We hope you can join us for our next masterclass on 4th November ‘What to include, what to avoid – a snappy guide to employment contracts & how not to get bitten!’

For those who missed our most recent Masterclass, ‘A Handy Guide to the Minefield of Family Leave’ you really did miss an interesting session. This can be a very worrying subject for Employers and it is always best to seek advice from an expert as the law is not always as black and white as it seems.

Some interesting questions were raised and discussions were had at the Masterclass, so we thought we would share a few tips and some key advice with you:

  1. It is so important to have your family leave policies and procedures available and up to date. These will set out the foundations for fair consideration and decision making. Policies and procedures that are clear to follow can help both the Employer and Employee with clarity and ensure the risk of inadvertent discrimination is minimised.
  2. If an Employee does not meet the eligibility criteria for statutory maternity pay, did you know they may be entitled to a Maternity Allowance, payable directly from the state to the Employee?  Contact HMRC for details.
  3. When you have an Employee on statutory leave you must ensure that they are not deprived of their rights simply because they are not present in the work place. If an Employee is on any type of statutory leave, ie. maternity, paternity, adoption etc., you must ensure they are treated no differently to those at work.  So if you are planning a team away day or a Christmas party don’t forget to invite them! If you have a bonus scheme in place that entitles them to a share without their personal contribution of effort or results, you must ensure they receive it, even if they are on statutory leave.
  4. Do you have a policy yet for the new Shared Parental Leave scheme? This can be a particularly tricky one and does take some careful consideration! Of those partners that have used the Shared Parental Leave option, most have taken equal share of the leave allowance and both parties have taken the leave together.  How could this work for you? What should you think about when considering an application for Shared Parental Leave? If you are at all unsure, ask an expert!
  5. It is great advice to consider all applications for flexible working fairly. However this does not mean that if you have accepted an application for one Employee that you then have to accept every application in order to be fair. It is acceptable to come to different conclusions for applications if the parameters and needs of the business have changed. The requirement is that you use the same criteria to reach your decision each time, so if you look at the peaks of work for one Employee, you must use this as a criteria for the next to ensure you have applied the same logic to each request, even if the outcomes are different.

Want to know more?  Get in touch and one of our friendly advisors will be able to help.