Acorn Bulletin – June 2021
Acorn HR we are pleased to announce they will be continuing to Offer 10% discount on all our services for a limited period to all businesses.
Welcome to our Summer Edition of Acorn HR Services newsletter. Since the beginning of April, we have seen the restrictions imposed by lockdown being slowly lifted, which we were all hoping would be fully lifted by 21 June, unfortunately due to the rapid spread of the Delta variant, there has been announcement that this date will be delay for a further three weeks. Acorn HR Service along with many other businesses are a little deflated by this delay, but we are also very optimistic and excited about the opportunities for businesses going forward, building a stronger, diverse and inclusive future within the UK.
We want to work with local businesses and SMEs to design, develop and deliver new and exciting opportunities within our communities, awarding local people better job opportunities where they can contribute to the economy, showing to the world that the UK is a country who can not on contribute but create amazing industries with amazing people working within them.
Since starting to publish this monthly newsletter we have receive very positive feedback, but we still value input from our subscribers regarding specific subjects that are of interest.
We would also be happy to advertise any current vacancies or your business in our future editions.
The Right to Work Process is changing
Last year, temporary adjustments were put in place for Right to Work checks, so that employers could continue to keep their hiring process compliant during the pandemic.
The changes allow for checks to be carried out over video calls and for scanned documents to be accepted.
It has been announced that this temporary process is coming to an end on 20 June. This means that from 21 June onwards, employers must either check the applicant’s original documents or, where relevant, check the applicant’s right to work online.
Another date to be mindful of is the deadline for applications to the EU Settlement Scheme on 30 June. Employers hiring EU employees after this date need to check their eligibility to work in the UK through the scheme.
Right to Work checks are a legal requirement when hiring staff and getting this wrong can result in a hefty fine or even prison time! Investigations are expected to pick up as businesses gradually re-open.
Tribunals will likely increase when Furlough Scheme ends, experts warns
Following the end of the furlough scheme later this year, experts have warned of an increased risk of litigation as redundancies loom large.
According to Renovo, an outplacement firm, employers must be mindful of how they approach redundancy processes to avoid litigation claims.
The heightened number of litigation claims are expected to arise following the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in September.
During the pandemic, the scheme has supported roughly 11.5 million jobs from 1.3 million employers. However, it is forecast that the ending of this scheme will lead to the number of job losses to rise, with the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) predicting unemployment will climb to 6.5 per cent by the end of 2021.
Analysis by insurance broker Gallagher found that almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of organisations are expecting business litigation to either remain the same or increase in volume this year. Over half of businesses (56 per cent) have already faced accusations or claims of unlawful behaviour.
The research further suggested that the risk of litigation will rise alongside the length of time employees have spent on furlough.
According to the CIPD’s redundancy guide, employers should ensure that the redundancy consultation process, whether individually or collectively, goes ahead and that staff are allowed to comment on these before they are finalised. As part of this, the consultation should always include assessing whether there are any other alternatives to redundancy.
Furthermore, the body advises that every employer approaches a redundancy process with compassion and treats everyone with dignity, respect and kindness. Within this, the CIPD express the importance of regular, honest and two-way communication throughout the entire process.
For furloughed staff, employers must be careful to ensure that selection pools and criteria for redundancy are fair, objective and reasonable; are not directly or indirectly discriminatory; and that staff are consulted about them before they are finalised.
As the UK prepares for restrictions to ease,
Returning back to the workplace is on the minds of many employers. However, many employees aren’t willing to return back so easily.
A survey of 1,022 UK workers, carried out by leading HR software provider CIPHR, has revealed that nearly three quarters (73%) of UK workers would accept a reduction in pay in return for being able to work remotely permanently.
In addition, only 15% of UK workers who have been working remotely during the Covid-19 pandemic want to return to the workplace full-time.
72% of people would like to split their time between the workplace and working from home, with 11% wanting to work remotely full-time.
Of workers who are expecting to continue working remotely on a full-time basis, 43% would prefer to be able to return to the workplace either some or all of the time.
UK bosses have a lot of work to do to reassure and safeguard the welfare of their employees if they want them to return to the workplace. 75% of workers said that they are somewhat or very concerned for their welfare with regards to Covid-19 if they are required to return to the workplace in some capacity.
The most popular measures respondents would like their employer to implement to protect them from Covid-19 if they return to the workplace were to add hand sanitisers throughout the building (58%), increase the frequency of the workplace being cleaned (48%) and limiting the number of people allowed into the building each day (47%).
The least popular measures were requiring employees to provide evidence of being vaccinated (24%), creating one-way systems throughout the workplace (32%) and requiring employees to have their temperature checked before entering the workplace (34%).
Its clear many employees are nervous about entering the workplace during the pandemic, with 40% of respondents believing that employers should be able to prevent employees from travelling abroad for holiday due to Covid-19.
You have probably heard by now that Hybrid working could be the new way of working, if you need any help with Hybrid working for your business, we have prepared a blog with useful information about designing a Hybrid Workplace
If you require assistance with your workplace and new working practices, please contact us:
Quote of the month
Your talent determines what you can do. Your motivation determines how much you’re willing to do. Your attitude determines how well you do it.” —Lou Holtz