Family Friendly Policies

28 Mar
by Donna Obstfeld, posted in Blog, Employment, Employment Legislation, Flexi-time, Flexible working, gender, Home-workers, HR Policy, HR Support, Human Resources, Job Sharing, Maternity, Part-time Workers Act, Paternity, people management, Policies and Procedures, reduced hours, Video, Vlog   |  No Comments

A full set of policies around maternity, paternity and adoption leave and pay need to be developed so that employees feel valued and their skills are not lost from the business, but so that they business is able to function effectively with short and long term absences as a result of the prospective and actual birth of a baby.

The law provides for statutory time off and pay, but companies can provide more or structure things differently.




05 Mar
by Donna Obstfeld, posted in Blog, Discrimination, employee rights, Employees, employent law, Employment, gender, HR, Maternity, Part-time Workers Act, Policies and Procedures, Race Discrimination, Recruitment, RIsk, Sexual Orientation, Video, Vlog   |  No Comments


Well written policies and procedures which are communicated and applied consistently are the key to ensuring that the risk  of discrimination is reduced as much as possible.

Employees (as well as workers and job applicants) could bring claims for discrimination on the basis of Age, Gender, Race, Beliefs, Marital Status, Disability and Sexual Orientation.

Care must be taken not to over generalise i.e. “everyone must wear trousers” or “everyone must work on a specific day of the week” as this could have a disproportionate negative impact on a sub sect of your workforce. Therefore you end up discriminating against some, as a result of trying to treat everyone the same.

Do you employ men?

14 Jan
by Donna Obstfeld, posted in HR, HR Consultancy, HR Support, Maternity, Paternity, pay   |  No Comments

Although we like to think it is a thing of the past, clients still tell me that they are scared to employ young females in case they get pregnant. They don’t want the upheaval or the costs associated with maternity leave such as finding and training temporary staff or loosing key skills and knowledge.

However, from April, the law changes and employers could face these issues when employing either female or male staff.

From April parents will be able to share the maternity leave with fathers allowed up to six months off (providing mum has gone back to work). This time off is paid at Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) rates, currently £124.88 per week.

Although legislation provides SPP, it is expected that in business and organisations where enhanced maternity pay is available, by not offering the enhancement to fathers, employers may be in breach of discrimination laws around gender. In these cases, employers may have to amend their policies to provide for enhanced paternity pay.

So, unlike parental leave which is unpaid and therefore not particularly attractive, it is anticipated that there will be greater take up of extended paternity leave. This may particularly be the case if the mother earns more money than the father, or the father works for an organisation which pays enhance paternity pay and the mother does not.

So, is this a change for the better or the worse? Well, I guess that depends on your point of view!!