Resource Hub - Vista

Planning a Phased Return from Furlough: Q&A

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We’ve answered your top questions on ending furlough leave and planning a phased return. Over to Vicky, Claire, Tim and Stephen! **Top tip: use the ‘chapter markers’ on each video (bottom right corner next to the ⚙️ icon) to navigate to the specific questions you want to hear.

How to Run a Disciplinary Hearing Remotely

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What are the things we need to think about when running a disciplinary hearing remotely? The legal requirements can be boiled down to this formula: Fair Reason + Fair Procedure + Reasonable Decision = Fair Outcome But how can we achieve this when running a hearing from home? Our Head of Learning, Vicky Roberts takes…

Employment Law Update – April 2020

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Welcome to the April edition of Vista’s employment law update. This month we are continuing to bring you up to the minute guidance on the Coronavirus pandemic, and what it means for HR professionals and employers. For this month only, we have given you exclusive access to the entire update. If you’d like to receive…

The Digital Classroom: The Triune Brain

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We use the reptilian, or Triune brain as part of our training on a variety of topics. Its a great tool to help us understand our reactions, why they happen, how they can get in the way of constructive conversations and therefore – how to better manage situations in a workplace context. We ran this…

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Statutory Sick Pay

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Updated: 21st April 2020 The Statutory Sick Pay (General) (Coronavirus Amendment) Regulations 2020 came into force on Friday 13th March 2020[1]. When do the Regulations apply? They provide that employees and workers who are self-isolating themselves from other people in such a manner as to prevent infection or contamination with coronavirus will be entitled to…

How to Diagnose Performance Problems when Working from Home

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All employers are having to react to the challenges arising from the Coronavirus outbreak. For many, this means a switch to working from home for an extended period of time. Its unfamiliar territory for some, and can be especially tricky for managers with teams of people around them that they now need to manage remotely.…

How to Diagnose Performance Problems when Working from Home

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Here’s our technique for diagnosing performance problems in your team when working remotely. It will help your managers diagnose what might be affecting the performance of their team and identify whether is it an external factor, a what, why, or a how problem. If you found this useful, take a look at our new workshops…

Managing Performance during Covid19

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All employers are having to react to the challenges arising from the Coronavirus outbreak. The welfare and protection of staff is paramount, coupled with the economic implications and consequent organisational changes. In particular, the advice around social distancing has resulted in many employers having to introduce measures for staff to work at home and stop…

Guidance on Collective Consultation (COVID19)

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In this extraordinarily challenging period, most employers are having to consider what changes they need to make to protect the business and to keep going (e.g. pay cuts; reduction in working hours; imposing lay-offs). Whilst such changes may need to be made as a matter of urgency to save the business, the law nonetheless requires…

Coronavirus (COVID-19) & Absence Management

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Updated: 23rd March 2020 What if an employee triggers your Absence Management Policy as a result of being infected or self-isolating in accordance with government guidance? Fairness: Employers are under a duty to act reasonably in all the circumstances. Therefore, we foresee that an Employment Tribunal would take a dim view if an employee on…

CORONAVIRUS ADVICE HUB

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Our team of employment lawyers are continuously collating helpful advice and guidance for HR professionals and employers in light of this fast moving Covid 19 pandemic. The current guidance documents available, free to download for all, are: Lay-offs and short time working Working from home Time off for dependents Absence management Statutory sick pay, including…

Unfair Dismissal & The Role of an Investigator

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This month we are looking at the tribunal case of Uddin v London Borough of Ealing. This case was heard by the EAT, where it was considered whether an employee had been unfairly dismissed when the investigating officer failed to inform the dismissing manager that the alleged victim of a sexual assault by the employee…

Employment Law Update – February 2020

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In this months employment law update we have a whole host of cases which focus on workplace investigations. For advice on Coronavirus (COVOID-19) please click here. We’ve looked at the case of Uddin v London Borough of Ealing, where an unfair dismissal case made it all the way to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) and…

Mock Employment Tribunals: New Dates Now Available!

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Have you ever been to an employment tribunal? Does the thought of defending a case before a Judge fill you with dread? Back by popular demand, Vista’s mock employment tribunal allows delegates to experience all the thrills and spills of the tribunal, but in a learning environment. Here’s a taste of the fun you can…

Holiday Entitlement: Frequently Asked Questions

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We’ve gathered a few questions relating to holiday entitlement that we have had recently, and answered them for you below. If you would prefer to watch the video, head over here. Can an employee claim back holidays when they are sick during annual leave? The short answer is yes. Although, they would need to comply…

Dealing with a Disciplinary Appeal: Tips for your Managers

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Your manager is in the frame to chair a disciplinary appeal hearing. Here is a quick guide from 10to3, to make sure that they are able to run the whole process with confidence. Before the Hearing As chair, before the hearing make sure you develop a solid understanding of the previous decision and all the…

What is ‘Dignity at Work’ Anyway?

