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In November 2023 the government published a response to a consultation they conducted earlier this year in respect of reforms to retained EU employment law.

This consultation came about following our exit from the EU and places a key focus on amending, removing, or replacing unnecessary employment laws we have retained from the EU, thereby simplifying some areas of complex legislation we find ourselves working with!

Key outcomes following this consultation are:

The government intends to re-publish guidance around record-keeping requirements under the Working Time Regulations.

The Working Time Regulations require employers to keep objective, reliable and accessible records in relation to employees’ daily rest breaks, weekly rest periods, and weekly working time. However, the Government has acknowledged that there is widespread uncertainty from employers about their record-keeping obligations.

The government therefore intends to provide clarity on the record-keeping requirements. They have committed to re-publishing guidance, and we are anticipating this will be released in due course.

Simplification of annual leave and holiday pay calculations for irregular hours workers and part-year workers.

The Supreme Court’s decision in the Harpur Trust v Brazel case last year brought about widespread confusion for employers (and HR Advisors alike!).

The case resulted in the previous 12.07% method for calculating holiday pay for all irregular hours workers (including those working under a zero-hour contract or part-year workers) to be deemed unlawful, and instead proposed the introduction of a 52-week holiday entitlement reference period.

Following the ruling, employers expressed concern around the large administrative burden the 52-week method creates. Thankfully, the government has now committed to re-introducing an accrual method to calculate holiday entitlement at 12.07% of hours worked in a pay period for irregular hours workers and part-year workers. This is the same method that was widely used before the Harpur Trust judgement and is found to better reflect what workers have actually worked in the current leave year.

This should help simplify and address concerns about the calculation of holiday entitlement and make entitlement clearer for all irregular hours workers.

The reintroduction of rolled-up holiday pay for irregular hours workers and part-year workers.

Rolled-up holiday pay is where employers pay an additional amount on top of an employee’s standard hourly rate of pay to represent their holiday pay entitlement. This practice has been unlawful since 2006; however, the Government has committed to reintroducing rolled-up holiday pay for irregular hours workers and part-year workers only. This is with a view of further reducing the administrative time it takes businesses to calculate holiday pay for these individuals.

Simplification of consultation requirements under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment), or ‘TUPE’, Regulations.

Currently, where a TUPE transfer is proposed, employers are required to consult with any recognised trade union, or with appropriate employee representatives, regarding the transfer. Where there are no representatives in place, the employer is required to arrange an election to elect representatives to consult with.

The government is looking to simplify this process by allowing small businesses (with fewer than 50 employees) undertaking a transfer of any size, and businesses of any size undertaking a small transfer (of fewer than 10 employees), to consult with employees directly if there are no existing worker representatives in place. It is hoped that this small change will give businesses more flexibility and make the process of TUPE transfers quicker.

Please do note that these changes only apply in instances where businesses do not have existing employee representatives to consult. Where employee representatives (including trade unions) are in place, employers will still be required to consult with them.

The above changes have been announced as draft legislation and we are awaiting official guidance to be published in due course. We will update you as soon as we know more.

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Should you have any questions about the topics covered in this article, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be able to assist you. Contact us at or call 01427 420 404 and #oneoftheteam will be happy to help.

A recent ruling on what should be considered ‘normal remuneration’ in the calculation of holiday pay, and the period of time for which claims can be made, has significant potential liability implications for UK businesses. We discuss what your business should be doing following this landmark holiday pay ruling.

The History

In 2014 the topic of holiday pay and the inclusion of overtime was brought to the attention of employers through the Bear Scotland v Fulton case. The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decided that ‘non-guaranteed’ overtime which is part of an employee’s ‘normal remuneration’ should be taken into account and included in their holiday pay. However, the EAT also limited the scope for employees to claim back pay.

The EAT ruled that a claim for a series of unlawful deductions from wages for underpayment of holiday pay normally needs to be brought within three months of the last deduction, and that potentially the claim could go as far back as two years, if there is a gap of more than three months during which there has been no underpayment of holiday pay this breaks the series. As such, claims after the three-month period would be deemed ‘timed out’.

