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Employment Law – Appraisals and Authorised Leave

01st September 2010
By jennyhicks in Employment Law
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The complexity of legislation can often result in many employers, who haven’t sought employment law advice, being taken to a Tribunal on “technicalities”.

A HR advisor will help you to resolve even the most complex of issues, protecting you from the legal loopholes which employees will so often exploit.
Compliance with employment law is just one of the many challenges which employers face. Even if you chose to employ your own internal resource, issues and claims will undoubtedly arise which require additional and unpredictable costs. With tribunal claims rising year-on-year, our services will provide affordable protection for your business with access to the very best employment law advice and HR support.

What is an appraisal?
An appraisal is simply an assessment of an employee's performance, potential and development needs. It provides an opportunity to take an overall view of their work, to look back on what has been achieved during the reporting period and to agree objectives for the next.

What are the benefits of appraisal?
Appraisals help to improve employees’ job performance by identifying strengths and weaknesses, determining how their strengths can be best used and any weaknesses overcome. Appraisals also help to reveal problems and inefficient work practices which may be restricting progress.

Am I required to carry out appraisals?
There is no legal requirement to operate an appraisal scheme. There are however some aspects of employment legislation that affect employee appraisals. Appraisal records may be used by employers to support their defence in employment tribunal claims. These are particularly relevant where the claimant was dismissed for poor performance. Conversely, the claimant may strengthen their own case by citing the absence of any form of appraisal process.

I have a small business - is an appraisal scheme right for me?
Smaller companies can certainly benefit from having an appropriate appraisal scheme. Indeed, the task of appraising employees is usually easier because managers are more likely to know each employee well. It is important however that the scheme is designed to meet the particular needs of a smaller company and is not over elaborate. Mhl can help design the right system for you.

The above is intended to provide information of general interest about employment law but does not give legal advice.
What is Authorised Leave?

Authorised leave is a term generally used to describe absence from work to which an employee is entitled either by legislation or by company policy. Failure to comply with the employment law legislation can lead to costly claims against you.
What leave must I give employees by law?

Annual Leave
You must give employees at least 5.6 weeks paid holiday each year. This can include Bank/public Holidays. You cannot give pay instead except if they leave your employment.

Time off for Dependants
You must allow employees reasonable time off to cater for emergencies involving someone dependent on them. You do not have to pay them for the time taken off.

Maternity leave
All pregnant employees are entitled to up to 52 weeks maternity leave, regardless of when they started working for you.

Antenatal care
An employee attending an antenatal appointment on medical advice is entitled to paid time off for this.

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