Conditions of Employment

Social Media

Social media is the collective term for social and professional networking sites (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn), microblogs (e.g. Twitter), blogs, wikis, boards and other similar online fora. Social media is predominately a part of everyday life and within the business world. This form of media can blur the lines between the personal and the professional and there are some important points of consideration for employers in managing social media within the workplace. A social media policy will provide a framework that employees can work from. The SFA have produced a sample social media policy that businesses can modify for their own purposes. .. Read more

Company Social Events

Company social events can be an effective means of acknowledging employees’ contributions within the organisation. However, they also have the potential to provide a context for inappropriate behaviour that could have serious repercussions. Employers must be aware that the party venue is basically an extension of the office and that they remain responsible for the well-being, protection and behaviour of employees during such events. Employers must be aware that the party venue is basically an extension .. Read more

Electronic Cigarettes in the Workplace

Employers should be aware of various basic but necessary conditions of employment that their employee's are entitled to, such as the right to work in a smoke free environment. Analysts believe the consumption of electronic cigarettes could surpass consumption of traditional cigarettes within the next decade. E-cigarettes currently fall into a regulatory grey area. Electronic cigarettes have not to date been covered by EU Tobacco Control legislation as the legislation does not deal with nicotine itself and this is the substance that is contained in the electronic cigarettes. The vast majority of existing .. Read more

Email and Internet

E-mail brings many benefits to companies in terms of its communications internally and externally, it also brings risks to the organisation, particularly where employees use it outside of their roles, as has been highlighted in recent media reports. For that reason it is necessary for every company to have a code of practice, which regulates and sets down specific rules for the use of e-mail and the internet within the company. The SFA has a sample “Email and Internet” policy for members to use as a .. Read more

Personal Hygiene

In many cases, individuals are unaware they have a body odour problem that is affecting colleagues at work. Body odour is caused by bacteria on the skin and usually has two root causes, medical or personal hygiene. Experience suggests that swift action on the part of line managers is required to solve the problem however difficult broaching the sensitive subject of personal hygiene .. Read more

Severe and Inclement Weather

With the rise in extreme weather conditions, a company policy on absence due to extreme weather should address the situation where employees are unable to attend work or in the case where it is unsafe to come into work due to the extreme weather conditions. Legally, employers do not have to pay employees for days that they do not work but it is important that businesses factor in custom and practice or contractual clauses that override this. The SFA have put together a guideline on managing these issues during extreme weather conditions and a sample policy that can be downloaded and reworked for your specific business needs. .. Read more

Whistle Blowing

Most people will have heard of whistle blowing from the high-profile cases reported in the media. Whistle blowing occurs when an employee provides certain types of information, usually to the employer or a regulator, which has come to their attention through work. The whistle blower is usually not directly or personally affected by the danger or illegality. A whistle blowing or speaking up policy ultimately serves to protect the individual and the organisation. A whistle blowing policy is a support mechanism, which describes how employees are expected to behave should they find irregular activity happening in the organisation. It helps to protect the individual and the organisation. The value of a whistle blowing policy is to .. Read more