The Present

Over the subsequent years, there has been a huge amount of case law on the topic of holiday pay. The 4th of October 2023 saw the conclusion of a significant case within the Supreme Court regarding holiday pay and as a result, many UK workers may now be entitled to thousands of pounds in miscalculated holiday pay.

In Chief Constable of Northern Ireland v Agnew, a large group of police officers and civilian staff claimed that they should be reimbursed for historic holiday pay underpayments. They had been paid their basic pay while on annual leave without extra payments to reflect compulsory overtime and other benefits.

The judgment, which was made public on the 4th of October, determined that thousands of police staff in Northern Ireland would be able to reclaim up to 35 years’ worth of miscalculated holiday pay, amounting to a bill of more than £40m.

Although the chief constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and the Northern Ireland Policing Board accepted that the respondents were underpaid they disputed the period that they were entitled to recover, due to there being breaks of three months which automatically severed the chain of deductions. However, the court concluded that the three-month interval between underpayments of holiday pay did not automatically sever the chain of deductions. The Supreme Court's decision means that gaps of more than three months will no longer prevent individuals from bringing claims for a series of underpaid holidays.

Whilst the ruling in Northern Ireland allowed claims to go back as far as 35 years, as it currently stands in England the period that a holiday pay claim can go back is still limited to 2 years. However, if challenged, this may potentially open the way for significant claims for underpayments over two years.

What should you be doing after this landmark holiday pay ruling

Businesses should be ensuring that a thorough review on how they calculate employees’ holiday pay is undertaken, specifically checking that all aspects of normal pay are considered when calculating holiday pay. If this has not been the case, you should be looking to calculate the potential liability and determine an action plan.

How to calculate holiday pay

It is important that holiday pay is paid correctly to reduce the risk of claims. If an employee is conducting regular overtime, their holiday pay should be based on their average pay over the previous 52 weeks. If during any of the 52 weeks they received no pay at all, use an earlier week in its place for calculating holiday. Likewise, if the employee only received Statutory Sick Pay, then again you should look to use an alternative week, as they should get paid the same when they are on holiday as when they are at work.

You should only count back as far as needed to get 52 weeks of their usual pay. If necessary, you can look at the pay they got over the previous 104 weeks, but no further. For the avoidance of doubt, overtime, commission and bonuses should all be taken into account when calculating holiday pay.

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Will this affect your business? Our HR team is here to help. Reach out to us today for expert advice on this landmark holiday pay ruling and support tailored to your specific needs.

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Consultation should not be seen as a formal process usually connected with disputes but rather as a key part of an employer’s day-to-day management skills. Effective consultation can build trust and engagement within your business, improve strategic decisions, help implement change more efficiently and potentially reduce costs associated with absence and high staff turnover.

What is consultation?

Consultation is the use of communication and discussion. It means listening to the views, opinions and proposals of your employees, which can affect changes in a business. By engaging in consultation employers ensure they are promoting an inclusive and transparent business culture, which helps make certain that any steps taken are fair, reasonable and proportionate.

When is consultation required?

As your business grows and develops, you will inevitably face the need for change. This could be large-scale change (such as adapting your business structure) or small tweaks to internal processes and systems. Changes proposed by a business may be temporary or permanent but, either way, employers need to be mindful of how and when potential change is communicated to the wider workforce and consider if there is a legal requirement for consultation.

When is consultation a legal requirement?

There are some scenarios where it is a legal requirement that certain rules around consultation are followed. Examples include consulting with employees in the event of a proposed restructure or redundancy, or when changes are proposed to their legally binding terms and conditions of employment. In these circumstances the steps required in consultation will differ depending on the number of employees affected.

When consultation is ‘good practice’?

There may be other types of general business change, such as adjustments to internal processes or the introduction of new IT systems, where consultation is not necessarily a legal requirement but engaging in discussion with your employees will help promote an inclusive working environment.

Consulting with employees can help to build trust, improve engagement and may uncover alternative solutions of which you were previously unaware and potentially lead to better business decisions. Consultation is a key tool for your business which can help you find the very best solutions to challenges when they arise.

