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  • Silent Night

    Silent night, H-o-l-y night, All is calm, all is bright. Round yon party, Workers and staff. Code of conduct in final draft. Good behaviour brings peace. Good behaviour brings peace. Silent night, H-o-l-y night, HR quakes at the sight Drunken staff are spotted afar ...MORE >

  • Holiday Pay - All change?

    In recent years, the legal position on holiday pay, how it is calculated, whether it carries over, and how it is treated in the context of sickness absence have been subject to a variety of different case law decisions. The Court of Appeal made a reference to the European Court of Justice on...MORE >

  • Legislation to introduce leave allowance for grieving parents

    The Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Bill has now had its second reading as part of the process to enact it in to law. The bill proposes to introduce two weeks statutory paid leave for parents who lose a child under the age of 18. Currently, there is no legal obligation to allow parents...MORE >

  • Information Commissioner imposes fines for disclosure of Personal Data

    In a foreshadowing of the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (‘GDPR’) next year, the Information Commissioner’s Office (‘ICO’) has taken the decision to fine an employee for unauthorised disclosure of personal information. The employee...MORE >

  • General Data Protection Regulations 2018 (GDPR) - Are you ready?

    What is the GDPR? New Regulations from Europe, which adapt, expand on and replace the existing Data Protection Act 1998. The Regulations come into force on 25 May 2018. Why do I need to be aware of the GDPR? The Regulations apply to all organisations that control and/or process...MORE >

  • Holiday Season - Holiday Pay

    Correct calculation of holiday pay continues to be a difficult issue, resulting in a number of employment claims for arrears of pay. The latest decision from the Employment Appeals Tribunal (‘EAT’) in Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council v Willetts, found that voluntary overtime...MORE >

  • Whistleblowing – Greater Clarity on the definition of ‘Public Interest’

    All employees from day one of their employment are protected from discrimination and certain types of automatic unfair dismissal claim. One of the most common types of automatic unfair dismissal claim is that the employee has been dismissed because they have made a ‘protected...MORE >

  • BREAKING NEWS - ET Fees Found to be Unlawful

    The Supreme Court today handed down a judgment in the case of R (on the application of Unison) v Lord Chancellor, finding that the recently imposed employment tribunal fee regime is unlawful. Employment Tribunal fees were introduced in 2013. Claims classified as Type A attracted an issue fee...MORE >

  • The Taylor Report

    For those keeping abreast of employment law news, the big story last week concerned the publication of the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices. The report was originally commissioned by Theresa May to review and develop proposals to review how people work in the modern UK economy, and also...MORE >

  • Restrictive Covenants – The Importance of Clear Drafting

    We frequently draft and give advice to clients on the enforceability of restrictive covenants, in the hope that the need to enforce never arises. The High Court recently examined the application of an employer for an interim injunction to prevent an ex-employee from soliciting clients, or...MORE >

  • Working Time Regulations – Should all working time be paid?

    Since the case of Federacion de Servicios Privados v Tyco (decided by the European Court of Justice in 2015) employers who engage peripatetic employees have been reviewing the implications for their business. The ruling stipulated that staff (without a fixed place of employment) will have the...MORE >

  • Unfair Dismissal – The Importance of a Fair Procedure

    The Employment Appeals Tribunal have recently considered a decision of the Employment Tribunal that a dismissal was fair, even in the face of significant procedural defects in the dismissal appeal process. Facts The Claimant worked as a maths teacher and was dismissed on the grounds of...MORE >

  • European Court of Justice hands down Discrimination Ruling

    The judgment in Achtiba vs G4S Secure Solutions was breaking news last week. The casual observer (browsing the headlines only), could be forgiven for assuming the European Court of Justice (ECJ) had ruled that it was permissible to ban employees from wearing the hijab. However, the precedent...MORE >

  • Are you ready for the Apprenticeship Levy?

