What Can You Ask in Job Interviews?

At the moment, my esteemed and beloved wife, Mrs Jobsworth is recruiting.  She works for a large corporate in a finance role.  She needs to take on someone for a role to report in to her.  We got talking about the guidelines her HR department has given her about what should not be asked of candidates.

Now, she knows (and wouldn’t) ask a woman if she had children or had plans in that direction. Neither would she ask a man the same question and with  shared parental responsibility on the horizon many more men may want to avail themselves of the opportunity to be involved in the early months of their children’s lives meaning that the whole workforce may, at some stage, be liable to .  That is certainly the intention behind the government’s Modern Workplaces consultation process.

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How Do They Get Away With It?

Just before Christmas I was interviewed on LBC Radio’s Drivetime programme by Iain Dale about the acquittal of the Grillo sisters in the fraud trial. The focus at the trial and in the media afterwards was not on whether the defendants had stolen £665,000 from their former employers, but on Nigella’s less than Goddess like domestic circumstances, as well as receiving high-profile support mid-trial from the Prime Minister. As you will recall the Grillo sisters were acquitted of any wrongdoing.

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When a company employs someone new, you have to make sure that you have everything covered, so they don’t find themselves on the wrong side of the law. Future disputes are a real pain. It’s best if you have a solid foundation for a happy employment. Consider the following, when you’re knocking up the contract which is applicable both for commercial / business law and employment law matters.


Always consider any annual base salary increases – will the employee be receiving any? Sometimes, to incentivise entering a new role, companies will offer benefits to secure the job change. Is the employee entitled to any bonuses? If so, how regularly?

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Have I Been Unfairly Dismissed?

Being dismissed from your place of employment can be extremely stressful whether it is unfair or not. However, if it is an unfair dismissal, claiming compensation may not be your first thought despite the fact that you could be owed a substantial amount.

Once you have identified whether or not you have been unfairly dismissed, your next decision will be whether you would like to go ahead with claiming compensation from your former employer.

This can be difficult as you may have had an amiable relationship for a long time, however, as you are now facing an uncertain time as a newly unemployed person, having some financial stability could be of benefit.

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Happy Christmas!

simply having a wonderful Christmas time ...

simply having a wonderful Christmas time …

Another Christmas Eve, another long night of expectation and excitement: will the kids ever go to sleep so that we can deposit the presents round the tree and I can neck the sherry and mince pies?   Last year it was 2 a.m before they finally nodded off.  I’m wondering if it would be really, really bad to put a nip of something strong in the bedtime milk.

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What’s in a Settlement Agreement?

iStock_000029970108XSmallIn the run up to Christmas many people find themselves with an unseasonal Christmas present: a Settlement Agreement.

Settlement Agreements used to be called Compromise Agreements until last July, when the Government felt it necessary to revise the name (why?).  Despite the change of name, they do the same thing: allow employer and employee to bury the hatchet (not necessarily in each other’s head of course) and because, if properly conducted, an employer can now approach an employee they feel is not performing and suggest a without prejudice exit, their use ought to be on the increase.

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Garden leave: Can it be too long?

Could you spend 12 months here?

Could you spend 12 months here?

Do you like gardening? For many stressed and overworked employees the prospect of being placed on an extended period of garden leave might sound attractive. You remain an employee, you still get paid and although you have to be available to assist with any work that might arise, you don’t have to attend the office. Sound like fun?

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What Makes a Good Networking Group?


Over the last few years I’ve done huge amounts of networking; not just online but in the real world, meeting new people, connecting with old contacts, drinking gallons of coffee, a few glasses of wine or beer and along the way I’ve been wondering what works and what doesn’t.

There are no end of articles on the net about how to be a good networker, the do’s the don’ts and the gaping chasms to avoid (don’t sell to the room!!!!), at what point of the “encounter” can you decently hand out your business card and so on, but there seems less content on what makes for a successful meeting.

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How to enforce payment of Tribunal awards?


It’s all very well having a forum for resolving employment disputes, with laws designed to protect against unfair dismissal, non payment of wages, discrimination, breach of contract etc, but what if the employer can’t or won’t pay?

Failure to pay by recalcitrant employers is a major issue, so much so that the Government is considering reforming the current system. At the moment an Employee who is awarded compensation following a successful claim at an ET can use either  the County Court  or can use the High Court Sheriff’s Fast Track recovery procedure.

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Author: This article was written by Thomas Nash, a graduate in Economics from the University of Manchester, now working at PensionReviews.com;  raising awareness of the need for people to be adequately prepared for their retirement financially by getting a regular pension review.

What is Auto-enrolment?

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