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Tag Archive

It is time to refresh HR policies and practices for 2021

2020 was a tumultuous year with employers having to respond rapidly to the challenges of the pandemic and it doesn’t look like it is easing any time soon. Culturally the world has shifted too, with the Black Lives Matter movement bringing momentum to improving equality and diversity at work. The end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020 means an end to free movement and has implications for UK employment law.

As we now enter a further lockdown this is a good time to review and refresh HR policies and practices after a fast-paced 2020 and to get ready for the challenges of the new year.

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Back to Basics: 3 Little-Known Policies that Need to Be in Your Employee Handbook

As we enter September and move into ‘back to school’ month it is the perfect time of year for a bit of a #SpringClean. This month we will be continuing our ‘back to basics’ series which we began last year when we covered, holidays, the probation period and the employment contract. This month we will cover another three topics, starting with the employee handbook.

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How to Manage Diversity in the Workplace

Managing diversity in the workplace presents employers with a number of challenges. However, these challenges can be easily managed by employers promoting a culture of tolerance and open communication. Below are our top tips for managing diversity in the workplace.

Treat each employee as an individual

Avoid making assumptions about employees from different backgrounds. Instead, look at each employee as an individual and judge successes and failures on the individual’s merit.

Prioritise communication

To manage a diverse workplace, organisations need to ensure that they effectively communicate with employees. Policies, procedures, safety rules and other important information should be designed to overcome language and cultural barriers by translating materials and using pictures and symbols whenever applicable.

Encourage employees to work in diverse groups

Diverse work teams let employees get to know and value one another on an individual basis and can help break down preconceived notions and cultural misunderstandings.
Base standards on objective criteria

Set one standard of rules for all groups of employees regardless of background. Ensure that all employment actions, including discipline, follow these standardised criteria to make sure each employee is treated the same.

Be open-minded

Recognise, and encourage employees to recognise, that one’s own experience, background, and culture are not the only with value to the organisation. Look for ways to incorporate a diverse range of perspectives and talents into efforts to achieve organisational goals.

Recruitment

To build a diverse workplace, it is crucial to recruit and hire talent from a variety of backgrounds. This requires leadership and others who make hiring decisions to overcome bias in interviewing and assessing talent. If organisations can break through bias and hire the most qualified people, those with the right education, experience and skill sets, a diverse workplace should be the natural result.

Policies and Practices

Organisations that embrace diversity also need to ensure that there are policies and practices in place to protect employees’ rights and stay compliant with government regulations.

Zero-Tolerance Policy

Having a diverse workplace means that jokes and comments about a protected characteristic need to be met with zero-tolerance enforcement. Policies should be put in place to handle misconduct and communicate to employees that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated. Organisations also need to make sure they have a formal complaint policy, so employees know how to report misconduct within an organisation.

Training

Employees need to be aware of how to coexist with a diverse range of people, as well as be conscious of cultural sensitivity. Training can help an organisation manage diversity in the workplace by helping employees become more self-aware, which plays a vital role in helping employees understand their own cultural biases and prejudices.

If you need any help and advice in relation to the above, please do not hesitate to contact me or the employment team on 0113 350 4030 or at hello@scesolicitors.co.uk.

If you would like to be kept up to date with any changes in employment or dispute resolution law, please subscribe to our newsletter.

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SCE Solicitors is a boutique employment law practice based in Leeds which advises clients nationwide.  Please note that the information in this blog is to provide information of general interest in a summary manner and should not be construed as individual legal advice. Readers should consult with SCE Solicitors or other professional counsel before acting on the information contained here.

Mobile Phones and The Workplace

We’ve all been there – we’re right in the middle of a face-to-face conversation with a close friend or family member when, without warning, they look down at their mobile phone and begin mindlessly scrolling. Or even worse, their phone rings and they take the call. 

Well it’s bad enough when that happens in our personal time, but it’s almost unbearably frustrating when it happens in the office. If employees are constantly on their mobile phone, it can have many negative effects, including irritating colleagues and impacting on employees’ productivity and performance. 

The best way to tackle this issue is to have a clear policy in place which sets out clear expectations – and consequences –concerning the permitted use of mobiles phones in the workplace. Below are our 10 easy ways you can take control of mobile phone use in your workplace. 

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Social Media and Social Networking in the Workplace

As social media expands into every aspect of our lives, including the workplace, striking a balance between leveraging social media as a business tool and managing its use by individual employees can be challenging. As more people become social media savvy, concerns over the impact of social media in the workplace are not diminishing over time.

So, what would a happy medium be for employers? Let’s see… 

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Discriminatory Dress Codes; Just How Far Can An Employer Go?

Over the last few weeks, a few stories have hit the headlines which have, naturally, sparked the interest of many.  These relate to the dress code and appearance requirements of some employers which are potentially discriminatory.  Here I take a look at the reported stories and offer insight into why the requirements are potentially discriminatory.

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Avoiding Bullying In The Workforce; Top Ten Tips For Employers

Bullying in the workplace does, unfortunately, exist.  The problem is what one person considers bullying, another considers banter.  Bullying often involves an abuse of power and results in behaviour which is offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting.  It can include physical, verbal and non-verbal conduct. 

So here’s my top ten tips for employers.

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