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Dignity at work is the title of our flagship training programme at Vista. But what does dignity at work really mean? In order to feel valued and included at work, we first need to feel respect from and for the people that we work with. Both our human values and the legal framework expect that…

Employment Law Update – January 2020

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Happy new year and welcome to the first employment law update of 2020. By now, most people will have returned to work. Many will have come back with the hope of having, and sticking to, a new year’s resolution. And if that resolution has been to go green and become vegan, some managers may well…

IR35 Employer/Contractor Questionnaire

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Answering these questions will help you to consider your specific relationship and IR35, and will go a long way to helping you to use the CEST tool more effectively.

IR35: Employer Action Plan and Checklist

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Now that we’re head-on into the new year and April is fast approaching, Stephen Foster, Legal & Professional Service Manager at Vista has recorded a short video with some tips on what you should be thinking about before the legislation kicks in:

IR35: Employer Action Plan & Checklist

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Updated: April 2020 IR35 postponed until 2021. To consider whether IR35 applies, there are four main tests: Mutuality of Obligation Here, they determine whether the organisation is obliged to provide work and is the individual obliged to accept the work offered? Under this test, they will look firstly at the written contract, if any, and…

How to Avoid Discrimination in Recruitment

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Failing to offer a candidate a position because of a protected characteristic is unlawful and amounts to direct discrimination. We don’t need to explain the reasons why it’s important for employers to have an understanding of this, but we have pulled together a few do’s and don’ts to ensure that you do avoid discrimination in…

The Biggest Tribunal Cases of 2019, and What to Look Out for in 2020

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The most significant tribunal cases of 2019 saw decisions made in both the European and UK courts. We’ve put together a roundup of a few of the most notable Tribunal cases that are still under appeal, and therefore you might want to watch out for in 2020. To keep up to date next year, be…

Is Mistletoe a Defence to Sexual Harassment?

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It’s Christmas party day at the office. Christmas jumper day – done. Christmas quiz – won. Christmas lunch – devoured. Spirits are high as your colleagues leave to get ready for tonight’s party. Later, at the bar, you find a manager holding a bunch of mistletoe over their colleague’s head, gesturing for a kiss. That’s…

Racism at Manchester Derby Raises Questions about Disciplinary Action

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The Manchester Derby match this weekend sadly hit the headlines due to racist chanting and gesturing aimed towards players. The actions were captured on TV footage and the images went viral. One man was publicly identified and comments made via Twitter to his employer. The man has been arrested and his employer has suspended him…

The Legalities of Managing a Flexible Working Request

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Historically, flexible working requests have been associated with working mums. Fast forward a few years and the benefit is now seen as an important part of the employment package by a wide variety of employees. The benefits of offering flexible working are seldom out of the headlines, and if you are an employer reading this…

Employment Rights Manifesto Watch

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With the general election looming, we’ve spent some time pulling together the statements from each of the main parties’ manifestos relating to employment rights and labour relations. We have included those statements that specify (to some degree of specificity!) a change to the existing legal framework and have organised our overview by broad headings. You…

Employment Law Update – November 2019

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It seems like just yesterday we were kicking off 2019 and wondering what the year would hold. Now we are at the final employment law update of 2019 and it is fair to say that it has been an interesting year. Key areas such as holiday pay and employment status have been a constant, but…

How to Get the Best from an Occupational Health Report

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Managing people when physical or mental wellbeing is a factor is best managed by teamwork. This team should be made up of HR, the employee, the employee’s manager and possibly some specialist help in the shape of Occupational Health. Bringing in Occupational Health allows us to make better, more informed decisions; so, it’s really important…

Are Vegetarianism and Veganism Protected under The Equality Act?

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The recent tribunal case of Conisbee v Crossley Farms looked at whether Vegetarianism should be viewed at as a philosophical belief under The Equality Act. We know already that The Equality Act protects religion and philosophical belief. However, whether a philosophical belief qualifies to be protected is determined by a number of factors: Is genuinely…

Employment Law Update – October 2019

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The nights are now drawing in and it’s definitely starting to feel like winter. Don’t worry if you don’t feel like going out into the cold, we’re bringing all the latest developments in the world of employment law to you. As always, our newsletter gives you an overview of the key decisions, to make sure…

What to Do When an Employee is Off Sick with a Pending Investigation

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Often employees think that by getting themselves signed off sick they can avoid disciplinary proceedings. As HR professionals, we know that this is not necessarily the case. It’s important to remember that even though someone is signed off work, it doesn’t automatically mean that they also won’t be able to attend a meeting or hearing.…

Dismissal During Probation due to Sickness: What Can Employers Do?

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Probationary periods and sickness absence are not two ingredients that make for a smooth employment relationship. Whether employers can dismiss during probation due to sickness is a question that arises frequently at Vista HQ, and so we spent some time with Claire, who tells us what employers can and should do in this situation.

Dismissal During Probation due to Sickness: What Can Employers Do?

