Embrace Right to Work Checks

From 1 July, the rules surrounding the right to work checks for EEA (European Economic Area) nationals have changed. Make sure you are up to date…

Right to Work

Updated guidance has been released by the government when it comes to right to work checks. Within the care sector there is a high proportion of workers from outside the UK, so it is vital that the correct checks are carried out to ensure you, as the employer, are not liable for a civil penalty.

Please note, these checks must be carried out before day one of the employment start date.

Need-to-know

  • Employers can be subject to a civil penalty of up to £20,000 for each employee who does not have the right to work in the UK, if the correct checks were not carried out.
  • Note that companies need to have a sponsor license to hire most workers from outside the UK. Find out how to apply at www.gov.uk/uk-visa-sponsorship-employers.

What has Changed?

From 1 July 2021, EEA nationals (and workers from Switzerland) will have to demonstrate their right to work. This will be done using the Home Office online service – and it will be relevant to their immigration status, not their nationality. An online check is required for workers who only have digital proof of their immigration status in the UK. This applies to most EU (European Union), EEA, or Swiss citizens.

From this date an employer will no longer be able to take ID cards of EU, EEA, or Swiss citizens as proof of right to work.

Note that employers will not have to carry out retrospective checks on employees who are EEA nationals and who were employed on or before 30 June 2001. This applies as long as the initial right to work check was undertaken in line with right to work legislation and the Home Office guidance.

Case Study

We recently interviewed a Turkish national who works in the care industry. They had entered the UK six months ago on a self-employed visa.

So with these new laws in place, were we able to recruit them?

Turkey is neither an EU or EEA country. (The EEA includes EU countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. While Switzerland is neither an EU or an EEA member it is part of the single market. so Swiss nationals have the same rights to live and work in the UK as other EEA nationals.)

The ECAA 1, the self-employed Turkish Businessperson visa, allows Turkish citizens to form a new business or join an existing business. This visa requires the individual to show that they have the funds necessary to cover their living and business expenses, as well as any expenses of their dependents.

In essence, the requirements mean that the individual will not seek benefits to cover their expenses. The Turkish national we interviewed could have worked with our client as a self-employed person under HMRC rules, However, our client needed a full-time person who could cover various shifts, including nights. The Turkish national had other clients and would not have been able to commit and withdrew.

Find out more about the rules for recruiting workers from outside the UK at www.gov.uk/guidance/recruiting-people-from-outside-the-uk.

If you would like to discuss this subject further, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR Limited.

T: 01296 761288 or contact us here.

If you would like to receive our newsletter, please sign up here.

Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR Limited provide a specialised HR service to the care sector, from recruitment through to exit.

Embrace Misty McCrory

We think it is high time you learn more about our fabulous team here at Embrace HR Limited. So we are kicking off our team spotlights by introducing our newest member, Misty McCrory, who joined us earlier this year….

Introducing Misty McCrory

Q: What is your role at Embrace HR Limited and what qualities will you bring to it?

A: I have joined Embrace as the Senior HR Adviser and I’m bringing with me 20+ years’ experience to the role – I really have dealt with all manner of HR queries! I am really friendly and approachable and have experience in all aspects of HR including managing disciplinary and grievance procedures, policy development and recruitment. I can provide advice and support to all management levels on all manner of employment law issues.

Q: When did you start at Embrace HR Limited?

A: I joined the company on 12 April 2021, initially for 2 days a week, but from the 4 May full time.

Q: Why should someone listen to your advice?

A: I am Chartered MCIPD and have spent the last 15 years working in Higher Education. Prior to that I worked for a Pub company as an HR administrator and learned a lot of the basics there. There is nothing I haven’t seen or heard!

Q: What does Chartered MCIPD mean?

A: Chartered MCIPD means that I am a Chartered Member of the CIPD – the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development – a professional body for experts in people at work. As a Member, the CIPD recognises that I am an experienced people professional working operationally while thinking strategically; and I deliver people solutions that drive change within organisations and/or the profession.

