June 30

URGENT – Midnight tonight deadline for EU workers

Tens of thousands of EU citizens living and working in the UK will be issued with a formal 28 day notice if they have failed to apply for post-Brexit settled status by midnight tonight, 30 June 2021.

Any EU citizen who has not applied to the EU Settlement Scheme by midnight will be classed as an illegal immigrant and could face removal from the UK. Organisations employing EU citizens without settled status, or without claims being processed, could also face severe penalties for using illegal labour, despite having made statutory right to work checks in line with Home Office rules.

With many businesses already experiencing acute staffing shortages due to the pandemic, it is important for employers to encourage any staff who wish to continue working in the UK and have not applied to the EU Settlement Scheme to do so.

Employers who rely on migrant workers, or plan to use them in future, are encouraged to register to become an official Home Office sponsor because businesses and organisations in the UK must be registered sponsor licence holders to employ migrants under the skilled worker route.

It is essential for employers to encourage any staff who wish to continue working in the UK and have not applied to the EU Settlement Scheme to do so. Today…..

nicola.goodridge@goodhr.co.uk or +44(0)7917 878384

June 25

How to watch the Euros at work – and not fall out with your boss!

This summer people are gearing up for a festival of non-stop sport. Following the 2020 European Football Championships, we then have the Tokyo Olympics. Naturally, a lot of the coverage will be televised during the working day, so what does that mean for employees in the UK? Should they be allowed to watch it, will they, and do they have any worker’s rights?

Officeology, the UK’s leading workplace solutions company, has created a comprehensive guide for companies regarding watching the Euros at the workplace. In this article, they’ve explored whether people in the UK will be watching Euro 2020 during their working day and how employees can support their staff, win or lose…

Will people be watching Euro 2020 during their working day?

We’ve surveyed more than 1500 members of the British public to find out whether they’d be watching the Euros at any point during their workday.

Almost 1 in 4 (24%) of us said they will watch the Euros while at work. While the majority is happy not to tune in, it’s important for employers up and down the country to recognise how keen footy fans are to watch some of Europe’s best players in action.

With England playing Germany in their last 16 knockout match at 5pm on Tuesday the 29th of June, it’s likely that even more will finish their day early and tune in!

The Euros is a great way for employees to unwind during the working day. Especially when working from home it’s super important that people can escape their laptops for a while, and what better way than cheering your team on!

How can employers make the most of Euro 2020?

1. Allowing your employees to watch Euros will boost morale

Boosting and maintaining a great team morale should be at the forefront of any employer’s mind at the moment. The last 14 months have been hard on almost everyone at some point, so what better way to uplift certain employees by letting them relax for a few hours in the day to cheer their team on!

If people are coming into the office why not put the matches on the big screens or encourage football fans in your business to watch the games together!

2. Encourage accountability by introducing flexible working hours during the tournament

One way your team can watch the football, yet ensure that they are still fully responsible for their work, is by implementing flexible working. Introducing flexible working hours means employees will view their responsibilities from a project-based perspective rather than from a day-to-day, or a ‘time’ point of view.

When approaching work from a project-based stance, individual accountability will increase as employees become increasingly aware of what needs to be achieved, rather than how long they should be working.

By encouraging accountability, not only will your staff get to enjoy the football, but it should improve their time management and scheduling skills. You may also see less holiday requests as people don’t need to take one or two days off to watch their teams play!

3. Don’t forget, some people will still do work!

While it’s guaranteed that there will be some sports fans on your team, it’s also inevitable that some people will prefer to just crack on with their work! Those that want to watch may be in the minority – or some people will still work whilst they watch the football as there are admin tasks that don’t require much too much thought – it’s about prioritising and time management!

4. Euro 2020 is a great chance to promote inclusivity and celebrate multiculturalism.

Is there a better way to celebrate than international sporting events? Every company in the UK is likely to have an employee with a significant link to one or more countries participating in the tournament. Euro 2020 is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate culture, with offices even hosting social events when two of the team’s nationalities are playing against one another. People bring in food, drink and have a chance to show their passion for their country – a true celebration of culture!

