It’s that time of year again, when we open Advent calendars, tuck in to mince pies, and employment lawyers usually trot out ‘bah humbug’ articles about work Christmas parties.
Well, if you are lucky enough to have a Christmas party this year, we expect you are probably already aware of what you need to bear in mind (if by any chance you’re not, click here!).
So instead, we thought we’d look forward to 2012 and suggest some work-related resolutions for you.
1) Put in place an adverse weather policy (if you haven’t already)
The weather experts are predicting another tough winter, so we are all likely to experience difficult travel conditions. Last year we had lots of enquiries from employers about closing due to the weather and how much of an attempt employees should make to get to work – our FAQ article can be seen here. Having a policy and circulating it to staff is an important part of planning for an emergency, but it also helps to clarify an employer’s position. If you’d like our help with a policy, please do get in touch.
2) Prepare for the Olympics
The Olympics are likely to have a significant impact in 2012, both inside and outside London. Tickets have of course already been allocated, but have your staff booked their leave yet? Who will want time off to watch particular events? Transport in and around London is likely to be stretched, so will some staff be permitted to work from home? To avoid resourcing problems it is a good idea to encourage teams to discuss arrangements as soon as possible.
3) Network with others in HR
There’s no substitute for sharing experiences with those in the same boat, and that’s why we set up HR-Connect Networking. Whether you’re looking for advice on best practice or just want to talk to someone about a tricky problem, why not join us for friendly, informal discussion?
You can join HR-Connect on LinkedIn or Facebook, or if you are in West Sussex/East Hampshire you are very welcome to come along to our next meeting. To receive details of our meetings by email, contact Nicola Brown.
4) Become social media savvy
Social media is becoming a growing force in recruitment advertising and we expect this to continue in 2012. Increasingly, employers are starting to embrace social media to encourage employee collaboration and engagement.
However, it’s not all positive, and we have seen several cases on employee misuse of social media come through the Tribunal system in 2011, (see our previous article here) but as yet, none are legally binding as they haven’t reached the appeal stage.
This is an area which is changing fast, and we expect to see interesting developments in 2012. In the meantime, employers would be well advised to have a social media policy in place, setting out their expectations. And if you already have a policy, it needs regular review, as it could date quickly!
5) Get up to date with all the employment law changes
2012 looks to be another year of massive change in the world of employment law. We already know that the qualifying period for unfair dismissal is increasing to two years in April – but as yet, the Goverment haven’t confirmed how the change will apply to people who have between one and two years’ service who currently have statutory protection.
The Government are also consulting about introducing fees for Tribunal claims, and on their new idea of “protected conversations.”
For all the details as well as our take on what they will mean in practice, come along to our seminar on 26 January 2012. There will be lots of opportunity to ask questions of our team.
6) Use Pure Employment Law for advice (if you aren’t already!)
Need we say more? In all seriousness, we are always delighted to hear from new or prospective clients, so please do feel free to give us a call. And we would like to wish all of you a very happy and prosperous New Year!