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"To know what you know and what you do not know is true knowledge."

- Confucius

"To know what you know and what you do not know is true knowledge."

- Confucius

Resources

"To know what you know and what you do not know is true knowledge."

- Confucius

Resources

"To know what you know and what you do not know is true knowledge."

- Confucius

workshops_compressed

Resources

"To know what you know and what you do not know is true knowledge."

- Confucius

Latest HR News & Tips

KNOWLEDGE CENTER
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Hybrid work and its implications for employers in the UK

June 6th 2022, London, UK

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an enormous impact on all areas of our lives. Because of how much of our time is occupied by work, the effects are evident in the job market, where employers had to take measures that at one point seemed radical, only to provide their teams with a safe work environment.

One of those changes was the introduction of hybrid work, which combines the elements of being present at the company’s office and homeworking. To some people, both employers and employees, this idea was far-fetched at first, and when the situation demanded it, no one knew what to expect. How did it play out?

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused two main changes in how people work. It includes primarily the location where work is done and the time in which employees are allowed to perform their duties.

In April 2020, when the first cases of the COVID-19 virus started to appear in the UK, around 47% of people transferred some of their work from the office to their homes, as per the Office for National Statistics, with 86% of them working from home directly due to the pandemic.

At the same time, around 34% of people worked fewer hours than before the pandemic, while around 30% reported working more hours than usual, according to the same report, which shows that the trends brought by the pandemic weren’t always beneficial to employees.

The pandemic experienced great fluctuations in intensity, and we witnessed many waves which caused restrictions to come and go. Even though the situation now seems to be stable, the way COVID-19 has impacted employees proved to many that hybrid work, even though once considered inferior to traditional ways of working, can be beneficial to the entire organisation, with over 41% of companies claiming it has improved organisational productivity, according to research conducted by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

The effects of homeworking have been even more positive among employees, with 59% of HR decision-makers reporting that hybrid working has had a positive impact on the well-being of their teams, according to new research by Microsoft and YouGov. The same study also claims that over half of employees would consider leaving their current position if the possibility of remote work was taken away from them, which suggests strong implications for employees who should now focus on providing their potential candidates with this opportunity in order to increase talent retention and reduce turnover rate.

At Arthur Employment Law, we believe that the application of hybrid working should be flexible to accommodate the varied needs of employees and allow them to choose between different working systems.

Attending the office and homeworking are characterised by different benefits they can bring to employees. The former enables visibility and allows members of the team to be seen by senior leaders, which can support promotion within the organisation. Flexible work, on the other hand, has the potential to ensure that people who might not be able to work full-time can still become a part of the team. This, in turn, ensures a diverse workforce and allows employees of different groups and demographics to contribute to the organisation.
One thing to remember for employers who decide to introduce homeworking in their organisations is the need to support those unable to attend the office and make them feel included, despite their lack of physical presence.

To facilitate homeworking, AEL supports the 7 strategies for success in hybrid work outlined by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

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UK’s economy during the war in Ukraine

May 18th 2022, London, UK

On 24 February 2022, Russian troops entered Ukraine, starting an invasion that many believed would only last for a couple of days. Unfortunately, it soon turned into a war that continues to affect the entire world, and its effects will be visible for many years to come, even after the situation settles down.

What effects has the war had on the UK’s economy? How has it influenced hiring and what should employers know to best approach what is ahead of them?

So far, the UK government has launched two visa programmes to allow Ukrainian nationals to stay in the UK for up to 3 years.

The Ukraine Family Scheme was the first visa scheme in the world to provide support to Ukrainians. It was announced on 1 March 2022 and came into effect 3 days later, enabling Ukrainian nationals to join their UK-based family members.

The Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme, also known as the Homes for Ukraine Scheme, was launched on 14 March 2022 and allows for the immigration of Ukrainians who have a UK-based sponsor to provide accommodation for each individual applying for the visa.

So far, both schemes have seen great popularity, and the total number of applications exceeded 130,000, as of 11 May 2022, with 102,300 visas issued. 37,500 visas were issued for the Ukraine Family Scheme and 64,800 visas for the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme, respectively, as per the UK government data, which is updated daily.

Ukrainians holding visas issued through the Ukraine Family Scheme or Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme can stay and work in the UK for up to 3 years. Employers can freely hire those individuals on terms similar to those binding holders of other visas. It is worth noting that even though holders of those visas have the right to stay in the UK, they don’t hold refugee statuses.

Ukrainians who are considered refugees can be hired by the Refugee Employment Network or non-governmental organisations working with REN to allow access to fulfilling paid employment opportunities.

