Uncategorised HR under the Spotlight – Your 3 Minute January Roundup

Welcome to Spotlight HR’s monthly ‘bite-size’ look at the latest HR news and important legal changes affecting small to medium-sized businesses across the UK today.”

January 2023. By Kimberly Bradshaw (CEO, Spotlight HR.)

Goodness me, how time flies! But, as ever, the HR wheel keeps turning. This month we focus on the new initiatives and upcoming changes to flexible working laws along with the new generational focus on happiness in the workplace. We hope you enjoy this interesting mix of updates to mark the beginning of 2023. Speak soon!

Flexible working – Post-pandemic, is this still a thing?

Well, recently, following the landscape shift in homeworking since the pandemic, the government published its response to a consultation about flexible working laws. Here is a glimpse of what changes to expect in 2023.

The likely 2023 changes for flexible working:

  • From day one of their employment, employees will likely have the right to request flexible working – formerly, this was after 26 weeks.
  • Employees’ requirement to explain/mitigate the effect their flexible working might have on their employers will likely be removed.
  • Consultations to explore alternative options to flexible working need to be explored before such requests are declined.
  • In the future, two (rather than the current one) requests for flexible working in a 12-month period will be permittable.
  • Employers will likely be required to respond to requests within two months – Rather than the current three-month window.

However, within this new landscape, employers will still have some rights to reject flexible working requests on statutory grounds – Things like performance impacts, heightened costs and customer-related service delivery. Beware though; there are some sizable holes to avoid in the form of discrimination and the Equality Act. Want to know more? Here is some great further reading Flexible working blog (wslaw.co.uk). Need some advice? Give Spotlight a call.

Workplace wellbeing support – Most employees would leave without it!

A recent study has shown that over 80% of employees would consider leaving their roles without wellbeing support being in place. In fact, there appears to be a seismic shift taking place around workplace happiness right now, and with one of the biggest retention problems being attributed to stress and burnout – Perhaps it’s time we sit up, listen and take action.

The movement seems to be driven by a new generational shift, where health and wellbeing support is not just nice to have in the workplace, but an actual employee requirement – And in a tough recruitment market with spiralling recruitment costs, finding ways to retain the people you already have, could put you on your best footing. Check out this article (peoplemanagement.co.uk) for more details.

Through the HR lens – Spotlight HR’s pick of 2023 workshop trends

  • Menopause and LGBTQ+ inclusion workshops
  • Work-life balance training
  • Mental health first aid

And with happiness at work linked to increased employee productivity, developing new wellbeing support workshops as part of your employees’ benefits package, could not only elevate your workforce staying power – whilst also delivering smiles.

At Spotlight HR, we specialise in workplace wellness. Get in touch for a FREE chat to see how we can help you.

Employment Tribunal in focus Suspected sexual harassment testimonial

This really is a cautionary tale of how poor HR procedures can send situations spiralling.

When an employer feared their night receptionist planned to give evidence in a sexual harassment tribunal against the company, the employer suspended them – Even though the employee claimed they’d never been asked to be a witness for any such tribunal.

The employer ignored the employee’s requests for written confirmation about his suspension, leaving him suspended without pay for seven months.

Eventually, at his own tribunal, the gentleman was found to have been unfairly dismissed. And importantly, it flagged that even if he had given evidence in someone else’s sexual harassment tribunal – this still would be unfair dismissal. The employee was paid £19,276.11 in compensation.

The moral here is: Not following proper investigative HR disciplinary procedures is costly. Moreover, mistreating employees can lead to victimisation claims and terrible, long-term PR for your business. Need help? Call in your HR experts.

Spotlight HR – dependable HR advice that you can rely on.