Q: What do you like best about working within Human Resources?

A: Good question! For me it’s because I like dealing with lots of different people and being able to problem solve. I enjoy the variety of problems that can come about, no day is the same. I enjoy talking to people and helping where I can.

Q: What are you looking forward to most as a result of joining the Embrace HR team?

A: Given what I enjoy about HR, it’s the variety of clients and queries, feeling like I am making a difference and meeting lots of new people. Also working for a small team – the three other members of the team are so lovely and have made me feel very welcome and comfortable in a short space of time.

Q: What challenges do you envisage with your new role?

A: I’m looking forward to learning how the Care sector works, meeting lots of different clients and understanding their different ways of working. I’m used to working within a company where they must take my advice and don’t always want to, whereas being in a more consultative environment, my advice doesn’t have to be agreed with or followed through!

Q: Describe your typical day

A: Well it’s still early days here at Embrace, but presently I’ll check emails first thing, write a to-do list, (I love a good to-do list!) do the school run, catch up with the team and, if it all goes to plan, work through all that days’ tasks. In the afternoon, I’ll catch up with the team again, do the school run in reverse and try to finish off anything outstanding. Sometimes I have to scrap the to do list from the morning, as the day rarely goes how you plan it, especially if it’s taken up with numerous telephone calls and virtual meetings.

Q: And finally, what makes you happy?

A: That’s an easy one! My husband and two children. I have a 10-year-old daughter who loves dancing, in particular Irish dancing, pre-lockdown I would have been travelling around the country to Irish Feis dance competitions! My son is 14 and plays County level tennis, so we spend a lot of time taking him to tournaments. Both of them make me so proud as they are dedicated to their art sport and always work hard.

You can contact Misty, by email at: misty.mccrory@embracehr.co.uk, by telephone on 01296 761288 or contact us here.

Look out for future team spotlights on the other members of our team!

If you would like to receive our newsletter, please sign up here.

Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR Limited provide a specialised HR service to the care sector, from recruitment through to exit.

Job Support Worker

Support Worker in Chorleywood, Hertfordshire

Type:

Permanent Part-time: Waking Nights and late day/evening shifts

Location:

Chorleywood, Hertfordshire

Pay: £14.00 to £16.00 per hour (above average to reward flexibility)

Four week rolling shift pattern. Flexibility required to cover shifts when collegues are away.

  • Waking Nights – Saturday and/or  Sunday plus week day nights as required
  • Other shifts – late day time/evening
  • Shifts are usually worked with 2 members of staff

*Female Support Worker

  • Confident about working in client’s own home and sensitive to the needs and wishes of the parents
  • Assist with all aspects of care and personal hygiene including feeding, medication administration, changing pads
  • Patient and tolerant as attention is required throughout the night
  • Proactive with an encouraging approach especially during bedtime routine and settling and preparing for the morning
  • Responsible and able to work under own initiative and at times with a colleague especially when family may be away
  • Reliable, trustworthy and a good communicator
  • Capable of moving and handling and following therapists’ instructions
  • Cheerful, caring with a positive attitude
  • Hold a UK drivers licence (for day work)
  • Flexible – to cover other care staff shifts to ensure the smooth running of the care team

Experience:

Training will be provided for the person with the right attitude who fits in with the family. Experience is not necessary but is an advantage, whilst eagerness and willing to learn is preferable.

Most shifts are worked with a colleague.

Our client is an 18 year-old young woman with a physical disability and is fully dependent on using an electric wheelchair for all her daily mobility. She also suffers with Cognitive communication difficulties and is non-verbal but can make herself understood by making noises/pointing and has the use of some sign language. She is fully dependent on carers for all aspects of her day to day living which includes feeding, bathing, dressing etc… she can be very bubbly one minute with a wicked sense of humour but at times she can display extreme moods of behaviour.

