WestcountryHR Blog
HR FAQs

August’s Most Asked FAQs

Can employers use the NHS Covid Pass to check employees’ coronavirus status? In England, people can obtain an NHS Covid Pass to show that they have: completed a full course of vaccination, in England, at least 14 days ago; evidence of a negative PCR or lateral flow test within the last 48 hours; or proof

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Emplyee Engagement

Is it time to carry out an Employee Engagement Survey?

With Coronavirus restrictions easing and businesses are reopening again, find out how your employees feel about returning to work, and whether they have a good work-life balance. At Westcountry HR, we take employee engagement and wellbeing seriously, which is why we’ve created a knowledgeable and easy survey for you to take. With topics including the

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Home Working Policy

Hybrid Working FAQs

Hybrid Working FAQs Is an employer under an obligation to conduct a risk assessment where an employee will temporarily be working from home? Yes, an employer must assess the health and safety risks to an employee who is working from home, even where this is on a temporary basis. However, it may not be necessary for a

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Can my employer make me get a vaccine?

COVID-19 FAQ’S

VACCINATIONS Can employers ask employees if they have had a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination? An employer that intends to ask employees if they have been vaccinated against coronavirus (COVID-19) must be clear about its reasons for doing so. To comply with its data protection obligations, it must ensure that it has a legal basis for processing

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What can Breathe HR do for your Business?

One business user said it is “making our lives easier” and it could be making yours easier too. BreatheHR is a software website that helps employers to manage their employees effectively. The system allows you to: Manage holiday requests in one space Safely store and keep documents in the Cloud Plan appraisals and recognise your

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HR Euros

EMPLOYERS’ GUIDE TO THE EUROS: FIVE GOALS FOR YOUR WORKPLACE

The delayed UEFA football European championships – Euro 2020 – starts on Friday 11 June 2021, with 51 football matches being played over the course of one month. Employers should plan ahead to make the most of the positive impact that the Euros can have on staff mental health and morale. However, employers also need

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HR FAQs

Summer FAQ’s

Is there a maximum workplace temperature beyond which employees cannot be expected to work? The simple answer to this is no as none of the Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations specify a maximum workplace temperature. The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 state that, during working hours, the temperature in all workplaces inside buildings

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Do I have to wear a face mask at work

Was dismissal for refusing to wear a face mask fair?

In Kubilius v Kent Foods Ltd, an employment tribunal held that the delivery driver was fairly dismissed when he refused to wear a face mask at a client site. Click here for full Case information Practical tips This decision, concerning an incident during the first lockdown, highlights how important it is for employers to have clear rules

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Covid -19

MOST ASKED COVID FAQ’S

Can an employer require employees to have a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination? Employers have a duty to ensure, as far as reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of their employees. Asking employees to agree to a vaccination against coronavirus (COVID-19) is likely to be a reasonable step to take to reduce the risk to

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Home Schooling

How should employers respond if employees are affected by school closures to prevent the spread of coronavirus?

How should employers respond if employees are affected by school closures to prevent the spread of coronavirus? There is limited statutory provision for time off for employees who have to look after their children when schools, nurseries and other childcare providers are closed. Employers should keep in mind that advice on self-isolation and social distancing

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HR FAQs

Making staff redundant during the coronavirus pandemic – FAQ

There is no doubt that coronavirus (COVID-19) is having a devastating impact across many business sectors and that some of those businesses are now facing the real prospect they will need to make redundancies. A redundancy is a dismissal which is usually recognised as being caused by the closure of the employer’s business; the closure of the employee’s

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Mental health in the workplace

Mental Health in the Workplace

Following on from a previous blog on ‘Mental Health in the Workplace’ posted on our website in October 2019, we continue to see a significant amount of work related to this subject a year on – particularly given the impact of coronavirus on people’s lives. With regard to the global and media drive to remove

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HR Consultants Devon

Why Outsource HR

Creating a business case for HR outsourcing is an important initial step for any business.  A Company needs to ask themselves why do they need a HR function. So what aspects of HR could you outsource? Well there are a number of potential benefits associated with HR outsourcing. The benefits…………………. When a Company decides its

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Working from Home

Homeworking During a Pandemic – How do I implement this?

