Policy News Journal - 2014-15

Employers cannot require people to use their subject access rights under the Data Protection Act (DPA) to provide certain records, as a condition of employment. From 1 December 2014, this will become a criminal offence, and employers can be punished by a fine. Details of the new criminal offence include the possibility of fines of up to £5,000 in England and Wales, or £10,000 in Scotland. An offence will be committed if an employer obliges an employee or someone applying for a job to use their rights under the Data Protection Act (DPA) to provide certain records, as a condition of employment. There are some exceptions, particularly for roles where the employee will be working with children or vulnerable people.

Request for ideas on the tax rules for employment status

20 November 2014

The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) is asking for thoughts on where the tax rules for employment status are most complex or difficult to apply.

The documents on the OTS website give the background to the status review, and detail the questions to which they are seeking answers. The deadline is 31 st December 2014.

Acas Early Conciliation service has dealt with over 37,000 cases

21 November 2014

Figures published by Acas show that Early Conciliation dealt with 37,404 cases from 6 April until the end of September 2014.

Earlier this year, the law changed so that anyone thinking of making an Employment Tribunal claim had to contact Acas first. Acas then tries to resolve the dispute quickly without the need for legal action through its new free Early Conciliation service.

The statistics show that the service has continued its successful start and around 1,600 people a week are contacting Acas.

Disengaged employees cost UK £15bn

25 November 2014

UK businesses are said to be suffering massive losses in company performance due to 'disengaged' employees who complain of working conditions that result in constant distraction and disruption and a lack of privacy.

We are grateful to Mediahouse for their report:

Research by the Centre for Mental Health shows that presenteeism (at work physically but unproductive mentally) costs UK businesses £15bn per year and that includes the cost of disengaged employees. A recent IPSOS survey commissioned by Steelcase, highlights this issue. The global leader in the office furniture industry surveyed 10,500 employees working in open plan offices across 14 different countries and found that only 11% of workers in open plan offices are engaged and inspired at work, 63% are disengaged and unmotivated, 37% describe their workplace as 'stressful'.

Lack of privacy and unwanted distractions were workers number one complaint, with the average worker being interrupted every three minutes and taking up to 23 minutes to return

CIPP Policy News Journal

08/04/2015, Page 76 of 521

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