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Can my employer stop me going on holiday this Summer?

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Employment Q&A: Should I stay or should I go?

By Aleksandra Traczyk, Solicitor, Winckworth Sherwood

The vaccination programme so far has been very successful in the UK and we are all now allowing ourselves to see the light at the end of the tunnel – daydreaming about holiday destinations. The Government has implemented a traffic light system of green, amber and red countries in relation to holidaying outside the UK this year and as of 17 May, it’s no longer illegal to go abroad – or rather you do not need an essential reason to do so. But the Government has also been quite firm in emphasising that holiday-markers should not to go to amber or red countries. As countries are gradually added to the green list, the question on everybody’s mind will be: should I stay or should I go?

From an employment legal perspective, just to briefly summarise your rights, you have an entitlement to holiday – this is a minimum of 28 days a year including any public holidays, which will be pro-rated if you work part-time. You are entitled to take this holiday every year and sometimes your employer will give you more holiday under your contract.

The default position in law is that you should give reasonable notice to take holiday which is normally twice the length of the holiday – i.e. 2 weeks if you are going away for a week.

Your employer is likely to have its own requirements in relation to you taking holiday either set out in your contract or holiday policy. They can refuse your holiday, for example, during a busy period or require you to take holiday during certain times. The employer should also give you the same length of notice to require you to take or to cancel your holiday.

Travel abroad for holiday

Q: Can my employer stop me from going abroad on holiday this year?

While your employer can normally dictate when you take your holiday, there is no provision in law which says that they can dictate where you can go on holiday. However, if your employer was worried about this and did not want staff to travel abroad on holiday, particularly if they need people on the ground, it is likely that they have implemented a specific policy which discourages staff from going on holiday abroad – for example, by making it clear that they will have to follow any quarantine advice and not be paid during this time.

Q: Do I have to tell my employer that I am planning on going abroad on holiday this year?

As these are unusual times, you should ensure that you tell your employer in advance if you are planning to holiday abroad this summer. If you have been allowed to work from home throughout the pandemic – and could continue to do so if you had to quarantine, this is unlikely to be an issue for your employer.

But if you cannot work remotely this may cause friction. You should ensure that you are clear on whether your employer may require you to use your holiday if you have to quarantine on return or whether you have to go on unpaid leave – and agree such arrangements in advance. You should note that your employer has no legal requirement to pay you during quarantine.

Q: Could I be dismissed if I have to quarantine?

I think that the risk is generally low but it will depend on the individual circumstances. Not turning up for work is a potentially fair reason to dismiss someone but your employer would still have to show the cause for your dismissal was within the “reasonable range of responses”.

Most employment judges would likely be sympathetic to anyone who was caught out by quarantine requirements having gone to a ‘green’ country. But a different scenario may apply to someone who went to a ‘red’ or ‘amber’ country knowing they would have to quarantine on return and did not tell their employer beforehand, knowing for example that they were on the rota to work immediately upon their return and there was no other cover.

Nevertheless, your holiday allowance is your own time and your employer will struggle to demonstrate any right to interfere in what you do with it. But as there is a duty of trust and confidence at the heart of every employment relationship, it is always best to agree the arrangements with your employer beforehand.

Q: I have heard that I can carry over my holiday for 2 years because of the pandemic – is this true?

It is true that the Government has introduced regulations which allow workers to carry over their holiday for up to 2 years because of the pandemic.

However, this only relates to the statutory minimum holiday to which you are entitled, not any contractual holiday. Also, as these regulations were mainly introduced for staff who work in sectors overwhelmed during the pandemic – such as the NHS – there is a fairly stringent test to meet namely whether it was ‘not reasonably practicable’ for you to take your statutory entitlement in the leave year concerned.

In most cases it will be reasonably practicable for you to take holiday even if you have to stay at home. The Government guidance sets out various factors which employers should consider when applying the not reasonably practicable test, but these are largely limited to where you have been self-isolating or too sick to take the holiday before the end of your leave year, where you’ve had to continue working and could not take holiday or where you’ve been furloughed and couldn’t take the holiday.

Travel abroad for work

Q: What if my job starts asking me to travel again with business? Is that allowed?

That is a good question as some roles do inherently involve travel and with the re-opening of certain travel routes, some employers and employees – if not everyone – will no doubt be keen to get moving again.

Travel is now possible between Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland, although Northern Ireland recommends that you take a test before travel. Nevertheless, this is likely to be a lot easier than international business travel.

International business travel is subject to the same regime of red, amber and green lists as travel generally, but with added considerations. Whatever your trip is intended to achieve, your employer will have to consider whether you can safely carry out your aims; for example, while certain meetings are permitted in the UK, would they be elsewhere?  Likewise, if you have to quarantine or pay for tests because of local restrictions at your destination, that has to be factored in and it could significantly lengthen your travel arrangements.

