We start this week with the concerning news that as many has half of women suffer some form of sexual harassment at work, and it is younger women who are most at risk. The TUC survey of 1500 women also found that nearly 80% of women did not report the harassment believing to do so could detrimentally impact on their career, or that they would not be believed. For as long as the victims of harassment (male or female) feel unable to report what is going on it is almost impossible for employers to address specific incidents. However all employers can ensure a strong message is given out that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated.
Cameron may have gone but Corbyn is still hanging on in there. But as the fall out of Brexit continues a number of the labour candidates have published their employment law and other policies in advance of the leadership vote. Jeremy Corbyn's "pledges" are available online and include the banning of zero hours contracts and the introduction of mandatory collective bargaining for larger companies. Owen Smith has also published his workplace manifesto which includes day one employment rights and new equal pay legislation.
If you thought the days of big pay outs were a thing of the past in these times of austerity then look away now. According to a report from the High Pay Centre the mean average pay rise for the chief executives of FTSE 100 companies last year was 10% and the average take home pay was £5.5 million. The biggest pay day was for Sir Martin Sorrell, head of the advertising group WPP, collecting more than £70 million. However, Theresa May has already expressed her disdain at the differences between what companies pay their bosses and their workers saying there was an "irrational, unhealthy and growing gap". Two of the prime minister's proposals have received support from the High Pay Centre - that companies should publish the ratio between chief executives and the average worker and that the employees should have a say in executive pay levels. Remuneration reform may be on the way…
Bad news for an employee of Greggs is probably considerably better news for their customers. A case reported earlier this year has now resulted in a judgement confirming that summarily dismissing an employee at the bakery for failing to wash his hands before returning to the food production area is a fair dismissal. This was despite the fact that the employee in question had eleven years' service and had shown contrition about his failure. Sion Donovan had suggested to the tribunal that if his offence was so serious he should have been prevented from continuing with his shift. He argued that Gregg's decision to summarily dismiss was too harsh a sanction in the circumstance. However, the Judge disagreed finding that Mr Donovan was well aware of how important food hygiene was in the industry from both his training and experience, and that the zero tolerance approach taken by Greggs was reasonable given the potential damage to their reputation should an outbreak of illness be traced back to their premises.