07976 893443


PHR new banner


By partnersinhr, Jul 6 2015 05:59PM

We can all hold our hands up and admit to it: at some point in our careers, we’ve logged onto a social media channel to see what our Facebook “friends” (come on, do you really have 734 friends?) or people we’re following (no, Taylor Swift isn’t your real-life friend) are up to whilst at work. If your hand isn’t waving in the air right now, someone’s telling porkies.

When that social channel is LinkedIn, it’s different. Networking of that kind could actually result in strengthening business relationships. But when this “networking” involves scrolling aimlessly down your news feed, watching videos of dogs chasing their tails or ‘liking’ the fact that your forever-single mate is now officially ‘in a relationship’, we’ve got a problem.

As a business owner or manager, you can spot it a mile off: you think your employee is busy frantically typing away, but as you approach their desk, the blue and white-coloured page suddenly disappears and another tab is opened at the speed of light.

The use of these social platforms in your employee’s personal time is just fine; they can spend their whole lunch hour on such sites, if they so wish. But when they’re creating a Pinterest board for their seven-year-old daughter’s birthday party or visiting Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on your clock, they are wasting their time – which, in turn, wastes your money.

Is it really such a big problem? Well, according to a survey by Salary.com last year – yes, it is. Almost nine in ten (89%) employees admitted to wasting time at work each day (up 20% from 2013), and a huge proportion of this time is spent on social media.

Even if your employees spent just 15 minutes updating their status or tweeting whilst at work each day, this clocks in at nearly 4,000 hours per year – that’s 65 hours of pay completely down the drain. When you multiply that figure by the number of people you employ… well, it’s enough to make your blood boil. It’s a minefield for both employers and HR departments alike.

And which employees are the most likely culprits? According to a survey by the online store Watch Shop, people aged between 25 and 34 waste more time at work than any other age group. Most Millennials have only ever known access to the Internet for communication and 53% of them, a study by Forbes has revealed, would “give up their sense of smell rather than lose a device connection.” What’s more, research has revealed that 55% of 18-24-year-olds view social networking as an “entitlement” – so, in other words, they think it’s a basic human right!

So, from an HR perspective, what are the solutions? How long is too long with regards to time spent on social media? How can it be controlled?

The only common-sense solution is to set up a coherent social media policy to lay down the law when it comes to employee guidelines. This will ensure that there are no grey areas and that you are the one in control. In a world of rapid technological advances, this policy needs to be regularly revisited in order to reflect the way people interact and work using social media.

If you are considering implementing a tailor-made, bespoke social media policy, please get in touch today.

By partnersinhr, Jun 9 2015 11:35AM

The Working Time Regulations 1998 give a right to 28 days paid annual leave and the Employment Rights Act 1996 specifies that workers holiday pay is equivalent to their normal weekly salary.

Previously, annual leave pay in the UK was thought not to include any commission that would have been earned were it not for taking holiday. Workers and employees now appear to be entitled to have overtime, commission, some bonuses and extra shift payments counted towards their holiday pay.

Employers who pay using commission structures now need to start considering the risks of not calculating commission in respect of holiday periods.

There have now been several other relevant cases including Williams and others v British Airways plc, Neal v Freightliner Ltd and May Guerney Ltd v Adshead and Bear Scotland Limited v Fulton and others (and conjoined cases). The clear trend in these cases is that holiday pay should include other payments such as commission or overtime which are ‘intrinsically linked’ to the performance of the workers' tasks.

Commission which is directly linked to work should be included in holiday pay, although commission which is not so directly linked may not have to be. Attendance bonuses will also be deemed part of the entitlement for normal working hours and should be taken into account when calculating holiday pay.

To be included, any payments such as overtime and extra shifts must be 'intrinsically linked' to the performance of the tasks required under the contract of employment.

Commission, overtime, bonuses etc may only have to be taken into account when calculating his holiday pay in respect of the four week minimum holiday period required by the Directive rather than the full 28 days paid leave available in the UK.

Employers should consider the 'knock on' effect of regular overtime, commission, bonuses and extra shift payments or other payments. If staff do work which is ‘intrinsically linked’ to the performance of their contractual tasks these should probably be included when calculating holiday pay.

Some workers may be in a position to bring retrospective unpaid wages claims and employers will face significant outlay and sacrifice much management time resolving issues, although the subsequent Bear Scotland case suggests that in many cases a three month time limit will apply.

At the very least employers may contemplate changing commission structures where they are contractually able to do so.

Source: CIPD

By partnersinhr, Jun 9 2015 10:20AM

In simple terms, Shared Parental Leave allows eligible parents to choose how to share the care of their child in the first year of birth or adoption. It enables mothers to end their maternity/ adoption leave and pay, and to share the outstanding balance of leave and pay as SPL and pay with their partner. SPL should not be confused with ordinary parental leave, which is unaffected by shared parental leave!

A few of our clients have expressed concerns about the complexity of the new SPL provisions. Some organisation have elected to address the issue as and when it arises but others have chosen to be prepared and have a written policy so everyone knows their responsibilities under these new rules.

Under the provisions there are actions to be taken by the employer, the employee and their partner to demonstrate they qualify for Shared Parental Leave. As the provisions are complicated they require the need for good processes and effective communication to ensure they are followed successfully.

Don’t panic! We can provide a policy and process that takes you through each stage,

outlining the responsibilities of all involved.

To start with why not check out the ACAS free guide but beware it is 44 pages long!


Blog Index:


GDPR & the future of data protection compliance for HR teams.  Jan 18


Whats the difference between capability and conduct? Nov 17


Getting to grips with work place stress and pressure. Sept 17


Help! I have no idea what my boss is thinking!  June 17


Difficult conversations, encouraging staff to take pride in their appearance Apr 17


How to deal with an office relationship with professionalism.  Feb 17


Recruiting? Tops 3 reasons why you shouldn't do it all in house. Dec 16


How to deal with a 'problem' employee the right way Oct 16


Am I paying my employees enough? Aug 16


Why should you hire an intern, work experience student or apprentice? June 16


How do you ensure your employees work as hard for your business as you do?   March 16


How do you handle that difficult conversation with an employee?            Feb 16


Social Media & the workplace: friend or foe?  Dec 15


The problem with presenteeism. Nov 15


When does your growing business need HR Policies? Oct 15


Why HR is a waste of time and money!

Sept 15


Factors to consider when drawing up a contract

July 15


How much time is actually wasted in the office on Social Media?

July 15


Holiday Pay - Implications for Employers

June 15


Shared Parental Leave

June 15