Certain very specific professions have modified or relaxed requirements when travelling back into the UK, mostly to reflect the essential nature of their work (for example, key personnel involved with clinical trials). These professions are quite limited and vary across the UK countries; most people will need to comply with the default rules around green, amber and red list countries, even if travelling for work. That may entail quarantine and, if you are required to do so and unable to work because of a business trip, it would be reasonable to expect that you still be paid.

Q: What if I do not want to go on the trip?

Your employer has the right to issue you with reasonable instructions. However, government guidance does still stress that employers should encourage working from home wherever possible and, for many of us, the last 18 months have shown just how capably we can work remotely.

What is reasonable in the circumstances is likely to depend on the destination, what you are being asked to do there – and how COVID-safe it is – and the basis of your objection. Asking someone to travel to a red list country is unlikely to be reasonable unless there is a very compelling reason, particularly given the potential difficulties of obtaining insurance.

If your employer really is being unreasonable and intends to sanction you for not taking a journey, they could be in serious breach of your employment contract, allowing you to resign and claim unfair dismissal.

However, that is really the last resort and your first stop should be a dialogue with whoever is insisting you travel or, if need be, someone more senior. Seek guidance from trusted people internally and check the latest policy and guidance from both your employer and the Government.

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Source: http://hrnews.co.uk/can-my-employer-stop-me-going-on-holiday-this-summer/

HRTech

Reverse Gear: How managers are being evaluated by their teams on counts of empathy & care

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In the pre-COVID era, the expectations from managers were very different. The organisations primarily expected them to deliver and meet the organisational goals, make every team member productive and keep them engaged. On the other hand, the employees expected their managers to be supportive, recognise good work, motivate them and act as guides.

However, in the post pandemic era, especially during the second wave this year, employees needed someone who could understand them and help them survive the situation. That is where the role of managers also changed.

Managers and team leaders were required to demonstrate a very different kind of behavioural skill, which was more about empathy and care. This was necessary because the expectations and needs of their team members were different. Most organisations showed solidarity in supporting their employees, emotionally and financially, irrespective of hierarchy, and expected the same from their managers.

The change in expectations from managers has also impacted the way they are evaluated by their employees and the management.

“During pre-pandemic times, managers were evaluated by organisations on aspects, such as achievement of organisational goals and productivity of employees. However, now, the ‘sensitivity’ factor in decision making has gained importance. As a manager, one has to be sensitive towards people because there is no way of knowing what the other person is going through.”

Srinath Krishnan, country head, total rewards, HPE

Many organisations now follow a 360-degree performance appraisal process, in which not just the employees but even the managers are evaluated on their performance by their employees.

Generally, such processes are carried out through an employee- engagement survey or a manager feedback survey, where employees have to answer certain questions and give a feedback to the manager. Mostly, such feedback is kept anonymous to safeguard the interest of the employees. Usually, employees rate managers on whether they are able to learn something under them, or whether each team member is treated equally during appraisals or in terms of recognitions, or whether they feel engaged at work and enjoy what they are doing.

There are certain additional parameters for evaluation, that is, care, empathy and ensuring employee wellbeing.

“During pre-pandemic times, managers were evaluated by organisations on aspects, such as achievement of organisational goals and productivity of employees. However, now, the ‘sensitivity’ factor in decision making has gained importance. As a manager, one has to be sensitive towards people because there is no way of knowing what the other person is going through,” says Srinath Krishnan, country head, total rewards, HPE.

“Now the focus has shifted from engagement to employee wellbeing, which includes physical wellbeing and social wellbeing. Managers are expected to be more caring rather than productivity driven.”

Manoj Kumar Sharma, CHRO, Aarti Industries

In the last two months, managers have had to be very compassionate towards employees and show empathy and care. Krishnan states that in his industry, the parameters for evaluating managers have changed. “Parameters, such as achievement of organisational goals have remained the same but the elements of ensuring employee wellbeing, relaxation in achievement of goals and making available certain resources that employees required during the pandemic, have been added. On the basis of these parameters, not just employees, but even the organisations have evaluated their managers,” reveals Krishnan.

Manoj Kumar Sharma, CHRO, Aarti Industries, also agrees that the expectations of employees have changed. “Now the focus has shifted from engagement to employee wellbeing, which includes physical wellbeing and social wellbeing. Managers are expected to be more caring rather than productivity driven,” states Sharma.

At Aarti Industries, Sharma shares that managers have been evaluated on their ability to be caring and supportive. “I can very proudly say that our last engagement survey has shown a very positive result. Our managers have got good scores, especially on the employee wellbeing part,” says Sharma.

“Empathy and care have always been a part of the core values of the company and every manager is bound to demonstrate such traits at the workplace.”

Jayati Roy, director – HR, Barco India.

At Barco India,“Empathy and care have always been a part of the core values of the company and every manager is bound to demonstrate such traits at the workplace.” says Jayati Roy, director – HR, Barco India.

She adds, “While we have been practising these behaviours in our organisation for a long time, in many other organisations these values and traits have taken a forefront during the pandemic.”