    The Apprenticeship Levy is an additional charge on large businesses, to encourage employers to invest in apprenticeship programmes and to raise additional funds to improve the quality and quantity of apprenticeships. Those who pay the levy, can access those funds to fund apprenticeship training...MORE >

  • Another Case on Employment Status

    Last week saw the latest judgment on the highly publicised issue of employment status and the use of ‘self-employed’ workers in the gig economy. The employment relationship can be one of three different categories, employee and employer, worker and employer, or contractor and...MORE >

  • City Sprint Bicycle Courier found to be a Worker

    Following on from the London Employment Tribunal decision in October 2016 that Uber drivers are workers, not self-employed contractors, another Tribunal has also found that City Sprint bicycle couriers are workers too. The Claimant in this case was found to be a worker, and the employer was...MORE >

  • Guidance on Stress, Disability and ET Costs

    The Employment Appeal Tribunal (‘EAT’) handed down a lengthy judgment last week in the case of Herry v Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council & Another, considering two important issues: Whether Stress can constitute a disability; and Recovery of costs and Bankruptcy...MORE >

  • The 12 Days of Christmas

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  • Restrictive Covenants in Shareholder Purchase Agreements

    In transactions, we often deal with senior Directors who may already have restrictive covenants in their service agreements, or we are required to impose new covenants. Often if directors are also selling shares, a purchaser will seek to subject them to additional restrictive covenants through a...MORE >

  • Uber Drivers Found to be Workers, not ‘Self-Employed’

    Uber hit the headlines last Friday when a long anticipated Tribunal judgment found that two of their drivers were workers and therefore entitled to the National Minimum Wage, paid holiday and (if they qualify) statutory sick pay. The judgment is only persuasive at this stage, as it has only...MORE >

  • Court of Appeal Decision - Lock v British Gas [2016]

    On Friday, the Court of Appeal delivered its judgment on the issue of whether holiday pay should include an element of commission pay, for staff that ordinarily earn commission. Under regulation 16 of the Working Time Regulations 1998 ‘a worker is entitled to be paid in respect of...MORE >

  • Breastfeeding Mothers Bring Successful Indirect Discrimination Claim

    As has been widely reported in the press, two easyJet flight attendants have brought successful indirect sex discrimination claims against their employer. After returning to work after giving birth, the two flight attendances requested to be rostered for a maximum of eight hours to allow...MORE >

  • Could a Brexit related belief in the Leave vote or Remain vote amount to a philosophical belief?

    In recent weeks the outcome of the Brexit vote has been the only topic of conversation between families, friends and workplace colleagues. Feelings on both sides have run high over the result, and heated workplace discussions on this point could have potentially negative consequences for...MORE >

  • 'Culpable conduct' required for Acas Code to apply

    A recent decision of the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) in Holmes v Qinetiq Ltd UKEAT/0206/15 confirms that it is only appropriate to refer to the Acas Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures where there is 'culpable conduct'. ‘Culpable conduct’ is...MORE >

  • Brexit - How will it affect employment law?

    As the dust settles a little since the decision to leave the EU, there is still little clarity on what may happen to UK employment law. Remainers consistently warned that a significant proportion of UK employment law derives from EU directives and regulations, and could potentially be...MORE >

  • Avoid Own Goals – Advice for Employers on Euro 2016

    Euro 2016 is upon us, and the next England match is listed to take place right in the middle of the working day, at 2pm on 16 June. What do you do if you are faced with unauthorised absences of members of staff who are, you suspect, watching the football this Thursday? Employers...MORE >

  • Trade Union Bill becomes law

    On 4 May 2016 the Trade Union Bill received Royal Assent and became the Trade Union Act 2016. The date on which the Act will come into force has not yet been announced. The Act has proven to be controversial and concerns have been raised about its potential impact on trade union rights. ...MORE >

  • The Potential Impact of Leaving the European Union – UK Employment Law

    Last week, the TUC published an opinion drafted by Michael Ford QC about the potential impact of the UK leaving the EU on employment law. The majority of UK employment law legislation derives from EU Regulations and Directives, and these provide a minimum standard of rights and protections...MORE >

