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April 2017 Newsletter – Manufacturing & Engineering sector

It’s April and after the egg-citement (sorry!) of the long Easter weekend it’s back to work. In order to help you get cracking (sorry again!) we’ve hunted out the most up to date HR/Employment Law news for you. This includes the race in the workplace review and what this could mean for employers, the Government’s consultation on caste discrimination and ACAS’s final guidance on the Gender Pay Gap regulations.

Our case update this month focuses on dismissal for long-term sickness absence, the CJEU’s decision on wearing headscarves at work, disability harassment when not technically disabled and from what date notice period starts to run when actual receipt of notice is delayed.

What we’ve been doing in the Manufacturing & Engineering sector recently…

We have been noticing a concerning trend in the queries that some of our manufacturing clients have been raising, which is bullying on social media. A scenario that we have seen from a number of clients is that tensions among workers on the shop floor are kept in check by diligent managers, shift and team leaders during the working day. The problem arises often when the employees go home and one puts a post on facebook etc about another colleague.  Some colleagues then add their comments or merely “like” the comments and very soon the company has got a serious bullying and harassment problem to deal with.

In this situation it is not the case that because it has happened at home that it is nothing to do with the company, it does need to be tackled, not least to avoid matters escalating. We have certainly had to advise about fights on the shop floor arising from comments made on social media.  What really helps clients in these situations is a robust social media policy together with a modern bullying and harassment policy that allows the company to deal appropriately with it. You also need managers who are trained and skilled at dealing with these situations, did we mention that we have run a very well received course on disciplinary investigations?

It is important for manufacturing companies to keep up with the increasing use of social media and we are more than happy to assist in any way we can..

Simon Martin
Partner, Solicitor
email Simon or call 0117 325 0929



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