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Employment - Legal Updates

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Feb
27
2015

A single employee can be "an organised grouping of employees" for TUPE purposes, Court of Appeal confirms
#Employment

The Court of Appeal has given some useful guidance on when employees transfer under TUPE in a service provision change scenario: Rynda (UK) Ltd v Rhijnsburger [2015] EWCA Civ 75. This was a case concerning the transfer of a single employee....

Feb
26
2015

Court of Appeal guidance on misconduct dismissals: how far does an employer's investigation have to go?
#Employment

When dealing with misconduct allegations, do you find that employees sometimes seek to provide explanations that are so hard to disprove or could require many weeks of investigation, that you feel like you have to give up on the matter, rather than risk a tribunal claim? Some recent guidance from the Court of Appeal...

Feb
24
2015

GMB discriminated against union member because of his left wing socialist beliefs
#Employment

In a case involving Ed Miliband, the GMB is appealing a judgment by an employment tribunal that it unlawfully discriminated against a GMB member and who worked for the union for his “left-wing democratic socialist beliefs”. The case, reported in The Times this week, is not the first case where such a political belief has been found to constitute a belief protected under the Equality Act....

Feb
24
2015

General flexibility clause could not be relied on to unilaterally vary contract
#Employment

The EAT has overruled a tribunal decision that the National Audit Office was entitled to rely on a general right to vary clause to reduce employees' entitlements without their consent....

Feb
24
2015

Is there a "right to strike"? Unions call for action ahead of ILO meeting
#Employment

There will be a very important international meeting next week, which could impact on UK strike laws in the longer term, dealing with the key question, “ Is there a right to strike?” The meeting, at which representatives of various governments, unions and employers organisations will be attending, including the CBI, will be at the United Nations in Geneva, where the UN agency for labour standards, the International Labour Organisation, meets. Clarkslegal attends the ILO’s annual conference on behalf of the CBI....

Feb
24
2015

Can changing employees' terms and conditions amount to indirect age discrimination?
#Employment

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) has recently held that varying employees’ contractual terms and conditions may amount to indirect age discrimination where those changes disadvantage older workers (Braithwaite and others v HCL Insurance BPO Services Ltd UKEAT/0152/14). In the Braithwaite case however, the EAT found that the changes made to employees’ contracts could be objectively justified as there were no less discriminatory ways of achieving the employer’s legitimate aim of reducing staffing costs....

Feb
24
2015

E-cigarettes at work - is vaping included in your smoking policy?
#Employment

According to Action for Smoking and Health, there were 2.1 million adults using e-cigarettes in the UK last year. E-cigarettes pose a number of problems for employers, in particular, whether they should be used in the workplace....

Feb
10
2015

When accepting sick pay means you can't be too sick to resign
#Employment

The EAT has upheld an employment tribunal's decision that an employee had affirmed her employment contract and could not, therefore, succeed in a constructive dismissal claim....

Feb
09
2015

Advocate General's opinion in Woolworth's case: employers now optimistic that consultation decision will be overruled
#Employment

Just over a year ago, we reported that the collective redundancy case concerning the collapse of Woolworths, and which continues to cause huge concern to employers. The case was referred by the Court of Appeal to the European Court of Justice (ECJ)....

Feb
02
2015

Get ready for Easter. More men than women want shared parental leave from 5 April
#Employment

The new shared parental leave rules apply in respect of babies due on or after 5 April 2015, which happens to be Easter Sunday this year....

Feb
02
2015

Removal of parking facility for HGV drivers did not amount to workplace closure redundancy
#Employment

The EAT has upheld a finding that two delivery drivers were unfairly dismissed when their employment was terminated on the basis of redundancy, following a change to their terms and conditions. For several years the drivers had been entitled to park their HGVs overnight at a secure facility near their homes in Stockport, and were paid for their time travelling to the employer's Wednesbury depot each day. ...

Feb
02
2015

John Lewis agrees to additional £12 million a year in holiday pay liability
#Employment

John Lewis Partnership has announced that with effect from February 2015 , when calculating holiday pay it will follow the Employment Appeal Tribunal ruling last November that holiday pay must take account of non guaranteed overtime....

Feb
02
2015

Civil service settlement agreements cannot be used to avoid disciplinary action
#Employment

The Cabinet Office has published Cabinet Office Guidance on Settlement Agreements, Special Severance Payments and Confidentiality Clauses on Termination of Employment which will apply from 1 February 2015. ...

Feb
02
2015

Acas revises guidance on disciplinary and grievance meetings
#Employment

On 16 January 2015, Acas published a draft revised Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures providing new guidance relating to a worker's right to be accompanied. It confirms that an employer must agree to a worker's request to be accompanied by any chosen companion from one of the statutory categories, namely a fellow worker, trade union representative or official....

Feb
02
2015

When are future claims really settled?
#Employment

The High Court has given judgment in a case, which although it is not an employment case, considered the issue of whether a settlement agreement had settled future claims. Although the settlement agreement was, it appeared, drafted narrowly and only made reference to the specific claim number in the previous court proceedings, the court considered very carefully the statements of case of the original claims. ...

Feb
02
2015

Further major public sector employer to end check off method of collecting union subscriptions
#Employment

HMRC has announced that it will be withdrawing the "check off" facility, allowing union subscriptions to be collected through payroll, by the end of April 2015....

Feb
02
2015

11 month old strike ballot was out of date
#Employment

The High Court has granted an interim injunction against a union preventing it from taking industrial action in relation to an industrial action ballot that had been carried out 11 months previously. The court held that the industrial action could not be said to be continuing, and therefore at some point shortly after the previous strike the authority of the ballot to sanction industrial action came to an end....

Jan
14
2015

Effects of obesity can be a disability - ECJ confirms
#Employment

The European Court of Justice has today given judgment in the obesity and disability case involving a Danish childminder, Mr Kaltoft, that we first reported back in July of this year. The approach taken by the Advocate General, that the effects of obesity can constitute a disability, although obesity is not in itself a disability, has been confirmed, as expected. It is to be imagined that the timing of the case, as we head into the Christmas feasting period, will attract some media attention, given the present topicality of both obesity and European law....

Jan
14
2015

UNISON loses High Court challenge to employment tribunal fees
#Employment

The High Court this week handed down its judgment in Unison's second application for judicial review to challenge the employment tribunal fees system. The challenge was, again, unsuccessful....

Jan
14
2015

Advocate General's opinion in Woolworths case due 5 February 2015
#Employment

At the start of last year we reported that the Court of Appeal had referred the Woolworths and Ethel Austin cases to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) . These cases were considered by the ECJ on 20 November last year....

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