Do workers have any rights to watch the Euros?

In short, no…but you can ask your boss for time off! It depends on several factors, such as your company policy, as well as your own workload and your relationship with your manager. One possibility is to book a day’s holiday and make a full day of it – however, you may want to reserve it for another time!

What happens if you pull a sickie?

It may seem a little coincidental if you have a sick day at the same time as your country’s knockout Euros match! If your boss knows you well they will probably latch onto your thinking and we’d certainly advise against faking being ill.

Am I legally allowed to watch it at work?

Before you start streaming the game at your desk, it’s best to have a look at your contract or ask your manager whether it’s ok – some internet networks may start slowing down if you stream and it’ll be obvious who the guilty culprit is! If you’re working in the office then some businesses will happily put it on the TV, so no need to sneakily stream!

nicola.goodridge@goodhr.co.uk or +44(0)7917 878384

June 10

Should we be rethinking the way in which we work?

After over a year of working from home, many employees are, understandably, feeling apprehensive about returning to the office. Others have simply grown accustomed to the flexibility that accompanies remote working and are reluctant to give it up in favour of long commutes and less family time. So, is it time to rethink the way in which your employees work long term?

Should work become more flexible?

The pandemic has proved to many businesses that might have previously felt reluctant to allow their staff to work remotely that a virtual workplace can be successful, prompting calls from many employees to maintain some element of remote working once the coronavirus restrictions are eased.

Can you require your employees to work in the office?

Employers do have the right to dictate terms of working for staff and, should you wish to, you could make it a contractual obligation for employees to be physically present in the office every day. It is worth noting, however, that even when restrictions do cease entirely, there may still be guidance for clinically vulnerable people or pregnant women who are currently unable to have the vaccine, and this may leave some of your workforce still working virtually.

Additionally, it’s probably worth considering whether it’s a good idea to be completely rigid as to how staff work in a post COVID world. For the sake of morale and team working, it may be positive to encourage – or even require – employees to come physically to work a number of days a week, but forcing reluctant workers to be present every day could be counterproductive.

If you completely reject the idea of a blended way of working, your employees might start to become resentful, which could hurt their engagement and productivity. Furthermore, even if you’re not offering flexibility over hours and place or work, the chances are, someone else will be, and staff might start to look elsewhere for employment, which will cost you time and money as you have to recruit and train new team members.

By giving employees some flexibility to choose the way in which they work, you’ll probably end up with a grateful workforce who will be keen to work effectively within your new working structure, which will boost the bottom line of your business and reduce HR headaches. It is worthwhile being understanding of the reasons why employees may not want to return to the workplace and put in place a steady plan to support their transition back to the work environment.

Managing those who are nervous about returning to the workplace

It is important to be mindful of the anxiety that your employees may feel around returning to work; after all, for over a year now the message from the government has been that home is the safest place to work and therefore it’s only natural that some people have built up worries about the workplace and commuting, especially on public transport.

The best way to manage such employees is as follows:

• maintaining an open dialogue with them
• keeping them informed of your timeline towards returning to work
• informing them of the practices you’re putting in place to keep them safe
• investing in additional wellbeing support such as counselling and training
• consulting staff and getting their input into how the workspace will be managed safely.

Blend between office and home working

Depending on the industry in which you work, the likelihood is that most of your staff will opt for a blend between office and home working when we return to the workplace. To ensure that this happens successfully, it’s going to be up to business owners, managers and HR professionals to put in place the necessary structures.

This will include practicalities, such as:

• making sure that employees, whose areas of business are heavily reliant upon each other, overlap
• deciding how many days per week you’re going to need your staff to be in your place of work
• ensuring there are enough resources available (work stations, equipment etc) for the rota that you decide on.

Ultimately, with the right arrangements in place, as well as a collaborative approach between you and your staff and effective communication, you should be able to manage the return to work effectively to ensure an engaged, happy, productive workforce.

nicola.goodridge@goodhr.co.uk or +44(0)7917 878384