For further information or reading around this topic, please see ACAS current guidance, available here:

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If you believe that you have a scenario which may involve the need for a consultation process or have any questions about this topic, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be able to assist you. Our HR team is here to help. Reach out to us today for expert advice and resources tailored to your specific needs.

Contact us at or call 01427 420 404 and #oneoftheteam will be able to help.

Menopause is a natural biological process marking the end of reproductive years for women, so every woman will, at some point, go through this process. In the context of menopause in the workplace, understanding and addressing the challenges associated with menopause is crucial to ensure a supportive, inclusive, and productive environment for all employees. This article is a guide for both employers and employees on how to effectively handle menopause in the workplace.

Understanding Menopause:

Menopause typically occurs between the ages of 45 and 55, but the age range can vary due to a variety of medical conditions.  It brings about various physical and emotional changes due to hormonal fluctuations, which can have an impact on an individual's overall well-being and work performance. Common symptoms include hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and disturbed sleep.

Employer's Responsibilities:

Employee's Role:

Creating a Menopause-Friendly Workplace:

Employers should establish clear policies that specifically address menopause-related issues. These policies should outline the support available to employees, flexible working options, and any adjustments that can be made to accommodate their needs. Additionally, training managers and colleagues on menopause awareness and sensitivity will help create a more informed, understanding and empathetic work environment.

Menopause should be considered in diversity and inclusion initiatives. It is important to recognise that this phase of life is an integral part of a woman's journey and must be respected and accommodated. By creating a supportive environment, implementing policies that address menopause-related challenges and promoting open communication, workplaces can become more inclusive and accommodating for women going through this phase of life. Through these efforts, workplaces can empower menopausal women to continue thriving in their careers while maintaining their well-being.

Article by Joanne Fearon, HR Advisor

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Are you an employee or employer seeking guidance on navigating menopause in the workplace? Our HR team is here to help! Reach out to us today for expert advice and resources tailored to your specific needs.

Contact us at or call 01427 420 404 and #oneoftheteam will be able to help.

Reasonable adjustments are changes an employer can make to remove or reduce a difficulty faced by an employee because of their disability. Employers are required to make reasonable adjustments by law for employees, workers, contractors, and self-employed people hired to do work and job applicants, as set out in the Equality Act 2010.

What is a reasonable adjustment?

Each disabled person’s needs differ and so will the adjustments required. Reasonable adjustments can be as simple as providing documents in a different font or colour, installing handrails or making changes to someone’s working hours to allow time for medical appointments. Speak to the person involved and ask them if there is anything that could help them, or put them in touch with an occupational health advisor – don’t make assumptions.

How do I know if an adjustment is reasonable?

An adjustment is considered reasonable if it is practical, affordable, will remove or reduce the disadvantage experienced by the employee and will not cause harm to others.

If a wheelchair user requested that a lift be installed where they work, this may not be affordable for a small business, or practical for a business in a listed building where this would be prohibited. However, the employer should consider other ways of helping, such as an accessible office on the ground floor, remote working or the offer of moving to different premises that did have lift access.

It is not considered reasonable if the adjustment changes the basic nature of the job, for example if a builder didn’t want to do any manual handling; however, there may be other, more reasonable, changes that could be made. Communication is key.

When do employers need to make reasonable adjustments?

Is there any support available?

An employee may be able to access support from Access to Work, a publicly-funded government programme which provides financial and practical support for disabled people to help them get into, and remain in, work. The basic responsibility to make and fund reasonable adjustments stays with the employer but they may be able to assist with advice and costs. More information on Access to Work can be found here.

What if an employer refuses to make reasonable adjustments?

This could be classed as disability discrimination under the Equality Act 2010 and be subject to an employment tribunal claim.

Ensure Compliance with Stallard Kane

If you suspect an employee might require reasonable adjustments, consult your dedicated Stallard Kane advisor or contact the team at

Each situation is unique, and we're here to provide tailored guidance for your specific needs.

With 2023 studies showing almost a third of employees have experienced workplace bullying and harassment we wanted to check in with our clients to provide a refresher in handling these types of situations in the workplace.

Employers have a duty of care to their employees to provide a working environment free from harassment and bullying, ensuring all staff are treated with dignity.

