first_img Previous Article Next Article About Tina Wisener Tina Wisener is a partner at workplace law specialist Doyle Clayton and head of the firm’s Thames Valley office in Reading. View all posts by Tina Wisener → Netflix has announced parents can take unlimited parental leave in the first year. Photo: ddp USA/Rex Shutterstock Streaming media giant Netflix has announced that it will offer new parents unlimited paid leave for a year. But employers who wish to follow their example may encounter challenges, believes Tina Wisener. The announcement by Netflix that it will be offering all its staff the opportunity to take up to 12 months’ paid parental leave has provoked a lot of interest.Shared parental leave resourcesShared parental leave survey: employers undecided about enhanced shared parental payTask: decide the organisation’s policy on shared parental leaveLetter explaining to managers the right to shared parental leaveIts employees will be able to work as much or as little as they want during the 12 months following their child’s birth or adoption, and still be paid in full.The employee benefits of such a generous scheme speak for themselves but there are also business benefits.Netflix hopes that its move will help it to attract and retain the best talent. It also believes that staff perform better at work if they are not worrying about family and finances.Nevertheless, a scheme which allows employees to dip in and out of work can present headaches for employers in terms of ensuring adequate cover for absences. Inevitably, leave patterns will need to be agreed to some extent in advance, reducing some of the flexibility for employees in the process.Although there has been a great deal of enthusiasm for the introduction of shared parental leave last year, many employers recognise the benefits of this perk but may not be able to afford to offer it on the same scale as Netflix.Instead, they might want to limit it to staff in senior roles where it is more difficult to recruit, or use it to incentivise staff by making it performance related. However, there are legal risks associated with this approach.Employers will need to be alert to discrimination risks, particularly indirect discrimination. If, for example, senior roles are occupied predominantly by men, limiting the benefit to senior roles will be indirectly discriminatory against women.However, indirect discrimination claims can be defended if there are good business reasons; the need to attract and retain the best talent would certainly qualify. However, the employer will also need to be able to show that it cannot achieve its business goals in a less discriminatory way.Case-by-case basisLinking the benefit to performance could give rise to disability discrimination if, for example, a particular level of sickness absence disqualifies an employee from receiving it. Again, it is possible to defend these claims as there is a good business reason for the policy.However, an absolute rule that disqualifies employees from entitlement once they hit a particular level of absence may be disproportionate, meaning the defence could fail.Instead, ensure that there is an element of discretion in the policy so that you can still decide, on a case-by-case basis, to allow an employee to benefit where absence is disability related.Also, watch out for pregnancy discrimination. Absences occurring during, or related to, pregnancy need to be ignored in their entirety.Some employers may wish to limit enhanced leave and pay to women, for example if women are underrepresented in their organisation. Generally this will be unlawful, as it amounts to direct sex discrimination.Nevertheless, it may be possible to offer the benefit only to women on maternity leave, as preferential treatment of women on maternity leave does not generally amount to unlawful direct discrimination against men.Such a policy could be indirectly discriminatory, but potentially capable of justification. If, however, the woman is on some other form of parental leave (not maternity leave), the benefit will have to be offered to men as well. Could Netflix-style unlimited parental leave work for employers?By Tina Wisener on 12 Aug 2015 in Discontinuous shared parental leave, Enhanced pay, Shared parental leave, Personnel Today, Legal opinion Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisAlpena (WBKB) — It’s a quiet morning off the shores of Lake Huron, tucked away from the hustle and bustle of downtown. On a quiet lakefront property, an artist strokes his pencil, again and again.His name is Erv Lewandowski, a native of Posen. Lewandowski uses his color pencils to create masterpieces that are seen by people all over the world. Erv began to truly explore art during college at Central Michigan University. He continued his education at Eastern Michigan University where he pursued a master’s degree. During this time, Erv primarily used graphite and pigment ink as his tools.When Lewandowski graduated, he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do so he came home. For 25 years, Lewandowski worked in the family business, gaining valuable experience in business management and marketing . It wasn’t until 2004 that Erv Lewandowski picked up colored pencils for the first time.“It took me about six to seven years to get my act together to where I knew where I was going and what my theme of drawing would be,” said Lewandowski.Lewandowski considers his artwork a mixture of contemporary realism meeting hyperrealism and abstract realism. Viewers will often find two similar types of landscape mashing in his drawings. Once, during a phone conversation with a gallery owner, Lewandowski’s style was called ‘signature.’ Signature in the art world means that an artist’s work can be recognized anywhere, anyplace, at any time. Local gallery owner and long time friend of Lewandowski, Augie Matuzak has a whole wall featuring Erv’s work. Matuzak has heard firsthand how amazing Lewandowski’s artwork is, even to disbelief.“One of the hardest things I’ve been told to paint or to draw is water and he does that to the point where folks that come in the gallery will have an argument with me that these are photographs,” said Matuzak.Since 2004, Lewandowski has won a number of awards from all over the world. Perhaps one his most prestigious accomplishments was winning two best in drawing awards from the prestigious International Guild of Realism. Now, Erv’s colored pencil masterpiece, Cascading Water XV, will be featured in the 26th Annual Colored Pencil Society of America International Exhibition in Chicago. Not only is he an artist, Erv is also a teacher — the Colored Pencil Society of America selected Lewandowski as a host instructor at their 2019 Annual International Exhibition and Convention in Los Angeles.Lewandowski poses with ‘Cascading Water XV’ which will be featured at the 26th Annual Colored Pencil Society of America International Exhibition in Chicago this July.“Once you have it, once you succumb to it, once you love it as much as I do, you feel compelled,” said Lewandowski, “Everyday, there is a drawing session in store for you.”Erv continues to keep busy at home and with his work. Each January, he sits down, assembles his business and marketing plan and attacks the year with passion and vigor. With no signs of slowing down, expect more of Erv’s artwork to flood galleries around the nation and right here on the sunrise side.Currently, Lewandowski’s art is featured in 11 galleries in the nation, including here in Alpena at Forty Five North Art Gallery. He lives with his wife Mary in Alpena. To learn more about the artist, visit Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisContinue ReadingPrevious City Council Puts Breaks on Truck RouteNext What’s Trending for June 5last_img read more