Let’s get one thing crystal clear. It is against the law to pay men and women different rates for doing the same job. The Equality Act of 2010 says this: “Men and women, whether in full-time or part-time employment should not be treated less favourably in relation to pay, benefits and terms and conditions where they are doing equal work.”
We live in an inter-connected world which is getting more and more complex by the day. The pace with which the internet and digital revolution is changing our lives shows no signs of slacking – and the issues it throws up become seemingly more challenging. Take data collection as an example. Businesses are already familiar with their responsibilities under the Data Protection Act 1998. It is something we have all become used to – and adapted to - over the years. But from May 2018 those duties will be tightened up under the General Data Protection Regulation – the biggest shake-up in this area for two decades. The GDPR heralds a significant shift in the culture of how organisations handle data and comes with stiff penalties for falling foul of the law.
Want to hear a truly frightening statistic? Well, apparently one in four of us will ‘enjoy’ an illicit snog at the annual office Christmas party. Nothing wrong with that, right? But just wait until the post party hangover sets in and your colleagues remember exactly what you did and said after having one Snowball too many.
Mental health experts at Mind say one in four of us will have mental health issues of some sort this year.
The Gender Pay Gap
With Brexit talks now firmly under way, what will replace the free movement of migrants.
It was one off the most significant legal rulings of 2017 – and its impact will be truly seen over the next 12 months. The Supreme Court ruled last July that the system of forcing people to pay a fee of up to £1,200 to bring a claim at an Employment Tribunal was unlawful. In a single stroke, the Supreme Court removed one of the largest obstacles facing workers who thought they had been badly dealt with by their bosses. So, if you think you have been treated badly at work should you now reconsider seeking a remedy through a tribunal?
Banter. It’s part and parcel of office life, right? Who doesn’t engage in a bit of light-hearted teasing and joking with their colleagues from time to time? The 9-5 would certainly seem a lot longer without it. Fair enough – up to a point. Nobody wants to work in the sort of sterile environment where conversation becomes almost impossible for fear of causing offence. But there is never an excuse for going too far and crossing the line which separates harmless fun from workplace harassment or bullying. And the consequences for any employee of doing so can often be swift and painful – including losing their job.
How to ask for a pay rise, its a conversation all of us will have sooner or later.