Is your employee holiday “messed up”?

Employment Law, Holidays, HR Advice, HR Support, HR Stevenage, HR HertsHoliday – Ryanair cancelled 82 flights on Sunday after admitting it had “messed up” the planning of its pilots’ holiday.

The budget airline said on Saturday 16th September that it would cancel 40-50 flights every day for the next six weeks.

Marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said, “Affected customers with bookings up to 20 September had been informed.”

“We have messed up in the planning of pilot holidays and we’re working hard to fix that,” he said.

Matthew Pinto-Chilcott from Consensus HR comments “Over the weekend I was amazed to see the news in relation to Ryan air and the mess up it has made of its employees holidays resulting in the cancelling of 40 – 50 flights per day. Holidays are such an important part of an employee’s employment together with their salaries and need to be managed accordingly. In all industries business owners / managers need to ensure that they are continually keeping an eye on what holiday has been taken & what holiday still needs to be taken by its employees and would suggest that the teams managers / HR have this as a subject / KPI in key business meetings.

Most of the cancellations are due to a backlog of staff leave, which has seen large numbers of the airline’s staff book holidays towards the end of the year.

Martin Callanan, the aviation minister, said: “I am very concerned to see all of these reports of stranded Ryanair passengers. We expect all airlines to fulfil their obligations to their customers and do everything possible to notify them well in advance of any disruption to their journey.

“In the event of any disruption or cancellation, airlines must ensure customers are fully compensated and every effort is made to provide alternative travel arrangements.”

The airline is changing its holiday year, which currently runs from April to March, to run from January to December instead.

Complaints, HR Support, HR Advice, HR Herts, HR Beds, HR Stevenage, Holiday

Ryanair said the shift meant it had to allocate annual leave to pilots in September and October.

Passenger complaints

The cancellations could affect up to 285,000 passengers, who will be offered alternative flights or refunds.

Mr Jacobs said affected customers would have been sent an email.

“We advise customers to check the email address used to make their booking,” he added.

Matthew from Consensus comments “Wow! 285,000 customers affected & their plans ruined. Managing the team’s holidays is a relatively easy exercise if you have the right procedures in place whether this is a simple pen & paper exercise to a more sophisticated cloud based electronic method, which we can supply to our customers. Business Owners / Managers need to remember that employees request holiday and it is to be taken when it fits in best with the business as well as the employee. They also need to remember the law and the Working Time Directive which gives all full-time employees 20 days holiday + bank holidays (8). Business owners can also block out specific times of the year if needed and the team are informed appropriately.”

A page on the Ryanair website details flights cancelled up until 20 September. It says 56 flights are cancelled on Monday, 55 on Tuesday, and 53 on Wednesday.

Ryanair has said that less than 2% of its flights would be cancelled and the move would help it hit its annual punctuality target of 90%.

But passengers have complained about the resulting uncertainty.

If you are concerned about your holidays & the managing of them appropriately, contact us to discuss on 01462 621243 or by filling in our Internet ‘Contact’ form.

Consensus HR – ‘Helping Companies with their People Solutions’


Pregnancy Discrimination at work results in a £25,000 award

PregnancyA recent article in PM Daily by Emily Burt describes how a woman has been awarded £25,000 in compensation after an employment tribunal ruled she had been unfairly dismissed after she became pregnant (Telegraph & Argus – 1st June -17). Daniella Lewandowski said she had suffered “a year of hell” after losing her job at the Bradford District Apprenticeship Training Agency, which she joined in 2015.

Lewandowski was initially employed on a year-long contract due to end in March 2016. She said her employer told her the contract would be extended for a year, but after the news of her pregnancy came to light she was informed this would no longer happen.

Lewandowski told Leeds Employment Tribunal that her contract had been verbally extended in early 2016 after she had been promoted and awarded a pay increase. However, the agency did not provide written confirmation of the extension.

Lewandwoski said she spent five weeks “chasing” the written terms of her extended contract, which would have kept her in her role until March 2017. She was later dismissed, shortly after announcing her pregnancy.

“I loved my job – I was punished for being pregnant,” she said, adding that the experience had caused her to lose trust and confidence in her current and future employers.

The agency denied Lewandowski lost her job because of her pregnancy, telling the tribunal that she was dismissed because of redundancy, and that her fixed-term contract had expired.

However, the tribunal found that the agency had offered “unreliable” evidence. The tribunal said the agency’s behaviour was  “substantially and procedurally unfair”, stating that firing an employee over their pregnancy was a “serious act of discrimination”.

“This decision reinforces that, in cases of pregnancy discrimination, the tribunal will not simply accept on face value the reason for dismissal put forward by an employer,” said Naeema Choudry, partner at Eversheds Sutherland.

“The tribunal will undertake a thorough evaluation of the facts and evidence to determine whether there is an inference of discrimination. While it is not unlawful to make a pregnant employee’s role redundant, if the decision is linked to the pregnancy it will amount to unlawful discrimination and unfair dismissal. Similarly, if the contract of employment of a pregnant worker is not renewed because of her pregnancy or future maternity leave, this would also amount to unlawful discrimination.”

Lewandowski was awarded £9,130 for financial loss of earnings including interest, £15,600 for injury to feelings and £435 for loss of statutory rights.

“As there is no cap on the amount of compensation that a tribunal can award in a claim for discrimination, specialist legal advice should be sought if an employer is considering terminating the contract of a pregnant worker,” said Choudry.

Karen Jackson, managing director at didlaw, added: “Any time an employer tries to frame a dismissal as a redundancy when it is not will get them in very hot water. They can expect the harshest of responses from a tribunal and for the injury to feelings award to feel like a punishment even though that is not how it is calculated.”

