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    <span class=May, 2017" />

    Receiving a resignation from an employee can bring various amounts of emotions and responses depending on how you valued the employee. It could be someone who has been a loyal, hardworking and brilliant employee looking to gain experiences elsewhere or it could be someone who has caused you no ends of pain. Either way handling resignations appropriately will make sure that there is a smooth transition.

    1.Assess the situation
    What are the circumstances of this person leaving? Was there a situation that triggered this? This should be investigated. Was it a resignation in the heat of the moment? Keeping these questions in mind should help determine how you deal with the overall situation.

    2.Is there a grievance?
    Is there anything in the resignation that may be considered a grievance? If so follow your grievance procedure.

    3.Determine and agree an end date.
    Some employees may want to leave as soon as possible, are you able to accommodate this? Or is there a requirement to work their full notice period? Check your contract clauses, does it have a pay in lieu of notice clause or a garden leave clause?

    4.Establish and set expectations for the handover.
    This is critical in managing anyone leaving the business. You want to make sure that anything the employee is working on, a contingency plan is in place. Meet with the employee to discuss current work commitments and any ongoing projects involved with.

    5.Follow up in writing
    It is important to confirm the resignation in writing detailing the agreed end date, any holidays accrued and agreed handover commitments. This ensures clear expectations.

    6.Decide on how to communicate to staff.
    Depending on the circumstances, person or role, think about how you want employees to know. A key member of staff leaving might be unsettling for those behind. It will be important to provide reassurances where possible.

    7.Transition/Handover
    It may not always be possible but having a handover period will support the transition phase. If a physical handover can’t be achieved ensure that documents are in place, procedures are up to date and important dates in the diary are noted.

    8.Do you need a replacement?
    Sometimes when someone leaves it can be a good opportunity to review the role and whether anything can be done better. Do you really need that role? Can the duties be absorbed in to others? Does the job need more resource? It is all worth thinking about.

    9.Counter offer?
    Not always advised but should be considered is a counter offer. Usually, if they are accepted, it is not a long-term solution and the reason they wanted to go in the first place is still there and not resolved. This may be a good idea to think about an interim solution whilst succession planning of the role is reviewed.

    10.Exit Meeting
    Some businesses do not carry them out, some do but then do nothing with the information and the very few actually use them as part of their recruitment and retention strategy. Have something in place that will actually get carried out. Using this data can enable you to reduce future leavers.

    Do you need some support in dealing with resignations? Or would you like to tell us about a challenging situation when someone resigned? We would love to hear from you! Contact our HR Specialists on 0161 478 3800 or hello@peachlaw.co.uk.

    Did you know that 1 in 4 people will suffer from mental health? It is an important issue that struggles to get talked about due to the stigma attached to it.
    Here at Peach we have put together some ways in which a business can manage wellbeing in the workplace.

    1.Embed a wellness culture.
    Employee health and wellbeing should be high on the agenda. There should be no shame in talking about mental health. Think about health and wellbeing programmes where employees can voice their ideas and are listened to. Employees should not be discriminated against should they have a mental illness.

    2.Training
    Management training as well as Company-wide training would further show the company’s commitment to tackling health and wellbeing. Training on stress management techniques will encourage employees to recognise their own stress levels and support in managing it themselves. We would advise businesses to train managers in spotting signs including increase in absence, poor performance or moody behaviour and monitoring these behaviours.

    3.Influence from Managers
    Managers have a great influence on the wellbeing of employees, factors could include; workload, work variety, work relationships, involvement, communication, spot signs of bullying, sense of purpose and stress. Businesses should support Managers in managing in times of change and challenge to reduce the negative effect that it may have. Managing this effectively can increase employee engagement.

    4.Initiatives
    There are plenty of initiatives that businesses can adopt to support employees’ wellbeing such as;
    •Promoting healthy eating,
    •Encouraging employees to take their entitled breaks- it can be too easy to work through lunch,
    •Promote exercise- walking around at lunch time, cycle to work schemes, gym memberships,
    •Employee assistance programmes can provide counselling and advice,
    •Promoting work/life balance- flexible working.

    5.Communication
    Communication is paramount. However, do not push an employee to talk about something that they are clearly uncomfortable with. Offer them options and be available when they are ready.
    When businesses are going through change, communication can take a back seat leaving employees wondering and worrying about what is happening, is their job ok? Always communicate even if there is nothing to communicate, it is important to instil trust and respect from the employees.

