Do you have the right workplace facilities?

Employers must provide the right workplace facilities and a working environment that’s healthy and safe for everyone, including those with disabilities. Read more

Dealing with sickness in the workplace – Guest article by ClockworkHR

Let’s face it – no one is immune to every bug and virus known to man.  It is inevitable that at some point members of staff will need to stay off work due to sickness or ill health.
The majority of times a couple of days rest and recuperation is all that is needed. Your valued staff member is soon back with you, bright eyed and bushy tailed.
However, what do you do if a member of staff is continually taking time off or perhaps has been off ill for a prolonged period?

What does the law say?

In the UK if an employee is off work due to illness for more than 7 days, they must obtain a “fit note” (also known as a “sick note”) from a GP or a hospital doctor.
The 7 days includes non-working days such as weekends and bank holidays.
The employee should provide the fit note to their employer in order to receive the appropriate sick pay.
The fit note could say “not fit for work” or “may be fit for work” with suggestions of adjustments. The latter puts the responsibility onto the employer to offer adjustments or changes that would make it easier for the employee to return to work. However, these are not compulsory.
Long term sick – this term applies to an employee who is off work for more than 4 consecutive weeks.

How should you approach the matter?

Approaching any employee about their sickness absence should be done with sensitivity.  Especially if the reason for their absence is because of a mental health issue.
Being pushy or unsympathetic can often make them feel worse, which in turn could lead to more time off. Try to find ways to help them feel reassured about coming back to work.  Perhaps by offering reduced hours or amended duties.
At the same time if you suspect an employee’s reasons for absence are not genuine or feel that an excessive amount of time off is being taken it is advisable to keep accurate absence records and monitor an employee’s sick leave. An employer may invoke the disciplinary or capability procedure to deal with the sickness absence.  They will need to obtain medical information along the way.

What can be done to help the employee?

Where an employee has been off long term, keep in touch with them. Have regular chats and discuss ways they could be accommodated.
Consider a phased return to work or, if reasonable, offer flexible or part time working.
If an employee is classed as disabled, the employer is legally obliged to make reasonable, necessary adjustments to enable the employee to return to work.

Can you dismiss an employee?

An employer can choose to dismiss an employee for long term ill health and/or excessive absence.
However, caution should be taken, advice should be obtained and other options explored before taking this step. An employee may decide to take their case to an employment tribunal if they think they’ve been unfairly dismissed or discriminated against.

If you need help with your HR get in touch with ClockworkHR

Sarah Seastron
01756 790124
info@clockworkhr.co.uk
http://www.clockworkhr.co.uk/

Working Safely with Display Screen Equipment (DSE)

The HSE have redesigned their online guidance for DSE.

It now features a step-by-step guide to working safely with DSE and covers topics from workstations and assessments, to eyesight testing.

Take a look at the redesigned guidance.

Their website also has related resources including their free, downloadable publication Working with display screen equipment (DSE)

Musculoskeletal Disorders

The HSE have updated their guide to Musculoskeletal Disorders (INDG143).

This leaflet (previously published in 2012) provides practical guidance on reducing the risk of injury from hazardous manual handling. It helps employers comply with their duties under the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992. Read more

Put a spring in your step

There can be no question that safety boots are an essential part of PPE which no engineer, or anyone working on a building site or refurbishment project should be without. However, what is open to question is the level of protection your feet need and whether in fact the sheer amount and range of safety footwear available is truly necessary. Read more

Do you know how to RIDDOR report?

Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) reporting is a simple and straightforward procedure for any accident that needs to be reported to the HSE. The HSE have produced a guide on the RIDDOR Regulations, covering what needs to be reported, who should report the accident and how to go about it.

http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg453.pdf

When Glove Breaks Down

Gloves are a very good form of protection against chemical hazards, however when they fail this almost always leads to danger. It is important for anyone responsible for specifying gloves to understand the complex reasons gloves work and stop working.

Read more

Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations (COMAH) Guidance

HSE is providing guidance for anyone who has duties under the COMAH Regulations 2015. The aim of the Regulations are to prevent and mitigate the effects on people and the environment of major accidents involving dangerous substances. An example of a major accident was the BP oil spill of 2010 on the Gulf of Mexico.

Read more

COSHH Essentials

The HSE are providing COSHH Essentials which set out basic advice on what to do to control exposure to hazardous substances in the workplace.

Read more

Safety Signs and Signals Regulation Guidance

This guidance is available for employers, duty holders and others who have responsibility for the control of workplaces, sites and premises. It is also for those operating equipment that requires verbal and/or non-verbal communications.

Read more