A Bradford District Apprenticeship Training Agency spokesman apologised for the “unintended” distress caused. “We understand that this has been a very difficult case for the individual involved and are sorry for any distress caused, albeit unintended,” he told the Telegraph and Argus. “We are now considering the tribunal judgment and we will look to learn lessons from it.”

Matthew from Consensus HR states “Somebody telling an employer they are pregnant should not be seen as an excuse to get rid of them whether they are a permanent employee or a temporary one. Specific measures should be put in place to ensure everything runs smoothly when the employee goes on maternity leave such as recruiting an interim member of staff. I am not saying it is easy but we must ensure that women are not discriminated against due to their sex and this area of nature. The practicalities of shared maternity leave should also be explored and assumptions not made immediately once being told “I am Pregnant!” “

Employment Law is just one of the many areas that Consensus HR can help & support your business and one that we have a lot of experience in ensuring you do not end up in and Employment Tribunal with an award of £25,000 to pay.

Contact us today for a no obligation chat by either telephone 01462 621243 or completion of our contact form.




The Apprenticeship Levy is here!

Are you thinking of taking on an Apprentice?

If yes, then as of April 6th 2017, companies with a salary bill over £3m must spend 0.5% of this amount on Apprenticeships.

You will report and pay your levy to HMRC through the PAYE process.

The levy will not affect the way you fund training for apprentices who started an apprenticeship programme before 1 May 2017. You’ll need to carry on funding training for these apprentices under the terms and conditions that were in place at the time the apprenticeship started.

For further information visit the Government Website which gives detailed information on how to implement this successfully within your business or if you would like some HR support please do not hesitate to contact us.

Apprenticeships, Apprentice, HR Support, HR Advice, Disciplinary & Grievance, Employment,  01462 621243,  @Consensus_HR



Do’s & Don’ts for Getting Along in a Coworking Space.

Do's & Don't of Office etiquetteThe Do’s & Dont’s  

We’ve all experienced an annoying coworker; the person in the office who clears their throat endlessly, pounds their keyboard too loudly or is oblivious to how pungent their fish lunch is. And as for the guy who has his iPhone turned up too loud, well… simmering resentment towards these individuals is an inevitable result of spending the day in close proximity to strangers. But while it is essential to learn to navigate their behaviour in a healthy way, it’s even more important to avoid actually becoming one of them.

To help cultivate a positive coworking environment where space, amenities and services are shared, mutually respected and even made more enjoyable by interaction with complete strangers, we interviewed two people who’ve seen it all.

Greg Miley from Instant Offices  & Alessa McNally from The Office Group share a few insights on workplace etiquette in a coworking space.

According to Greg, these are the top dos and don’ts:


o Shut yourself away or avoid the rest of the members
o Abuse communal spaces
o Make unnecessarily loud noise
o Book out meeting rooms for long recurring meetings


o Make an effort to network and interact with others
o Accept advice and constructive criticism from others
o Use the support systems and facilities on offer
o Make sure you leave communal areas how you found them
o Be a positive presence and contribute to the communitydo's & donts

The Importance of Coworking Etiquette

“Be a nice human”, says Alessa. And it actually is that simple. In a coworking space people are expected to be responsible for themselves. The most important thing is to be mindful of others, whether colleagues, complete strangers or even competitors.
“You’re sharing a space with lots of other lovely people” says Alessa, “so leaving your area the way you found it, taking sensitive calls in private and maybe not microwaving a fish in a shared kitchen all go a really long way! The golden rule applies to everything really: treat your fellow coworkers as you would like to be treated and leave the space as you would like to find it”.

Shared Office Etiquette

Etiquette in a coworking space is no different to what’s expected in any office environment or collaborative hub: keep noise levels down, follow the office kitchen rules, avoid foul or inappropriate language and be an all-round decent person. But as with any situation when you are thrown in with strangers, behaviour can be magnified in a coworking centre. Careless or disruptive individuals can work against the carefully crafted ambience of a shared environment, which is why it’s so important for the rules and values of a coworking space to be properly communicated.

Establishing Ground Rules

When working in an open plan office, etiquette is an essential consideration and expectations of conduct need to be clearly communicated to everyone. Greg’s advice for coworking spaces is to establish a set of rules that’s clear and concise. “Too many rules will lead to people forgetting them and ultimately not abiding by them. Set up a few major principles and stand by them firmly.”
“The easiest way to do this is from the beginning in a new space” says Alessa. “Bring it up when showing potential new members around. Have some rules on display but keep it light hearted. Include some encouraging guidelines to help people succeed, as opposed to abrupt statements like ‘don’t eat here’ or ‘don’t save seats”.
Privacy in a Shared Space

Another really important factor to consider is the social aspect of the shared environment. Greg says that one of the biggest challenges that operators face, from a social aspect, is ensuring that they’re creating a community feel while at the same time offering privacy as and when needed. “Coworking is notoriously sold on the premise that there are fantastic networking opportunities and the chance to work in a pleasant and social environment, which is especially attractive for start-up individuals or small companies with only a few employees” says Greg. “However, every company at some point ultimately wants to be able to work and discuss elements of the business with a degree of privacy.”
This is especially important if individuals find themselves in the same space as a competitor. If this is the case, Alessa says honesty is the best policy. “Any good co-working space will have a community manager who will know everyone. Ask them if there are any competitors in the room and ask for an introduction. Rather both parties know where they stand than secretly give each other evil eyes from across the room. Can’t we all just get along?”

To ensure that your workforce work together and perform as a team in your workplace or if you have questions on how to improve moral and team working relationships, contact us at Consensus HR on 01462 621243 or email:

‘Helping Companies with their people solutions’