A detailed hiring guide prepared by the UK government can be found here. It outlines the rules and requirements for different employment statuses, such as workers, employees, and contractors, to allow employers to access the most recent information on how they can legally recruit Ukrainian immigrants and refugees.

The impact of the war in Ukraine isn’t limited to the neighbouring countries, and it has affected the entire world, especially Europe. It also encourages people to take a political stance and choose a side. While some have shunned Russia, the impact of the sanctions shows that the state of Russia’s economy has been deteriorating progressively, affecting not only people living in the country but also those in regions with some ties to Russia, which is a significant fraction of the world.

At Arthur Employment Law, we believe that people should remain mindful and not let the war impact how they treat each other, especially people of Russian origin, many of whom oppose the war as much as their Western counterparts. It includes not only our personal lives but also the recruitment process, where biases can get in the way and negatively affect the decision-making process.

It is essential since the cost of living has increased across the entire continent of Europe, not only in the UK. Employers need to ensure that their recruitment practices are even more efficient and that the management style within their organisations prevents discrimination and doesn’t lead to costly predicaments such as loss of productivity, financial means, or human capital. Inclusion with a strong emphasis on diversity is one of the ways employers can manage this situation and prepare for the future ahead of them.

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UK's employment law after Brexit

May 19th 2021, London, UK

The UK officially left the EU on 31 January 2020 and on 1 January 2021, the new rules took effect, limiting the freedom of movement between European Economic Area (EEA) and British citizens.
The changes have affected how businesses and individuals operate, which is especially visible in the areas where the two intersect, such as employment.

Doors are now closed for many immigrants unable to obtain a working visa in the country. EU, EAA, or Swiss citizens who were UK residents before 31 December 2020 could apply to the EU Settlement Scheme, but for others, an employer-sponsored visa is required.

The chief condition is the minimum salary threshold set as £25,600, or the average rate for the applicant’s job, whichever is higher. Other available programs introduced by the British government include the global talent scheme, which is open to highly-skilled scientists and researchers holding EU, EEA, and Swiss citizenship who can now come to the UK without a job offer.

In addition to that, international students who have completed a degree in the UK from summer 2021 are eligible to work, or look for work, in the UK at any skill level for up to 2 years, or 3 for PhD graduates.

Making immigration more difficult for applicants means more obstacles for employers who can only sponsor visas for jobs that require the RQF3 skill level or above, with the annual salary of £25,600 or the average rate for their job, whichever is higher. This threshold can be waived in some instances when the applicant meets specific criteria, but the salary can’t be less than £20,480.

Furthermore, employers need to ensure that the person they want to sponsor has a good command of English, as per the United Kingdom government. For intra-company transfers, those thresholds have been raised, both in terms of salary and the required skill level.

After Brexit, the United Kingdom will no longer be subjected to the EU’s GDPR ruling. To replace the legislation, the UK GDPR was introduced. It closely resembles the Data Protection Act 2018, which once supplemented the GDPR. The legislation was since updated with technical amendments to work in a UK-only context.

In practice, it means that no significant changes occurred. Data can still be freely transferred between companies in the EEA countries, with the GDPR transfer rules applying to any information flowing into the UK, as stated by the Information Commissioner’s Office report.

According to the Department for Exiting the European Union, UK’s domestic legislation exceeded EU-imposed employment protections. Therefore, the decision to leave the EU will not influence worker’s rights in any way.

It includes employment benefits, such as the annual leave, which stands at 5.6 weeks for the UK, compared with the EU-imposed requirement of 4 weeks, and various health and safety rulings, which were governed independently by The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

Immigration will always be a complex topic, and AEL does not hold an opinion in this regard. We do, however, see merit in attempting to attract top talent to the UK. AEL also acknowledges the possible difficulties for global companies with a sister or parent organisations in other countries, which will now be unable to benefit from the expertise, culture and cutting-edge practices. This, in turn, may harm the UK business, but this remains to be seen.

It is comforting to know that the GDPR largely remains unchanged. AEL strongly believes that having the EU oversight provided strengthened protection to the UK workers and hopes that the country won’t make a U-turn on the laws created under our relationship with the EU, such as family-friendly rights and the Equality act. In any event, AEL will support both employees and businesses if they have any concerns or wish to develop a strategy to ensure self-preservation in the future.

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Racial inequality

July 7th 2020, London, UK

Compared to their white British peers, far too many individuals from an ethnic minority background face discrimination when trying to get into, or progress at, work .

