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Frequently Asked Questions

They say that 'Knowledge is Power'. Our aim is to Empower you and your business with answers to your questions.

Can an employer contact an employee's GP direct to request a medical report?

No. The employee's consent must be obtained in writing prior to the letter being sent to the doctor and the employee given the opportunity of seeing the report before it is sent to the Company.

Can an employer dismiss an employee in cases of long term sickness?

Can dismiss but only by following the capability procedure, consideration of whether reasonable adjustments to the role or workplace might facilitate the employee’s return and by ensuring that a relevant medical opinion is obtained at every stage.

Can I insist that my male employees take annual leave instead of paternity leave?

No. Fathers, or the person with parenting responsibilities (which could be a same sex partner) who have had 26 weeks continuous service are entitled to 2 weeks paid paternity leave. They may also be entitled to Additional Paternity Leave of up to 26 weeks. Depending on their Terms and Conditions, the pay may be at the statutory rate.

Do Park City Consulting offer ad-hoc project work for clients?

Yes, Park City can offer ad-hoc project work either to existing or prospective clients. We would meet with you to understand your requirements and provide a detailed proposal which we would subsequently present and agree a course of action.

How do you calculate annual holiday and bank holiday entitlement for part time staff?

Annual holiday is strictly pro-rata, bank holidays can either be paid if it is a normal working day or pro-rata as for annual leave but calculation on a pro rata basis is better practice.

I want to issue someone with a disciplinary warning - what do I do?

Talk them through the disciplinary procedure, from written notification of meeting giving at least 48 hours’ notice of that meeting and inform them of their right to be accompanied and copies of any evidence on which you may rely on in making your decision. Following the meeting, take an adjournment if necessary, decide and inform the employee of the level of warning to issue and follow up with a formal letter explaining right to appeal.

I want to make someone redundant - what do I do?

Talk them through process of whether it is a genuine redundancy situation, the consultation period and purpose, discuss and consult on selection criteria and its importance where appropriate and encourage counter proposals to avoid the need for redundancy. As consultation progresses you may inform them of the calculation of redundancy payments and at the point of dismissal give final confirmation of decision and follow up letter.

If my Company does not recognise a Trade Union, can my employees still bring a trade union representative to accompany them at a disciplinary hearing?

Yes, it is the right of the employee to be accompanied at a hearing or appeal by a fellow employee or union representative or union official.

If one of my employee's leaves the Company of their own accord having been issued notice during a redundancy exercise, do they forfeit their redundancy pay?

Possibly, depending on contractual provisions and the reason for their departure. However, they are likely to forfeit all or part of their notice pay.

Should payment be made for a Bank holiday when an employee fails to report for work the following day?

The employees Terms and Conditions should be checked and/or the situation fully investigated. If the reason is found to be genuine then it would be appropriate to normally make payment.

What constitutes a Redundancy situation?

The need to no longer maintain a particular job or a significant reduction /diminished requirement for work of a particular kind. If a number of posts of a particular kind are to be made redundant then an agreed selection criteria must be applied to ensure a fair selection process.

I’ve heard that I have to give all my employees the right to request flexible working regardless of whether they have care responsibilities towards children or other dependents. Is this true?

Flexible working rights were extended to all employees during the summer of 2014. However, there will be guidance which accompanies this change as to what a legitimate and reasonable reason for the request might be. Don’t forget that as is the case at the moment, if you have genuine and justifiable reasons for rejecting the application, this will still be possible.

I need my part time workers to help with overtime but they are insisting on being paid rates of time and a half which is the enhanced rate that I apply to my full time employees after they have worked 39 hours. Is this right?

No your part time workers are entitled to be paid at basic rate for additional hours worked (and approved by you as overtime) up to 39 hours. Anything worked over 39 hours as overtime will attract the enhanced rate.

We don’t have a pension scheme in our Company and I know that we are due to set up a scheme for auto enrolment purposes in eighteen months’ time. Do I have to set up a stakeholder scheme in the meantime?

No, if you don’t have a scheme in place or there is a scheme that no one has accessed, you can now wait until you set up a pension as part of the auto enrolment obligations.

One of my team has resigned and still has one week’s holiday to take – can I make her take that during her notice period?

Yes, on the proviso that you can provide her with notice of the requirement to take the leave which is twice the length of the amount of leave i.e. two weeks, you can insist on this unless your Company procedures or contract dictate otherwise.

Can I retire one of my employees who has now reached the age of 68?

No, there is no longer a default retirement age in the UK and retirement itself is no longer a fair reason for dismissal. There are some organisations which have retained a retirement age because they have been able to objectively justify doing so but if this is not the case with your Company, then proceed carefully as you could be faced with an age discrimination claim if you dismiss. If you are anxious because your employee is no longer performing satisfactorily you may be able to address this using your capability or disciplinary procedures.

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Juliet Price is the Managing Director here at Park City and has extensive, specialist knowledge in HR, Health & Safety and staff development. Enter your question below and we'll be back in touch soon with an answer!

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