Newsletter June 2024

TUPE changes to employee consultations

There’s several changes coming up for businesses selling or buying another business where people are involved.

As of 1st July 2024, those with fewer than 50 employees will be able to consult directly with employees – rather than appoint employee representatives.

Also, businesses of any size will be able to consult directly with employees where a transfer of fewer than ten employees is proposed (unless there are existing employee representatives in place). This cuts out part of the original process although reps can still be appointed.

TUPE is still a tricky and complex process so make sure you get advice and as early on as possible.

Fire and rehire – tighter rules coming soon

The first statutory Code of Practice relating to Dismissal and Re-engagement aka ‘fire and rehire’ will come into effect on 18th July 2024.

Currently, an employer can fire an employee and then offer them a new contract on new, often less-favourable terms. Under the code, fire and rehire should only go ahead if a ‘fair procedure’ is carried out and the provisions of the Code followed. If an employee is found to have been unfairly dismissed, compensation can increase by up to 25%.

We will make sure that you receive an update on this when the Code of Practice is published.

100% of tips to go to workers

As of 1st July 2024, the Employment (Allocation of Tips) Act will ban employers keeping service charges and tips from customers. The Act states all tips must be allocated “fairly” with a policy for this in place for clarity, Mint can pull together a policy for you if you’re affected.

Zero-hours workers’ requests for more predictable working hours

The Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Act 2023 is expected to kick in sometime in September 2024 introducing a statutory right for eligible workers to request more predictable working patterns.

Under the new legislation, an employer will have one month to make a decision and can refuse for one of six statutory grounds.

We are still waiting for full details of the regulations – including the qualifying period ( thought to be at least 26 weeks of employment with the company) and the compensation an individual will receive if this statutory right is breached. Once full details and effective date are known, handbooks and policies will need updating, managers trained and zero-hour/casual/ agency workers informed. Mint will keep clients up to speed on this and provide support as always.

Sexual harassment prevention – your business’ responsibility

Later this year it will become a business’ legal responsibility to prevent harassment in their organisation.

The Worker Protection Act means companies will have a statutory duty to take ‘reasonable steps to prevent sexual harassment’ to improve safeguarding measures and protect their Team.

Individuals will still be held liable for sexual harassment, but employers will also be held liable for such acts committed by their employees and could be made to pay compensation.

Although the Act doesn’t come into effect until October 2024, now is the time to act! Look at your workplace culture and, if necessary, challenge any ingrained behaviours and put improved policies and procedures in place.

In 2024 – your workplace should be a safe space for everyone.

Time off to vote?

It’s happening – the General Election date has been set for Thursday 4th July.

Polling stations are generally open from 7am to 10pm – providing lots of time for employees to get their votes cast. However, some may ask for time off to ensure they can vote; if so, note there’s no statutory right to take time off work for this. If asked, you could consider amending their start and finish times for the day, allowing time off in lieu; asking them to use some annual leave or to taking unpaid leave.

Auto-enrolment of pensions changes delayed

Plans for the minimum age for pension auto enrolment to reduced to 18 and lower earnings limits removed/reduced have been pushed back to ‘mid 2020s’ the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has recently confirmed.

Workplace food for thought

Are you GDPR compliant?

Are you complying with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) guidelines regarding the data you hold on the people you employ or have previously employed?
Did you know there’s varying time limits for retaining certain information? Once those times are up you must delete/destroy the data you’ve collected.
For example:

A new starter’s CV, application form, interview notes, references etc can only be retained for 12 months after their join date
Disciplinary warnings cannot be stored for longer than 6 months after the expiry of the warning
Health questionnaires, medical reports, self certs and GP fit notes have to be kept for 40 years from the document date

There’s lots of other data retention deadlines too – ranging from next of kin info and copies of passports to payroll and accounting information.

And remember, you cannot legally have any employee information on file unless they have given you permission. If your team have not all signed a GDPR Privacy Notice then you need to ask them to do this ASAP. This is a legal requirement and better to get this actioned late than not at all.

Team Mint will be reaching out to our clients throughout June regarding their data compliance and will do so every year to ensure their files (and our own) are compliant.

Does your team need to opt out?

Did you know the Working Time Directive (WTD) states a person cannot work over 48 hours per week or an average of that taken over a 17 week period?

The WTD exists to provide employees with basic rights and protection and covers all but senior executives. If the nature of your business means longer working hours are required, you can ask your individuals to sign an Opt Out Agreement. However, it is ultimately their decision and you cannot force them to opt out.

Mint HR can help you review your working hours to ensure they’re compliant. We can also assist with putting in place an opt out. It’s worth getting this all in check before HSE come knocking or your employees become disgruntled.

What is too hot?

At the moment we can only dream of long, hot summer days – but if a heatwave does happen, did you know there’s no guidelines for indoor temperature upper limits? There’s only lower limit temperature guidance of at least 16°C or 13°C when a lot of physical activity is involved.

Your workplace temperature must, however, be appropriate for the work activity taking place and don’t forget to consider the effect of wearing required uniforms or protective clothing, too. Most employees in offices feel comfortable at 20-23°C – so keep a thermometer on hand and some cash in the pot for when the ice cream van pays a visit!

Cancer in the Workplace

On average someone in the UK is diagnosed with cancer every 90 seconds and an average of 460 people die from cancer every day.

Those stats completely suck but are a reminder that there’s a high chance someone in your team (or their loved ones) has or will get cancer at some point.

Tracy attended a Macmillan Cancer in the Workplace Masterclass where it was clear communication is key. Don’t avoid having those all-important chats even if you may find it hard. And make adjustments – cancer is legally defined as a disability. Under equality laws, you may need to make reasonable adjustments to the workplace or the job to help them to stay in or come back to work. Lots of people work throughout their cancer diagnosis with the right support.

Now Mint HR clients can receive a copy of MacMillan’s ‘Work and Cancer Toolkit’ which has guidance for them, the employee and the carer.

And remember, Tracy is also a trained Mental Health First Aider should your employee feel talking to someone would be beneficial.

Macmillan – cancer and the workplace.

Contact Mint Outsourced HR in Yorkshire

From Onboarding in Huddersfield to Employee Handbooks in Hull or Grievances in Sheffield to Mediation in Manchester, nowhere is too far for the team at Mint HR.


Read Another Post…

Don’t Just Take Our Word For It!

See What Our Clients Are Saying…