According to the McGregor-Smith Review (2017), the employment rate for ethnic minorities is only 62.8%, far below the 75.6% employment rate of white workers. Some ethnic groups face an even worse gap. For example, workers from a Pakistani or Bangladeshi background are only employed at 54.9%.

While 1 in 8 of the working-age population are from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) background, BAME individuals only constitute 10% of the workforce and hold only 6% of top management positions. The Parker Review (2016) of the ethnic diversity of UK boards found that only 85 of the 1,050 director positions in the FTSE 100 were held by BAME people.

Tackling discrimination is not only a moral imperative, it is also a business necessity. It is estimated the economy would gain an additional £24 billion from the full representation of BAME individuals in the workplace.

Employers must actively seek to diversify their organisation and rely on diverse talent from different cultural backgrounds. But how can this be achieved? The same activities that increased female representation in organisations could present an interesting test case and pathway for increased BAME representation at the ground level, in management teams and in board rooms.

AEL can audit your position and help you understand the potential untapped value diversity could bring to your business. We can help you advocate for and implement better quality people management, have an open and productive conversation about diversity, develop employer guidance and continually monitor and review your organisational diversity.

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Mental health at work

July 4th 2020, London, UK

Encouragingly, the CIPD/Simplyhealth Health and Well-being at Work 2018 survey report finds most organisations are taking steps to create a working environment that supports mental health.

The report showed a rise in the number of employers with an awareness of mental health issues and how they affect the workforce (up from 31% in 2016 to 51% this year).Hopefully, this indicates the start of a more open culture around the traditionally stigmatised issue of mental health struggles. Concerningly, the report also showed an increase in common mental health conditions as a cause of absence from work. More respondents this year reported employees experiencing mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression in the last 12 months (55% this year, up from 41% in 2016).

Around half of respondents said their organisation encouraged openness about mental health, was effective at supporting people with mental ill-health and actively promoted mental wellbeing. Less than a third, however, thought senior leaders’ action or behaviour demonstrated any real consideration for mental wellbeing. Respondents were more likely to disagree than agree that managers were confident and competent at identifying and supporting employees with mental health issues.

While they may have some policies in place, many employers fall short at understanding and tackling mental health at work. This is concerning, especially given employers’ duty of care to staff and employee rights in relation to mental health.

We offer employers clear training on how to limit workplace absence and boost wellbeing through proactive and empathetic management.

man-wearing-black-polo-shirt-and-gray-pants-sitting-on-white-935977
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Latest HR News & Tips

KNOWLEDGE CENTER

Latest HR
News & Tips

KNOWLEDGE CENTER
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search

Hybrid work and its implications for employers in the UK

June 6th 2022, London, UK

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an enormous impact on all areas of our lives. Because of how much of our time is occupied by work, the effects are evident in the job market, where employers had to take measures that at one point seemed radical, only to provide their teams with a safe work environment.

One of those changes was the introduction of hybrid work, which combines the elements of being present at the company’s office and homeworking. To some people, both employers and employees, this idea was far-fetched at first, and when the situation demanded it, no one knew what to expect. How did it play out?

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused two main changes in how people work. It includes primarily the location where work is done and the time in which employees are allowed to perform their duties.

In April 2020, when the first cases of the COVID-19 virus started to appear in the UK, around 47% of people transferred some of their work from the office to their homes, as per the Office for National Statistics, with 86% of them working from home directly due to the pandemic.

At the same time, around 34% of people worked fewer hours than before the pandemic, while around 30% reported working more hours than usual, according to the same report, which shows that the trends brought by the pandemic weren’t always beneficial to employees.

The pandemic experienced great fluctuations in intensity, and we witnessed many waves which caused restrictions to come and go. Even though the situation now seems to be stable, the way COVID-19 has impacted employees proved to many that hybrid work, even though once considered inferior to traditional ways of working, can be beneficial to the entire organisation, with over 41% of companies claiming it has improved organisational productivity, according to research conducted by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

The effects of homeworking have been even more positive among employees, with 59% of HR decision-makers reporting that hybrid working has had a positive impact on the well-being of their teams, according to new research by Microsoft and YouGov. The same study also claims that over half of employees would consider leaving their current position if the possibility of remote work was taken away from them, which suggests strong implications for employees who should now focus on providing their potential candidates with this opportunity in order to increase talent retention and reduce turnover rate.

At Arthur Employment Law, we believe that the application of hybrid working should be flexible to accommodate the varied needs of employees and allow them to choose between different working systems.