  • Employers' liability for Employees' actions

    It is well established that an employer can be legally responsible for an employee’s wrongdoing under the legal principle of ‘vicarious liability’. For example, an employer can be vicariously liable for the actions of an employee who discriminates unlawfully against another...MORE >

  • Changes to Employment Law

    Traditionally, 6 April is a red letter day in employment law and this year is no exception. Set out below is a summary of the key changes taking effect on 6 April 2016: •  Financial penalties for unpaid Employment Tribunal awards and settlements Section 150 of the Small...MORE >

  • Employment Appeal Tribunal confirms Commission payments should be taken into account, when calculating Holiday Pay

    The Employment Appeal Tribunal has handed down judgment in the case of British Gas v Lock. Keen subscribers to our bulletins and twitter feed will know that we have been following the progress of this case, alongside the case of Bear Scotland & others v Fulton & Others [2015]. Bear...MORE >

  • Dyslexia is capable of meeting the legal definition of disability

    A Starbucks employee has successfully sued the American coffee chain for disability discrimination, due to her dyslexia. The employee was accused of falsifying documents, by recording incorrect temperatures of water and refrigerators at specific times on the duty roster. The employee’s...MORE >

  • Disability discrimination: 'normal day-to-day activities'

    An employee claiming disability discrimination must show that they (or, in certain cases, someone else) have or had a disability under the Equality Act 2010 (EqA). The EqA defines ‘disability’ as a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on...MORE >

  • Stress and Sickness Absence in Schools

    Teaching staff are the most important resource schools and educational institutions have in improving educational standards and the achievements of their students. Yet teachers and teaching unions commonly argue that the burden of work upon teachers is rapidly increasing, with little to no...MORE >

  • Are employers obliged to look after their employees’ economic well-being?

    Traditionally, the Courts have said ‘no’. Past cases have suggested that employers are not obliged to ensure that their employees take informed financial decisions or warn them about choices which could have adverse financial implications. Occasionally, this has meant that...MORE >

  • Data Protection Obligations in Schools

    All schools, whether they are academies or maintained schools are required to have an up to date Data Protection Policy, register annually with the Information Commissioner and comply with the their rights and obligations as a Data Controller under the Data Protection Act 1998. This means...MORE >

  • National Living / Minimum Wage

    The National Minimum Wage (Amendment) Regulations have now been made and will come into force on Friday 01 April 2016 introducing the National Living Wage (NLW). The NLW simply serves to increase the rate of the National Minimum Wage (NMW) payable to workers aged 25 or over. The new...MORE >

  • Privacy At Work

    In Bãrbulescu v Romania, the European Court of Human Rights decided that there was no breach of an employee’s rights under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (the right to respect for private and family life, the home and correspondence) where an employee was...MORE >

  • Zero Hours Contract

    The Exclusivity Terms in Zero Hours Contracts (Redress) Regulations 2015 (the Regulations) came into force on Monday 11 January 2016. The Regulations mean that, for the first time, there is an effective legal remedy available to zero hours workers who are sacked or treated poorly for...MORE >

  • Does the mass compulsory retirement of police officers following budget cuts amount to unlawful age discrimination?

    Peter Nicholson, Solicitor in the Employment Department, writes an article in the Discrimination Law Association's November 2015 Briefing. In this article he discusses the case of Chief Constable of West Midlands Police and others v Harrod and others EAT/0189/14 in which the Employment...MORE >

  • Winter is Coming

    Snow and freezing conditions are set to hit the UK this weekend, but is your business prepared for a snow day? Too many employers get caught out each year by the bad weather and don’t tackle employment contracts when the sun is shining. There is a general presumption that employees are...MORE >

  • Shared Grandparental Leave

    Just as employers are getting used to Shared Parental Leave, the government announced that they intend to extend Shared Parental Leave to working grandparents. Consultation will begin in 2016, with a view to enacting legislation and implementing the changes by 2018. The government aim to...MORE >

  • Data Protection and the Safe Harbour Decision

    This week the ‘Safe Harbour’ arrangement between the European Union and USA came under scrutiny by the ECJ, after a challenge brought by privacy campaigner Max Schrems. Mr Schrems was concerned that data processed by Facebook may be being used by Prism, a surveillance scheme operated...MORE >

  • Mind the pay gap!

