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Case Studies

Case Study: TUPE

The Company

A medium sized district council in the West Country.

The Problem

With the planned changes to the client’s business, customer service, HR and licencing departments were transferring to a new service provider and the employees providing the service would also transfer under TUPE regulations.

However, there was a TUPE challenge, whereby as HR was transferring it was not felt appropriate for them to be responsible for supporting the transfer. The new service provider also did not feel some of the roles fitted the new service provision, and there were possible redundancies; therefore it was felt that there was possibly not the required level of experience of dealing with TUPE within the current HR team.

Approach

  • identified individuals in scope and produced due diligence information
  • clarified the legal position with regard to whether TUPE applied or not
  • advised on possible outcomes for either TUPE transfer, and the implications should an employee not transfer, including redundancy pay calculations, maternity provisions and employee consultation.
  • advised on what actions to take in order to prevent and/or mitigate any legal claims from employees in the future as a result of the TUPE challenge
  • produced bespoke letters for various stages of the bespoke process

The Result

Some colleagues decided to take voluntary redundancy, whilst other colleagues transferred to the new service provider. The transfer went well and the employees have been very happy with their new employer.

Case Study: Sexual Harassment - Workplace Investigation

The Company

Large city council, employing 8000+ staff, in health and social care, neighbourhood’s, corporate services and children and young people’s services.

The Problem

An existing female employee was appointed into a new role as social worker. She initially developed a good working relationship with her new manager and team. After a few months of working, her line manager, who was male began becoming over-friendly, leering at her across the offices, and regularly would touch her inappropriately. He also was over-familiar when speaking with her, even making indecent jokes. On several occasions, he had sent emails, which she found had an inappropriate content.

She tried to raise her concerns initially informally, but she was not happy with the outcome, and felt victimised and the inappropriate behaviour towards her continued. Her GP signed her off work, siting workplace stress as the reason for her sickness. She was off work for an initial two months.

The situation quickly escalated to a formal complaint and an investigation needed to commence in order to reach a resolution and in order for her to return and feel safe in the workplace again.

Approach

  • discussed with senior managers the employee’s rights and entitlements, outlining the possible risks should the grievance fail to be investigated and resolved
  • provided advise on suspension and reinstatement
  • guided senior managers on the investigation process and disciplinary procedures in line with policies
  • carried out a thorough and fair workplace investigation
  • liaised with trade union representatives
  • produced all bespoke letters and a detailed investigation report to be used in any disciplinary process
  • provided HR support for the disciplinary process

The Result

The manager was found to have carried out inappropriate behaviour of a sexual nature and had continued to harass the employee. The manager was dismissed and the employee soon returned to work and is much happier in the new role.

One of the lessons learnt from the process was that management and employees needed further training to help them understand sexual harassment and how it impacts on individuals and the workplace. Sexual harassment training was provided and there have been no cases since.

Case Study: Redundancies

The Company

A plumbing and heating merchant.

The Problem

A large senior management theft of money and stock led to the company needing to make redundancies, closing one of its branches.

Approach

  • Met with the Directors of the company and gained insight into the problem.
  • Discussed the options available, consideration given to complying to employment legislation and the individuals it would affect, risks and costs.
  • Helped and supported the owners every step of the way from running the meetings with them to providing them with the appropriate advice, correspondence and calculations which were required to achieve a regrettable outcome of redundancy.

The Result

The company were very appreciative of the support and guidance given which resulted in a calm controlled result after a difficult and turbulent process. The company have since returned to Specialised HR for further advice.

Case Study: Pension Auto Enrolment (Workplace Pensions)

The Company

A large independent school, providing education and boarding for 4-18 year olds (boys/girls).

The Problem

The school already provided a Teacher’s Pension Scheme to the teaching staff but had no pension provision for support staff.

The school had a matter of a few months before their staging date for pension auto enrolment and the small HR team lacked the capacity to implement the scheme.

The Bursar of the school was aware that the school had left it to the late stages to look into available pension schemes and therefore there were few options of schemes left to chose from in the short time frame.

Approach

  • discussed with governors and directors what the staging dates meant and explained the possible risks should the deadline be missed.
  • identified individuals that were already contributing to a scheme and those that weren’t
  • identified various pension schemes that could support the school
  • together we selected an adequate pension scheme
  • facilitated drop-in surgeries and provided communications
  • produced opt in and out forms
  • set up individuals through payroll and with self-managed accounts

The Result

The school met its staging date and provided a scheme that was suitable under pension provisions. All employees have access to a workplace pension now, which they can opt in and out of every 12 months.

Case Study: Dismissing Employees

The Company

A medium size catering equipment supplies company

The Problem

A member of call centre team was breaching Data Protection legislation. Several customers had complained about the level of unprofessionalism demonstrated by the employee. He had already received informal warnings and his performance remain unchanged. The business was at risk of the breach in Data Protection and the situation could not be sustained.

Approach

Met with the Mangers of the call centre function and gained insight into the problem.

Explained:

  • the employment law in relation to contractual issues, support, coaching, policy and processes.
  • the potential risks such as unfair dismissal or discrimination claims.
  • the recommended route for resolution of the situation.
  • Provided written communications and email & telephone support, alongside running the meetings.

The Result

The employee was fairly dismissed. The call centre was able to replace his post and continue to provide the level of service necessary to maintain great relationships with their customers. The company has since expanded and I have provided support and guidance for the expansion.