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  • HR Heartbeat: Can managers “manage” from home? New guidance on preventing sexual harassment, and…

HR Heartbeat: Can managers “manage” from home? New guidance on preventing sexual harassment, and…

Get your HR headlines in a hurry and stay on top of the latest employment news

First published on Wednesday, Jan 31, 2024

Last updated on Wednesday, Jan 31, 2024

3 min read

Have you heard the latest news?

Welcome to HR Heartbeat, where we give you a rundown of the week's top employment law stories. Stay on the pulse of current trends impacting your business, plus get up-to-the-minute commentaries on all things HR and legal.

Can managers “manage” from home?

A recent Employment Tribunal (Wilson v FCA) has sparked debate about the link between remote working and performance.

The Financial Conduct Authority decided to decline a Senior Manager’s right to work from home following a flexible working request and it was ruled the decision to decline the request was based on correct facts.

Miss Wilson’s side of the argument was the company was set up effectively with the right technology to work from home,that her performance had been exceptional since working remotely during the Pandemic, and that the hybrid nature of the company meant often when she was in the office it wasn’t guaranteed she’d interact with all members of her team.

The FCA stated if Miss Wilson worked entirely from home, it would hurt the quality of her work and performance. Especially due to her seniority and responsibilities as a manager over elements like training, face-to-face meetings, and coaching.

Ultimately Miss Wilson lost her claim, and the tribunal held it would not be incorrect for an employer to identify potential risks to performance when an employee works from home.

Don’t forget, rules on flexible working are changing this year. So, keep in the loop. Ask BrightLightning: What is changing with flexible working rules?

New guidance on the duty of care to prevent sexual harassment

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) confirm that existing guidance and the statutory code of practice will be updated to reflect the new duty requiring employers to take reasonable steps to prevent sexual harassment.

The new duty is expected to be introduced in October 2024 and will help employers take proactive steps towards preventing sexual harassment in the workplace.

It’s essential you take note of the new rules. Tribunals will be able to award an uplift on sexual harassment compensation by up to 25% where an employer is found to have breached this new duty to prevent sexual harassment.

For more support on this topic, ask BrightLightning: What are reasonable steps to prevent sexual harassment?

Update: Delays to the Immigration Health Surcharge increase

In last week’s HR Heartbeat, we covered delays to the Immigration Health Surcharge. It has since been announced this will increase by 66% from 6 February 2024.

The increase to the civil penalty for unlawfully employing foreign workers will also increase from 13 February 2024.

And that’s a wrap. Tune in next week for more headlines and make sure you stay ahead of major employment law changes!

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