Have you seen Debbie’s suite of Self Help Video’s?

Well worth a look. CLICK HERE to view.


Zero hours, zero risk?

Demitchi Obi was employed on a zero hours contract with Rice Shack. She typically worked 15½ hours per week, earning £102.50 per week on average.

In March 2016, she was suspended following “an altercation at work”. Attempts to set up a disciplinary hearing petered out and she took up a full-time role with a call centre on 22 August 2016 – under her zero hours contract she was entitled to work for other employers.

She was offered no further shifts with Rice Shack until it contacted her again on 13 December 2016, when she said she was happy to return to work, provided she was paid for the time she had been on suspension. In July 2016, she had submitted a claim to an Employment Tribunal for unauthorised deductions from wages (not being paid for being suspended).

The Tribunal found that the Company were liable to pay her average weekly earnings for the full nine months period of suspension. The moral of this story: always deal with a disciplinary in a fair and prompt manner!

Sleeping on the job

Part of a carer’s job may involve sleeping on site so that they are available if needed, but how much must they be paid?

The Court of Appeal has recently ruled that only the time spent awake and working should be subject to National Minimum Wage requirements. Lower courts had previously determined that carers were entitled to National Minimum Wage for the full shift.

It is highly likely this decision will be appealed again, next stop – the Supreme Court.

Tribunal claims rocket

Since Employment Tribunal fees were scrapped last year, the number of claims brought by an individual employee has rocketed. In the last quarter, the number of claims increased by 118% on the same period the previous year.

The earlier you contact me for advice, the less likely you are to end up as part of these statistics. Please get in touch if you have a difficult employment situation.

Croatian nationals

There was a little known rule that if you wanted to employ a Croatian national, even though Croatia is a member of the EEA, they needed to have additional authorisation to work in the UK. Happily, that is now no longer the case – for the time being at least!

This month’s tip

I appreciate you may be glad to see the back of the holiday season. Everyone is back. However, for many of you the end of the holiday year will be here before you know it, with all the challenges that brings of fitting in outstanding holiday entitlement.

Do an audit now of how much holiday everyone has left and, where they have more than a week left, ask them when they plan to take it. Remind them of your holiday rules, particularly if you do not allow holiday to be carried over.

You can insist an employee takes holiday, provided you give them at least twice as much notice as the holiday you want them to take. Far better to encourage them to plan it now to avoid that end of year holiday headache.