After years of decline, Marks and Spencer has reported rising clothing sales. Has M&S cracked it?
from BBC News – Business http://ift.tt/2jaJUoj
After years of decline, Marks and Spencer has reported rising clothing sales. Has M&S cracked it?
from BBC News – Business http://ift.tt/2jaJUoj
Banks and building societies should be blocked from defaulting savers to tiny interest rates, a think tank says.
from BBC News – Business http://ift.tt/2iKIFcL
How merry a Christmas was it for the retail sector and where was the festive cheer felt the most?
from BBC News – Business http://ift.tt/2jb2jSw
Are your content Controls Greyed Out in Word 2016? When you want to create a form in Word 2016 that others can fill out, you can start with a template and add content controls. Content controls include things like check boxes, text boxes, date pickers, and drop-down lists. If you’re familiar with databases, these content controls can even be linked to data.
To add content to the form you need to select the the Developer tab, click Design Mode, and then you should be able insert the controls that you want.
However, you may notice that the you see various controls you may use like “Date Picker” are grayed out like in the image below.
This is usually easy to fix and is probably because you do not have word saved in the correct format. because for the content controls to be accessible, Design Mode should be turned off and
the document must be saved in a macro enabled Word 2007/2010/2016 format (*.docx, *.docm, *.dotx, or *.dotm).
Do you need help drafting contracts of employment? This handy guide below should give you an excellent starting point.
1. Contractual terms
2. Information to be provided in writing
3. Varying terms and conditions of employment
1. Contractual terms
All contracts of employment must contain the four essential elements necessary for all legally binding contracts. These are:
• An offer
• An acceptance of the offer
• An intention to enter into a legally binding contract
Contracts of employment comprise both express and implied terms.
• Express terms are those that are verbally agreed between the parties and/or are set down in writing.
• Implied terms are those that are unwritten and unspoken but which are nonetheless form part of the contract
Employment legislation requires that a specific range of express terms need to be communicated in writing to the employee by the employer. (See Section 2 below)
It is possible for contracts of employment to provide only those terms which are verbally agreed.. However, this approach is likely to lead to uncertainty, ambiguity and problems in relation to the interpretation of contractual terms.
Terms can be implied into contracts of employment in a number of ways. These include
• Custom and practice in that trade or industry
• Custom and practice within the employer’s business
• Based upon the conduct of the parties themselves
The “consideration” within the contracts of employment will normally be the salary or wages paid to the employee in return for the work that is done for the employer. However, a part of the consideration can take the form of share options or one of any number of other non-cash benefits.
There is almost always a clear intention and wish in employment matters for the parties to enter into a legally binding contract. Some voluntary or family arrangements may have a more doubtful legal basis but the signature of the parties to a written agreement will always remove any doubt as to the intentions of the parties.
2. Information to be provided in writing
The contractual terms that relate to a particular job may all be contained within a single document. However it is quite normal for a number of separate documents to make up the express contractual terms.
Many employers produce a written statement of the main terms and conditions of employment to be read in conjunction with an Employee Handbook, containing the rules, procedures and practices within the employment.
By virtue of Section 1 of the Employment Rights Act 1996, for all employees whose employment lasts for at least one month, a written statement of the main terms and conditions of employment must be provided by the employer.
The written statement must be provided within two calendar months from the beginning of the period of employment.
It is recommended, as best practice for all employers, that all employees receive a written statement regardless of the likely duration of their employment and also that the document is issued prior to or on commencement of the employment.
