Our November Employment Law Update
We were delighted to hold our first in-person event at Bristol Aerospace Museum (home of Concorde) in November.
We covered an array of topics; hot issues around Covid vaccinations (or not) of employees, how employers may need to manage menopause in the future, managing mental health claims, a range of important employment law cases from 2021 and some employment legislation which may be coming our way.
Our audience were treated to a memorable and informative presentation by Richard Roberts, People Director at Pure Planet, who shared his extensive knowledge and experience of employee engagement. There were lots of anecdotes and amusing tales from his HR career along the way.
If that wasn’t enough, there was great food and a tour of Concorde as well!
Thank you to all of you who came, we loved seeing you.
As we contemplate the end of 2021 (which seems to have passed at record speed), we’ve noticed a few themes to our workload. Of particular note are claims with a mental health element or ‘hidden disabilities’.
Such cases seem very much on the rise, in fact, we’d go so far as to say 90% of our current cases revolve around a mental health issue of some sort, many of them a so-called ‘hidden disability’ because the employee didn’t suggest they were disabled until after their dismissal. Based on our experience of working with such claims, we’ve pooled our learning to bring you these tips. We hope you find them useful:
- Early intervention creates better outcomes for all, never more so than with cases involving mental health
- Good communication is vital. Who is the best person is to communicate with your employee?
- Establish the medical situation. Seeking an Occupation Health report is recommended in all cases involving mental health. These days, Occupational Health consultants are highly experienced in mental health issues.
- Make requests for adjustments easy and straightforward for the employee to put forward
- Treat people with dignity and respect
- Sometimes an acknowledgement or apology that something has been mis-managed can go a long way for an employee
- Think of options – be creative!
- Consider Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training for all managers
- More extensive MH awareness training is useful for HR – there are some good online programmes available
- Basic Neuro-diversity awareness training is highly recommended for all HR colleagues and senior management too. An increasing number of disability claims we’ve been dealing with involve one or more neurodiverse conditions. As many as 17% of us are neurodiverse but few of us realise it. Disability discrimination can be caused even if both employer and employee don’t realise there is a disability at the time. Don’t fall into this trap!
We’re taking a well-earned break over Christmas & New Year so our last working day will be Tuesday 21st December. We will re-open Tuesday 4th January.
As with previous years we have supported a range of organisations in 2021.
We joined Ecologi in August, a carbon-offsetting scheme. Here’s the latest on what we’ve achieved so far: latest data
We’ve continued to support The Bridge Foundation in Bristol, who do a fabulous job helping schools, young people and their families cope with mental health challenges.
As strong supporters of equality, we’re also contributing to the University of Bristol in funding scholarships encouraging black and mixed heritage students into Higher Education.