0161 603 2156

Many UK employers are scrambling to understand how the extra day in February affects their payroll obligations, as failing to pay correctly could land them in legal trouble.

The key factor is how employees are paid:

  • Hourly workers paid weekly: No change, as 29th February doesn’t affect the 7-day week.
  • Hourly workers paid monthly: They’ll receive extra pay for working an extra day (21 instead of 20).
  • Salaried workers: No extra pay, as their annual salary covers all working days (usually divided equally per month). However, unions argue for fairness as employers gain an extra day’s work.

Employers should:

  • Check contracts: The answer “it depends” largely on the employment contract.
  • Ensure NMW/NLW compliance: Pay must meet minimum wage for all hours worked, including on 29th February.
  • Address near-minimum wage salaries: Top up pay if additional hours push salaried workers below minimum wage.
  • Consider time off in lieu: This could mitigate minimum wage issues and employee concerns.
  • Communicate changes: Inform employees beforehand if pay timing changes due to a later payday.

Employees cannot refuse to work on 29th February if it’s a normal working day, however, contact us on 0161 603 2156 or at [email protected] to see how we can help with queries like this and help your business flourish.

A new study has found that a large number of managers in the UK are “accidental managers,” meaning they were promoted to management positions without any formal training. This is leading to high levels of attrition, as employees are leaving their jobs because of negative work cultures and ineffective managers.

The study, conducted by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and YouGov, found that one in three people have left jobs because of a negative work culture, and half of those who say their bosses are ineffective plan to quit in the next year. Workers who rate their manager as ineffective are more likely to be planning to leave their organisation in the next 12 months than those who say their line manager is effective (50% vs 21%).

The CMI said that managers with formal training are significantly more likely to call out bad behaviour or report concerns of wrongdoing compared to those who have not had any training. Ann Francke, chief executive of the CMI, said that the report was “a wake-up call for a low-growth, low-productivity, and badly managed Britain to take management and leadership seriously”.

The research, titled “Taking Responsibility: Why UK plc needs better managers,” found that “accidental managers” are often promoted for the wrong reasons, with nearly half of managers surveyed (46%) believing colleagues won promotions based on internal relationships and profile, rather than their ability and performance.

While one in four people in the UK workforce holds a management role, only a quarter of workers (27%) describe their manager as “highly effective”. Of those workers who do not rate their manager, only a third (34%) feel motivated to do a good job and only one in four (25%) are happy with their overall compensation.

A large majority (72%) of those workers who rated their manager as effective felt valued and appreciated. This figure dropped to just 15% when the manager was rated as ineffective.

Francke said: “The picture of the UK economy in recent years has been a seemingly relentless drip feed of entrenched challenges, from stalled productivity, labour shortages, skills gaps, to instances of shocking behavioural failings by individuals and organisations that have catapulted the UK into the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

“Promotions based on technical competence that ignore behaviour and other key leadership traits are proving, time and time again, to lead to failings that cause damage to individuals and their employers, not to mention the wider economy’s performance.”

She added: “On a very practical level, skilled managers should be seen as a reputational insurance policy – they will help prevent toxic behaviours, they will call out wrongdoing and they will get the best out of their teams.”

The research found that 82% of managers who enter management positions have not had any formal management and leadership training – the so-called “accidental managers” – and 26% of senior managers and leaders had not received management or leadership training.

The study also revealed divides among managers across gender, ethnicity and socio-economic backgrounds. Male managers (22%) were significantly more likely than women (15%) to say they had already learned enough about management, and managers from lower socio-economic backgrounds (57%) were more likely than managers from higher socio-economic backgrounds (48%) to say that they did not have management and leadership qualifications.

Managers from white ethnic backgrounds were also more likely to say that their manager treats them fairly and with respect (81%), compared to those from non-white ethnic backgrounds (70%).

Lessons for employers:

  • Invest in formal management and leadership training for all managers, regardless of their level of experience. This will help to ensure that all managers have the skills and knowledge they need to be effective leaders.
  • Promote people to management positions based on their ability and performance, rather than their internal relationships or profile. This will help to ensure that managers are selected for the right reasons.
  • Create a culture of transparency and accountability in the workplace. This will encourage managers to call out bad behaviour and report concerns of wrongdoing.
  • Provide managers with the support they need to succeed. This may include providing them with access to resources, training, and coaching.

By taking these steps, employers can help to reduce the number of “accidental managers” in the workplace and create a more positive and productive work environment.

Supportis can help employers with all aspects of HR, including implementing promotion policies and management training and development. We have a team of experienced HR professionals who can provide advice and support to employers.

To find out more about Supportis, call today on 0161 603 2156 and speak to one of our friendly team about how we can help your business flourish.

A former Citibank analyst, Mr. Fekete, was fired for gross misconduct after he submitted an expense claim that included meals for his partner. He had told a colleague that he would be taking his partner on the trip, but when he submitted his expenses claim, it was clear that he had claimed for meals for two people. He initially tried to explain away the receipts, but eventually admitted that he had lied.