* The employer claims exemption under the Equality Act 2010

To find out more and to apply for this position visit: https://uk.indeed.com/job/support-worker-ea34242f3bde2187

Closing date for applications: 6 June 2021

Job Support Worker

Support Worker – Permanent, part-time

Location:            Haywards Heath, West Sussex

Pay: 

  • £13-£15 per hour – Day Shifts
  • £14-16 per hour – Waking Night Shifts

Shifts available:   UPDATE – Waking Nights and 1 after school shift FILLED

  • Friday and Saturday: Waking Nights  21:00 to 09:00
  • After school: 2 shifts a week: 15:30 to 21:00 and 15:30 to 19:30 on Friday and school holiday shifts
  • Saturdays: Day shifts  depending on family activities

Are you a *Female Support Worker?

  • Confident about working in client’s own home and sensitive to the needs and wishes of the parents
  • Happy to learn new things, such as personal care routine (training will be given)
  • Patient and tolerant
  • Proactive with an encouraging approach
  • Responsible and able to work under own initiative
  • Cheerful, caring with a positive attitude
  • Reliable, trustworthy and a good communicator
  • Capable of moving and handling
  • Hold a UK drivers licence
  • Flexible – to cover other care staff shifts to ensure the smooth running of the care team

Experience:

Experience in caring for children/young people with disabilities is an advantage; administration of medication, follow through on therapy, keep accurate records. Enthusiasm, patience, and willingness to learn are key aspects of the role.

Our client:

We are currently looking for a Support Workers who can be flexible in the availability of shifts worked. Our client is a young girl in her teens who has complex physical and learning disabilities. She lives with her mother, father and 2 younger siblings. She is non-verbal with sensory impairments and complex physical needs so full support is needed to undertake all activities of daily living. She is fed via a gastrostomy and uses a combination of facial expressions, symbols and some eye pointing to communicate and is exploring eye gaze. She requires a high level of care both during the day and especially at night as our client frequently wakes and has an unpredictable sleep pattern. She uses CPAP to support her respiration at night and needs attention with regards to her gastrostomy and fluid intake. Our client enjoys the company of happy, lively people with outgoing personalities. She enjoys playing with her siblings, has a fantastic sense of humour and loves joining in all activities integral to family life. She enjoys being out in the community and therefore a full clean UK driving licence is essential.

To find out more and to apply for this position visit: http://uk.indeed.com/job/support-worker-b34f328a7b63ec9d

* The employer claims exemption under the Equality Act 2010

Satisfactory references and proof of eligibility to work in the UK will also be required.

This position requires a disclosure request from the DBS. A conviction will not necessarily prevent you from being employed.

Closing date for applications: 15 June 2021

Embrace HR Mental health awareness week

As we enter Mental Health Awareness week, we take a look at how supporting your employees  can help with staff retention…

Mental health might be a bigger issue within your team than you think. With one in four adults in the UK experiencing a mental health issue at least once during their lifetime, you need to consider that a quarter of your workforce could be affected at one time or another.

Mental health covers a wide range of conditions – from depression to anxiety and personality disorders. And the ways to support affected staff can be varied and far-reaching.

Of course, nobody expects you to know how to treat these conditions, but supporting your employees can be beneficial, both to them, your wider team and to your company. According to the Mental Health Foundation, an alarming 70 million work days are lost each year [Mental Health Foundation: Mental Health in the Workplace] due to mental health problems in the UK, which in turn costs employers around £2.4 billion per year.

However, it’s not just about work days lost – employee retention is another key issue. According to research by healthcare provider Benenden Health [Benenden Health: Mental Wellbeing Report 2020] nearly half of UK businesses have seen an employee leave because their mental health isn’t supported.

If you have paid to train a member of staff, who is valued by your clients, losing them can be a real blow to your organisation. So it makes sense to offer support in order to reduce staff turnover and absence.

Your legal obligation

According to the Equality Act (2010) you, as the employer, should make reasonable adjustments for people with mental and physical disabilities, ensuring they have the same access to gaining and keeping employment as a non-disabled person. In this case a mental impairment is defined as having a substantial long-term impact on their daily life.

What can you do to help?