    The government is keen to ensure that the UK economy is made up of high skills attracting high rewards, and that those high flyers are paid equally regardless of age, gender or race. However, the statistics reveal a different story: for the same hour’s work, women in the UK are paid up to...MORE >

  • Employee on long-term sick leave not ‘assigned’ under TUPE

    In BT Managed Services Ltd v Edwards the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decided that an employee on long-term sick leave who was not expected to return to work was not ‘assigned’ to an organised grouping of employees that transferred under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection...MORE >

  • Employment Law Update - June 2015

    The Woolworths decision The European Court of Justice has given its judgment in the Woolworths and Ethel Austin cases on the meaning of ‘establishment’ for the purposes of deciding when collective redundancy requirements apply. Among other things, it has decided that...MORE >

  • Government legislation to limit claims for holiday backpay

    After the EAT decision in Bear Scotland that holiday pay should include an element of pay for overtime, the government promised the appointment of a task force to assess the impact the ruling would have on British businesses. On 18th December 2014 the government also announced that it has...MORE >

  • Obesity may be capable of constituting a disability

    The case of Karsten Kaltoft has been decided by the ECJ. Kaltoft brought a claim against his employers, claiming that his obesity constituted a disability. Advocate General Jaaskinen advised earlier in the year that there was no general prohibition preventing discrimination on the grounds of...MORE >

  • Time off to accompany a pregnant partner to ante-natal appointments

    From 1st October 2014, expectant fathers, or the partner of a pregnant woman (including a same sex partner) will be entitled to take unpaid time off work to accompany her to antenatal appointments. The right applies where the child is conceived naturally, through donor insemination, or those who...MORE >

  • Obese Employees – Are they disabled?

    Obesity is a growing problem in the adult population and the public cost of our increasing size is frequently hitting the headlines, with public services investing in reinforced equipment to deal with obese service users. Obese employees are also an increasing problem for employers. They may...MORE >

  • Flexible Working and Schools

    The right to request flexible working extends to all employees, as of 30th June 2014. Previously only those employees with childcare or caring responsibilities had the right to make a request, and schools were required to follow a statutory procedure to consider the request and respond to...MORE >

  • World Cup Fever – Are you a good sport about absence?

    The World Cup is almost upon us. Nobody likes to be a kill joy, and we all recognise that we need to be sensible about dealing with employee absence.  However, what do you do if you are faced with unauthorised absences of members of staff who are, you suspect, watching the football? ...MORE >

  • Dismissal For Absence Owing To Post-Natal Depression Was Not Sex Discrimination Or Pregnancy Related Discrimination

    The Employment Appeals Tribunal has found that a woman who was dismissed after sickness absence due to post-natal depression (after the end of her maternity leave) had not been discriminated against because of pregnancy or sex. The alleged pregnancy related discrimination had not happened...MORE >

  • Tribunals Must Analyse Whether An Employee’s Actions Amount To Gross Misconduct

    The EAT has overturned a tribunal finding that an employee of a residential care home was unfairly dismissed for failing to tell his employer that he and his wife are named as beneficiaries, in a resident’s will. It was found that the Tribunal had failed to undertake a detailed...MORE >

  • Covert Recording Of Private Discussions Employee To Employer Are Admissible

    The Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) has upheld an Employment Tribunal decision that covert recordings made by an employee of both the public and private conversations held by her disciplinary hearing panel and her grievance panel, could be admitted as evidence at final hearing. Ultimately,...MORE >

  • Failure to Inform and Consult

    Employers undergoing big restructures, redundancy processes or variations to terms and conditions across their workforce should be fully aware of the collective consultation procedures prescribed by the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992. Where over 20 employees are...MORE >

  • Zero Hours Contracts

    In response to the controversy last year over zero hours contracts, the government are continuing to review their use and potential abuse. The House of Commons Library recently published a note that identified two key concerns. Firstly, it was unclear to what extent zero hours contracts were...MORE >