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Probationary periods and sickness absence are not two ingredients that make for a smooth employment relationship. Whether employers can dismiss during probation due to sickness is a question that arises frequently at Vista HQ, and so we spent some time with Claire, who tells us what employers can and should do in this situation: Assess…

Managing Sickness Absence and Ill Health: Not the Best Person for the Job

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When an employee is off sick or unable to carry out their current duties, and they are disabled within the definition of The Equality Act, then employers are obliged to make reasonable adjustments which may include seeking to find them an amended or alternative role. This gets tricky when you have an alternative role, but…

Should Employers Offer Full Pay on a Phased Return to Work?

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We’re often asked about phased returns to work, and what this means for employees’ pay packets. Suzanne Pipe, Employment Lawyer at Vista gives us a run-through of whether employers need to pay employees in full, or just for the hours that they work when on a phased return. Check the Contract The first port of…

Managing Sickness Absence: Too Ill to Talk?

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Managing an ill health situation where an employee says they are too ill to talk, or attend meetings requires a careful and considered approach from managers and HR teams. Suzanne Pipe, one of our experienced employment lawyers at Vista talks us through the right approach.

Managing Sickness Absence: Too Ill to Talk?

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Managing an ill health situation where an employee says they are too ill to talk, or attend meetings requires a careful and considered approach from managers and HR teams. Suzanne Pipe, one of our experienced employment lawyers at Vista talks us through the right approach: Explain how important communication is, and why Keeping in touch…

How to Make Employee Feedback Memorable: Tips for your Managers

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Great quality employee feedback is one of the best thing’s managers can give to their teams. Well-structured, constructive guidance that the recipient can use to evolve what they do; and how they do it is vital for ongoing development, confidence and a thriving workforce. The problem is, we’re not so keen on giving it or…

Employment Law Update – September 2019

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Welcome to the first employment law update for the Autumn season! It’s hard to believe that the Summer is over already. We hope that you are feeling refreshed and ready for the final quarter of 2019. We took a short break with our updates in August, so this month’s edition is jam packed with all…

3 Tips for Closing Down Grievances that Won’t Go Away

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During the grievance procedure we sometimes come across employees who are particularly determined. They continually raise the same issue, even after you thought you had dealt with it informally. Understandably problematic for HR teams and organisations, its useful to have a few tactics up your sleeve to close down these types of cases. We’ve advised…

How to Write a Better Grievance Outcome Letter

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The first rule of the grievance outcome letter: provide reasons for any findings, backed up by evidence. It is a common fear that putting too much in a grievance response could give the complainant an opportunity to pull the details apart. The actual danger is that if we don’t give reasons for our response at…

Derecognising a Trade Union

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We’re often asked by clients whether they can derecognise a trade union, when can it be done and what are the implications of derecognition. Here’s the lowdown: Firstly, what’s important to remember is that a good and healthy trade union relationship can be a real asset to a business. We are great believers in managing…

Social Media Policy Template

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A free Social Media policy template which helps to minimise the risks to your business and its employees through the use of social media.

How to Work Effectively with Trade Unions

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A healthy trade union relationship is an asset to a business, although navigating the pathway towards achieving it can be complicated. How can organisations work effectively with their trade unions and improve industrial relations throughout the business? Managing expectations When a collective agreement has been drafted in the 60’s or 70’s, its content can often…

How to Conduct a First-Rate Grievance Investigation

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So, we know the importance of establishing the nature of the grievance and ensuring all of the issues are addressed. One way in which we can be confident we have responded to a grievance thoroughly and ensure the employee is satisfied it has been addressed, is by conducting a thorough grievance investigation. So, what does…

The Do’s and Don’ts of The Grievance Process

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As employment law advisers, we are frequently asked about grievances and issues surrounding the grievance process, which put us to thinking: what is it about a grievance that fills us with dread, and why? We all know what we should do in an ideal world… Establish the nature of the grievance and the issues promptly…

Employment Tribunal Awards and How to Reduce Them

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In our blog series addressing all aspects of the employment tribunal process, we’ve come to the stage of employment tribunal awards. Tim Cross, Director of Employment and Legal Affairs at Vista gives us a run down of the potential argument’s employers can use to reduce them. Firstly, if someone is unfairly dismissed, they are entitled…

Employment Law Update – July 2019

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Welcome to our July employment law update, where we look at the latest interesting cases from the employment tribunal. The holiday season is upon us, just in time for the next instalment of the holiday pay saga that has been making its way through the courts for quite some time. For full case updates, please…

Four Practical Steps for Employers when Checking EU Settlement Applications

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Although Brexit may have been delayed for the short term, we are receiving an increasing number of questions from our clients regarding the steps they need to take when checking EU Settlement applications of employees who are EU Nationals, in order to comply with right to work legislation. At present, EU Nationals have the right…

Parental Bereavement Leave: New Legislation and Supporting Bereaved Employees

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Anyone who has experienced bereavement knows how difficult it can be, and how important support from family, friends and your employer can be. Most employers provide some form of leave at a time of loss, but there are wide variations in the amount of leave and whether the leave is paid or unpaid. Each loss…

Transgender Policy Template

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A free Transgender policy template which details how trans people are supported and is clear about the consequences of unacceptable behaviour towards trans people.

