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  • HR Heartbeat: Train disruptions due to overtime ban, changes to Paternity Leave, and…

HR Heartbeat: Train disruptions due to overtime ban, changes to Paternity Leave, and…

Read this week’s HR Heartbeat! Get advice to reduce staff lateness during train disruptions and find out the latest proposed changes to Paternity Leave.

First published on Thursday, Jul 06, 2023

Last updated on Thursday, Jul 06, 2023

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.

So, let’s check out this week’s headlines…

More train disruption!

About 15 train companies based in the UK will refuse to work any overtime from Monday 17th to Saturday 22nd of July. Although not a full strike, rail workers in the ASLEF union are implementing an overtime ban this week, which may lead to short-notice cancellations and delays.

Your employees who rely on trains to get to work may face last-minute disruptions to their commute and could be late getting to work.

But as some lateness can’t be helped because of things like train strikes, you can show understanding to help maintain a good relationship with your staff. Some great ways to do this include:

  • Agreeing for employees to make up lost time.
  • Suggesting staff use time off in lieu.
  • Offering work-from-home options (so no hours are missed).
  • Or allowing employees to take a different form of leave when trains strike.

Struggling to manage staff hours and track overtime? Find out how time-tracking tools can reduce staff lateness and keep your business on track (no railway pun intended).

Paternity Leave changes on the horizon

This week (Wednesday 5th of July 2023), the UK Government announced it will move forward with changes to Paternity Leave rules to increase flexibility. Whilst these new rules aren’t set in stone and could take up to and over 1 year to implement, we’ve included the latest updates below:

  • When leave can be taken: The latest proposal from the Government would mean employees could take paternity leave at any point within one year of the birth or adoption.
  • Amount of leave: The new plans from the Government would also mean employees could take paternity leave in two separate blocks of one week. For example, if one single week is taken the second week will no longer be lost.
  • Notice required: As a current rule, employees are required to notify their employer of their leave no later than 15 weeks before the expected week of childbirth. The Government are proposing employees give their notice of entitlement no later than 15 weeks before the birth. And they give 28 days of notice before the dates they intend to take each period of leave (and pay, where they qualify).

NB: The above applies to England, Scotland, and Wales but does not apply to Northern Ireland.

Teacher strikes cause staffing chaos

More children will be off school this week as teachers strike, meaning some of your employees will need to find a way to balance childcare and work.

Time off for dependants may cover this situation if parents are unable to sort out alternative childcare. Ask Bright Lightning: How much time off for dependants do I have to allow?

Other ways to deal with it are allowing reasonable annual leave, using time off in lieu, or offering home working.

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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