Attending the office and homeworking are characterised by different benefits they can bring to employees. The former enables visibility and allows members of the team to be seen by senior leaders, which can support promotion within the organisation. Flexible work, on the other hand, has the potential to ensure that people who might not be able to work full-time can still become a part of the team. This, in turn, ensures a diverse workforce and allows employees of different groups and demographics to contribute to the organisation.
One thing to remember for employers who decide to introduce homeworking in their organisations is the need to support those unable to attend the office and make them feel included, despite their lack of physical presence.

To facilitate homeworking, AEL supports the 7 strategies for success in hybrid work outlined by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

chuko-cribb-Fdd5C-hR3H0-unsplash
search

UK’s economy during the war in Ukraine

May 18th 2022, London, UK

On 24 February 2022, Russian troops entered Ukraine, starting an invasion that many believed would only last for a couple of days. Unfortunately, it soon turned into a war that continues to affect the entire world, and its effects will be visible for many years to come, even after the situation settles down.

What effects has the war had on the UK’s economy? How has it influenced hiring and what should employers know to best approach what is ahead of them?

So far, the UK government has launched two visa programmes to allow Ukrainian nationals to stay in the UK for up to 3 years.

The Ukraine Family Scheme was the first visa scheme in the world to provide support to Ukrainians. It was announced on 1 March 2022 and came into effect 3 days later, enabling Ukrainian nationals to join their UK-based family members.

The Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme, also known as the Homes for Ukraine Scheme, was launched on 14 March 2022 and allows for the immigration of Ukrainians who have a UK-based sponsor to provide accommodation for each individual applying for the visa.

So far, both schemes have seen great popularity, and the total number of applications exceeded 130,000, as of 11 May 2022, with 102,300 visas issued. 37,500 visas were issued for the Ukraine Family Scheme and 64,800 visas for the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme, respectively, as per the UK government data, which is updated daily.

Ukrainians holding visas issued through the Ukraine Family Scheme or Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme can stay and work in the UK for up to 3 years. Employers can freely hire those individuals on terms similar to those binding holders of other visas. It is worth noting that even though holders of those visas have the right to stay in the UK, they don’t hold refugee statuses.

Ukrainians who are considered refugees can be hired by the Refugee Employment Network or non-governmental organisations working with REN to allow access to fulfilling paid employment opportunities.

A detailed hiring guide prepared by the UK government can be found here. It outlines the rules and requirements for different employment statuses, such as workers, employees, and contractors, to allow employers to access the most recent information on how they can legally recruit Ukrainian immigrants and refugees.

The impact of the war in Ukraine isn’t limited to the neighbouring countries, and it has affected the entire world, especially Europe. It also encourages people to take a political stance and choose a side. While some have shunned Russia, the impact of the sanctions shows that the state of Russia’s economy has been deteriorating progressively, affecting not only people living in the country but also those in regions with some ties to Russia, which is a significant fraction of the world.

At Arthur Employment Law, we believe that people should remain mindful and not let the war impact how they treat each other, especially people of Russian origin, many of whom oppose the war as much as their Western counterparts. It includes not only our personal lives but also the recruitment process, where biases can get in the way and negatively affect the decision-making process.

It is essential since the cost of living has increased across the entire continent of Europe, not only in the UK. Employers need to ensure that their recruitment practices are even more efficient and that the management style within their organisations prevents discrimination and doesn’t lead to costly predicaments such as loss of productivity, financial means, or human capital. Inclusion with a strong emphasis on diversity is one of the ways employers can manage this situation and prepare for the future ahead of them.

christian-lue-kWeQAvVeboA-unsplash
search

UK's employment law after Brexit

May 19th 2021, London, UK

The UK officially left the EU on 31 January 2020 and on 1 January 2021, the new rules took effect, limiting the freedom of movement between European Economic Area (EEA) and British citizens.

The changes have affected how businesses and individuals operate, which is especially visible in the areas where the two intersect, such as employment.

Doors are now closed for many immigrants unable to obtain a working visa in the country. EU, EAA, or Swiss citizens who were UK residents before 31 December 2020 could apply to the EU Settlement Scheme, but for others, an employer-sponsored visa is required.

The chief condition is the minimum salary threshold set as £25,600, or the average rate for the applicant’s job, whichever is higher. Other available programs introduced by the British government include the global talent scheme, which is open to highly-skilled scientists and researchers holding EU, EEA, and Swiss citizenship who can now come to the UK without a job offer.

In addition to that, international students who have completed a degree in the UK from summer 2021 are eligible to work, or look for work, in the UK at any skill level for up to 2 years, or 3 for PhD graduates.

Making immigration more difficult for applicants means more obstacles for employers who can only sponsor visas for jobs that require the RQF3 skill level or above, with the annual salary of £25,600 or the average rate for their job, whichever is higher. This threshold can be waived in some instances when the applicant meets specific criteria, but the salary can’t be less than £20,480.

