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(E)ESG – Why It Matters to Employment Experts

In our hyper-transparent and increasingly joined up world, the concepts of corporate social responsibility and socially responsible investing are gaining greater currency. Over the last decade, and catalysed by COVID-19 over the last year, Boards and General Counsel have focused on the role of ESG in driving responsible and sustainable business conduct approaches which acknowledge that the purpose of a company should be amplified beyond just shareholders to also explicitly include their employees, clients and the communities in which they operate.  In fact, the Chief Justice of the Delaware Supreme Court, the Honourable Judge Leo Strine in a piece he wrote for the Financial Times, has already suggested the next generation acronym – EESG: Employees, Environment, Social and Governance.

So, what does this mean and why is it important for employment professionals? Hopefully the first E is a clear hint (it’s not a typo)!

What is ESG?

ESG is the umbrella term for broad range of Environmental, Social and Governance factors against which a company’s stakeholders can holistically assess the performance, value (risk/opportunity), investment in respect of the company.  Many ESG factors contribute to a company’s “social licence to operate” and responsibility to its stakeholders and the creation of long-term holistic value for a

Back to Life: Issues for UK employers as employees return to the workplace

At the time of writing, the Government has published its provisional roadmap out of lockdown and employers are beginning to consider when and how employees may return to the workplace. This article considers some potential options and possible risks relating to a return to work.

Can employers force employees to return to work after lockdown?

It is a general principle of English employment law that employees must comply with reasonable management instructions from their employer. This would include an instruction to attend work.

Whilst health and safety considerations have obviously called this into question during the pandemic, a requirement to return to work may still amount to a reasonable management instruction, depending on the type of workplace, the employee concerned and how easily the employee’s work can be carried out from home. To avoid potential disputes it would be sensible for employers to consult with staff as early as possible to discuss matters and try to seek agreement. This is particularly important if a return to work requires a change to any terms and conditions of employment, as that will require consultation. Employers should take care to consider each individual circumstance on its own merits and be as flexible as

Long Hot Summer? How should UK employers deal with the question of holiday during year 2 of COVID?

Lydia Octon-Burke considers the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on annual leave entitlement and carry-over moving into 2021 and practical tips for employers.

At the beginning of another year impacted by COVID-19, many employers have found themselves with employees having large amounts of outstanding annual leave carried over from 2020. Stuck in lockdown once again, employees are increasingly less willing to want to take annual leave, given that COVID-19 is likely to be with us for many months to come. Even if the vaccine programme is successful, it is likely that limits on travel abroad and social interaction will continue for some time.

All workers/employees are entitled to 5.6 weeks’ annual leave in each leave year, which equates to 28 days for someone who works 5 days a week. This is made up of:

  1. Four weeks’ statutory leave
  2. 6 weeks’ additional leave

Additional leave is more flexible and able to be carried over through direct agreement between employer and employee. As a general rule, however, four weeks’  statutory leave was more restricted and could only be taken in the leave year to which it related (i.e. the “use it or lose it” rule). This was amended last year

UK HR Solutions: Addressing Bullying and Harassment in the Workplace

Welcome to the next post in our weekly series of hands-on guidance for UK HR professionals. In this series we look at common HR issues that you’ll encounter in the workplace and give you practical guidance on how to deal with them. Over the course of the series we’re covering a variety of topics, such as how to handle grievances, disciplinaries, performance management, sickness absence and much more besides.

This is the first of two weeks where we focus on bullying and harassment. This time we give a brief overview of taking steps to prevent bullying and harassment, and how to manage an incident if it arises.

Read our Addressing Bullying and Harassment note >

UK HR Solutions: Performance Management FAQs

Welcome to the next post in our weekly series of hands-on guidance for UK HR professionals. In this series we look at common HR issues that you’ll encounter in the workplace and give you practical guidance on how to deal with them. Over the course of the series we’re covering a variety of topics, such as how to handle grievances, disciplinaries, suspension, sickness absence and much more besides.

This week we continue our look at performance management with a set of FAQs that UK employers commonly ask.

Click here to read our Performance Management FAQs.

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