In May I became a trustee and decided to do something to raise funds for them. For some reason jumping out of a plane at 12,000 feet seemed a good idea!
Despite a sleepless night beforehand and a delay of over an hour on the day, I jumped out of that plane and I have to say it was the most amazing buzz of my life.
My original target was to raise £1,000 but thanks to the generosity of so many friends and colleagues my total at the time of writing is £1,305.
I would like to thank everyone for their support and encouragement.
My online sponsorship page is still live for any last minute donations and to view more photos: JustGiving – Michelle Harvey-Jones]]>
According to recent research by the Hay Group, just over a quarter of UK business leaders believe that managers in their firms fail to use performance management processes effectively. Yet over three quarters of them acknowledge that individual performance management is an important driver of overall business performance and improvement.]]>
What are the Rights?
Equal rights relate to the pay and basic working conditions of agency staff including pay, working hours, rest breaks, holidays and overtime as well as access to facilities such as canteens, transportation services and childcare facilities. It should be noted that ‘Pay’ covers any financial reward directly attributable to the role including bonuses, commissions and lunch vouchers. Hirers are also required to keep their agency workers informed about vacancies and to give them the same opportunities to find permanent work with the hirer as permanent employees.
To qualify, agency workers will have been working in a role for 12 weeks continuously although allowable breaks to the continuous period include maternity, paternity, adoption leave and also sickness absence.
What’s not included?
Agency workers will not acquire the rights of employees in relation to, for example, pension provision, sick pay, maternity, paternity and adoption pay, redundancy, expenses arrangements or unfair dismissal.
If an employment tribunal rules against the employer in the event of a claim, the maximum penalty is £5,000 together with unlimited compensation for the aggrieved worker.
So, if your organisation uses or is likely to use agency workers who may well qualify for the 12 week period, you need to consider what the permanent equivalent of those roles are, the pay and conditions attached to those roles and ensure they are included for the agency workers.
From 6th April 2011
The changes are being introduced in two phases starting 6th April 2011. From that date employers will no longer be able to issue notifications of retirement. However any retirement notifications issued prior to this date where retirement is on or after 1st October 2011, must be justified by the employer to avoid claims of age discrimination.
From 1st October 2011
All retirements will have to be justified to avoid claims of age discrimination. The statutory retirement procedure will be scrapped and employers will have to follow a procedure under the ordinary unfair dismissal rules, relying on one of the reasons laid down in the Employment Rights Act of 1996 including their capability, conduct, illegality or other allowable reason.
During the transition period from 6th April to 1st October, the current statutory procedure will not apply unless a retirement process is already underway, the notification was issued prior to 6th April 2011 and the employee reaches age 65 by 30th September 2011.
Going forward employers can retain a specific retirement age so long as it satisfies the requirements of the law and is objectively justified eg due to the particular training requirements of the job or the health and safety of the individual and their colleagues. But in any case, employers should be aware of which of their staff are due for retirement and when, so that the correct procedure is followed and any relevant policies amended.
Additional Paternity Leave (APL) is in addition to the existing Ordinary Paternity Leave provisions, which currently entitle employees to a maximum of 2 weeks paternity leave and up to 2 weeks Statutory Paternity Pay. Parental Leave also remains in place and the terms are unchanged. However with APL, employees can take between 2 weeks and 26 weeks leave commencing 20 weeks after the child is born, so long as the child’s mother has returned to work early and hasn’t used up her maternity leave entitlement. APL must be completed before the child is 12 months old. The employee is entitled to Statutory Government Pay of approximately £124 per week for the first 3 months of APL with the remaining 3 months unpaid. Employers are required to allow the employee to return to his original job on the same salary and with the same conditions as they are with mothers who take maternity leave.
Who is Eligible?
The new law applies where an employee is the child’s father, or the husband, partner or civil partner of the child’s mother. The employee must have a minimum of 26 weeks of continuous employment with the employer by the 15th week prior to the estimated week of childbirth. The mother of the child must be entitled to Maternity Leave and Maternity Pay and is required to have returned to work early without taking her full maternity leave entitlement. This means that between them the couple can take up to 12 months leave in total. These provisions also apply in the case of adoption where notification of a match is on or after 3rd April 2011.
The employee must provide the employer with at least 8 weeks written notice of his intention to take APL, together with a declaration of his eligibility in terms of his responsibility in the child’s upbringing. The child’s mother must also provide a declaration including the date she intends to return to work and confirmation that the employee is the only person taking APL in respect of the child
What do I need to do?
Company policies should be updated to reflect these new provisions and where necessary staff contracts amended and updated. Although the Government estimates that only 4% to 8% of those eligible for APL will actually take it, you would be wise to ensure that all your staff responsible for managing staff absence are fully aware of these new requirements.
The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations of 2006 have now, to all intents and purposes, been incorporated into the Equality Act 2010 which came into force on 1st October last year. This new Act not only continues the existing rules against age discrimination, but has extended the protection into new areas, increasing the extent to which employers or their associated parties can be liable for breach of the law.]]>
Michelle has always had a clear vision for people issues, providing my organisation with an energetic, strategic direction. Through strong support to the senior management team, Michelle has played a pivotal role in the successful growth of the organisation.
On a one-to-one level I have always found Michelle receptive to sensitive issues, open to change and willing to take difficult decisions. I have also found her to be direct and unambiguous in her approach. The organisation has clearly benefited from her insight and experience.
On several occasions Michelle and I have debated the merits and benefits of proactive employee relations strategies and I feel she has a hunger for continuous improvement that can be directly applied to the business.
I feel the qualities of insight and clear vision Michelle can bring to an organisation can contribute enormously to the leadership and direction of an organisation.
The Rise Partnership