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  • HR Heartbeat: No-beard policies, a new study on the dangers of boozy work parties, and…

HR Heartbeat: No-beard policies, a new study on the dangers of boozy work parties, and…

The latest employment news has landed! This week discover a new and unusual stance on beards at work. Plus, read on for workplace conflict stats you need to see to believe!

First published on Thursday, May 11, 2023

Last updated on Wednesday, May 10, 2023

3 min read

Have you heard the latest news?

Welcome to HR Heartbeat, where we give you a rundown of the week's top employment law stories. Stay on the pulse of current trends impacting your business, plus get up-to-the-minute commentaries on all things HR and legal.

So, let’s check out this week’s headlines…

Can you make your employees shave their beards?

Police in Scotland are set to launch a “no-beardpolicy. They are due to ban all frontline officers from having a moustache or beard to enhance their health & safety when wearing an FFP3 mask.

But exemptions will be considered for employees who refuse to shave their beards due to religious or health concerns. And if you’re thinking of introducing a similar policy—make sure you do so compliantly and make allowances, or you could risk indirect discrimination claims.

Real Living Wage deadline

We are fast approaching the deadline for putting the increased Real Living Wage rate in place. As it’s a voluntary commitment, not all employers are affected. But those that choose to put it in place should do so from this Sunday, 14 May 2023. Affected employers should make sure workers in London are paid £11.95 per hour, and that workers in the rest of the UK receive £10.90 per hour.

Agency workers and strikes

Last week, the trade union challenged the government’s decision to allow agency workers to cover for staff during strikes.

Unions say allowing them to do so is unsafe, an attack on the worker’s right to strike, and that the law should be removed. It remains to be seen what the Court will decide but, if the unions win, employers may not be able to bring in temporary staff on strike days.

Learn more about agency worker rights.

Businesses told to cut the booze at work parties

The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) has urged organisations to limit alcohol at work parties following research which found one in three managers have witnessed harassment or staff behaving inappropriately.

Having an up-to-date alcohol policy at work can help you to set the ground rules with your staff.

Unsure where to start? Ask BrightHR Lightning: What should I include in an alcohol policy?

Workplace conflict costs businesses how much?!

New research suggests workplace conflict costs businesses £28.5 billion each year, with an estimated £120m spent on informal resolution and early intervention, and a further £140m on mediation.

A good way to mitigate costs is to review your grievance procedures and make sure you protect your business with the latest advice from expert employment law advisors.

And that’s a wrap. Tune in next week for more headlines and make sure you stay ahead of major employment law changes!

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