Homeworking can be a very popular option with staff, providing them with a degree of flexibility whilst also assisting them in meeting the demands of their role. With studies showing that modern workers tend to gravitate towards roles that do offer flexibility such as this, homeworking can be a good way of both attracting and

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FAQS on self-isolation, test and trace, and statutory sick pay.

What are the rules on self-isolation? The general rules are set out here. You must self-isolate immediately if: you have any symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste) you’ve tested positive for coronavirus you live with someone who has symptoms or has tested

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COVID-19 FAQ’s

If an employee is advised to self-isolate to avoid the risk of spreading coronavirus, are they entitled to sick pay? Current government guidance is that anyone who has a high temperature, a new continuous cough and/or a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell should stay at home (i.e self-isolate) for at

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Can an employee take annual leave while on furlough?

Government guidance on Holiday entitlement and pay during coronavirus (COVID-19) confirms that furloughed employees can take annual leave, without the furlough period being disrupted. Employers must pay furloughed employees their normal rate of pay for a period of holiday, rather than any reduced amount they receive during the furlough. They must top up the amount

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COVID-19 – How to get back up and running.

For your FREE COVID-19 Risk Assessment Contact Us. The article below has been written as a guide to help you explore some of the things that employers are required to consider about making their premises ready and helping employees back to work Preparing your workplace All employers should carry out a risk assessment of the

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What can I be doing to help my business during COVID-19?

Think AHEAD — This can be a moment for strategic and long-term planning. Examples include: Update your business plan: budgets, timelines, risk plans, and other planning documents so that you know what your business looks like now and how you can grow it once the lockdown is over and your employees are back at work. Update

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COVID-19 FAQ for Employers

Can an employer rotate which employees are furloughed during the coronavirus crisis?  Guidance published by HM Revenue and Customs on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme states that the minimum period an employee can be furloughed for is three weeks. Therefore, it appears that an employer can rotate employees between periods of work and periods of furlough, as long

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Do I have to wear a face mask at work

Employee has contact with coronavirus sufferer what do I do?

Employee has contact with coronavirus sufferer   Protecting the workforce If an employee does not have the symptoms associated with coronavirus, but has been in recent contact with an infected person, the employer should check guidance from the relevant public health body on whether or not it is necessary on risk grounds to ask such

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New Employment Contracts are a requirement from April 2020

FROM APRIL 2020 ALL EMPLOYEES HAVE THE RIGHT TO RECEIVE THEIR TERMS & CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT PRIOR TO COMMENCING WORK In April 2020 a new law will be introduced; the extension of the right to provide a written statement of terms and conditions to all workers. This change means ALL workers must receive a written statement from their employer before they start

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Brexit and what you need to do next

This weeks Blog will take you through the Settlement Scheme for EEA nationals currently working and wishing to remain in the UK   To be able to make informed workforce planning decisions, it is important that organisations understand how Brexit will affect EEA nationals residing in the UK, and what their employees are required to do to protect

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HR FAQs

HR FAQ’s

Does it matter if an employee’s written statement of terms and conditions of employment is out of date? Section 38 of the Employment Act 2002 allows any employee who is successful in one of the statutory claims listed in sch.5 to the Act (which include unfair dismissal and redundancy) to ask for additional compensation of

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The Works Christmas Party

Welcome to Westcountry HR’s November blog…..  Firstly, forgive us for mentioning the word ‘Christmas’ so early in November. But our first word of advice is to prepare yourselves for the season’s festivities.  Usually everyone has a great time, there are no incidents and there a just a few sore heads the next day.  But it’s

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Mental health in the workplace

Mental Health in the workplace.

