This is the final part of our three-part series, recapping our webinar collaboration with our friends at Stone King Solicitors. We have been exploring the top 20 employment law queries Stone King has received from their school clients and the tools to solve those problems quickly and succinctly.
Here’s a little bit more of what we learned, and after this we’ll stop going on about it:
1. It’s time to leave the baby at home. Or not. We don’t blame you; babies are cute.
According to section 5 of the Burgundy Book, a teacher must return to work for at least 13 weeks, including periods of school closure, if she has been paid occupational maternity pay.
Should the teacher not return for those full 13 weeks then, also according to the Burgundy Book, she must return the additional maternity pay she received following the initial first 6 weeks that she is entitled to.
Now, how you go about getting this payment back is another story… If you can do so according to her contract, the teacher in question should repay her additional maternity pay by way of deduction from her salary. However, if her contract does not allow for this then you might need to ask her to make a separate payment. This option does pose its own problem of getting money out of an employee who is leaving you.
2.Time to get serious…
In instances of serious misconduct, an employer may wish to suspend the employee who is being investigated.
This may be appropriate, for example, where there is a potential threat to the business or other employees, or where it is not possible to properly investigate the allegation if an employee remains at work (for example because they may destroy evidence or attempt to influence witnesses). It may also be appropriate where relationships at work have broken down.
However, in cases like this each person is likely to have their own view of whom is to blame, and the employer should be careful not to give the impression of having pre-judged this issue.
Before suspending an employee, it is worth considering your reasons why, and if there are alternative solutions. For example, could they simply be moved to a different area of the organisation, or complete their work from home?
3.Surely there’s a less drastic option, right?
Demotion can be an alternative solution to a dismissal in the outcome for a disciplinary. But you should bear in mind that to enforce a demotion is a change to the employee’s contractual terms and should only be done either with the agreement of the employee or if there is a contractual right to do so, which would be quite unusual. If neither of these terms are in place you could face a breach of contract claim from the employee.
See it for yourself…
Did you miss this webinar but want to know more? Contact us today and we will arrange a viewing for you – [email protected]
Want to see more?
Every is continuing its partnership with Stone King Solicitors to bring you our 2020 Roadshow sessions! We are hosting four free sessions across the UK that have been designed to provide you with the opportunity to connect, share and discuss the common issues facing HR in education.