• National Minimum Wage from April 2016
  • From 1st April 2016, a new national minimum wage will be introduced.   For those aged 25 or above, they will now earn £7.20 per hour, and will be referred to as the National Living Wage. Those aged 21 – 25 will earn £6.70 per hour. 18 – 21 year olds will earn £5.30per hour. Those…

  • Can I tell my staff to only speak English at work?
  • A recent Employment Tribunal case recently considered this point.   The case involved a Russian who would frequently speak Russian on the phone at work.  She worked in an animal testing laboratory and managers were concerned that she was an animal rights infiltrator and potential security issues. The Employment Tribunal ruled that, due to the legitimacy…

  • What is the cost of your employees’ sickness absence?
  • One of the hottest HR topics for 2016 is staff wellbeing. Recent research from the CIPD (the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development) has shown that the average cost of sickness absence per employee has increased to £554 a year.  Coupled with that, a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers report has stated that there is “a wealth of…

  • Do your staff have a sleeping problem?
  • Recent research from a bed manufacturing company (Sealy UK) have revealed the sleeping habits of 1000 workers and how it impacts on their attendance at work: -        32% said that they wake up feeling tired -        21%  of these have called in sick as a result. -        6% of men are more likely to “pull…

  • Dealing with Legal Highs in the Workplace
  • None of our clients have approached us (yet) about issues with their staff who may be legally high in the workplace.  What many people do not realise is that many substances which could be considered a “legal high” are actually illegal under the Misuse of Drugs Act.  But new, uncontrolled substances could emerge on the…

  • Conducting Workplace Investigations
  • At Karen Wise Consulting we regularly undertake HR-led investigations on behalf of our clients.  Often these investigations are sensitive in nature and complex due to the amount of detail that needs to be considered. We are also frequently asked to deliver training to managers and HR team on undertaking investigations. Recently ACAS have published this useful…

  • Are your staff wasting time on-line?
  • A survey by Watchshop highlights how much time is lost on non-related work on-line activity, and it’s quite worrying.  The figures are as follows: – Checking personal emails:  4 days (32 hours) per year – Checking social media:  3 days (24 hours) per year – Taking private phone calls: 3 days (24 hours) per year…

  • Are you a charity wanting free Learning & Development Resources?
  • GivebackUK is a new video learning library which is free to everyone working within the UK’s third sector.   They have recorded hundreds of videos on a range of topics to help organisations improve the performance of their staff, which in turn helps improve the performance of their organisation. GivebackUK is a great set of resources,…

  • Changes to Zero Hour Contracts
  • All employers who use zero hour contracts need to be aware of the changes that came into effect on 11th January 2016.  The new regulations state that it is automatically unfair to dismiss an employee on a zero hours contract if the reason is that the employee breached the clause in their contact of employment…

  • Whistleblowing and Gagging Clauses
  • Whistleblowing law protects workers who disclose information about malpractice at their workplaces (provided certain conditions are met).    The House of Commons have published this useful research paper on Whistleblowing and the use of gagging clauses (click here). None of our current clients use gagging clauses, but we do advise our clients when we think…