HR news round-up – Wednesday 30 August 2017

By August 30, 2017News

Good afternoon – here’s today’s round-up of human resources and employment law news!

Employees sacrifice wellbeing for company productivity – HR Magazine

Three quarters (74%) of HR professionals think employees are sacrificing their wellbeing to make a good impression, according to research from wellbeing charity CABA.

The research asked 172 HR professionals if employee output was more important than wellbeing, with two in five (42%) agreeing that it was.

Businesses were found to be putting pressure on staff to work outside of their contracted hours, with more than four in 10 (41%) stating that their employer expected staff to work overtime regularly, and another 31% claiming that there was an expectation for employees to regularly check emails in the evening and at the weekend.

Customer data stolen at games store Cex – BBC News

Second-hand gadget and video games retailer Cex has reported a data breach, with up to two million customers having their personal information and some financial data stolen by an “unauthorised third party”.

The company said the stolen data included customers’ names, addresses, email addresses, phone numbers and some old credit card information.

The retailer stopped collecting credit card information in 2009, so most of the information will now have expired. The principles of the Data Protection Act 1998 state that data shouldn’t be held any longer than necessary.

Employee claims discrimination after ‘being fired’ for bathroom usage – HR Grapevine

An employee at a public relations firm in the US is claiming she was dismissed on discriminatory grounds for complaining about restrictions on her bathroom use.

Court documents state that PR worker Tracy Boudine was “teased about her need to use the bathroom, and in particular, her need – as a woman – to use toilet paper more frequently when she did use the restroom.”

After initially complaining to the company president and being ignored, her lawyer wrote to the firm saying she had been discriminated against on the basis of her gender. She was then sacked “within hours” of the letter being sent.

In the UK, the ACAS Code of Practice and the Equality Act 2010 states that employers must ensure that any business practice is not discriminatory or constitutes harassment. For example, if an individual has a condition where they need to use the toilet more frequently, this should not be used against them in any way.

Postman who resigned over shift pattern wins £22,000 – CIPD

A tribunal has decided that a former postman was unfairly and constructively dismissed when he resigned over his shift patterns.

Adam Gregory requested flexible working in 2012 so he was able to see his daughter at weekends. His line manager at Royal Mail agreed to the change in working hours, but in 2015 altered them without his consent while he was on holiday due to a restructuring exercise.

After having a new flexible working request rejected, Gregory resigned after again being told he needed to work Saturdays. The tribunal awarded him £10,577 as a basic award for unfair dismissal, £8,486.29 as a compensatory award, and £3,008.43 for breach of contract. Royal Mail was also told to pay costs of £4,012.50.

The case shows the risks involved when an employer attempts to alter an employee’s contract without their consultation and agreement.

Author David Ralph

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