Citibank investigated the matter and found that Fekete had breached the company’s expense management policy. He was invited to a disciplinary meeting, where he argued that he had been having personal difficulties and was on strong medication when he submitted the false expense claim. However, the company found that Fekete had deliberately lied and dismissed him for gross misconduct.

Fekete took Citibank to an employment tribunal, claiming unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal. However, the tribunal found that Citibank’s decision to dismiss him had been a proportionate response. The tribunal also found that Citibank had acted in a procedurally fair manner throughout the disciplinary process.

Lessons for employers:

Have a clear and concise expense management policy in place. The policy should clearly state what types of expenses are reimbursable and what types of expenses are not. It should also be clear who is eligible to claim expenses and how expenses should be submitted.

Investigate all allegations of expense fraud thoroughly. Employers should take all allegations of expense fraud seriously and investigate them thoroughly. This may involve interviewing employees, reviewing receipts, and conducting other forms of evidence gathering.

Be fair and consistent in disciplining employees for expense fraud. If an employee is found to have committed expense fraud, the employer should discipline them in a fair and consistent manner. The severity of the discipline should be proportionate to the seriousness of the offense.

Provide employees with the opportunity to explain themselves. Before disciplining an employee for expense fraud, the employer should give them the opportunity to explain themselves. This will help the employer to understand the circumstances of the offense and to determine the appropriate disciplinary response.

In the Fekete case, Citibank followed all of these steps. The company had a clear and concise expense management policy in place, and it investigated the allegations of expense fraud thoroughly. Citibank also gave Fekete the opportunity to explain himself before disciplining him. As a result, the employment tribunal found that Citibank’s decision to dismiss Fekete was fair and proportionate.

Supportis can help employers with all aspects of HR, including implementing policies to promote diversity and equality in your workplace. We have a team of experienced HR professionals who can provide advice and support to employers.

To find out more about Supportis, call today on 0161 603 2156 and speak to one of our friendly team about how we can help your business flourish.

Sexual harassment at work: A third of people have experienced it, but only half have reported it

  • 29% of workers have experienced sexually inappropriate behaviour at work.
  • 31% of women have experienced sexually inappropriate behaviour at work, compared to 26% of men.
  • 69% of the time, the sexually inappropriate behaviour came from someone more senior.
  • 48% of people did not report the sexually inappropriate behaviour at work.
  • 34% of employees felt their employer was complicit and happy to “look the other way” when it came to sexually inappropriate behaviour.
  • 23% of employees said their workplace was misogynistic.

These statistics are from a new poll by The Barrister Group, and they are hugely disappointing. Sexual harassment is never okay, and it is important to remember that you have the right to feel safe and respected at work.

If you have experienced sexual harassment at work, there are a few things you can do:

  • Talk to a trusted colleague or friend.
  • Report the incident to your manager or HR department.
  • Keep a record of what happened, including dates, times, and witnesses.
  • If you feel comfortable, you can also contact a lawyer or Citizens Advice.

Employers also have a responsibility to create a safe and respectful workplace for their employees. They should have policies in place that make clear what constitutes sexually inappropriate behaviour and how to report it. Employers should also investigate any reports of sexual harassment promptly and fairly.

If you are an employer, you can help to create a safe and respectful workplace by:

  • Having clear policies in place on sexual harassment.
  • Training your employees on what constitutes sexual harassment and how to report it.
  • Investigating any reports of sexual harassment promptly and fairly.
  • Creating a culture of openness and transparency, where employees feel empowered to report inappropriate behaviour and are confident that when they do they will be supported and the necessary action will be taken.

Sexual harassment is a serious problem, but it is one that can be addressed. By working together, we can create safer and more respectful workplaces for everyone.

Supportis can help employers with all aspects of HR, including creating policies to keep your business safe and compliant. We have a team of experienced HR professionals who can provide advice and support to employers.

To find out more about Supportis, call today on 0161 603 2156 and speak to one of our friendly team about how we can help your business flourish.

A Ralph Lauren stylist has won an employment tribunal claim for direct race discrimination and race-related harassment after her manager made comments referring to United Colors of Benetton and the United Nations.

The case is a reminder of the ongoing problem of racism in the workplace, and the importance of employers creating a culture where employees feel safe to report discrimination and harassment.

The tribunal found that the manager’s comments were “patently related” to the stylist’s mixed heritage, and that they had the purpose of creating an intimidating and hostile environment for her. The manager was also found to have been dishonest to the stylist, the HR team, and the grievance investigator, which further aggravated the situation.

The outcome of the case is a positive one for the stylist, and it sends a clear message to employers that racism in the workplace will not be tolerated. However, it is important to note that this is just one case, and that racism remains a widespread problem in society as a whole.

