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Employment law, Absence and Performance Management

Employment law is changing almost constantly. Some changes will have no bearing on your business, but many will, and it is the company’s responsibility to stay up to date rather than someone else’s responsibility to keep them up to date.

Not keeping your eyes on changes to employment law can have huge effects from litigation to a company totally failing should they not adhere to a newly introduced law of some kind or another. So how do you ensure you are totally up to date with changes that may occur?
On average, an individual’s sickness absence costs an employer £659 a year and is equivalent to 8.4 working days lost.

How absence costs a business:
Overtime to cover
Replacement temporary staff
Reduced / delayed production
Lower quality or levels of service
Customer dissatisfaction
Management time dealing with issues
Increased pressure on other employees
Low morale and general dissatisfaction
Deciding on action

Investigate the reasons for absence or lateness before deciding on any action. Is there a pattern or related problems – e.g. at home, at work place, with their health etc? Remember unauthorised absence is misconduct.

Managing short-term absence
Ensure the employee follows your company absence reporting procedures. Conduct ‘Return to work’ interviews for every absence, establish the reasons for the absence and any underlying causes. Agree an action plan, set a date for review and outline implications of failure to improve.

The importance of information
Keep accurate records of lateness and absence – it is about what you can prove, not what you think you know.

Legal requirements
It is potentially fair to dismiss someone for sickness absence. Case law distinguishes different approaches for short term ‘persistent intermittent’ sickness absence and long term sickness absence. However, beware of disability discrimination – an accusation of this is serious as potential damages at tribunal for discrimination are unlimited. Ensure that that your processes being applied equally, any disability is given due consideration and any religious requirements considered.

Seek expert advice from a specialized employment law consultant before dismissing an employee for sickness absence.

Why manage performance?
Because it makes financial sense! It can improve employee engagement, customer satisfaction, safety, and your business company reputation.

What if I don’t ?
It can lead to poor morale, demotivated employees, reduced productivity, increased absence and staff turnover, and possibly expensive legal consequences.

Examples of poor performance

Not adhering to Company standards, policies or procedures, inaccuracy and lack of attention to detail, poor attitude towards management and colleagues, missing deadlines, lack of commitment, motivation and initiative.

Possible Causes
Not being shown correct procedures, lack of proper training, not knowing what’s expected, working under unreasonable pressure, following someone else’s bad example, personal problems.
Conducting a Performance Review
Prepare for the meeting. Specifically state the areas where the performance does not meet the required standard. Establish the reasons – discuss, listen, ask for ideas to solve the problem. Identify the next steps, agree an action plan and a review date. Then monitor and support the employee’s progress.

Performance Management Skills
Performance management is easy to do badly – and done badly it can cause more damage to your business than if it is not done at all. Conversely, done well it can help transform a poorly performing workforce. If you’re at all unsure, ensure you do it well by obtaining professional advice and training.

The above is intended to provide information of general interest about employment law but does not give legal advice. Seek advice from qualified employment law specialists.

What Is the Canon Law?

Canon law differs from what commonly is thought of as “law” in that it is not enacted by a civil (or governmental) authority. Rather, canon law is ecclesiastical law, a code of provisions developed by a church. Specifically, canon law governs three religions in the world today, each having its own code of canon law–the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Churches and the Anglican Communion of Churches. Other Protestant churches have laws, rules and policies, but do not consider these strictures to be canon law in the strictest sense of the word.

What Is the Canon Law?

History

  • Canon law has its roots in the early Roman Catholic Church, initially being developed during the First Century A.D. at the Council of Jerusalem. The canon law of the Roman Catholic Church, having been used for nearly 2,000 years, is the oldest legal system to be found in the Western world. At the height of the Holy Roman Empire, canon law governed not only matters pertaining to the church but civil issues as well because the Catholic Church (in the person of the Pontiff) was both a religious and governmental authority.

Significance

  • The Codes of Canon Law of the three religions mentioned a moment ago govern the religious and to a significant degree the personal lives of the members to these churches. The Roman Catholic Church alone has more than 1 billion members worldwide. As a consequence, the individual Code of Canon Law of these churches theoretically has a significant impact on the lives of a large segment of the world’s population.

Function

  • Although the function of canon law has evolved over time, in today’s world canon law governs the organization of the church itself. Canon law sets forth the manner in which members of the church are to conduct themselves not only in their relationship and interaction with the church but in their personal and civic lives (to some degree) as well.

Effects

  • The ultimate effects of canon law have been profound. Not only does canon law remain a vital code pertaining the lives of hundreds of millions of Christians all over the globe, all Western legal systems ultimately can trace their origins to early canon law. This includes both civil and common law legal systems as they have developed throughout all of Europe and North America.

Misconceptions

  • There are two common misconceptions associated with canon law. First, many people wrongly assume that canon law largely is irrelevant today. What these individuals fail to understand that it is canon law is controlling the manner in which the largest group of Christians in the world worship and conduct their spiritual affairs. Second, other people believe that the heads of churches that adhere to canon law–specifically the Roman Catholic Pontiff–dictate all elements of canon law and are infallible when they make decisions in this regard. In fact, the last Pope to make a statement deemed to be infallible and an absolute matter of faith was Pius XII in 1950.

Episcopal Divorce Law

The Code of Canon Law of the Episcopal church governs divorce and remarriage of congregants. Under the current Code of Canon Law of the Episcopal church, divorce is not prohibited, although not encouraged. Following a divorce, there are certain requirements in order for a church member to remarry.

Principles of divorce law in the Episcopal church.

History

  • Episcopal divorce law dates back to the reign of King Henry VIII of England. In his attempts to end his marriage to Catherine of Aragon, King Henry broke from the Catholic Church and established a Christian church in England under his authority.

Considerations

  • Proof of a church annulment or civil divorce must be provided. The clergy member performing the marriage must remind the divorced person of his obligation to be concerned for the well-being of a former spouse and children. The bishop must consent to the remarriage.

Time Frame

  • There is no set waiting period from the civil divorce or church annulment to the date of a remarriage under Episcopal divorce law.

Benefits

  • Episcopal divorce law permits a congregant the ability to remain in communion with the church even upon a divorce and remarriage provided a lawful divorce occurs, a commitment is made to be concerned for the initial family and the bishop consents.

Famous Ties

  • Despite establishing the Church of England to divorce his first queen, divorce laws of his Church proved inadequate for King Henry VIII. Rather than divorce his second wife, Henry beheaded Anne Boleyn and his fifth wife, Catherine Howard.