  • Open the conversation: Make sure you send a clear message to let staff know that, should they discuss their mental health with you, you will be understanding and offer help where possible. After all, if someone came in with a broken leg, that is what you would do – and mental health issues are no different. If employees are too afraid to speak up for fear of discrimination, a reduction in hours or responsibilities, they are more likely to take days off or leave. To that end, it is also important to provide the opportunity to talk. When people are busy or perceive that their manager is too busy, they may not want to ‘worry’ them so remain silent.
  • Keep it confidential: Your discussion about someone’s anxiety or other mental health disorder should go no further and you should make it clear that you will treat information in a professional manner. Employees who are worried that their colleagues will gossip about them, treat them differently, or resent any special treatment, are likely to be under more pressure.
  • Show them the signposts: As we said previously, it is not your job to treat an employee who is struggling, but you can aid them by recommending that they seek professional help. Give them any support they need to do this.
  • Listen to them: Don’t assume that one person suffering from depression will need the same support as someone else with depression. Everyone is different. Listen to them and find out how you can cut down on their stress in the workplace at least.
  • Be prepared to make adjustments: They may benefit from a change in their shift or working patterns or responsibilities, while they are getting help. Try to make things easier where you can – such as re-organising their work to cut down on travel time or avoiding busy times, or by arranging for them to have support with their workload, training and/or 1-2-1’s. But let them lead the way on what help they need.

Aim to be part of the solution, not a part of the problem.

#MentalHealthAwarenessWeek
#ConnectWithNature

If you would like to discuss this subject further, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR Limited.

T: 01296 761288 or contact us here.

If you would like to receive our newsletter, please sign up here.

Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR Limited provide a specialised HR service to the care sector, from recruitment through to exit.

Ramadan

During Ramadan, Muslims fast during daylight hours. For those working in more physical roles, such as in the care industry for example, it is particularly important to ensure they are well supported…

Ramadan began on Monday 12 April 2021. During this holy month for those of the Islamic faith, many Muslims commit to fasting during daylight hours. This means they take in no food or drink (including water or chewing gum) from sunrise to sunset, and instead will eat in the early hours and then late in the evening once it is dark. Ramadan lasts for 29 or 30 days depending on the moon cycle.

Cecily asked a good friend to confirm that breaking Fast takes place at the end of the day when the sun sets. He told her how difficult it is, for instance in the UK, when we are in British Summer Time (BST). Sometimes it can be 10 pm before the setting of the sun – a long time to have not a drop of water or a morsel pass your lips!

How can you support employees who are fasting?

Be open to communication and discussion: Your staff may be reluctant to reveal that they are fasting, in case they are treated differently, or are considered unreliable. It is important to be approachable and understanding, so that they are not uncomfortable discussing their needs with their employer, case managers, or family. Most Muslims pray five times a day. You may not know they are doing so, maybe they take time out to be in a quiet place – sometimes needing only 10 minutes to complete their ablutions and prayer. Your staff might be grateful if you discuss their needs with them and show empathy.

Have a policy in place: Like Christmas and Easter, Ramadan is an important part of the year for Muslims, so it is important to have a company policy on matters of religious observance. Make sure that it applies equally to all faiths in order to avoid claims of discrimination.

Be aware of harassment: Colleagues and clients may make derogatory comments if they think other members of staff are getting special treatment or taking breaks when no one else can. Make sure that all staff are aware that action will be taken against anyone making comments or displaying behaviour considered offensive.

Be flexible: Talk to staff who are fasting about how flexible working or a different shift pattern could help them. Some people may suffer from fatigue during the day while they are fasting, so they may prefer to switch to earlier or later working hours. Be aware that if they are eating very early in the morning or late at night, that some shift patterns may make life difficult. Allowing them to start and finish earlier may help them to better manage daytime fasting. Or perhaps you could discuss less heavy duties during this time. It is really important that you discuss this with each individual member of staff, rather than making a blanket policy for all.