  • What To Expect When You're Expecting - Children And Families Act Receives Royal Assent

    This act introduces practical implications for all employers, as it includes changes not only for working parents, but all employees. From 30th June 2014, the right to request flexible working extends to all employees, rather than those with parental or caring responsibilities. The statutory...MORE >

  • ACAS Pre-Claim Conciliation Available from 6th April 2014

    The role of ACAS is to be extended from 6th April 2014. ACAS can be a useful source of guidance to employers, and they already play a key role in facilitating settlements between employees and employers, both before and after claims are issued.  While ACAS have the power to settle...MORE >

  • Employment Tribunal Fees Can Be Recovered By Successful Claimants

    After the controversial introduction of tribunal fees in July 2013, the impact of the new regime is still being assessed. After an initial spike in the amount of claims issued, figures for the latest quarter (October 2013 – December 2013) show a 79% drop in the number of claim...MORE >

  • TUPE 2014 – The Main Changes

    TUPE legislation has long been difficult for business owners to grapple with, both when selling all or part of a business, or trying to outsource a function elsewhere. The legislation is designed to protect employees from dismissal, on the sale of an employer’s business, or the...MORE >

  • Philosophical Beliefs Protected By The Equality Act 2010, Can Include Political Philosophy

    Direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, harassment or victimization on the grounds of an employee’s philosophical beliefs are unlawful, as philosophical beliefs can fall within the definition of ‘religion or belief’, (a protected characteristic under the Equality Act...MORE >

  • 52% Of Women Feel Excluded, Harassed, Or That They Have Been Treated Unfairly At Work

    A survey conducted by Opportunity Now, which campaigns for gender equality at work has found that 52% of women stated that they had suffered at least one form of unlawful discrimination in the workplace. 28% complained of unfair treatment, 17% said they had either been victimised or...MORE >

  • Extreme Weather Alerts

    As the government calls a meeting of COBRA to discuss the impact of recent flooding and other extreme weather on the UK, employers are also counting the cost. UK business is likely to lose millions of working hours as a result of employees not turning in for work, due to extreme weather, and the...MORE >

  • How to calculate holiday pay – should overtime be included?

    According to a recent decision by an Employment Tribunal, overtime hours should be included when working out the holiday pay an employee is entitled to. In the case of Neal v Freightliner Ltd, the tribunal held that both basic and overtime pay should be included when calculating holiday pay...MORE >

  • Acas To Amend Diciplinary And Grievance Procedure Code Of Practice

    In light of a recent Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) decision, ACAS are preparing to amend the part of their Code of Practice advising on the right to be accompanied. Currently, employees have a statutory right to be accompanied by a fellow work colleague, trade union representative, or a...MORE >

  • First Bribery And Corruption Charges Brought

    The Serious Fraud Office have revealed that they have charged four men with a range of offences, including making and accepting a financial advantage, which is unlawful under the Bribery Act 2010. These are the first prosecutions to be brought under the Bribery Act, and many businesses...MORE >

  • Reasonable Investigations

    The Court of Appeal have overturned a decision of the Employment Appeals Tribunal, and found that an employee was fairly dismissed, even though he alleged that the investigation into his alleged theft was not thorough or reasonable, and the employee had later been acquitted of theft in a...MORE >

  • Employment Update

    Consultation on zero hours contracts During the Liberal Democrat Autumn Conference 2013, Business Secretary Vince Cable announced his decision to launch a consultation on zero hours contracts later this year.  He stated that the consultation will “explore how to tackle any...MORE >

  • LinkedIn and keeping your business contacts safe

    Marketing and networking are the watchwords for any service business looking to grow its client base, and social networking sites, including LinkedIn have replaced the old fashioned address book.  Many companies encourage employees to use the online social networking site to keep in...MORE >

  • Employment Law Newsletter September 2013

    Dismissal Is Not Always A Reasonable Response To Gross Misconduct A word of caution for all employers considering whether to dismiss an employee for gross misconduct. The Employment Appeal Tribunal has held that a tribunal was wrong to state that dismissal would always fall within the...MORE >