According to a 2021 report by the TUC, one in three black and minority ethnic (BME) workers in the UK have experienced racism at work in the past five years. The report also found that BME workers are more likely to be in low-paid and insecure work, and are less likely to be promoted to senior positions.

Racism in the workplace has a number of negative consequences for individuals and businesses. For individuals, it can lead to stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems. It can also damage their careers and make it difficult for them to find new jobs. For businesses, racism can lead to a loss of productivity, increased turnover, and damage to their reputation.

There are a number of things that employers can do to tackle racism in the workplace. These include:

  • Creating a culture where employees feel safe to report discrimination and harassment.
  • Providing training on anti-racism and unconscious bias.
  • Implementing policies and procedures to prevent and address discrimination and harassment.
  • Monitoring the workforce for evidence of discrimination and harassment.
  • Taking disciplinary action against employees who commit racism.

By taking these steps, employers can create a more inclusive and equitable workplace for all employees.

Tis recent tribunal case is a reminder of the ongoing problem of racism in the workplace. It is also a reminder of the importance of employers creating a culture where employees feel safe to report discrimination and harassment.

Racism in the workplace has a number of negative consequences for both individuals and businesses. For individuals, it can lead to stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems. It can also damage their careers and make it difficult for them to find new jobs. For businesses, racism can lead to a loss of productivity, increased turnover, and damage to their reputation.

There are a number of things that employers can do to tackle racism in the workplace. These include:

  • Creating a culture where employees feel safe to report discrimination and harassment.
  • Providing training on anti-racism and unconscious bias.
  • Implementing policies and procedures to prevent and address discrimination and harassment.
  • Monitoring the workforce for evidence of discrimination and harassment.
  • Taking disciplinary action against employees who commit racism.

By taking these steps, employers can create a more inclusive and equitable workplace for all employees.

Supportis can help employers with all aspects of HR, including implementing policies to promote diversity and equality in your workplace. We have a team of experienced HR professionals who can provide advice and support to employers.

To find out more about Supportis, call today on 0161 603 2156 and speak to one of our friendly team about how we can help your business flourish.

The CIPD has released a manifesto for good work, calling on the next UK government to develop a long-term workforce strategy.

The CIPD argues that the UK needs a joined-up workforce strategy covering three themes: skilled work, healthy work, and fair work. This is needed to tackle stagnating productivity, rising skills shortages, an ageing working population, and the UK’s transition to net zero.

In addition to government policy reforms, the CIPD says that organisations and people will need to adopt new ways of working, including adapting to or optimising the use of artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies. They should also focus on improving job quality to support employee wellbeing, productivity, and labour market participation.

CIPD chief executive Peter Cheese said: “It’s essential the next UK government sets out a bolder, long-term vision for economic growth to raise job quality, innovation, and productivity across all sectors. Achieving this requires an inclusive industrial strategy for growth, and a strategy for jobs and good work, together with skills support and investment in the UK workforce to meet the opportunities and demands for the future.”

The CIPD manifesto makes a number of specific recommendations for the government, including:

Skilled work:

    • Develop a long-term strategy for the UK’s skills system to ensure it can deliver the range of technical and transferable skills employers need, particularly as the use of AI grows.
    • Establish a high-quality, locally delivered business support service to boost employer investment in skills and people management capability, while supporting digital adoption and green transition.
    • Reform the apprenticeship levy into a more flexible skills levy.
    • Create more high-quality vocational training opportunities to tackle technical skills shortages.
    • Ensure the immigration system is flexible and can address skills shortages.

 

Healthy work:

    • Create a well-resourced single enforcement body focused on employer compliance with the law.
    • Ensure the Health and Safety Executive has the resources to encourage employers to meet their existing legal duty to prevent and manage stress at work.
    • Develop locally delivered access to occupational health provision for employers, which is free for SMEs.
    • Reform statutory sick pay, by removing the lower earnings threshold and raising the rate to the equivalent of the national living wage, to be paid from day one of absence and making it more flexible to support phased returns to work.

 

Fair work:

    • Consider bringing responsibility for enforcing workers’ rights under the Equality Act 2010 within the remit of a properly resourced single enforcement body to help tackle discrimination.
    • Promote and support flexible working, including considering a challenge fund to support employers to trial flexible working in non-office and frontline roles.
    • Increase statutory paternity leave to six weeks at or near full pay.
    • Review and reform shared parental leave.
    • Enhance childcare support for working parents.
    • Require employers to include pay and pension information in job adverts.
    • Introduce more reporting requirements for employers, including mandatory action plans for gender pay gap reporting and mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting.

Supportis can help employers implement HR strategies for a more productive, inclusive, and equitable culture. Give us a call on 0161 603 2156 to see how we can help your business flourish.

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If you'd like to find out more about how Supportis can help your business flourish then give us a call on 0161 603 2156 or send us an email.

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