Manage holiday requests: Most of us in human resources (HR) in the UK expect to receive more holiday requests over Christmas and the school holidays, but we may not be so prepared for the requests for annual leave that may come from those fasting during Ramadan. Be aware that some of your Muslim staff may want to take leave so that they can rest while they are fasting – or have time off to celebrate the festival of Eid al-Fitr (which means breaking the fast) around 12-13 May 2021. Allowing all your staff time off for Ramadan or Eid may be difficult, but you should be as accommodating as possible, to avoid any risk of discrimination. Perhaps you can allow them to take some of the requested leave, if not all of it. You also need to consider how the extra work will be distributed, so that other members of the care staff are not under too much pressure.

We’d like to wish our clients, families and their employees good health and well over the Fast.

If you would like to discuss this subject further, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR Limited.

T: 01296 761288 or contact us here.

If you would like to receive our newsletter, please sign up here.

Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR Limited provide a specialised HR service to the care sector, from recruitment through to exit.

Job Support Worker

Nanny / Housekeeper

Full-time, Permanent

£32,000 a year

To provide care and support for 2 daughters aged 10 and 12; and a son aged 14 in a caring and busy family home. This is an ideal role for someone who is organised and willing to be flexible, is energetic, fun and lively to support the family’s chosen lifestyle and interests, loves driving and cleaning.

The job tasks are as follows: 15% Nanny, 35% cleaner, 30% cook and 20% washing ironing.

THIS IS A LIVE-OUT POSITION.

Working time:

  • Monday to Friday
  • School term; 07.00 to 19.00
  • Non-school term; 09.00 to 18.00

Pay

  • £32,000 per annum

Main duties and responsibilities

  • Wake and assist children to get ready for school
  • Drive the children to school and other social and leisure activities
  • Undertake appropriate creative, education and outdoor activities
  • Organise activities during non-school term
  • Read and help children with homework
  • Plan weekly meals with parents and prepare meals
  • Undertake daily and regular cleaning of the home
  • Laundry and ironing
  • Shopping and other duties as required.

Required

  • Full, clean drivers licence and a confident driver
  • Good level of written and spoken English
  • Organised to plan and prioritise work activities
  • Firm but tolerant and able to create a balance between work and play
  • Reliable, punctual, flexible to vary hours to accommodate family routines and energetic lifestyle
  • Non smoker during working time
  • Enhanced DBS

To find out more and to apply for this position visit: https://uk.indeed.com/job/full-time-nanny-housekeeper-d8fd78997d81bc74

Application deadline: 20/06/2021

Embrace HR Sleeping Nights Payments

A recent ruling by the Supreme Court (Royal Mencap Society v Tomlinson-Blake) has established that where a worker is paid a flat shift rate (or an allowance) for a sleeping night, when they are awake and working for any period of that shift, they should be paid no less than the national minimum wage for those hours, in addition to the shift flat rate (or allowance). We have set out below a summary for your information.

A support worker who spends any time ‘awake for the purposes of working’ during the course of a sleeping night shift is entitled to be paid for every minute of that time at no less than the NMW rate, in addition to the flat shift rate (or allowance).

This could result in a worker being paid the flat rate (or allowance) plus an hourly rate for the whole shift if he/she was ‘awake for the purposes of working’ for the whole shift.

The Supreme Court clarified that sleeping night allowances are not pay/wages, as such, but are compensation given to support workers for the inconvenience of having to spend nights at their employer’s house rather than in their own home. The Court also made it clear that sleeping night allowances do not count towards the worker’s NMW calculation.

That said, the decision has confirmed that the practice of paying support workers a flat shift rate amount (or allowance) for sleeping night shifts is perfectly lawful and that it does not matter if the amount of the allowance is less than the equivalent of what the worker would be entitled to be paid if he/she was to be remunerated for the whole shift at the NMW rate.

Clients whose current practice is to pay a flat shift rate (or allowance) to their workers for sleeping night shifts but to pay them for the whole night shift on an hourly rate (NMW compliant) basis if they are required to get up and work on more than XX occasions (or for more than YY hours in total) during the course of the shift, now find themselves exposed to the risk of NMW breach complaints or claims.