Many businesses have shifted their focus from accelerating business growth to supporting their employees. Several firms have admitted that their main concern during this pandemic has been ‘survival’, and the bigger agenda has been to keep every employee safe. Therefore, in the evaluation process as well, it is natural for managers to be evaluated on the basis of their demonstration of behaviours that ensure employee well-being at the workplace.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.hrkatha.com/performance-management/reverse-gear-how-managers-are-being-evaluated-by-their-teams-on-counts-of-empathy-care/

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HRTech

Kyndryl gets new CHRO in Maryjo Charbonnier

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Kyndryl, the independent spin-off company from IBM IT Infrastructure Services, has appointed Maryjo Charbonnier as its chief human resources officer. Earlier, she was with Wolters Kluwer Nederland BV, as CHRO, for six and a half years.

Having completed her master’s in business administration from Southern Methodist University – Cox School of Business, Charbonnier started her career as a human resources manager with CNA Insurance in 1992. A three-year stint later, she joined Pepsico. In her long and successful 13-year long tenure with the Company, she worked in the US, Canada and Mexico in various HR roles, handling over 1,20,000 employees, and finally quit when she was vice president – HR.

In 2008, she joined Broadridge as CHRO and served the Company for a good six and a half years, before moving on to Wolters Kluwer, the global provider of professional information, software solutions and services. There, she was handling the design and implementation of all HR strategies, policies and processes till now.

Quite recently, Maria Bartolome Winans, former chief marketing officer (CMO), IBM Americas, was appointed as chief marketing officer for Kyndryl. Winans has been with IBM for over 25 years. She is known for successfully essaying various senior global marketing roles in various disciplines and business units across IBM.

Kyndryl’s headquarters will be in New York City, from where the Company plans to work with various technology partners to serve a global customer base of about 4,600. Kyndryl endeavours to assist its clients across the globe to establish robust, resilient and agile digital capabilities.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.hrkatha.com/people/movement/kyndryl-gets-new-chro-in-maryjo-charbonnier/

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HRTech

Kyndryl gets new CHRO in Maryjo Charbonnier

Published

on

Kyndryl, the independent spin-off company from IBM IT Infrastructure Services, has appointed Maryjo Charbonnier as its chief human resources officer. Earlier, she was with Wolters Kluwer Nederland BV, as CHRO, for six and a half years.

Having completed her master’s in business administration from Southern Methodist University – Cox School of Business, Charbonnier started her career as a human resources manager with CNA Insurance in 1992. A three-year stint later, she joined Pepsico. In her long and successful 13-year long tenure with the Company, she worked in the US, Canada and Mexico in various HR roles, handling over 1,20,000 employees, and finally quit when she was vice president – HR.

In 2008, she joined Broadridge as CHRO and served the Company for a good six and a half years, before moving on to Wolters Kluwer, the global provider of professional information, software solutions and services. There, she was handling the design and implementation of all HR strategies, policies and processes till now.

Quite recently, Maria Bartolome Winans, former chief marketing officer (CMO), IBM Americas, was appointed as chief marketing officer for Kyndryl. Winans has been with IBM for over 25 years. She is known for successfully essaying various senior global marketing roles in various disciplines and business units across IBM.

Kyndryl’s headquarters will be in New York City, from where the Company plans to work with various technology partners to serve a global customer base of about 4,600. Kyndryl endeavours to assist its clients across the globe to establish robust, resilient and agile digital capabilities.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.hrkatha.com/people/movement/kyndryl-gets-new-chro-in-maryjo-charbonnier/

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HRTech

Kyndryl gets new CHRO in Maryjo Charbonnier

Published

on

Kyndryl, the independent spin-off company from IBM IT Infrastructure Services, has appointed Maryjo Charbonnier as its chief human resources officer. Earlier, she was with Wolters Kluwer Nederland BV, as CHRO, for six and a half years.

Having completed her master’s in business administration from Southern Methodist University – Cox School of Business, Charbonnier started her career as a human resources manager with CNA Insurance in 1992. A three-year stint later, she joined Pepsico. In her long and successful 13-year long tenure with the Company, she worked in the US, Canada and Mexico in various HR roles, handling over 1,20,000 employees, and finally quit when she was vice president – HR.

In 2008, she joined Broadridge as CHRO and served the Company for a good six and a half years, before moving on to Wolters Kluwer, the global provider of professional information, software solutions and services. There, she was handling the design and implementation of all HR strategies, policies and processes till now.

Quite recently, Maria Bartolome Winans, former chief marketing officer (CMO), IBM Americas, was appointed as chief marketing officer for Kyndryl. Winans has been with IBM for over 25 years. She is known for successfully essaying various senior global marketing roles in various disciplines and business units across IBM.

Kyndryl’s headquarters will be in New York City, from where the Company plans to work with various technology partners to serve a global customer base of about 4,600. Kyndryl endeavours to assist its clients across the globe to establish robust, resilient and agile digital capabilities.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.hrkatha.com/people/movement/kyndryl-gets-new-chro-in-maryjo-charbonnier/

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