Employment Tribunal Checklist

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Designed specifically for HR professionals, our employment tribunal checklist features all the key HR responses required during the tribunal process, plus some tips from our employment lawyers.

How to Harmonise your HR Policies

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Many of you have told us that harmonising hr policies is on your list for the coming year, so we thought you might be interested in what we think are the key points to consider when undertaking this. For more information – visit the blog article here.

A Guideline on Employee Record Retention

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Article 5 of the GDPR states that personal data shall be kept no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which it is being processed. Understandably many HR teams want to know what this means in practice. However, with the exception of a few statutory requirements, there is no defined retention period for most…

British Standard for Diversity and Inclusion

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The launch of the new British Standard for Diversity and Inclusion sparked an internal review for Vista. We set ourselves the challenge of truly embedding inclusion into our business strategy – and it had a significant impact on our colleagues, clients and suppliers alike. The standard gives a clear and practical approach: positive about the…

Ballots for Industrial Action: Mitigating the Effects

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Once you have a compliant ballot, and the Union has gone through all the prescribed rules and requirements, you need to build a strategic framework in terms of your response. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits all response. The shape and size of the industrial action and the effect of it will be unique, and it…

Ballots for Industrial Action: A Non-Compliant Ballot

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As an employer, if you are confident that the strike isn’t compliant and that the trade union haven’t got legal immunity from the strike, there are various options to consider. Chris MacNaughton, Senior Employment Lawyer and Head of Industrial Relations at Vista talks us through them.

How to Introduce New HR Policies into your Organisation

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Lots of value can come from introducing the right HR policies into a business at the right time. Organisations who ‘get it right’ in terms of the tone, culture and understanding what they want to achieve set themselves up with a fantastic opportunity to communicate key business aims and objectives to their employees. In this…

How to Revamp your HR Policies

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If you are considering a policy revamp, Yvonne Saxon, Vista’s Head of HR takes us through the important things to consider.

The Performance Management Cycle

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This video gives you a structure to how you manage your team member’s performance. Complete each step on the journey each time you set an action plan; and at each stage of your formal procedure – and you’re well on the way to effective performance management.

The 3 Do’s of Diversity

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What is the secret formula for being great at diversity in the workplace? Well if we are being honest there isn’t a one size fits all, but here’s a positive starting point: Be authentic Be realistic Be optimistic …and don’t wait.

Dignity at Work – Meet our Dignity Dinosaurs

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Dignity at work is a complex and emotional topic and has become one of the toughest training challenges for Learning and Development professionals to tackle. We’ve developed a communication strategy using (yes) cartoon Dinosaurs. Each member of our ‘Dignity Dinosaur’ herd, who you’ll meet shortly, represents the behaviours we see regularly within organisations, and the…

Case Study: Dignity at Work

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With an international employee network of over 10,000, and a traditional manufacturing and industrial relations environment, as a partner to Airbus – no day is ever the same! Recently, Airbus recognised the need to provide a series of training sessions to support their employees in navigating the complex area of acceptable behaviours and maintaining dignity…

Employment Law Update – June 2019

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In this months employment law update we bring you a range of cases, all of which involve attempts to test boundaries, either in the context of the employment relationship or with regards to the interpretation of employment legislation. For full case summaries, please sign up to our monthly employment law updates. Firstly, we have Ms…

Do you have to Enhance Shared Parental Pay?

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The case of Hextall vs Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police has raised serious questions around enhanced maternity pay, and shared parental pay. In this video Darren asks Karnis all there is to know about the ruling.

How to Prepare for an Employment Tribunal

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Employment tribunal claims have risen by 90% since the abolition of employment tribunal fees in July 2017. The rise has led to a new ‘frequently asked question’ here at Vista; how to prepare for an employment tribunal from a witness’s perspective? We got together with Darren Maw, MD of Vista (called to the bar in…

How to Win an Employment Tribunal

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Let’s face it, no employer wants to lose an employment tribunal. Abi Alemoru, Director of Litigation at Vista spends 2 minutes taking employers through the key ways to get a positive outcome in the employment tribunal.

TUPE Transfers: Will TUPE apply when I win a new contract?

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Try not to be fooled by your colleagues (even if its all of them!) saying that TUPE doesn’t apply for this new contract. We’ve seen plenty of situations where everyone in the bidding organisation believes TUPE doesn’t apply, and it does. It’s important to consider the tests yourself or check with your legal advisor when…

Suspending an Employee

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So, you’re thinking about suspending an employee. Before you send them off on a paid holiday, it’s important to ensure suspension is the right way to go. Suzanne Pipe, Employment Lawyer at Vista talks us through the key considerations in this video.

Managing Sickness Absence: Tips for your Managers

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When a member of your team goes off sick and the absence becomes prolonged, how to manage the sickness absence can seem unstructured for managers as there aren’t specific ‘trigger points’ to prompt (or justify) taking action. Also, often policies and procedures state that an employee can be absent from work for four weeks before…

What if my Employment Tribunal Witness has Left the Business?

