Monday, 20 June 2016

Oswestry seminar is a great success

Experts from a Shropshire legal firm have hailed their first ever Oswestry event as a great success.

The team from Martin-Kaye Solicitors, in Telford, regularly runs employment law seminars all over the Midlands and beyond.

And as a direct response to interest from companies in the Oswestry area, they took their Top 10 Employment Blunders event to the town.

Held at The Lion Quays, the event was open to employers from all kinds of businesses, and delegates said they were impressed with the presentations and the information they heard.

Martin-Kaye’s Employment Law specialist, John Mehtam, hosted the event and shared advice on how to tackle some of the most common workplace and HR issues, as well as how to avoid them.

“We were very pleased with the positive response we received from our delegates – and despite the event taking place on the day of the much-anticipated England v Wales match in the European Football Championships, there was a great turnout,” said John.

“As with our other seminars, we took the view that a short sharp lunchtime event would be the most popular format for busy employers, and we gave presentations that are designed to get right to the point to help employers learn from the mistakes others have made.”

The seminar covered a variety of tricky areas including sickness absence, dismissals and poor employee performance.

“This was the first time we’ve held an employment law seminar in the Oswestry area and we’d like to thank the local businesses who showed such an interest in the advice we had to offer.”

Martin-Kaye Solicitors has also previously held employment law seminars in Telford, Shrewsbury, West Bromwich and Wales.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Is your air conditioning sexist?

Employees in the workplace often find themselves in a battle of the sexes when it comes to the optimum temperature they prefer to work in – and it seems there’s a good reason why.

John Mehtam, employment law specialist at Martin-Kaye Solicitors in Telford, said it was all down to the company’s air conditioning systems.

“Scientists have published research that shows air conditioning units are actually designed to suit the body temperature and metabolism of men. In fact, the 1960s model on which modern air conditioning still operates is based on a 40-year-old 11-stone male.

“But due to the different metabolic rates of men and women, there’s a real difference in preferred working temperatures of up to 4 degrees Celsius, which really is a noticeable amount.

“And given the workplace politics and arguments that often crop up over the settings of the air conditioning, it’s clear that employers should bear these statistics in mind.”

John said workplace temperatures were covered by the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.

“These rules don’t specify a legal requirement on minimum or maximum temperatures in the workplace, but they say that the temperature should provide ‘reasonable comfort’. Guidance suggests this means the office temperature should be at least 16 degrees Celsius, but no specific maximum temperature is mentioned.

“So even though there will inevitably be disagreements over the temperature of a workplace – which may be fuelled by potentially sexist air conditioning units – as an employer, you only have to ensure a “reasonable” temperature.

“But you should make sure you don’t ignore any complaints about temperature either, particularly if some employees may be affected more than others, such as anyone who is elderly or pregnant.

“Taking some sensible measures, such as supplying plenty of drinking water and increasing ventilation where possible, will be more than sufficient to ensure that you are meeting your obligations.”