Whilst the written statement may refer to other documents, some of the particulars must all be contained together within a single document. These are:
• The start date for that period of employment
• The date that continuous employment began
• Job title
• Place of work
• Hours of work
• Payment details
• Holiday entitlement
The remaining particulars which must be provided to the employee and which may be contained in a separate document or documents are:
• Notice periods applicable
• Sickness provisions
• Pension provisions
• Disciplinary and dismissal procedures
• Grievance procedures
• Whether any collective agreements relate to the employment
• Whether work outside the UK for more than a month is required
• Any other essential elements of the contract
When compiling a staff handbook, consideration should be given to the inclusion of all policies and procedures that relate to the employment. The list of potential policies and procedures necessary for inclusion is endless. However, there should certainly be clear written guidelines for employees in all of the areas where any benefits are provided by the employer e.g .time off and also where disciplinary sanctions might result from any failure by the employee to follow the organisation’s rules and guidelines
3. Varying terms and conditions of employment
The need to vary contracts of employment can emerge when economic circumstances change or business needs dictate. Both parties can seek to make variations to a contract of employment.
Where employees seek to vary the contracts of employment, their request will normally relate to a wish to amend working hours or to an increase in salary or wage. However, employees have little alternative but to seek the agreement of the employer in these circumstances.
It is more common for the employer to wish to vary the terms of the contract of employment for reasons relating to a variety of circumstances, such as market conditions, technological changes, financial pressures or efficiency savings and improvements.
Unless there is a contractual right to entitle the employer to vary the contracts of employment as and when it sees fit, any change by the employer which is imposed upon the employee unilaterally is likely to constitute a breach of contract and therefore a risk of legal liability.
Any contractual terms that are varied in this way without the consent of the employee are not legally binding upon the employee until the employee accepts to them, either expressly or by not protesting against them.
Claims for constructive dismissal can result from situations where employers impose variations to the contract of employment without agreement from the employee. In these circumstances employers should take steps to ensure that the possible financial consequences of their actions are factored in to any decision taken.
An employee is entitled to treat himself as constructively dismissed if the employer is:
“guilty of conduct which is a significant breach, going to the root of the contract of employment or a breach which shows that the employer no longer intends to be bound by one or more of the essential terms of the contract… In either case the conduct must be sufficiently serious such as to entitle him to leave at once”.
Therefore, in general terms, if employers choose to unilaterally vary any of the main terms and conditions of employment contained within the written statement issued under Section 1 of the Employment Rights Act 1996, they run the risk of a constructive dismissal claim being successful if the employee affected chooses to bring such a claim.
Therefore, it is more sensible for employers to attempt to reach an agreement with their employees in all circumstances where the main terms and conditions of employment are being varied rather than to run the risk of expensive Employment Tribunal claims being brought by disaffected employees.
However, changes to the rules and procedures within an Employee Handbook are less likely to be classed as “essential or fundamental “terms of the contracts of employment. Employers should therefore include within their Handbook, a clear statement confirming that they reserve the right to revise, amend or supplement the policies and procedures within the Handbook at any time to meet the changing needs of their business.
If employers wish to be able to vary one or more of the fundamental terms of the contracts of employment, such as requiring employees to start and finish their shifts at different times each day, then this flexibility of working arrangements needs either to be part of the contract upon commencement of employment or be introduced with the consent of the employees.
1. Collating existing information.
2. What to include in an Employee Handbook.
3. Implementing a new Employee Handbook.
1. Collating existing information
Most organisations will already have a range of written rules and procedures which operate on a day-to-day basis.
• Regardless of their size, most organisations will also have a set of accepted practices, many of which will not be in written form.
• Commonly, in organisations where the majority of rules and procedures are unwritten, there will be variations in the interpretation of similar situations by different managers and employees.
• With the continuing expansion of employment law, particularly in the area of discrimination laws which were consolidated into the Equality Act 2010, it is more important than ever to develop an unambiguous and uniform set of policies and procedures for the organisation.
• Before any attempt is made to produce a draft Employee Handbook document, all existing standards, rules, policies and procedures should be collated.
• This requires the collection of data, documents and ideas that currently are in operation, were in operation that have fallen into disuse, or which have always been considered necessary but have never been drafted.
• A committee should be established, chaired by a senior member of staff, to agree the nature and scope of the existing written rules, policies and procedures. An agreed written draft of each area should then be produced.