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You are in the run up to an employment tribunal hearing and your witness has left the business. Whether that be under a cloud or hopefully on good terms, here’s what to do: Ask yourself – what were the circumstances under which that person left? If that person left with the relationship intact, we are…

Redundancy Advice for Employers: The Top Five Questions We Always Get Asked

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Vista’s employment lawyers provide redundancy advice to our clients regularly, so, we spent an afternoon on the sofa with Tim Cross, Vista’s Director of Employment and Legal Affairs, and asked him the top five redundancy questions which always come our way. He answers them here. If you’d prefer to read – visit the blog here.

How to Harmonise your HR Policies

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Many of you have told us that harmonising hr policies is on your list for the coming year, so we thought you might be interested in what we think are the key points to consider when undertaking this. Start with Why First of all, be clear about why you wish to harmonise your policies. It…

Employment Law Update – May 2019

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Welcome to this months employment law update. May has been a busy month with Mental Health Awareness Week, Learning at Work Week and Women’s Health Week – there’s been lots to think about! It’s also been a busy month for the Courts, which means we have a broad range of cases for you, covering everything…

A Short and Sweet Guide to Soft Skills

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We’re all well versed in the benefits of soft skills training. Research has shown that they account for 90% of what makes people progress up the ladder. Whilst soft and hard skills should work in harmony – the so called softer, people focused skills can be difficult to master. In the interest of keeping life…

A Guideline on Employee Record Retention

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We’re celebrating the 1 year GDPR anniversary by talking employee record retention. Article 5 of the GDPR states that personal data shall be kept no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which it is being processed. Understandably many HR teams want to know what this means in practice. However, with the exception of…

Diversity in the Workplace: 3 Things you can do Today

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What is the secret formula for being great at diversity in the workplace? Well if we are being honest there isn’t a one size fits all, but here’s a positive starting point. We should say, if you want us to talk about the reasons why you should aspire to be an inclusive and diverse organisation,…

Suicide: The Last Mental Health Taboo in the Workplace?

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It is estimated that during 2017 there were 6,217 suicides in the UK, and that most people who take their own life were employed at the time of their death. Given these statistics it’s likely that at some stage in your working life you will know someone at work who has taken, or attempted to…

Tackling HR challenges in a Fast Growth SME

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Yvonne Saxon is our Head of HR, Diversity and Inclusion at Vista Employer Services. Yvonne took time out to pen a guest blog for our friends at Adam Recruitment, to help anyone responsible for HR in a fast growth SME with insight, advice and helpful tips. This is a must read if you’re involved in…

Things to Consider when Suspending an Employee

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So, you’re thinking about suspending an employee. Before you send them off on a paid holiday, it’s important to ensure suspension is the right way to go. It’s a big deal being suspended. We say it’s a neutral act – but it sure doesn’t feel that way for the employee. So as employers we must…

Employment Law Update – April 2019

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Spring is officially in bloom, and we’re bringing you a few cases that haven’t quite been a walk in the park. This month the cases focus on making fresh connections; be that the connection between a disability and unfavourable treatment or the overlap between different processes. For the full case update – sign up to…

5 Ways to Support Employees with Autism

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Many employers are worried that they don’t know enough about autism or that they may struggle to make adjustments to support an employee. It’s important to bear in mind that autism affects individuals in very different ways and covers a wide range of challenges and needs, some of which may be relatively straightforward and others…

Employment Law Update – March 2019

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This month we have a selection of employment tribunal cases which focus on the reasons that sit behind employers’ decisions, because when it comes to employment law, it is often the case that the rationale behind a decision matters as much, if not more, than the decision itself. These cases demonstrate the way in which…

Tricky Dismissals: What to do when an Employee can’t Engage in the Process

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Here’s the fifth and final scenario in our Managing Tricky Dismissals series: five short blogs where we look at complex dismissal issues and how to approach them. “What happens when an employee is off sick with a complex mental health condition that is unlikely to improve, but OH say that engaging in the medical capability…

Tricky Dismissals: ‘The Serial Grievance Raiser’

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Here’s the fourth in our Managing Tricky Dismissals series: five short blogs where we look at complex dismissal issues and how to approach them. “What happens when, during a formal disciplinary or medical capability process, an employee raises a single or a series of grievances which you believe may be aimed at delaying the process?”…

Tricky Dismissals: The Sick Employee who is Refusing to Co-operate

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Here’s the third in our Managing Tricky Dismissals series: five short blogs where we look at complex dismissal issues and how to approach them. Scenario three: “An employee has gone off sick during a formal process and is refusing to engage with the business, what can I do?” If an employee is in the thick…

Tricky Dismissals: ‘The Unusual Under-performer’

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Here’s the second in our Managing Tricky Dismissals series: five short blogs where we look at complex dismissal issues and how to approach them. Here’s scenario two: ‘An employee’s performance has dropped significantly, what should I do? Before you engage a formal process, it’s important to identify the cause of the drop off in performance.…

Tricky Dismissals: ‘The Suspected Thief Blaming it on a Medical Condition’