  • Employment Tribunal Fees to be introduced on 29th July 2013

    The long anticipated Employment Tribunal Fees will become payable on issue of a Claim and at final hearing from 29th July 2013. Where a Claim has already been filed, no fees will apply, even at final hearing. Claims will be classified by complexity, with Level 1, being relatively...MORE >

  • Confidentiality Agreements

     The Court of Appeal has interpreted a confidentiality deed which allowed for the recipient of confidential information to disclose that information to third parties, but only on the condition that the third party agreed to be bound by similar non-disclosure and non-circumvention...MORE >

  • New Acas Code - Collective Redundancy Consultation

    ACAS have published a new Code on Collective Redundancy Consultation, to coincide with the change to the Protected Period (during which the employer cannot dismiss any employees) from 90 to 45 days, if the employer is considering making redundant 100 employees or more at one establishment in a...MORE >

  • New Year – Changes To Adoption Entitlements

    The Government has announced proposed changes to the adoption system, designed to incentivise more people to adopt. The proposals are aimed at giving potential adoptive parents a greater role in the selection process, and will impact on employers and necessitate changes to current Adoption Leave...MORE >

  • Increases To Statutory Payment Rates

    Employers processing their payroll from April will have to take into account the increases in rates announced by the Department for Work and Pensions. Statutory Maternity, Paternity and Adoption Pay (from 7th April 2013) The standard rate will increase to £136.78. The...MORE >

  • Employment Department Christmas Newsletter

    TUPE – Economic Technical or Organisational Reasons The TUPE Regulations continue to pose a challenge to Employers. The Regulations apply not only on a business transfer (conventional sale of a business) but also when the contract for provision of services changes (service provision...MORE >

  • The Christmas party.... Are you ready?!

    It is that time of year when staff are excited about the opportunity to let their hair down at the annual Christmas bash. However, employers should be mindful of staff behaviour, beyond making fools of themselves on the dance floor! Attendance at the Christmas party is an activity within...MORE >

  • A bit of good news on TUPE!

    The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 can be a major obstacle to commercial activity.  It applies not only on a business transfer (conventional sale of a business) but also when the contract for provision of services changes (service provision change). ...MORE >

  • Governments Consultation on Modern Workplaces

    Flexible Parental Leave To progress the government’s agenda of sharing parental responsibility after childbirth Nick Clegg announced that from 2015 parents will be able to share up to 50 weeks of statutory leave and pay.  At present the father can take over from the mother...MORE >

  • When is a Misconduct Dismissal an unfair Misconduct Dismissal?

    New case law suggests that an Employment Tribunal, when deciding whether a dismissal was fair, cannot take into account evidence about an employee’s record that the employer did not consider when making the decision to dismiss. They must only consider the actual reason, not other reasons...MORE >

  • George Osborne Proposals: Changing the Employment Relationship

    On Monday, George Osborne announced plans to introduce employee-owner contracts, creating an entirely new relationship between companies and employees.  The Proposal In order to encourage small and medium sized companies to grow, and stimulate job creation, an employee-owner...MORE >

  • Auto-Enrolment Pension Schemes: Are you ready?

    You may have noticed on the television, or in your newspaper, a host of famous faces, including Nick Hewer and Karren Brady, promoting the Government’s Auto-Enrolment Pensions Scheme. However, many employers are still unaware of the changes they are obliged to implement, and what the...MORE >

  • Vince Cable’s Employment Law Consultations announced 14 September 2012

    Despite the morning headlines suggesting that Vince Cable was going to do something radical and new, and make it easier for employers to “sack” employees, in fact all he has done is to confirm which of the various proposals already discussed will be taken forward to formal...MORE >

  • Employment Law Newsletter March 2012

    SPRING WATCH Update on employment law reform From 6 April 2012 the qualifying period for unfair dismissal claims will increase from one to two years.  This will only apply to employees whose employment begins on or after that date. Those who are already in employment will retain the...MORE >

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