Rank #1: Negotiating successful settlement agreements
Settlement agreements form an essential part of an employer's toolkit, providing a means to terminate employment on mutually acceptable terms without the risk of tribunal claims. Their success, however, depends on effective negotiation with the employee and compliance with technical rules.
Nick Chronias, partner at DAC Beachcroft LLP, joins us to discuss the key features of the settlement process including the following:
- starting a conversation with an employee around termination;
- the difference between "without prejudice" discussions and "protected conversations";
- the tax treatment of termination payments;
- confidentiality clauses;
- pitching the offer; and
- the technical rules that govern settlement agreements.
Rank #2: Brexit and political opinions at work
How should employers approach political discussions at work? Can employers prevent employees from displaying pro- or anti-Brexit paraphernalia at work? What about staff campaigning or protesting outside working hours? Will employers making redundancies because of Brexit really choose leave voters as the first to go?
We are joined by principal employment law editor Stephen Simpson to discuss five scenarios related to Brexit and political opinions at work.
Rank #3: Dealing fairly with disciplinary and grievance situations
Handling disciplinary and grievance situations is a perennial issue for HR, and having robust procedures in place is the cornerstone of a fair process.
Max Winthrop, head of employment law at Short Richardson and Forth LLP, joins us to discuss some of the key points you need to have in mind, including how recent updates to the Acas guidance on disciplinary and grievance situations may impact your approach.
Rank #4: Key HR metrics and priorities for the year ahead
XpertHR's annual survey of HR roles and responsibilities covers HR priorities over the coming year, budgets for carrying out activities and ratio of HR practitioners to employees.
Senior HR practice editor, Noelle Murphy, takes us through latest findings, key points of note from the research and identifies trends over time. Recruitment challenges for the HR profession and the impact of Brexit are also discussed.
Rank #5: GDPR update - current data protection issues for HR
Almost one year on from the introduction of the GDPR, we discuss its continuing importance for HR and the potential impact of Brexit on transfers of personal data.
We are joined by senior employment law editor Susie Munro to go through some current data protection issues of interest to HR. We look at:
- potential enforcement action and the importance of staff training;
- the use of artificial intelligence in the recruitment process;
- data protection impact assessments; and
- the transfer of data between the EEA and the UK in light of ongoing uncertainty around Brexit.
Rank #6: Common issues during maternity leave
Issues that can arise during maternity leave range from the mundane, such as keeping lines of communication open, to the dramatic, such as putting an employee at risk of redundancy. We are joined by principal employment law editor Stephen Simpson to discuss common scenarios during maternity leave, and how to deal with them.
Rank #7: Brexit - preparing your workforce for all scenarios
With 29 March fast approaching, we talk to Louise Haycock, a director and immigration solicitor at Fragomen, about what employers should be doing to prepare for all Brexit scenarios.
Louise discusses the potential implications for employers of the various parliamentary outcomes, including the following:
- the impact on EU citizens working in the UK and vice versa;
- managing international assignments and business visitors;
- carrying out recruitment checks;
- using the settled status scheme;
- the status of Irish citizens working in the UK;
- supporting EU national workers; and
- reviewing your policies and procedures.
Rank #8: The dangers of dismissing employees in receipt of permanent health insurance payments
The recent decision of Awan v ICTS (UK) Ltd highlights the risk of dismissing an employee who is in receipt of permanent health insurance payments. Laurie Anstis, director with Boyes Turner LLP, explains the implications of the decision and the steps you can take to mitigate against the substantial financial risk of getting it wrong.
Presenter Laura Merrylees is joined by Laurie Anstis.
Rank #9: Wellbeing in the workplace
Employee wellbeing is high on the HR agenda, given its relationship with improved business performance. We explore XpertHR's latest research based on the experience of over 400 HR practitioners around initiatives in five key areas: health; job-related financial security; working environment; work-based relationships; and job purpose. We look at the top three reasons for organisations running wellbeing initiatives, how you can get it right and the challenges you might expect to meet along the way.
Presenter Laura Merrylees is joined by Noelle Murphy.
Rank #10: #MeToo - sexual harassment in the workplace
The #MeToo movement has become a global phenomenon and is rarely out of the news. But what should employers be doing to combat sexual harassment in the workplace?
Kelly Thomson, legal director at law firm RPC and XpertHR contributing author, gives us some top tips on the steps that employers can take to prevent sexual harassment. Kelly also gives her insight into how employers should deal with complaints of sexual harassment in the workplace and the key pitfalls that they should avoid.