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Welcome to the first in our Managing Tricky Dismissals series: five short blogs where we look at complex dismissal issues and how to approach them. As employment tribunal claims continue to rise, now more than ever employers must have heightened sensitivity and a firm grasp in fairly and reasonably managing dismissals. When complex dismissal issues…

TUPE Transfers: The answers to our top 3 TUPE questions

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The world of TUPE transfers is complex in language and in process. As employment lawyers and training professionals, we mainly get asked three questions about the TUPE process: what are the obligations for a transferee, a transferor and when does TUPE actually apply? We’re going to cover these off today. Firstly though, a little note…

Employment Law Update – February 2019

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Welcome to this month’s employment tribunal round-up, which may challenge some of what you thought you knew. We have some cases that query supposedly settled legal principles as well as some planned changes to long-standing legislation. For full case summaries, please sign up to our employment law update. First up, the case of Chatfeild-Roberts v…

What’s Your Policy on IVF?

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Hands up everyone who has a maternity policy? A paternity leave policy? An adoption policy? A shared parental leave policy? It’s good to take the time to ensure that your employees know what they can expect when they are starting, or thinking about starting, a family. Even if your policy is to go no further…

Making Use of your Gender Pay Report

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This time in 2018 many organisations were wrestling with identifying the right data, the calculations and the narrative for their first gender pay report. Most of the focus was on compliance and explanation. This time round many people are seeing it as more of an opportunity, part of developing more inclusive practices and engaging with…

How to Prepare your ET3 Response: Tips for HR Professionals

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A dreaded ET1 Claim Form has landed on your desk. First things first, don’t panic! All employers deal with tribunal claims, having to defend one doesn’t make you a terrible employer. So, it’s time to get your response together. An employers response to a tribunal claim is submitted using an ET3 form. If you are…

Mock Employment Tribunal Events: Dates Announced!

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Following a ground-breaking 2018, we’re pleased to announce that our flagship Mock Employment Tribunal events are hitting the road again for 2019. Taking place in Leicester, Leeds, London, Liverpool, Beverley, Cheshire, Birmingham and Bristol our mock employment tribunal gives delegates the chance to experience first-hand the employment tribunal process, understand the issues that could arise during a…

The ‘Big Bad’ Employment Appeal Tribunal

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There is a common misconception about the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT). For employers, it’s formal, stuffy and ‘there’s no point pursuing the matter further because we would never get the decision of a Tribunal overturned anyway’. For employees, it’s perhaps seen as second crack at the whip. Our aim today is to dispel some of…

Employment Law Update – January 2019

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Welcome to the first Employment Tribunal update of 2019! A new year inevitably brings promises of fresh starts and ambitious resolutions. If your plan for 2019 involves keeping up to date with changes in the world of employment law, we can help. We have summarised some of the latest cases for you below. As is…

Disengaged Employees? Don’t reach for the survey button yet

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When organisations want to increase productivity and employee engagement within the workforce, it can be all too easy to reach for the ‘employee engagement survey’ button. As HR professionals we can do a lot more to alleviate this issue than send round a survey. Whilst surveys absolutely have their place in analysing engagement levels within…

Mock Employment Tribunal Roadshow: 2019 Dates Released Soon

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Following a ground-breaking 2018, we’re pleased to announce that our flagship Mock Employment Tribunal events are hitting the road again for 2019. Taking place at multiple locations throughout the year, our mock employment tribunal will allow delegates to experience first-hand the employment tribunal process, understand the issues that could arise during a case and how…

Employment Law Update – November 2018

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It’s getting cold outside! Put the kettle on and take some time to get stuck in to Novembers employment tribunal update. This month, we cover a host of cases which pose some interesting questions, with answers that may take you by surprise. Within these cases, there is an important reminder that the unique factual matrix…

Industrial Action: How Should an Employer Manage a Non-Compliant Ballot?

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When an employer is confronted with industrial action, it’s fair to say it’s not an enviable position. As we know, industrial relations can enable an organisations progress but also impede it or even block and cause harm. In this blog we run through how best to manage those challenges and mitigate the effects of industrial…

Four Practical Ways to Tackle Unconscious Bias

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We’re human, we all have unconscious biases that play a huge role in the decisions we make day in, day out, at home or at work. When these biases rear their head in the workplace, the impact on recruitment, team members’ progression, management decisions, culture and ultimately the bottom line are not to be ignored.…

How to get the Budget to Settle an Employment Tribunal Claim

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You have an employment tribunal claim that you believe your organisation should settle. There may be plenty of obstacles ahead of you, in the shape of your MD muttering phrases such as ‘it’s a matter of principle’, or your FD has taken a particular dislike to the claimant and you receive an ‘over my dead…

Is Your Organisation Transgender Aware?