It is important to recognise that harassment or bullying can occur both in and outside the workplace, such as on business trips or at work-related events or social functions. More surprisingly perhaps, employers must also consider potential inappropriate conduct by some third parties such as customers or suppliers.

Whilst bullying and harassment are often discussed hand in hand, it is important to recognise the difference between the two.

What is harassment?

Harassment is unwanted conduct that has the purpose or effect of violating a person's dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them. A single incident can sometimes amount to harassment.

It can involve conduct of a sexual nature or be related to a protected characteristic such as age, disability, gender (or gender reassignment), marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, or sexual orientation.

A person may be harassed even if they were not the intended target, for example of they are a bystander of another being harassed.

What is bullying?

Bullying is offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour involving the misuse of power that can make a person feel vulnerable, upset, humiliated, undermined or threatened.

It can also include overbearing and intimidating levels of supervision or inappropriate derogatory remarks about someone's performance.

How to manage bullying in the workplace.

If an employee feels they are being bullied in the workplace, it may be possible to raise the issue informally by speaking with the “perpetrator” directly or to their line manager.

If an informal resolution is unsuccessful or inappropriate for the particular employee, they may raise a formal complaint in writing as a formal grievance. The grievance should detail the conduct in question, the dates when this occurred (remember this might not always be available) and identify any witnesses that may have been present.

An employer must always investigate complaints in a timely and confidential manner. A meeting should then be scheduled as soon as possible with the employee raising the complaint, ensuring the employee is notified of their right to be accompanied by a trade union representative or a colleague. 

Depending on the severity of the allegation the company may consider suspending the alleged harasser/bully on full pay; however, there are certain issues to consider and we would refer to our earlier broadcast concerning suspending an employee (Suspending an Employee | Stallard Kane).

The company will also need to meet with the alleged perpetrator, and it is important to note they will also have the right to be accompanied by a colleague or trade union representative, in line with your company’s standard grievance policy.

You will then need to interview any witnesses, before an outcome is reached and reported in the appropriate manner.

What next?

We mentioned at the outset of this article that employers have a duty of care to their employees; if you have knowledge of harassment or bullying in the workplace, what you decide to do next could be crucial.

The company will need to consider how best to manage the ongoing relationship between the employees involved, whether mediation or counselling may be appropriate to seek to repair that working relationships and whether more practical working arrangements are appropriate to protect all parties.

Employees raising grievances surrounding bullying and harassment (or indeed on any basis) must not suffer any retaliation as a result, as this could result in subsequent complaints of victimisation. It is therefore important that all allegations are taken seriously and handled appropriately in line with the correct processes.

Managing employee relationships and grievances can be difficult, particularly when associated with sensitive matters like bullying and harassment. It is, therefore, essential you consult with your dedicated HR Advisor to ensure the process and decisions you make are fitting to your specific case.

Article by Katie Rees, HR Advisor

At Stallard Kane, we offer expert advice and guidance to ensure your business remains compliant. 

Talk to us today to discuss your requirements – call 01427 420 203 or email and #oneoftheteam will be happy to help.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has announced their latest initiative to tackle occupational lung disease within the woodworking industry, supported by their latest Dust Kills campaign.

HSE's recent inspections have revealed that many woodworking businesses fail to implement necessary measures to prevent or control exposure to wood dust, thereby endangering the lives of their workers. To address this alarming issue, HSE inspectors across the UK will visit woodworking businesses, particularly those involved in sawmilling, composite boards, and carpentry, specifically focusing on respiratory risks associated with wood dust.

Throughout 2023 and 2024, HSE inspectors will assess whether employers have considered the appropriate control measures to reduce workers' exposure to wood dust. They will also evaluate workers' understanding of the risks and check for effective control measures to safeguard their health. In cases where necessary, enforcement action will be taken to ensure workers' protection.

Full statement from HSE

How we can help:  Ensuring Effective Knowledge

Workplace Exposure Monitoring

Compliance with regulations and protecting employees from hazardous substances, such as chemicals, fumes, dust, and vapours, is essential. Our workplace exposure monitoring services assist you in mitigating risks and providing regulatory compliance. We also provide guidance on noise and vibration hazards, helping you prevent long-term health issues like noise-induced hearing loss and hand-arm vibration syndrome.