Presenter Fiona Cuming is joined by Kelly Thomson.
Rank #11: Key employment cases for 2019
Which employment cases will have the biggest impact on HR in 2019? We assess the likely impact on employers of upcoming cases on: the national minimum wage, shared parental leave, holiday pay, restrictive covenants, collective bargaining, covert CCTV, and employment status. The 2019 cases that we discuss pose the following questions: Are sleep-in care workers entitled to the national minimum wage while asleep? Is it sex discrimination for employers to enhance maternity pay but not shared parental pay? Is ambulance workers' voluntary overtime sufficiently regular and settled to be included in the calculation of holiday pay? Is a restrictive covenant that prevents an ex-employee from being "concerned or interested in" a competitor for six months too wide to be enforceable? Are employers permitted to make direct pay offers to employees "over the heads of the union" when collective bargaining breaks down? Is an employer that introduces widespread covert CCTV to tackle thefts breaching employees' right to privacy? Are Uber drivers "workers", entitling them to basic employment rights such as holiday pay? Presenter Laura Merrylees is joined by Fiona Cuming and Stephen Simpson.
Rank #12: Flexible working policies and practice at PwC
Charlotte Billot-Taylor, Leader - Employee Relations, Policy & Advice at PwC, discusses her organisation's approach to flexible working and transparency around family-friendly policies. She shares the experience of PwC in introducing new initiatives designed around various flexible working patterns, and offers advice for any organisations looking to evaluate or modify flexible working policies or practice for employees. Presenter Noelle Murphy is joined by Charlotte Billot-Taylor.
Rank #13: Pay award forecasts for 2019
Employers have awarded only modest pay rises over recent years, but what do they have in store for 2019? XpertHR managing editor for pay and HR practice Sheila Attwood joins us to discuss what organisations are planning on the pay front in 2019, including the likely level of pay awards and the factors that are putting pressure on organisations to make higher or lower increases. Presenter Laura Merrylees is joined by Sheila Attwood. Edited and produced by Chris Bryant.
Rank #14: Constructive dismissal explained
Employers continue to be confused by the concept of constructive dismissal. Max Winthrop, employment partner at Short Richardson & Forth LLP, explains constructive dismissal, including: what action on the part of an employer may entitle an employee to resign; the level of connection required between the employer's actions and the employee's resignation; and strategies for defending a constructive dismissal claim in the employment tribunal.
Rank #15: Training line managers in absence management
We discuss how employers are training managers to deal with this important issue.
Rank #16: Managing an underperforming employee
In this week's podcast, we look at how employers can manage poorly performing employees in an effective and proactive manner. In particular, we cover: giving feedback to underperforming employees; the standard of performance that is expected of employees; following a fair performance management process; and redeployment in the context of poorly performing employees. We also briefly look at Matthew Taylor's review of modern employment practices. Presenter Jeya Thiruchelvam is joined by XpertHR consultant editor Darren Newman.
Rank #17: Employment law update
We provide a mid-year round-up of the key legal developments for employers, including the Trade Union Act, gender pay gap reporting, public-sector exit payments, the apprenticeship levy and the latest position on holiday pay cases. Presenter Ellie Gelder is joined by Laura Merrylees and Sheila Attwood.
Rank #18: Dismissal for poor attendance
Naeema Choudry, partner at Eversheds Sutherland, joins us to discuss the EAT decision of Kelly v Royal Mail Group which highlights common issues and dilemmas associated with long-term poor attendance, including constructive knowledge of disability and the weight to attach to occupational health advice.
We also discuss how a decision to dismiss for poor attendance may fall within the band of reasonable responses, even where it was acknowledged to be harsh.
Rank #19: Handling difficult conversations
Handling difficult conversations is an essential skill for line managers but it doesn't come easily. Gary Bates and Sarah-Jane Georges, both account directors at behaviour change company Steps, discuss the best ways to develop line manager confidence and competence in having such conversations.
This includes the key principles around having effective and productive conversations when the subject matter is difficult or potentially upsetting for the employee, and offers examples using role play.
Rank #20: Whistleblowing
Matthew Perry, a solicitor at Wedlake Bell, joins us to discuss the benefits of embedding effective whistleblowing arrangements in your organisation, and guides you through the steps to take should you receive a whistleblowing complaint.