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51% of trans people have hidden their gender identity at work for fear of discrimination. This is a headline from this year’s Trans Report for Stonewall, despite the legislation in place to protect trans people in the Equality Act 2010 and The Gender Recognition Act 2004 and at a time when organisations are talking constantly…

Employment Law Update – October 2018

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The employment tribunals have been dishing out a myriad of tricks and treats for employers during this Halloween season. Here’s our round up of what’s been going on in the Tribunals throughout October, as well as a few helpful employment law updates thrown in there as Vista’s treat. If you would like to receive full…

Choosing the Right Witnesses for a Tribunal Hearing

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Choosing the right witnesses for a tribunal hearing is essential. The selection can have a huge influence on the outcome; cases really are won or lost on the witness evidence. We got together with our employment law team to talk through this key step in the Tribunal process and understand how HR professionals can make…

What Can Employers do to Support the Menopause?

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The 18th October is World Menopause Day. Where did that come from and why is everyone suddenly talking about Menopause at work? Menopause has long been one of those ‘taboo’ subjects. With this comes a stigma, where no one talks about it and therefore there is a lot of misunderstanding, even amongst women, about the…

How to Write a Good Witness Statement

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Continuing our series focussed on the employment tribunal process, we’re looking at how to write a good witness statement. At this stage of the employment tribunal process all the evidence has been disclosed and agreed within the Joint Bundle. We look at what’s involved in document disclosure here. What is the role of a witness…

Bullying or Harassment? How to decide which you are dealing with

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Bullying and harassment, if you don’t hear these terms in the press on a regular basis, we’re pretty sure you will hear them around the office. In the world of HR these words amount to serious but very different allegations. You may have heard the phrase ‘all examples of harassment could also be bullying, but…

Employment Law Update – September 2018

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What a scorching summer it’s been! We hope everyone has enjoyed the weather and some well-deserved time off over the holiday season. It’s not been so rosy for the employment tribunals, who have been getting a little hot under the collar with ACAS reporting another huge increase in tribunal claims. Here’s a roundup of what’s…

Document Disclosure in the Employment Tribunal – How to Get it Right

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When preparing for an employment tribunal case, one of the most tedious tasks can be the process of disclosing documents and pulling together the hearing bundle. At first, this may seem like an administrative task and just a ‘box to tick’ exercise. However, there is more to document disclosure than meets the eye. Tribunals can…

What to do when an ET1 form hits your desk

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In the year since the abolition of employment tribunal fees, the number of claims has risen significantly, and as a result some employers may find themselves becoming accustomed to the ‘thud’ of an ET1 form on their desk. An ET1 form is not something to be taken lightly and acting quickly can benefit an employer…

Preliminary Hearings: What, when, where, who and why?

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A preliminary hearing is one of the first critical steps an employer may have to take as part of the journey towards the employment tribunal. Here’s our round up of what a preliminary hearing is all about, who needs to be involved and why they exist. If you’d like a copy of our employment tribunal…

Five steps to better grievance procedures

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The increase in employment tribunal claims could mark the beginning of a new era for employee relations. With this, comes an increased pressure on organisations and HR teams to better manage grievance procedures from the word go. Here’s a 5-point plan for when a grievance, or any level of complaint is raised by an employee:…

Settlement Agreement Negotiations – 5 things HR need to know

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Settlement agreements are useful tools to settle disputes quickly and bring a welcome finality to an often-uncomfortable situation for HR teams. Settlement agreement negotiations can be complicated, and when organisations are considering whether to settle a dispute in this way, plenty of questions arise. Claire Rosney, Senior Employment Lawyer at Vista discusses some important points…

Employment Settlement Agreements – How much should employers pay?

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There are plenty of reasons why an employer might find themselves considering an employment settlement agreement with an employee. Settlement agreements are a useful tool in solving a dispute quickly, with certainty and finality. A settlement agreement also allows employers to move forwards from an issue, without the headache of litigation hanging over them, not…

Employment Law Update – July 2018

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Welcome to the first (of many) monthly updates where we bring you a roundup of the most recent employment tribunal decisions. During July, HR professionals will have heard a plethora of questions around employment status, specifically focussed on the cases of Addison Lee, Pimlico Plumbers and Uber. Here’s what’s been happening… The issue of employment…

Introducing New HR Policies into an Organisation

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Firstly, lots of value can come from introducing the right HR policies into a business at the right time. Organisations who ‘get it right’ in terms of the tone, culture and understanding what they want to achieve set themselves up with a fantastic opportunity to communicate key business aims and objectives to their employees. In…

How to Manage the Grievance Appeal Process: Tips for Your Managers

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An employee has appealed against the outcome of a grievance they have raised, and one of your managers is in the frame to chair the appeal hearing. We’ve put together a quick guide covering how to manage the grievance appeal process and be confident that the decision they reach has taken all the right things…

How to Revamp Your HR Policies

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There are lots of reasons why an organisation might wish to upgrade all, or a number of old HR policies. They may have been written in the stone age and never resurfaced, they may be too complicated and difficult for managers to interpret or they might not reflect the tone of your organisation as it…

Why Digital Learning Works: The Theory

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Digital learning, workshop learning or e-learning? It’s a challenge for employers to decipher which approach will meet their objectives. Employers often ask us which is the best way to go, and the answer is the same every time – there is no one-size fits all. Each organisation we work with has a different culture, requirement…

Redundancy Advice for Employers: The Top Five Questions We Always Get Asked

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Redundancy can be a head-scratcher; the process throws out many burning questions for HR teams whilst they are managing a period of business change. Vista’s employment lawyers provide redundancy advice to our clients regularly, so, we spent an afternoon on the sofa with Tim Cross, Vista’s Director of Employment and Legal Affairs, and asked him…

How to Prepare for an Employment Tribunal

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Employment tribunal claims have risen by 90% since the abolition of employment tribunal fees in July 2017. The rise has led to a new ‘frequently asked question’ here at Vista; how to prepare for an employment tribunal from a witness’s perspective? We got together with Darren Maw, MD of Vista (called to the bar in…

Do you have to enhance shared parental pay?