Find out more by visiting our Workplace Exposure Monitoring page.

Training and Education

Equipping employers and workers with the necessary knowledge and skills is paramount to controlling dust effectively. We offer various training courses designed to raise awareness and promote best practices. We offer UK-wide training options that can be created bespoke for your business and delivered virtually, on site, or at one of our accredited course centres. Our expert trainers cater to the specific needs of different industries and roles.

Find out more by visiting our Training page.

How we can help:  Ensuring Effective Control Measures

Face Fit Testing

To optimise protection against hazardous materials, conducting face fit testing on Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) is crucial. Our experienced trainers are competent in performing accurate and reliable RPE fit tests. By ensuring a tight fit of the facepiece, we help prevent leaks and guarantee the utmost safety for workers in diverse roles and physical characteristics.

Find out more by visiting our Face Fit Testing page.


When working correctly, LEV systems should carry away any harmful dust, mist, fumes or gas in the air. This is to prevent individuals from breathing in dangerous impurities. Correctly fitted and maintained, LEV will collect the air that contains the contaminants and make sure they are contained and removed. Our team can provide regular testing and inspections to ensure the safety of your employees and customers.

Occupational Health Assessments

Early identification of ill-health effects is vital for implementing better control measures. Our comprehensive occupational health assessments help identify potential health risks in the workplace, provide a robust way of measuring the effectiveness of existing control measures, and offer tailored strategies for improvement. Spirometry, otherwise known as Lung Function Testing, carried out on a regular basis will give you the information you require about your employees lung capacity.

Used on an ongoing basis, it will help diagnose and monitor lung conditions and the impact certain exposures may have on your employees.

Find out more by visiting our Occupational Health Assessments page.

Running a successful business requires more than hard work and dedication; it also means staying up to date with ever-changing employment law legislation. Keeping up with the latest laws and regulations can be challenging, but failure to comply can have serious consequences for your business. That's where an HR audit comes in.

An HR audit is an objective review of your business's HR practices, policies and procedures. This review helps identify areas of non-compliance and provides recommendations for improvement. An annual HR audit can ensure that your business complies with current laws and regulations.

Stallard Kane's HR Audit consists of reviewing and updating your current terms and conditions of employment, a full review of employee lifecycle documentation, an analysis of sickness and absence procedures, and a review of disciplinary, capability, and grievance policies. We will also review any recent changes in legislation and employment law decisions.

After conducting an HR Audit, Stallard Kane provides a comprehensive report highlighting areas of non-compliance using a red, amber and green traffic light system. This allows you to prioritise which areas need to be addressed first. We will also provide updated employment contracts, an HR manual, and a bespoke Employee Handbook.

Our HR Advisors are experts in employment law and will work with you to create a framework for your business that is structured to your environment and policies.

We will provide you with the support and guidance necessary to cover any issues and ensure your business remains compliant.

In conclusion, an HR audit is essential for any business to stay up to date with employment law legislation and to protect both the business and its employees.

At Stallard Kane, we offer expert advice and guidance to ensure your business remains compliant. 

Talk to us today to discuss your requirements – call 01427 420 203 or email and #oneoftheteam will be happy to help.

Last month ACAS published updated guidance around support for mental health in the workplace.

Under the Equality Act (2010), employers have a legal obligation to offer support to any employee who has a disability, defined as a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on a person's ability to carry out day-to-day activities.

The new guidance summarises that reasonable adjustments must be made:

ACAS states when a company is looking to put in place reasonable adjustments that they should consider that:

Examples of reasonable adjustments in relation to mental health:

ACAS highlights the importance of the employer and employee working together when discussing reasonable adjustments and being clear on what support the company can provide vs what the employee is requesting. Should an employee request reasonable adjustments, the company should be understanding and listening to the reasons why the employee has requested these adjustments.

Organisations should document any reasonable adjustments agreed and make a plan of when these actions will be implemented or later reviewed.

Employers are also advised to complete future checks with the employee to understand if the reasonable adjustments are providing the support required or if any further changes need to be actioned.