Furthermore, employers need to ensure that the person they want to sponsor has a good command of English, as per the United Kingdom government. For intra-company transfers, those thresholds have been raised, both in terms of salary and the required skill level.

After Brexit, the United Kingdom will no longer be subjected to the EU’s GDPR ruling. To replace the legislation, the UK GDPR was introduced. It closely resembles the Data Protection Act 2018, which once supplemented the GDPR. The legislation was since updated with technical amendments to work in a UK-only context.

In practice, it means that no significant changes occurred. Data can still be freely transferred between companies in the EEA countries, with the GDPR transfer rules applying to any information flowing into the UK, as stated by the Information Commissioner’s Office report.

According to the Department for Exiting the European Union, UK’s domestic legislation exceeded EU-imposed employment protections. Therefore, the decision to leave the EU will not influence worker’s rights in any way.

It includes employment benefits, such as the annual leave, which stands at 5.6 weeks for the UK, compared with the EU-imposed requirement of 4 weeks, and various health and safety rulings, which were governed independently by The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

Immigration will always be a complex topic, and AEL does not hold an opinion in this regard. We do, however, see merit in attempting to attract top talent to the UK. AEL also acknowledges the possible difficulties for global companies with a sister or parent organisations in other countries, which will now be unable to benefit from the expertise, culture and cutting-edge practices. This, in turn, may harm the UK business, but this remains to be seen.

It is comforting to know that the GDPR largely remains unchanged. AEL strongly believes that having the EU oversight provided strengthened protection to the UK workers and hopes that the country won’t make a U-turn on the laws created under our relationship with the EU, such as family-friendly rights and the Equality act. In any event, AEL will support both employees and businesses if they have any concerns or wish to develop a strategy to ensure self-preservation in the future.

49976910443_ef5bdc5f00_k
search

Racial inequality

July 7th 2020, London, UK

Compared to their white British peers, far too many individuals from an ethnic minority background face discrimination when trying to get into, or progress at, work .

According to the McGregor-Smith Review (2017), the employment rate for ethnic minorities is only 62.8% compared with an employment rate for White workers of 75.6%. This gap is even worse for some ethnic groups, for instance, the employment rate for those from a Pakistani or Bangladeshi background is only 54.9%.

Overall, about 1 in 8 of the working-age population are from a black or minority ethnic (BME) background, yet BME individuals make up only 10% of the workforce and hold only 6% of top management positions. The Parker Review (2016) of the ethnicity of UK boards found that only 85 of the 1,050 director positions in the FTSE 100 are held by people from ethnic minorities.

Addressing this issue is not just about tackling discrimination, it is also about boosting business performance. It is estimated the economy stands to gain an additional £24 billion if there was a full representation of black, Asian and minority ethnic individuals in the workplace.

While they may have some policies in place, many employers fall short at understanding and tackling mental health at work. This is concerning, especially given employers’ duty of care to staff and employee rights in relation to mental health.

We offer employers clear training on how to limit workplace absence and boost wellbeing through proactive and empathetic management.

man-wearing-black-polo-shirt-and-gray-pants-sitting-on-white-935977
search

Mental health at work

July 4th 2020, London, UK

Encouragingly, the CIPD/Simplyhealth Health and Well-being at Work 2018 survey report finds most organisations are taking steps to create a working environment that supports mental health.

The report showed a rise in the number of employers with an awareness of mental health issues and how they affect the workforce (up from 31% in 2016 to 51% this year).Hopefully, this indicates the start of a more open culture around the traditionally stigmatised issue of mental health struggles. Concerningly, the report also showed an increase in common mental health conditions as a cause of absence from work. More respondents this year reported employees experiencing mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression in the last 12 months (55% this year, up from 41% in 2016).

Around half of respondents said their organisation encouraged openness about mental health, was effective at supporting people with mental ill-health and actively promoted mental wellbeing. Less than a third, however, thought senior leaders’ action or behaviour demonstrated any real consideration for mental wellbeing. Respondents were more likely to disagree than agree that managers were confident and competent at identifying and supporting employees with mental health issues.

We are concerned that many employers do not do enough to understand mental health at work, they have some policies but the subjectivity does not enable a unique understanding of the impact. We offer employers clear training on how to be proactive and empathetic to their employees so they limit workplace absence and ensure wellbeing at work. In addition, staff do not know enough about their rights in relation to mental health so may agree their employer is supportive as they are unaware of the true extent of the employer’s duty of care.

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