This is because under this type of arrangement if a worker is called upon to work during the course of a particular sleeping night but the number of occasions he/she is called upon is less than XX (or he/she has to work for less than YY hours in total), there will be a breach of the NMW legislation if he/she is not paid anything (over and above his/her sleeping night allowance) for doing that work. With this type of arrangement there is also a risk of workers bringing complaints of historical NMW breaches (coupled with back claims for under-payment of wages).

Left unchanged, the current practice of paying a flat rate (or allowance) for a sleeping night shift, with the additional cost of paying at least the NMW rate for the hours the support worker spends ‘awake for the purposes of working’, could result in a greater financial burden than simply paying the worker for the whole sleeping night shift at the NMW rate.

If you would like to discuss this subject further, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR Limited.

T: 01296 761288 or contact us here.

If you would like to receive our newsletter, please sign up here.

Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR Limited provide a specialised HR service to the care sector, from recruitment through to exit.

Embrace HR Statutory Pay rate rises

While many things in our world are unusual at present, one thing that never changes is the rate rises that come into effect each April. Read on to ensure you have the correct figures available when paying your April wages and salaries…

Wage and Statutory Pay Increases April 2021

As many of us watching the Spring Budget on 3 March concentrated on whether Chancellor Rishi Sunak would hit us with taxes to pay for the Covid support offered to workers, businesses and the self-employed over the past year, it might have been easy to miss the announcement of the annual rate rises for minimum wage and other statutory payments.

Essential for anyone dealing with payrolls and other human resource issues within the care sector, these need to be applied from various dates in April. The four rate rises are explained below.

First though, a brief explanation on the difference between the National Living Wage (NLW) and the National Minimum Wage: the National Minimum Wage (NMW) is the minimum rate of pay per hour which almost all workers are entitled to; whereas the National Living Wage (NLW) is slightly higher and applies to workers if they’re over the age of 23.

National Living Wage (NLW)

One point to make note of is that the age threshold has been reduced for the National Living Wage, so it now applies to those aged 23 and over, while the main adult rate is for those aged 22 and 23.

  • The National Living Wage rises to £8.91 on April 1 (a rise of 2.2% from £8.72).
  • For workers aged 21 and 22 the new rate is £8.36.
  • For those aged 18 to 20 the new rate is £6.56.
  • Under-18s can look forward to a new hourly rate of £4.62, while apprentices will receive £4.30.
Age 2020 rate 2021 rate Percentage increase
20-21 £8.20 £8.36 2%
18-20 £6.45 £6.56 1.7%
16-17 £4.55 £4.62 1.5%
Apprentice £4.15 £4.30 3.6%

Statutory Redundancy Pay Cap

A weekly pay cap is applied to Statutory Redundancy Pay, and any changes come into effect on 6 April 2021.

The cap is calculated in line with any changes that have occurred to the RPI (Retail Prices Index). So, if the RPI in the preceding September is higher, then the statutory weekly redundancy amount is increased by the same percentage.

At present the cap is set at £538, with the new maximum predicted to be £544.

Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)

The flat SMP rate changes on the first Sunday in April. This year, the rate should rise to £151.97 (from £151.20) on 4 April 2021.

This rate is also the same for Statutory Adoption, Shared Parental and Paternity Pay.

Your employees should be paid 90% of their average weekly earnings for the first six weeks of their maternity leave. For the next 33 weeks, they should receive whichever is the lower – SMP or 90% of their average weekly earnings.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

The rate for SSP will change on 6 April 2021 and should rise to £96.35 (from £95.85).

Employees are entitled to SSP if they are off sick for four or more days in a row and can claim SSP for up to 28 weeks.

If you would like to discuss this subject further, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR Limited.

T: 01296 761288 or contact us here.

If you would like to receive our newsletter, please sign up here.

Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR Limited provide a specialised HR service to the care sector, from recruitment through to exit.