By conducting reviews and checking in on the employee, the employer can be seen as providing the extra support the employee may need. Ignoring a request for reasonable adjustments may be considered an act of unlawful discrimination under the Equality Act. The full ACAS guide can be accessed here:

Your designated HR advisor is also available to discuss the requirement for reasonable adjustments on a case by case basis. Talk to us today to discuss your requirements – call 01427 678 660 or email and #oneoftheteam will be happy to help.

Long-term sickness is a period of continuous absence lasting four weeks or more. Managers often need clarification on what support they are required to offer those absent on long term sick or what steps they should reasonably take to manage the situation of long term absence.

1. What is the reason for absence?

It is important to establish if an employee's absence is linked to an ongoing health condition or disability. If that is the case, you may need to consider making 'reasonable adjustments' under the Equality Act 2010 to support the employee with their condition before taking any formal action. This alone could aid a successful return to work.

2. Keeping in touch

Where reasonable adjustments are not enough to aid a return to work, it is important that initially, the employer keeps in touch with the employee on a regular basis. Depending on the circumstances, you may keep in touch weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. The timing of long term absence catch-up calls should be agreed with the employee.

Once you have established how often you will contact the employee whilst they remain on sick leave, you need to know the information you need to discuss. Below are examples of questions to ask.

Remember, document everything and confirm in writing any discussions with the employee.

3. Reasonable adjustments

It's important to remember that treating everyone the same does not mean everyone is treated fairly. The Disability Discrimination Act requires people to be treated differently according to their needs by making reasonable adjustments.

Reasonable adjustments are specific to an individual person and may include any of the following.

4. Consider if you require further information from a medical professional for long term absence.

Where an employer has kept in regular contact with an employee and has not been able to establish any prospect of return in a reasonable time frame, it may be appropriate to further investigate their absence or illness by requesting a medical report from their GP. This is so that the employer can obtain further information regarding the reason for the employee's absence and obtain additional guidance as to if or when they may be fit to resume their job duties in the future.

Whilst there is no set amount of time an employer should wait before accessing an employee's medical records, we recommend that you consider accessing medical records for sustained periods of absence of 12 weeks or more. 

However, this is a flexible recommendation, and timing will need to be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Before accessing employees' medical records, it's important to remember that there is a legal requirement to obtain their consent. Only if consent is granted will the Company be able to write to the employee's GP requesting a medical report.

5. What should a medical report contain?

There are many reasons for requesting a report. It can be as simple as a prognosis for a straightforward injury or an assessment of a likely return to work date. The report should contain only the information required for you, the employer, to fulfil your legal responsibilities. If the employee has any health condition, you may only need to know:

Remember, personal information should be handled with the strictest confidence and, as such, is covered by the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

You may wish to ask questions such as:

6. Do you need support from Occupational Health?

Depending on the recommendations made by the employees' doctor or consultant, you may also consider a referral to occupational health.

Where a Doctors report will provide specific information in respect of their employee's condition, if any reasonable adjustments can be made, and their likelihood of return, an occupational health assessment will make more specific recommendations as to what adjustments could be considered to facilitate an employee's return to work, if any.

Occupational Health Management Referrals follow the following format.

Referral – this can be done remotely or as an assessment on site.

7. Meeting to discuss the reports.

Once you have both a doctor's report and/or an Occupational Health Assessment, it's time to sit down with the employee to discuss their content.

This could range from discussing and agreeing to adjustments recommended in the reports to facilitate a return to work or if both reports are such that they state there are no reasonable adjustments that can be put in place and that the employee is unlikely to return to work now or in the near future. You may need to consider termination through medical capability.

If adjustments can be made, we recommend that the employee receive a letter to cover what was discussed during the meeting and confirm any adjustments the employer has put in place.

If no adjustments can be made and there is no likely return to work, then the employee should be invited to a long-term incapacity meeting which may result in the termination of their employment on medical grounds.

Whilst the above information is a short synopsis of the processes for managing long-term absence, we strongly advise you to consult your HR Advisor or seek professional advice before considering any potential dismissal. 

Article by Richard Naylor, HR Advisor

Talk to us today to discuss your requirements – call 01427 678 660 or email and #oneoftheteam will be happy to help