• A list of the unwritten rules, policies and procedures should also be drawn up and a written draft of each item on the list should be produced. In many cases, this will require the coordination of individual views in relation to to the standards and types of rules that are to be applied
• Once a set of draft policies, rules or procedures have been developed, consideration should be given to consultation with employees,. Without this, a lack of understanding or resistance to co-operate with the new rules may exist.
• A sensible timescale should be applied to any consultation process, to ensure that the development of the range of documents needed is not delayed unnecessarily. Organisations that have no written set of rules at that point in time will not have made the production of a Handbook a priority in the past. A target for completion is therefore desirable.
• The Employee Handbook should not include any individual terms and conditions of employment. These should be issued to each employee in the form of a written statement of the main terms and conditions of employment, as currently required by statute.
• In this way, unnecessary administration costs will be avoided by constantly having to change the Employee Handbook. In fact, most written statements will refer to and cross reference sections of the employee Handbook.
2. What to include
Many employers will include a mission statement within any introduction to the content of an Employee Handbook. This statement will put into context all of the standards and policies that the Handbook contains to assist employees through an overall impression and description of the culture that the organisation wishes to create.
• An Employee Handbook will often be split into three distinct sections. These are rules, policies and procedures.
• The rules which are relevant and which apply to a particular organisation emanate from the overall nature of its business and its customers. However, in most instances, there will be a set of rules to cover attendance and timekeeping at work, absence from work, health and safety, holidays, as well as a set of general rules relating to acceptable and unacceptable conduct in specific situations.
• An organisation will also have a set of “dos and don’ts” relevant to their own products or services.
• It is recommended that all organisations produce a coherent policy in the areas of:
o Equal opportunities
o Time off
o Flexible working
o Lay off, short time and redundancy
o Recruitment and selection
o Maternity and paternity leave
o Electronic mail and internet usage
• There are many other areas which may be the subject of a written policy, including public interest disclosures, personal records and data protection, prevention of harassment and bullying, alcohol and drug misuse, and compassionate, bereavement or special leave.
• It is essential that comprehensive procedures are produced to confirm how the organisation will deal with discipline, grievances, appeals and disciplinary situations. These should include actions on the part of the employee which the organisation considers to be gross misconduct offences, leaving the employee involved liable to dismissal without notice.
• All such procedures should be kept under most constant review to ensure that any suggestions of unfairness in the way that they are operated, can be minimised.
• Checks should be made to the completed Employee Handbook, to ensure in particular that there are no inconsistencies within different policies or procedures that deal with a common issue.
• All Employee Handbooks should reserve the right for the employer to review, revise, amend or replace the contents of the Handbook and to introduce new policies from time to time to reflect the changing needs of the organisation.
• Whilst the Employee Handbook will contain information which may not change at all during an employee’s length of service, a clause reserving the right to amend policies and procedures will allow the employer to react quickly to the changing dynamics of the business environment.
3. Implementing a new Employee Handbook
• Once the contents of a new Employee Handbook are completed, the organisation must decide how best to introduce the document and also how best to incorporate them into the Contract of Employment of the employees.
• Where there has been a previous disparate set of written and unwritten rules, policies and procedures in operation, care should be taken not to introduce fundamental changes to any of these areas without proper consultation with the employees.
• Employees should therefore be made aware firstly of the fact that a new Handbook is being developed and also of the proposed date for the document to be completed. Consideration should also be given, where appropriate, to the setting up of discussion/consultation groups to enable employees to openly discuss the contents of any document following its issue to each employee.
• Dependent upon the size of the workforce, and also on the size and administrative resources of the organisation, consideration should also be given to conducting individual meetings with the entire workforce in advance of any new document being introduced.
• In all situations a signature should be obtained from employees, confirming that they have received a copy of the Handbook and also that they have understood and agreed with all of its contents.
• Where employers have members of staff for whom English is not their first language, consideration should be given to producing key areas of the document in different languages or by allowing the employee to be accompanied by a fellow employee or colleague who can translate any areas of uncertainty for the employee concerned.
• Individual copies of the Employee Handbook should ideally be sent or made available to each employee. Many organisations however prefer to retain an electronic copy of the document, which can be accessed at any time by all employees.