How does it impact on the employer and your employees Here at Westcountry  HR we are keen to keep you up to date with current thinking in the complex world of employment advice. We are seeing a rising number of employees signed off work with non-physical illnesses i.e. Stress, Depression and Anxiety, with lots of

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HR FAQs

FAQ’s

FAQ’S AUGUST When does overtime have to be included in holiday pay? Holiday pay must be calculated on the basis of the employee’s normal pay. Where an employee normally works overtime, this should be included in the calculation of their holiday pay. Overtime that the employer is contractually obliged to offer and that employees are required to

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How to handle Grievances?

Do you know how to handle a Grievance? Many employers feel uncertain about the correct way to handle grievances, particularly when confronted with employees who persistently raise trivial grievances; grievances that are essentially restating issues that have already been dealt with; or grievances that relate to existing grievance, disciplinary or capability procedures. On the one

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Conducting Employee Engagement Surveys

Employee Engagement Surveys   How your employees behave will have a huge impact on the success of your Company, and it is a known fact that Company’s function best when they can harness the creativity, commitment, passion, capability and energy of their workforce. Carrying out an Engagement Survey Conducting an employee engagement survey can provide

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Outsourced HR for the Small Business

HR for the Small Business Your people are the most important part of your business but managing them well can be difficult and challenging in many ways. As a small business you may not have the time or resources to focus on HR issues or be able to access expert support from a qualified HR

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Part Time Workers rights to Bank Holidays

Are part-time workers entitled to bank holidays? Under the Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000 (SI 2000/1551) a part-time worker has the right not to be treated less favourably than a comparable full-time worker on the grounds that he or she is a part-timer. This includes entitlement to bank holidays. Where an employer includes bank holidays in the statutory minimum entitlement to paid holiday

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Our new PR Video

Welcome to Westcountry HR………   We thought you’d like to see our short video showcasing what we do, who we are and where we are …… Enjoy

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Zero Hour Contracts

Are you using them correctly?…………..   Are you currently using zero hours contracts in your business, or are you considering using zero hours contracts? A zero hour contract is an agreement to employ an individual, as and when required, to fill a role, but when there is no commitment to any minimum number of working

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This weeks Blog is about………………………..GDPR!

So 25th May 2018 has finally been and gone and all our efforts to ensure that all personal data and information is kept secure and safe has been undertaken. The burning question is what now? How do we continue to remain compliant with EU Law and the even bigger questions are what is included and

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How To Recruit Staff – Part 2 – Sifting Through CVs

Check out Part 1 – Job Adverts HERE. After you’ve put up your job advert and you’ve received a suitable number of applications, you will need to sieve through the applicants to choose who to interview. This could be a difficult process as there may be a significant number of excellent candidates, or alternatively a

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The Employment Law Changes 2017 You Need To Know About

Here’s a quick rundown of the employment changes coming around next month that you need to know about. National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage Rate Changes The national minimum wage rises in April 2017: For workers aged at least 21 but under 25 – from £6.95 to £7.05 per hour. For workers aged at

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How to Write An Employment Contract

  Importance of Employment Contracts Westcountry HR Devon Did you know? All employees have a contract of employment with their employer, whether it’s written or not. Once an applicant unconditionally and clearly accepts your offer of a job, a contract of employment comes into existence. The offer and acceptance may be oral or in writing.

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How to Create A Job Advert – Part 1 – Job Adverts

It’s not ‘just‘ a job advert… Spending time creating a job advert is often underestimated – but it’s actually very important. After all, this will be someone who’s going to represent you and your company. There are a few reasons why it’s important to prioritise time to spend creating a quality job advert; Having a

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What do Westcountry HR do?

We are often asked: What is HR? What does an HR Consultant do? Why would I need an HR Consultant? So, I thought I’d tell you a little about what we do here at Westcountry HR. HR stands for Human Resources which, most simply, is ‘the department of a business or organisation that deals with

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