    Would you like support in promoting a wellness culture in your business? We can also carry out an audit to see where certain HR processes can affect an employee’s wellbeing. Contact one of our HR Specialists via hello@peachlaw.co.uk or call 0161 478 3800.

    The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has considered whether employees carrying out sleep-in’s at work, but who are on standby for the duration of the shift, engage in “time work”? (‘time work’ is defined within the National Minimum Wage Regulations 2015 at regulation 30).

    If it is ‘time work’, should workers be entitled to be paid the national minimum wage for the duration of their shift? or, should they only be entitled to the national minimum wage when they are awake and carrying out duties?

    The three cases of, ‘Focus Care Agency Ltd -v- Roberts’, ‘Frudd and another –v- The Partington Group Ltd’ and ‘Royal Mencap Society -v- Tomlinson-Blake’, have been heard at the EAT, on the issue of care workers’ sleep-in shifts and the National Minimum Wage, with the overall conclusion being that the answer is, it depends.

    The background

    The decision was reached when three joined appeals were considered, the EAT held that a multifactorial assessment is required when deciding whether a worker is available, and is required to be available at, or near their place of work, for the purposes of working (under regulation 32 of the National Minimum Wage Regulations 2015), or whether they are working by just being present at the workplace (even if they are asleep).

    In its judgment the EAT set out four potentially relevant factors for determining whether a person is working by being present:

    (i) The employer’s particular purpose in engaging the worker may be relevant to the extent that it informs what the worker might be expected or required to do: for example, if the employer is subject to a regulatory or contractual requirement to have someone present during the particular period the worker is engaged to be present, that might indicate whether and the extent to which the worker is working by simply being present.

    (ii) The extent to which the worker’s activities are restricted by the requirement to be present and at the disposal of the employer may be relevant. This may include considering the extent to which the worker is required to remain on the premises throughout the shift on pain of discipline if he or she slips away to do something else.

    (iii) The degree of responsibility undertaken by the worker may be relevant. (The EAT considered the comparison of the limited degree of responsibility in sleeping in at premises to call out the emergency services for example if a fire broke out, with a night sleeper in a home for the disabled, where a heavier personal responsibility is placed on the worker in relation to duties that might have to be performed during the night).

    (iv) The immediacy of the requirement to provide services if something untoward occurs or an emergency arises may also be relevant. In this regard, it may be relevant to determine whether the worker is the person who decides whether to intervene, and then intervenes when necessary, or whether the worker is woken as and when needed by another worker with immediate responsibility for intervening.

    The above four principles should be applied when considering a sleep -in situation. It should be noted that each of the cases in the judgment were different in terms of their particular facts, in one for example, a care worker supporting vulnerable adults worked a sleep-in shift during which no specific tasks were allocated, but there was a continuing obligation to remain at her post and be vigilant in case she was needed to deal with any incidents. The EAT upheld the Employment Tribunal’s finding that the carer was performing time work throughout her shift, as she was required to be present and would have been disciplined if she left her post.

    The Royal Mencap Society, a party to one of the appeal cases has indicated that they intend to appeal this decision. We shall provide any further reports on this once they are available.

    The position for Employers

    Overall the judgment in these three cases does not give a ‘clear-cut’ answer for Employers. The law regarding sleep-in’s can be complicated, and the critical question to determine whether the national minimum wage is payable for time spent on a sleep-in at work is whether the job requires the worker to be physically present, at a specific location which is not their home.

    We would recommend that businesses ensure that they review their existing contracts of employment, to ensure that all workers are being paid the correct levels of pay. The guidelines above should also be considered and businesses should follow this guidance in order to reduce any potential risks. Further, businesses, where relevant should consider if the Local Authority will pay more, whilst this may not be easy to negotiate, the Local Authorities must comply with the Care Act statutory guidance on this.

    We would advise that all situations involving employees who undertake sleep-ins will need to be dealt with on a case by case basis. Breaches of the national minimum wage legislation can lead to severe penalties and reputational damage for a business, and we would always recommend that legal advice is sought if this is something that effects your business.

    If you would like to discuss this area further please contact our employment law team on 0161 478 3800 or hello@peachlaw.co.uk.

    Disclaimer
    This document is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given.

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