• This allows easy and cost-effective amendment of the document and obviously removes any printing costs
• The previous practice of retaining a single Employee Handbook in a particular office or place within the business has declined Although this is still an acceptable practice, Difficulties will inevitably obviously arise where more than one employee requires access to the document at the same time, particularly if they wish to retain it for any period of time.
• In order to ensure that the contents of the Handbook are applied consistently across the organisation, many employers develop a guidance manual for the managers and supervisors responsible for the implementation of the rules, policies and procedures. Indeed, those organisations which have a structured approach to training and developing the skills of their managerial staff in relation to the implementation of company policies will have a considerable advantage if they are ever called upon to defend the fairness and reasonableness of their rules and procedures or how they are implemented.
• This is particularly important in emphasising an organisation’s commitment to equal opportunities. Regular discussion groups and training on the subject make clear the organisation’s commitment to the issue.
Doing an interview with a potential new employee and need some inspiration? Here are Fifteen Useful Job Interview Questions for you to ask your interview candidate:
I hope you have found these Fifteen Useful Job Interview Questions Useful!! Feel free to leave your own in the comments below!
Time off Work
The law automatically gives you rights to take time off work in certain circumstances. This time off will not always be paid. This fact sheet is about these automatic rights. Your contract of employment may give you extra rights – check it to see what extra rights you have. If you do not have a written contract of employment, you may still have extra rights which have been verbally agreed with your employer, or which have come about because of the way things are usually done in your workplace.
If you are in one of the following groups of workers, special rules may apply. You should get expert advice about your rights to take time off work:
• workers in inland waterways, lake transport and sea fishermen.
• trainee doctors, members of the armed forces, police, fire-fighters and coastguards.
Time off for holidays
Most workers are entitled to a minimum of 5.6 weeks’ holiday a year. This is called statutory holiday. To work out how many days holiday you can take a year, you need to multiply 5.6 by the number of days you work in a week.
Time off for public duties
If you need to take time off work because you are involved in public duties, your employer must allow you to take a reasonable amount of time off work. You will not be paid for the hours you have missed unless your contract of employment says so, and you do not have to make up the time later on. People involved in public duties include local authority councillors, members of statutory tribunals, school governors, members of police authorities and magistrates.
What is meant by reasonable time off work
When deciding how much time to let you take off for public duties, your employer should take into account:
• how much time you need to take off.
• how much time off you have had in the past.
• the effect your time off will have on the business.
Time off for jury service
If your employer does not want to release you for jury service when you are called, you may be able to postpone your duty but will still have to do it at a later date. You may have to negotiate with your employer to find a time to do your duty that is acceptable to both of you. Your employer does not have to pay you for the time that you take off (unless your employment contract says so) but you can claim money back from the court to make up for some of your financial losses.
Your employer is not legally required to allow you time off for jury service but they could be fined for contempt of court if they refuse you time off. If your employer dismisses you for taking time off to do jury service, you may be able to make a claim for unfair dismissal to an employment tribunal. There’s a strict time limit for making a claim and you should seek advice straight away – see below.
Time off for study or training
If you are aged 16 or 17, you are entitled to take time off work to study or train for a qualification to help you reach a certain educational standard. You should be allowed a reasonable amount of time off. It should be paid at your normal rate of pay, and does not have to be made up later on. If you are 18, you also have the right to paid time off to complete any studies or training begun before you started work.
If you work for an organisation with more than 250 employees, and you’ve been working for your employer for at least 26 weeks, you have the right to ask for time off work to do training. You can find out more about this on the Directgov website at: www.direct.gov.uk, by searching for Time to train.
Time off to have a baby
Time off work to have a baby is called maternity leave. Most women employees have the right to take up to one year’s (52 weeks’) maternity leave. This does not depend on how long you have worked for your employer. You may get paid for some or all of your maternity leave, although you might not get the same rate of pay as usual. This depends on how long you’ve worked for your employer, how much you earn and what your employment contract says.
