Bank holiday warning to employers - The Business Magazine
The UK is in for a treat in June 2022: an extra bank holiday is confirmed to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The second May bank holiday will be pushed back to Thursday, 2 June, and the bonus bank holiday will follow on the Friday. Tracey Hudson from the HR Dept advises businesses on how this extra holiday fits into their existing annual leave.
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QUEEN’S JUBILEE HOLIDAY – ADVICE FOR EMPLOYERS - Rhiwbina.info
We have an extra bank holiday in 2022. Great news for many of us, but it could be a headache for employers, an HR expert has told us.
The extra bank holiday is confirmed to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The second May bank holiday will be pushed back to Thursday 2 June, and the bonus bank holiday will follow on the Friday.
Tracey Hudson from The HR Dept contacted us to offer some advice to employers about how this extra holiday fits into their existing annual leave.
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Tracey Hudson begins: “It’s rare that we are granted an extra bank holiday, and because of that, some employers will be in unchartered waters when it comes to processing that holiday time. Must they permit staff the extra time off? How should part-time staff be treated? What if you need your staff to work on bank holidays?”
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“I bought an HR Dept franchise territory just over 15 years ago. I had never run a business before, but I was good at HR and I had plenty of experience in the SME market so providing the actual HR service I knew I could deliver incredibly well.” Tracey Hudson
Employers struggling to adapt workforce strategies amid threat of coronavirus outbreak - People Management
But for many SMEs – particularly those in the hospitality, events and tourism sectors where job roles are less flexible – this has already meant making layoffs. Tracey Hudson, director at The HR Dept, told People Management many of her clients were already making “quite dramatic changes” to their workforces. “I haven’t seen so many queries about layoffs for quite a few years [since the recession] – that shows the gravity of the impact coronavirus is having on the SME market.”
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But Tracey Hudson, exective director at HR outsourcing company The HR Dept., argued that employers won’t be forcing employees back to the office since most home-based workers are following government guidelines, rather than having chosen to work from home.
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Rachel has discriminated against the other applicant for the role by hiring Tag purely because she’s attracted to him, says Tracey Hudson, south Warwickshire director of The HR Dept: “There’s the risk of age discrimination because Tag is younger and much less experienced than the other candidate, sex discrimination because he is male and sexual harassment too.”
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However, the exact rules become less clear when employers try to ascertain details of their workers’ personal travel plans. “We’ve had a lot of employers [that’ve] wanted to dictate where their employees can travel to,” said Tracey Hudson, director at The HR Dept.
But while businesses should not ask why an employee may choose to travel to a high-risk area, a duty of care still exists, and Hudson said it was fair for an employer to deem anyone choosing to travel for personal reasons to a destination on the Home Office’s high-risk list would be expected to self-isolate for 14 days.
News Employers should prepare for ongoing working from home, experts warn - People Management
However, Tracey Hudson, HR director at The HR Dept, said many firms were well placed to start a safe return to the workplace having already invested in making offices Covid secure. “We believe that, with pragmatic and sensible advice led by a strong management team, offices can and probably should start to return to normal as soon as possible,” she said.
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News Coronavirus could mean a fifth of the workforce is off sick, government warns - People Management
Speaking to People Management, Tracey Hudson, director at The HR Dept, said employers should be “pragmatic” about letting people work from home if they request it, even if they have no reason to suspect anyone in the workplace is carrying the virus.
“If somebody in the office is really paranoid and really panicky and they’re just sitting there all day worrying, they’re going to make themselves ill. So let them just work from home if you can,” Hudson said
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Tracey Hudson, South Warwickshire director of The HR Dept, told People Management she believed digital transformation meant companies could constantly create new ideas to help improve what they do and how they do it.
Hudson said: “The more we automate systems, the more cost savings can be made. From an HR perspective… we want to make sure we keep [employees’] skills and knowledge in our business, which means we need to make businesses the best places to work.”
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But Tracey Hudson, director at The HR Dept, warned many parents would not be able to work from home or take unpaid time off because of the nature of their role, particularly with limited information currently on how long the outbreak will last.
“If you think about the hospitality industry, for example, you’ve got people who are in jobs where they need to be there, and they can’t work from home,” Hudson said. “They are worrying about how long the school is going to be closed or if they will have to self-isolate, and this is all unpaid stuff.”
Hudson said larger businesses might have the infrastructure and funds to cope with long-term remote working in relation to school closures, but smaller businesses would struggle to cope as many cannot afford to have staff out of the office for weeks.
Under current legislation, parents are only entitled to up to 18 weeks’ unpaid parental leave for each child before their child is 18.
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What does best practice for someone’s first day back in the office look like?
A full and detailed risk assessment is key to bringing employees back to the office, says Tracey Hudson, HR director at The HR Dept, who recommends HR teams simulate a working day – including commuting, daily tasks and lunch breaks – to better understand how space is used, and flag any areas where social distancing might be difficult. Such precautions will also allow employers to fully explain to employees what their first day back will look like, including how social distancing will work and what new practices will be in place. Some businesses are also reportedly launching mandatory online ‘re-inductions’ to ensure staff are ready for their first day back – so employees can walk through how the office has changed and the new safety protocols before they arrive.
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What if we have a case or suspected case in the office?
Employers should advise any employee who feels unwell to follow self-isolation guidance, to not come into work and to be tested. If they test negative, they can return. If they test positive, colleagues exposed to the infected employee should be sent home to also self-isolate. Tracey Hudson, HR director at The HR Department, advises employers to use a bubble system, where only set groups of staff are allowed in the office at any one time. This will help businesses implement their own track and trace system and quickly reach out to colleagues potentially exposed.
BBC appearance - Christmas party warning
Following the news about Lloyd’s of London staff being told to behave at Christmas parties, Tracey Hudson appeared on the BBC news at 6pm to dicuss further from a HR perspective.
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