Employment law advice
You work for a freelance human resource (HR) support organisation. You provide day to day employment law advice and HR support to a variety of clients. Some clients have been in touch with different issues as outlined below.
The HR Manager has been in touch with a number of questions following various issues that have arisen in relation to certain employees. You are required to give both practical and legal advice and to support your advice with reference to relevant legal authority (case law, legislation, codes of practice, etc.) wherever possible.
One key client of your organisation isa well-known national advertising agency, Scartchi and Co Limited (Scartchi).
Scartchi are looking to recruit a new team of account managers. It is the responsibility of an account manager to liaise with the company’s clients and manage projects on the client’s behalf. Scartchi want to recruit 6 new account managers and have just created a job advert. You have been asked to comment upon the proposed advert to check it complies with current employment legislation and good practice in the field of employee relations.
The job advert pictures a white man in a well-tailored suit and a white woman in a low cut top and short skirt. The text of the advert is modelled on an invitation to a party and reads:
Scartchiwants to recruit smart people to work in smart places. If you have at least 10 years’ experience in the advertising industry and you’re happy to work hard (and put in that extra mile) then email your application to us – full details on our website.
In addition, Scartchi would like to encourage applications from people that can represent the Asian community. The company is currently dominated by white employees and most senior positions are occupied by men.
a) Advise Scartchi of any concerns you have in relation to the proposed image and/or the proposed text of the job advertisement; and
b) Explain how Scartchi could encourage applications from a wider cross-section of society.
A second client, Leodis General Hospital, has been in touch in relation to an issue with one of its hospital porters, James Grail. The hospital suspected thatJames had been leaving work early without authorisation and had been clocking out remotely. As a result, the hospital undertook some surveillance of the employee and now has footage of him on three consecutive Thursdays at a nearby ‘pay as you go’ golfing range between the hours of 4.30pm and 5.30pm. On each occasion he phoned in remotely at 5.45pm to confirm he had completed his duties (distributing medical supplies to various NHS locations across West Yorkshire) and was clocking off.
The Hospital Manager is furious and wants James to be dismissed without any delay, and ideally first thing in the morning. However, the Deputy Manager recalls reading something about rights to privacy and procedures to follow and would like some advice before a final decision to dismiss this employee is made.
a) Explain the correct procedure that Leodis General Hospital should follow prior to making the decision to dismiss the porter, James Grail; and
b) Outline the financial risks that Leodis General Hospitalmight face in the event that the hospital fails to follow the procedure you have outlined above and James Grail submits and succeeds with an Employment Tribunal claim.
A third client has a number of separate queries as noted below. This client runs a cattery and boarding kennels called Greendays. Greendays looks after cats and dogs when their owners are away.
a) Janine has worked at Greendays for just over 4 years. She is due to go on maternity leave at the start of April 2014. Greendays has not had to deal with matters relating to maternity leave before and so requires some guidance:
i. as to their obligations towards pregnant employees;
ii. how long Janine can take off as maternity leave and whether there are different periods of maternity leave;
iii. whether Janine can work for Greendays at all during her maternity leave to help with the very busy summer period; and
iv. what is Janine’s entitlement to pay during maternity leave.
You should provide clear information to Greendays in order to address their queries in full.
b) Greendays has been reviewing the way the company is structured and would like to make some changes to ensure it keeps costs down and operates more efficiently.
It is considering making two of its five assistants redundant.There are two assistants that joined last summer and Greendays is considering terminating the contracts of employment of these two assistants and would like to know if they could face any liability for any claim(s) if they do. You should advise accordingly.