Time off for fathers and civil partners
If you are the father of a new born baby, you may be entitled to take up to two weeks paid leave after the birth. This is called paternity leave. If you are the civil partner of the mother of a new born baby, you can also take paternity leave. You must have been employed by the same employer for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the week the baby is due. This leave will be paid but may not be paid at your usual rate, depending on your contract of employment. You may also be able to share your partner’s maternity leave if they do not use it all and return to work.
Time off when you adopt a child
You may be entitled to time off work when you adopt a child. This is called Statutory Adoption Leave (SAL). To qualify for SAL, you must have worked for your employer for at least 26 weeks before you are told you have been matched with your child.
Statutory adoption leave lasts for up to 52 weeks. This is made up of ordinary adoption leave, which lasts for 26 weeks, and additional adoption leave, which lasts for a further 26 weeks. If you are in a couple, only one of you may take SAL, but if your partner is taking SAL, you can take two weeks’ paternity leave instead. However, if your partner does not take all their leave, you may be able to share it.
This right applies to both heterosexual and same-sex couples. You may not be paid at your usual rate. This depends on your contract of employment.
Time off to look after your child
If you have a child who is under five, you have the right to take time off work to look after them. This is called Parental leave. You must have worked for your employer for at least one year before you can take this leave. You can take up to 18 weeks off. The leave will not be paid unless your contract of employment says it will. This leave does not have to be taken all at the same time, but you should take it in one week blocks. Your employer may be able to limit you to taking no more than four weeks for each child in any one year. You will not have to make the time up later on.
Time off for emergencies
You are entitled to take reasonable time off work to deal with unexpected problems or emergencies involving close family members, or other people who depend on you. This time off will not be paid, unless your contract of employment says it will, but you do not have to make it up later on. You can take time off, for example, when:
• someone falls ill, or is injured
• someone dies
• care arrangements for someone suddenly break down
• you need to deal with an unexpected incident involving your child at their school.
A close family member usually means a child, husband, wife, civil partner, cohabiting partner or parent. Someone who depends on you may be anyone else who lives with you (other than a lodger, tenant or boarder), or someone who relies on you, such as an elderly or disabled relative or neighbour. This right does not only apply in a sudden and unexpected emergency. It will depend on the circumstances of each case. Your employer should look at the amount of time between you becoming aware of the risk of a problem and the problem actually happening. Your employer should allow you to take the time off you feel you need to deal with the emergency. This may be only a day or two, but could be longer. If you think your employer is being unreasonable, see below.
Time off to visit the doctor or dentist
Your employer may allow you time off work to visit the doctor or dentist but they are not legally required to do so unless your contract of employment says they are. Your employer can, for example, insist that you make these visits outside work hours, that you take holiday leave or that you make the time up later on. You should check your contract of employment to see what rights you have to take time off for doctors or dental appointments.
Pregnant women, however, are allowed reasonable paid time off work for ante-natal care. This time does not need to be made up later on. If you are disabled and your employer will not let you take time off for a medical appointment connected with your disability, they could be breaking the law. You should get help from an experienced adviser such as Citizens Advice Bureaux
Your employer won’t let you take time off
If your employer won’t let you take time off that you think you are entitled to, you could try to persuade them to change their mind. You could get help from a trade union representative if you have one, a personnel officer, or an experienced adviser (see below). If this doesn’t work, you should raise a written grievance with your employer, and, if you need to take matters further, make a claim to an employment tribunal. You should think carefully before doing either of these things, as it might have a negative effect on your relationship with your employer, and could put your job at risk. There are strict time limits for making a claim to an employment tribunal, and you should check that these do not run out before you make your claim.
Your employer dismisses you for taking time off
If you are an employee, your employer should not dismiss you for taking time off work unless they have first gone through a dismissal and disciplinary procedure. You are unlikely to be an employee if you are a subcontractor, freelancer or casual worker. If your employer does dismiss you for taking time off, talk to an experienced adviser straight away (see below). The adviser may be able to persuade your employer to take you back. If this doesn’t work, you may be able to make a claim to an employment tribunal. If you are dismissed because of maternity leave, you may be able to make a claim to an employment tribunal for unfair dismissal and either maternity discrimination or sex discrimination.
