The power of interpretation: The Bible versus Employer Handbooks

One of my closest friends, and ongoing victim of my slight obsession with Parkrun, is currently involved in planning events at Liverpool John Moores University’s Christian Union.  Naturally, within recent weeks, this has led to many discussions about the Bible within our shared early morning car journeys to the aftermentioned Parkruns. Most of the discussions…

‘Jack’s Law’ provides two weeks’ statutory paid leave to bereaved parents

The government has published the statutory instruments which implement two weeks’ paid bereavement leave for parents upon the death of a child under the age of 18. The Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Bill and  the Statutory Bereavement Pay(General) Regulations 2020 and will come into force as of the 6th April 2020. This new legal…

IR35 – Government creates confusion over payroll taxation from April 2020 onwards…

IR35. If you know what the code refers to, you’re probably stifling a little groan. If you don’t, then I have the narrative role of explaining that IR35 legislation seeks to allow HMRC to demand that individuals who are ’employees in all but name’ as treated as if they are an employee (rather than self-employed)…

Gender Pay Gap Reporting: Myth-busting

I write further to the deadline for Gender Pay Gap Reporting expiring last week. Much has been made in the media of that deadline being the day by which qualifying employers (i.e. those with 250 or more employees) have to submit the percentage difference in pay between their male and female staff.

The initial results? Nearly 80% of those employers who have responded (some haven’t) have reported higher pay levels to men than women.

So, that means that those employers are discriminating against women, right? Well, not necessarily. But the figures are there in black and white – surely, every employer with a higher pay towards males is inherently sexist? Not really.

The reality is that the figures are suggestive only and there are many legitimate reasons why pay may be skewed either way, whether towards males or females. Let’s take a look and bust some myths about the Gender Pay Gap Reporting.

Frozen out: Can it be too cold to work?

Spring is here. Or is that winter? All over the country, people are facing difficulty travelling on account of snow and ice and, here on Merseyside, things are no different.

In fact, this is quickly turning into that time of year when I receive multiple text messages from friends, some more jokey than others, asking if there is a minimum temperature at which they are required to work because their workplace is so cold or, as my favourite text states: ‘so cold as to give a polar bear frostbite!

Now, poorly polar bears aside, there isn’t a set temperature at which staff can suddenly declare it to be too cold and go home without recourse. Even if there was, those staff would be highly unlikely to be paid during their absence from office.

Instead, businesses rely on guidance from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The HSE recommeds that office-based workers be exposed to temperatures no lower than 16C and any workers whose work requires ‘physical effort’ (i.e. being on your feet and moving arond) are not exposed to temperatures below 13C.

However, be very aware of that word above: ‘guidance‘.