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Do you have to enhance shared parental pay? That’s the question on the lips of every HR professional across the country following the case of Hextall vs Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police. The case has raised serious questions around enhanced maternity pay, and shared parental pay. Mr Hextall is a police officer working for the…

A Good Pub Conversation – The Art of Effective HR Investigations

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The HR investigation process can appear tricky and complex for employers. We could write plenty (and we have) about deciding what action needs to be taken when an issue comes to HR’s attention or when a complaint is made. Do employers deal with the issue formally or informally, for example. This decision alongside following the…

Dignity at Work: Meet our Dignity Dinosaurs

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Dignity at work is a complex and emotional topic and has become one of the toughest training challenges for Learning and Development professionals to tackle. One thing is for sure, an organisation won’t achieve a true change in dignity at work behaviours through a safe approach; we’re talking policies, briefings and PowerPoint slides. Enter stage…

Welcome to Vista, Vanessa!

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Vista is pleased to welcome a new member to our team, Vanessa Naldrett. Vanessa joined Vista this month as ER and Soft Skills Training Manager, a brand-new role for us and one we are really excited about.  Vanessa will be working together with our Head of Learning, Vicky Roberts and alongside our team of employment…

Diversity and Inclusion: Getting Buy In from the Bottom

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In this blog, we’re exploring how employers can achieve diversity and inclusion buy in, from the whole workforce. In our previous blog, we talked about how HR can get buy in for Diversity and Inclusion from the top, but the day to day culture of a business is greatly influenced by the beliefs and behaviours…

The Gender Pay Gap: A No Nonsense Guide for Employees

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We’ve put together a short, no-nonsense video guide to the Gender Pay Gap reporting rules. It’s fun, and free! Please watch, tweet, embed and share with your employees to your hearts content! If you would like to know more about our digital learning content, you can learn more and contact us here. 

Trials and tribulations of launching a website – the Vista way

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We’re delighted to announce the launch of our new website. It’s been a huge project for us, and one which will evolve with us as we improve and develop our services, fit for the 2020’s. During 2017 we saw growth, happy clients, became the first organisation in the UK to get the new diversity and…

GDPR for HR: 3 changes that matter for employers

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Many employers will be busy preparing for the changes in General Data Protection Regulation (‘GDPR’), which come into effect in May 2018. But what does GDPR mean for HR? Every area of a business is affected by the new regulations, and some of the most significant changes will be for Human Resources. Amid the complexity,…

Diversity and Inclusion: Getting Buy in from your Leadership Team

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With the current HR spotlight on Gender Pay Gap Reporting and diversity and inclusion to attract and retain talent, we could assume that all business leaders are fully engaged with the diversity and inclusion agenda. To think this way means that diversity and inclusion is at best a recruitment tool, or a compliance issue that…

Vista Announces Mock Employment Tribunal Roadshow

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Back by popular demand – Vista’s Mock Employment Tribunal (on tour!) Last year the Supreme Court ruled employment tribunal fees unlawful, and since then there has been a 66% increase in claims – a marked change for organisations across all sectors. It’s fair to say that the tribunal still remains a mysterious and daunting prospect…

Join Vista, in partnership with Omni RMS, on International Women’s Day 2018

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This year, International Women’s Day will be celebrated around the globe on Thursday 8th March. Now more than ever, there is a spotlight on gender equality in the workplace. But diversity, inclusion and equality within an organisation doesn’t just stop at gender. As the first organisation to achieve the BSI standard for Diversity and Inclusion,…

Do you have a problem with harassment at work?

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Harassment at work is an issue that occupied the majority of newspaper headlines throughout 2017. A BBC survey released shocking findings – that half of British women and a fifth of men have been sexually harassed in the workplace. It was a year not to be forgotten and a year which employers and learning and…

Diversity and Inclusion: How important is it to practice what you preach?

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Equality, diversity and inclusion have risen to the top of Board agendas in recent years. Companies are keen to showcase the diversity of their workforces, whilst those who are not perceived to have a diverse workforce (for example, all white, male senior leadership teams) become the subject of public controversy. Many business leaders make the…

You might be diverse, but are you inclusive?

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It’s no secret that having a diverse, equal and inclusive workforce can reap business benefits and directly impact the bottom line of an organisation. Studies point to greater business productivity, success and growth, the increased opportunity to innovate and the advantages of capability, knowledge, skills, networks, experiences, attitudes and insights that such a workforce brings.…