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Employment - Legal Updates

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Jun
26
2014

Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill
#Employment

The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill was published yesterday. The following is outline of its proposals:. 1. a definition of a zero-hour contract, which seeks to make any clause which tries to stop the worker working for somebody else void. 2. a new system for enforcing tribunal awards: an `enforcement officer` will give a 28-day warning notice if a tribunal award remains unpaid....

Jun
26
2014

Zero hours: exclusivity clauses to be banned
#Employment

It was announced by the government this week that, as part of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill, it will ban the use of exclusivity clauses and increase the availability of information on zero-hours contracts for employees. The government received more than 36,000 responses to its consultation, with 83% in favour of banning exclusivity clauses. The Business Secretary, Vince Cabl...

Jun
19
2014

UK law on disclosure of spent convictions is a violation of human rights, Supreme Court confirms
#Employment

The Supreme Court has confirmed that UK laws concerning compulsory disclosure of criminal offences for individuals seeking to work with children are a violation of the right to respect for private life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Certain professional bodies and employers are permitted to request Enhanced Criminal Record Certificates ("ECRCs"). ECRCs disclose ever...

Jun
19
2014

Holiday pay: European Court rules that accrued leave must be guaranteed, including on employee`s death
#Employment

The issue of holiday pay and interpretation of the Working Time Directive remains a hot topic across the EU, not just in the UK.  At the end of July, the EAT is due to hear Neal v Freightliner Ltd and Fulton and another v Bear Scotland Ltd to determine whether overtime pay must be included in calculation of holiday pay. However, the outcome of these cases will be determined largely by how the Eur...

Jun
13
2014

Failure to put new evidence to employees before dismissing could make the process unfair
#Employment

If a manager conducts further investigations and interviews after a disciplinary meeting, but doesn`t then revert to the employee before deciding to dismiss, that may make the dismissal unfair (Yeung v Capstone Care Ltd [2013] UKEAT/0161/13). In Yeung v Capstone Care, the claimant had worked as a carer at a home for vulnerable adults. Her colleagues alleged that she had verbally and physically a...

Jun
13
2014

The Queen`s Speech identifies employment law proposals
#Employment

In addition to the new 5p charge for plastic bags, the Queen`s Speech published on 4 June 2012 identified the following proposals:- In response to 3,000 highly-paid NHS executives taking redundancy payments only to get new NHS jobs afterwards, measures will limit excessive redundancy payments across the public sector. Legislation will impose higher penalties on employers who fail to pay their...

Jun
13
2014

Absence Management - pull the other one!
#Employment

Do these sound familiar…  "A can of baked beans landed on my toe" "My dog had a big fright and I don`t want to leave him" "My trousers split on the way into work" "My fish is sick" "I slipped on a coin" "I`ve had a hair dye disaster" These are just some of the 25 silly excuses recently published by Activ Absence Control as having been used by staff to miss to work.  Whilst these do provid...

Jun
06
2014

Right to flexible working extended
#Employment

The Children and Families Act 2014, which received Royal Assent on 13 March 2014, will introduce a number of changes to employment legislation, including to those parts which relate to the right to request flexible working. (For information about other changes introduced by the Act, see shared parental leave and pay link and time off for antenatal appointments link)....

Jun
06
2014

New TUPE Guidance published by ACAS
#Employment

ACAS has published new Guidance on the handling of TUPE transfers and a helpful flowchart summarising the process.  The 72 page Guidance document contains useful information on issues such as: When does TUPE apply; Employee liability information and due diligence; The impact of TUPE on terms and conditions of employment; and Information and consultation Included at the end of the Guidan...

Jun
06
2014

Duty to provide reasonable adjustments - a call for employers to extend this to support employees who are carers
#Employment

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) was asked to provide expert advice to the Court of Appeal in the case of Dr Hainsworth v Ministry of Defence (MoD).  Dr Hainsworth worked for the MoD and was stationed in Germany.  Her daughter suffers from Down`s Syndrome and, as her special educational needs could not be met in Germany, she requested a transfer to the UK.  The request was refused...

Jun
03
2014

Buddy Quiz May - how did you do?
#Employment

Thank you to everyone who completed the last Buddy Quiz, posted throughout May. We have posted the answers to the questions below so you can check how you did. 1. Employers can only refuse to agree to ACAS early conciliation where it is reasonable to do so. True False 2. Employees cannot commence ACAS early conciliation until the employer`s internal disciplinary and    grievances procedur...

May
30
2014

Adequacy of Reasons
#Employment

If you have ever read a Tribunal judgment and been confused over how it reached its decision, it may not be your fault. One of the few grounds of appeal open to a party in the Employment Tribunal system is if the Tribunal fails to give adequate reasons for its decision. As the Court of Appeal has explained: "...although a Tribunal decision is not required to be an elaborate formalistic product o...

May
30
2014

World Cup tips for employers
#Employment

Companies with football fans among their workforce could see some disruption within their business during June and July.   What can employers do to minimise this potential disruption whilst keeping employees engaged?   1.  Offer flexibility Allowing employees to watch matches during working hours will be very important to some employees and so could be a huge morale boost.  This flexibility cou...

May
29
2014

Constructive dismissal - delay in resigning
#Employment

It`s a well known principle that in order to claim constructive dismissal an employee should not delay when resigning in response to a fundamental breach of his/ her contract. Therefore, it was no surprise that the EAT held in the case of Cockram v Air Products plc that an employee who resigned but then proceeded to work a seven month notice period (his contractual notice period was three month...

May
29
2014

Engaging, communicating and energising employees
#Employment

The business case for engaging employees is well established. There is a huge body of evidence confirming that engagement drives many important areas such as income growth, productivity, innovation, employee retention and wellbeing.This paper is taken from a workshop first presented on 15th May 2014 by Michael Sippitt of Clarkslegal LLP, Samantha Gee of Innecto and James Poole and Scott Addison o...

May
23
2014

Holiday pay time bomb update
#Employment

Last December we reported on the Advocate General to the European Court of Justice`s opinion in the referred case of ZJR Lock v British Gas that, in order to comply with the Working Time Directive, holiday pay should include commission payments that would otherwise have been earned had the individual not been on holiday.  As anticipated, the ECJ, in issuing its full judgment, has confirmed this a...

May
22
2014

UNISON renews challenge to Tribunal fees
#Employment

UNISON has been granted permission to appeal the High Court`s rejection of its application for judicial review challenging the introduction of employment tribunal fees. The challenge had originally been brought on various grounds including excessively limiting the exercise of rights conferred by EU law and the level of the fees being discriminatory. As we noted in February, the High Court dismi...

May
22
2014

Premier League email sexism row
#Employment

The Premier League chief executive, Richard Scudamore is not to face action from the Premier League or the FA, for sexist comments contained in private emails, leaked to the media by a temporary PA. He has since apologised and described the email content as an "error of judgement". The premier league clubs said the emails contained inappropriate remarks but declined to take disciplinary action...

May
22
2014

Unemployment reaches 5 year low
#Employment

The number of people unemployed in the UK has fallen to a five year low according to recent statistics released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The number in both full and part time work increased and there was also a large rise in the numbers of self employed. The statistics show increasing signs of confidence and recovery in the economy, however as 868,000 young people (aged betwe...

May
09
2014

Small businesses at risk of false references
#Employment

A survey 1,800 small firms  conducted by the Federation of Small Businesses and BBC1`s Fake Britain reveals that 17%  had discovered  job candidates with fraudulent references. The survey found that fraudulent  references are most common for entry level positions and mid-level positions, although 12 per cent were for management positions and two per cent were for director level positions. It is o...

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