancy payments where necessary)
  • TUPE may apply and deal with it on a case by case basis (and schedule the time to decide)
  • TUPE will apply and try to persuade the successor organisation to agree

What are your plans for consulting with employees affected by these (non)TUPE transfers?

We will all be writing learned articles once the regulations are published – but there are live contracts due change service provider during the extended uncertainty period.

There are real people with jobs and mortgages to pay who are going to be asking – what happens to me?

Our job is to provide an answer, which means starting to plan for those changes and the uncertainty period.

Review existing contracts

Knowing how the land lies is always useful if you don’t know which way things are going to move.  It means you are not trying to process a vast amount of data when the final facts become clear.

Service provision

Now is a good time to review your contracts with clients or potential clients.  What do they say about:

  • who pays for what (indemnities and charges)
  • and who does what at that point
  • where the contractual obligations are tied into to specific TUPE regulations, and where they are free standing

What effect do they have?  Do your contracts with clients need changing or updating?

Employment contracts

What do your contracts, policies and agreements say?

  • Do you have a TUPE policy?  Will it need updating?
  • Do you have FAQs, or other TUPE related documents, to review
  • Do your contracts of employment give you the flexibility you need

Freelancers and sub-contractors

Calling someone self-employed, or paying them on invoice, doesn’t mean they are not an employee.  Do the sub contractors and freelancers you use pass the right tests for being in a business themselves?  If not, you could find some of them are really employees and covered by the TUPE regulations (more on that in my next blog).

  • Do you have written agreements with your freelancers and sub contractors?
  • Do they reflect the reality of the arrangement, or are they out of date?
  • Does the reality show that you are controlling them?

With the changes due to come into effect in early January 2014, some HR people are going to have a miserable Christmas sorting out end of year TUPE transfers – let’s hope it won’t be you and you will be fully prepared.

Click here to join our free Conversation on TUPE and the service sector.

Annabel Kaye is Managing Director of Irenicon Ltd, a specialist employment law consultancy.
Tel: 08452 303050                  Fax: 08452 303060
www.irenicon.co.uk
www.koffeeklatch.co.uk
www.balancingthebump.com
You can follow Annabel on Twitter

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Filed under contract, employment law, TUPE