Resource Hub - Vista

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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.

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.

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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,…