Good afternoon – it’s the start of a new week, so here’s the latest HR and employment law news from today and over the weekend.
There is strong public support to ban unpaid work experience that lasts more than four weeks, new research suggests.
Three quarters of people surveyed by the Social Mobility Commission backed a change in the law to stop companies from exploiting unpaid interns.
The poll of 5,000 people was published ahead of the second reading of a Lords Bill that seeks to end the practice. The commission’s chairman, the former Labour MP Alan Milburn, said the issue was a “modern scandal” that must end.
The government has kicked off the rollout of refunds for employment tribunal fees, and confirmed that employers who have paid the controversial costs could also be eligible for a repayment.
Dominic Raab, justice minister, announced late last week that the government would immediately launch the first stage of the programme. Over the next four weeks, the Ministry of Justice will write to up to 1,000 individuals who have previously paid fees to invite them to take part in the programme.
Back in July, the Supreme Court decided that employment tribunal fees were unlawful and should be scrapped. The judges also ruled that all fees paid since they were first introduced in July 2013 should be refunded.
The first group of 1,000 will be selected from those who have contacted the Ministry since the fees were abolished this summer. The government will then aim to roll out the full refund scheme in November.
An overweight police officer who felt she had to resign over pressure to pass a fitness ‘bleep test’ has lost her employment tribunal.
Detective constable Rebecca Tiffin – who was nicknamed ‘Blue Moon’ by colleagues due to her frequent periods of absence because of health problems – had been suing the Chief Constable of Surrey for disability and sex discrimination.
Reading employment tribunal heard Tiffin had attempted to move her ‘bleep tests’ — fitness exams involving running shuttles within a gradually decreasing time limit — on a number of occasions. Reasons given for rescheduling the tests included a sinus infection, stress, anxiety, depression, childcare issues and her underactive thyroid gland that caused her to gain weight.
Nearly a third of fathers believe taking shared parental leave will hamper career progression – HR News
Nearly two-thirds of workers say men are less committed to their career if they take up shared parental leave according to the latest Hays UK Gender Diversity Report 2017.
Half of UK workers also believe fathers don’t take the full parental leave they are entitled to due to fears of an adverse impact on their finances. The research, complied by recruiter Hays, refers to a survey of over 5,400 respondents from professionals in the UK, and examines the views and actions of men and women towards gender diversity in the UK.
The report found both men and women feel they have increased freedom to promote their skills and abilities in the workplace than in previous years. However, the majority acknowledge that obstacles to gender equality still exist.