Time limits for making a claim to an employment tribunal
There’s a strict time limit for making a claim to an employment tribunal. This is usually three months minus one day from the date when the thing you are complaining about last happened. The Acas early conciliation scheme starts on 6 April 2014 and will apply to most employment tribunal claims. It affects the time limit and is compulsory from 6 May 2014. You should get specialist advice to help you work out the time limit for your claim. You may need to get help from an experienced adviser to make sure you don’t miss the deadline.
Citizens Advice Bureau
Citizens Advice Bureaux give free, confidential, impartial and independent advice to help you solve problems. To find your nearest CAB, including those that give advice by e-mail, click on nearest CAB, or look under C in your phone book.
Use this model appraisal form to record the issues discussed at an employee’s performance appraisal meeting.
Date of engagement:
Date of meeting:
(This section of the appraisal form should be used to record discussion on the key areas of the job, and include a summary of achievement against the objectives that have been previously agreed.)
(This section of the appraisal form should be used to record any areas of the employee’s work where further training and support is required, and any areas where performance is particularly strong and should be developed further.)
Development and training
(This section of the appraisal form should list specific requirements for any training or development. These activities are not restricted to training courses, and may include attachments, projects, coaching, planned experience or any other suitable activity that will enhance the skills, knowledge and behaviour required in the employee’s work or to develop him/her further.)
This section of the appraisal form should record any areas of the department or Company in which the employee has expressed a specific interest.
Other areas of discussion
This section of the appraisal form should record any other points raised at the appraisal meeting.
This is based on performance over the year against objectives achieved
(Objectives exceeded and competencies more than fully demonstrated)
(Objectives met and competencies fully demonstrated at required levels)
Less than standard performance with development needs
(Most objectives met but development required to fully meet all objectives)
(Performance unacceptable; objectives not met and competencies not demonstrated)
Reviewing manager’s signature:
One copy of this completed form will be kept by the appraiser, one by the appraisee and one in the employee’s personnel file.
Date of appraisal __/__/____
Your next Appraisal Meeting will take place on:
Purpose of the Appraisal Meeting
To enable you to discuss, with your manager, your job performance and your future. The discussion should aim at a clearer understanding of:
(a) The main scope and purpose of your job
(b) Agreements on your objectives and tasks
(c) Standards or targets for measuring your performance
(d) Your training and future prospects
You can prepare for the meeting and discussion by completing this form.
You may show this form to your manager. This will give him or her time to consider your problems and suggestions. If you do so, it will not be copied or filed without your permission.
If you prefer, you can use this form for your own guidance only, and not show it to anyone.
You will be given the opportunity to read the appraisal form prepared by your manager; you will be able to add your comments, and sign the appraisal form.
Bring to the appraisal meeting:
• your current job description
• your current action plan
1. Circle appropriate answers, and comment below
(a) Do you have an up-to-date job description? 0 Yes 0 No
(b) Do you have an up-to-date action plan? 0 Yes 0 No
(c) Do you understand all the requirements of your job? 0 Yes 0 No
(d) Do you have regular opportunities to discuss your work, and action plans? 0 Yes 0 No
(e) Have you carried out the improvements agreed with your manager which were made at the last appropriate meeting? 0 Yes 0 No
2. What have you accomplished, over and above the minimum requirements of your job description, in the period under review (consider the early part of the period as well as more recent events)? Have you made any innovations?
3. List any difficulties you have in carrying out your work. Were there any obstacles outside your own control which prevented you from performing effectively?
4. What parts of your job, do you:
(a) do best?
(b) do less well?
(c) have difficulty with?
(d) fail to enjoy?
5. Have you any skills, aptitudes, or knowledge not fully utilised in your job? If so, what are they and how could they be used?
6. Can you suggest training which would help to improve your performance or development?
7. Additional remarks, notes, questions, or suggestions