April 24, 2021

1. Getting back to work after lockdown.

Building preparation

Evaluate what measures need to be put in place in your premises to ensure the safeguarding of employees, contractors, and visitors. A COVID-19 risk assessment should be carried out ensuring you involve and consult your employees throughout this process.

Communicating with employees

The next step a business should take is to prepare the workforce for returning to work. Business owners will want to create a plan to decide who will return to work and when.

Implementing social distancing

Social distancing is reducing day-to-day contact with other people as much as possible. In the first instance, businesses and workplaces should encourage and enable their employees to work at home wherever possible.

This will not be the case for everyone, and as an employer, you must ensure social distancing measures are followed in the workplace.

Limit access and control

Until further advice from the government, you will want to limit visitors and contractors to your sites/buildings. One suggestion is to only allow business-critical visitors and contractors’ access. 

Ensure high levels of hygiene

Maintaining high levels of hygiene at your business premises and by your staff will minimise the spread of COVID-19.

Staff hygiene

It is also important that staff keep high levels of personal hygiene to minimise the risk of COVID-19 spreading.

Ventilation

Improving ventilation in the workplace will help to reduce the risk of COVID-19 in the workplace.

Prepare now to succeed later

It’s worth taking the time to prepare your business now while the UK is still in lockdown, and while you can still claim grants from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

For expert advice on how to get your workforce ready for life after lockdown, contact LBJ Consultants HR and health & safety experts on 07375 097443

2.  Developing a health and wellbeing strategy.

Investment in developing a targeted, tailored, and measurable health and wellbeing strategy simply makes good business sense.

Promoting health and wellbeing at work is not just about free fruit and yoga. It is so much more. It’s about how a company demonstrates that they value their people, and how they will support them to lead healthy and fulfilling lives, both inside and outside of work.

The reasons for developing a strategy on health and wellbeing may vary but it is usually driven by the desire to be a high performing company that is more productive and competitive in the marketplace. The best strategies also consider the promotion of employee health to be simply the right thing to do.

See our full blog at https://lbjconsultants.co.uk/your-guide-to-developing-a-health-and-wellbeing-strategy/

3. When is it permissible for an employer to terminate the contract of an employee on the grounds of ill health?

Lack of capability, including when assessed with reference to health, is a potentially fair reason for dismissal under s.98 of the Employment Rights Act 1996. The employer must show that it acted reasonably both in treating the long-term ill health as a sufficient reason for dismissing the employee and in the procedure adopted to affect the dismissal. When an employer is considering dismissing an employee on grounds of long-term ill health, it should investigate the prospects of the employee being able to return to work within a reasonable time. A fair procedure should include:

  • consultation with the employee;
  • a medical investigation;
  • consideration of alternative employment; and
  • possible ill-health early retirement if there is provision for this.

The decision to dismiss is not a medical question but one for the employer to take in the light of the medical evidence available. However, the fact that an employer has obtained medical evidence does not absolve it of the requirement to consult personally with the employee.

An employer that dismisses an employee on the ground of ill health without considering any reasonable steps that it could take to enable the employee to return to work may be liable for disability discrimination as well as unfair dismissal if the employee is disabled within the meaning of the Equality Act 2010.

4. Employee Status – Addison Lee

Are Addison Lee drivers ‘workers’?

Yes, the Court of Appeal has held in Addison Lee v Lange, refusing permission to appeal from the decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

Following the Uber decision in the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal stated that every time a driver logged on to the Addison Lee app, there was plainly a contract in place. The employment tribunal’s factual finding that, during the contract, those drivers were ‘workers’ was unassailable. The Court considered that Addison Lee’s submissions to the contrary would not succeed and refused permission to appeal but (in a fully reasoned judgment) gave permission for the judgment to be cited in subsequent cases.

See our related blogs at https://lbjconsultants.co.uk/worker-status-is-a-question-of-statutory-not-contractual-interpretation/ and https://lbjconsultants.co.uk/what-does-being-inside-ir35-mean/

5. Benefits Of eLearning For Employees and Employers

eLearning has completely transformed the way in which learning is imparted to employees. Unlike traditional chalk and board method of teaching, eLearning makes learning simpler, easier, and more effective.

Today’s learners want relevant, mobile, self-paced, and personalised content. This need is fulfilled with the online mode of learning; here, employees can learn at their own comfort and requirement. 

Unlike classroom teaching, with online learning you can access the content an unlimited number of times. This is especially required at the time of revision when preparing for an exam. In traditional form of learning, if you cannot attend the lecture, then you have to prepare for that topic on your own; in eLearning, you can attend the lectures whenever you want with ease.

eLearning is a way to provide quick delivery of lessons. As compared to traditional classroom teaching method, this mode has relatively quick delivery cycles. This indicates that the time required to learn is reduced to 25%-60% of what is required in traditional learning. There are some of the reasons why the learning time is reduced by eLearning:

Lessons starts quickly and also wrapped up in a single learning session. This enables training programs to easily roll out within a few weeks, or sometime even days.

Learners can define their own speed of learning instead of following the speed of the whole group.

Saves time as an employee does not need to travel to the training venue. They can learn at the comfort of their own place.

Employees can choose to study specific and relevant areas of the learning material without focusing on each and every area. For example, they can skip certain areas they do not want to learn.

eLearning is cost effective as compared to traditional forms of learning.  The reason for this price reduction is because learning through this mode happens quickly and easily. A lot of training time is reduced with respect to trainers, travel, course materials, and accommodation.

This cost effectiveness also helps in enhancing the profitability of an organization. Also, when you are studying at your own place, you are relieved from paying for travel expenses (eg. accommodation) when training happens in another city and/or external learning materials.

As eLearning is a paperless way of learning, it protects the environment to a lot of extent. As per a study done on eLearning courses, it has been found that distance-based learning programs consumed around 90% less power and generated 85% less amount of CO2 emissions as compared to traditional campus-based educational courses. With eLearning, there is no need to cut trees for obtaining paper. Thus, eLearning is a highly eco-friendly way of learning.

You can see our list of available eLearning courses at https://lbjconsultants.co.uk/outsourced-services/hr-health-safety-training/ call us to discuss at 07375097443 or e-mail at enquiries@lbjconsultants.co.uk

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