Sports Direct – the Dilemma of Organisational Flexibility

[Text amended August 2018] Many organisations need flexibility in staffing to accommodate seasonal and other variations in workload, product launches, staff holidays and illness etc. To meet such needs, senior managers should be able to introduce a range of contracts such as variable hours, zero hours, temporary and/or fixed term contracts and/or use agency workers. […]

HR Policies – a Level Playing Field or a Competitive Field?

News broke this week that France will allow companies to re-negotiate a longer working week and overtime rates of pay thus starting to erode the 35 hour week for ‘blue collar’ staff.  That report made me smile as I recalled:   Advising a French service company on adopting the 35 hour week   and reducing employment […]

Junior Doctors’ Dispute re Pay and Working Hours

In our first article about the junior doctors’ pay and hours dispute, we queried whether the negotiators for the doctors will avoid the mistakes of previous years.  Those agreements left some junior doctors in specialities, such as general medicine, feeling the deal was unfair as colleagues, in other specialities, were not liable to be called […]

Zero Hours Contract Workers – New Rights

Posted on 13/01/2016 by HR Professional   [Link updated 06/09/2019]   Zero hours are defined broadly as being a contract or arrangement under which an employer may offer or provide work for an individual but there is no certainty that such work will be made available.  Such contracts are a useful means of covering seasonal […]

Casual and Zero Hours Staff – A Balanced Approach

Posted on 30/05/2015 by HR Professional [Editor’s note – this is an updated version of  ‘Zero Hours – A Casual Discussion’ published originally on 30/11/2013.] Zero Hours Contracts are Still Legal How will you make effective use of such staff to meet your service needs and balance your needs as an employer as well as […]

Bargaining Cap on Compensatory Awards in Unfair Dismissal Cases *

If you become involved in a negotiation over a package to settle a dismissal, the new cap may help you to focus the parties on a realistic settlement figure. From 29th July 2013, a cap has been set on the compensatory award in unfair dismissal cases – but not all cases will be covered. The […]

Employing a Cost Effective Mix of Temporary Workers/Staff *

Deciding by Fact or Fiction Do you have the right mix of temporary workers to meet your seasonal or fluctuating needs? Have you experienced a pressing need for temporary workers but none with the right skills/knowledge are to hand immediately? Over 54% of employers rely upon agency workers (1) for more than 12 week periods […]

Retirement Age Lives On

How will you handle staff retirement planning in your workplace? From April 2011, the Government will remove the idea of a normal retirement age at which an employer can require staff to leave. Will that be a major problem for most employers? That is unlikely in view of the following points Sharing/discussing retirement plans is […]