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Nov
22
2013

Union "leverage tactics" sparks QC inquiry into industrial relations
#Employment

The government has launched an inquiry into trade union tactics following the dispute at the Grangemouth petrochemical plant, which almost led to its closure. The review, headed by Bruce Carr QC, will examine whether the law needs to be tightened up to prevent "intimidation" and "harassment".   However, the inquiry will make recommendations about the roles of ministers, employers and workers in...

Nov
15
2013

Ex-Channel 4 presenter loses age discrimination claim
#Employment

John McCririck was a horse racing broadcaster for Channel 4 for 28 years.  In 2012 he was let go aged 72. McCririck claimed this was because Channel 4, and the TV production company IMG Media Limited, were ageist and wanted to hire younger faces.   McCririck has always been known for his flamboyant dress sense.  But over more recent years he has also been known for his chauvinistic outbursts on...

Nov
15
2013

Prison officers disciplined for wearing "We have Madeleine McCann" t-shirts
#Employment

It has been reported that five prison officers from Wandsworth Prison in South London have been disciplined by their employer for wearing t-shirts with the words "We have Madeleine McCann" printed on them whilst on a boys` night out. The Prison Service was alerted to photographs of the officers on Facebook some two months after the photographs originally appeared on the site.   One of the offic...

Nov
14
2013

Sleeping on the job - and National Minimum Wage
#Employment

The Employment Appeal Tribunal  in Whittlestone -v- BJP Home Support Ltd has recently considered whether time spent sleeping on a job and travelling for work should be paid at the National MinimumWage. Mrs Whittlestone was a care worker.  For part of her role, she worked a shift from 11pm to 7am which was termed a ‘sleepover` to provide potential physical care for three young adults suffering fr...

Nov
08
2013

Draft TUPE regulations published
#Employment

The government has published the draft Collective Redundancies and Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (Amendment) Regulations 2013. The draft regulations reflect the government`s response to the consultation on proposed changes to TUPE, which was published in September 2013. The draft regulations will be laid before Parliament in December and are expected to come into force in Ja...

Nov
08
2013

City banker discriminated against by "bunga-bunga bank"
#Employment

The Times reports today on the case of a female equity salesperson who has won her employment tribunal case where she claimed that she had her £95,000 salary cut to the £6.08 per hour minimum wage  "because she was a woman". There was a sexist culture where male bankers referred to their firm as "Bunga-Bunga Securities". After succeeding in her sex discrimination claim, she is seeking substantial...

Nov
01
2013

Zero-hours contracts: use them wisely
#Employment

The Office for National Statistics has launched an investigation into how it measures the number of British workers employed on zero hours contracts. It seems that nobody really knows how many there are. Last week, the business secretary, Vince Cable, last week wrote to the ONS to raise his concerns about "the lack of reliable statistics that are available on zero-hours contracts". The topic hit...

Nov
01
2013

New apprenticeships regime to be introduced from 2017
#Employment

In March 2013, the government launched a consultation seeking views on proposals for reforming apprenticeships in England. It described the present system as "prescriptive". The response to that consultation, in the form of an "implementation plan", has now been published. Existing apprenticeship frameworks, governed by the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 (ASCLA 2009),...

Oct
25
2013

Department of Work and Pension redundancy scheme discriminated against employees in their 20s - but was justified.
#Employment

In Lockwood v Department of Work and Pensions (1) Cabinet Office (2) (2013), the Court of Appeal has found that although the Department of Work and Pensions discriminated against a young employee on grounds of her age when applying their voluntary redundancy policy, the discrimination was objectively justified and hence lawful ( The case is helpful in clarifying what is meant by direct discrimin...

Oct
25
2013

Court of Appeal upholds post termination restriction that was for "only six months"
#Employment

In a refreshingly clear judgment in an area that is notoriously complex and hard for employers to get right, the Court of Appeal has confirmed that the length of a non solicitation clause is a "powerful factor" in assessing the overall reasonableness of the clause and that when the restriction was for "only six months", that was a "fundamental consideration of reasonableness". The Court suggested...

Oct
18
2013

Redeployment: misleading job description makes interview and redundancy unfair
#Employment

The EAT case of Somerset County Council v Chaloner (2013) highlights the importance of ensuring that when redundant employees are being considered for redeployment, they must be given a fair opportunity of understanding exactly the nature of the role being applied for. So, be careful when devising a new role in a restructure and ensure that the job description is properly finalised before conduct...

Oct
18
2013

Employer required to pay for depressed employee`s private counselling
#Employment

InCroft Vets Ltd and others v Butcher, the EAT has upheld a tribunal`s decision that an employer, in not paying for an employee with work-related stress and depression to have private psychiatric counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy, breached its duty to make reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act 2010. The adjustments, which were recommended by a consultant psychiatrist, were suf...

Oct
11
2013

Clarity provided on effective cause in Constructive Dismissal cases
#Employment

The Employment Appeal Tribunal in the case of Wright v North Ayrshire Council has provided some clarity on the correct test for determining constructive dismissal claims, and the extent to which an employer`s contractual breach should contribute to a resignation.    The Claimant was employed as a Care Assistant at the Council from December 2003 until she resigned in November 2010.  She subsequen...

Oct
11
2013

Tribunal Penalty for Employers
#Employment

The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 received Royal Assent on 25 April 2013 and even though certain sections, such as changes to whistle blowing, came into effect on 25 June 2013 until now there has been no indication of when Section 16 would come into force.  Section 16 grants an employment tribunal the power to impose financial penalties on employers. However the Minister of Employmen...

Oct
11
2013

New ICO Code of Practice for Subject Access Requests
#Employment

In March we blogged that the ICO had launched a consultation asking for feedback on a new code of practice for handling data subject access requests under the Data Protection Act 1998. The ICO received 86 responses in total and the new code was published in August this year. The ICO did make some changes to the code based on the responses it received.  For example, the code now includes secti...

Oct
10
2013

Employee voice is integral to all businesses so we can shape the culture of organisations for the future
#Employment

Over one hundred HR practitioners in the Thames Valley attended a joint celebration of both CIPD and Clarkslegal`s centenaries, at an evening reception that reflected on the development of HR throughout the past 100 years and its vision for the future...

Oct
04
2013

Working time: "Welcome aboard, this is your Captain sleeping!"
#Employment

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has recently revealed that a 325 seat Airbus A330 belonging to a UK based carrier was discovered to be flying on autopilot when both the pilot and co-pilot had fallen asleep.  The two pilots involved blamed fatigue, pointing out that because of the long shifts which they had been putting in over the peak holiday season, they had only managed to have 5 hours slee...

Oct
04
2013

John McCririck age discrimination case: the final furlong
#Employment

The newspapers have reported keenly on racing pundit, John McCririck`s, employment tribunal hearing this week. The 73 year old racing pundit has brought an action for age discrimination against his former employers, Channel 4. Aside from being dropped from the Channel 4 presenting team; McCririck has also criticised the fact that he found out about his dismissal from sports editor at Channel 4,...

Oct
04
2013

TUPE and contracting out: Government retains "service provision change" in definition of transfer
#Employment

Last month, the Government confirmed that there will be no repeal of the "service provision change" provisions of the TUPE Regulations, as was proposed in consultation. Many had been wondering how on earth we would return to the situation that existed prior to the TUPE Regulations 2006, which replaced the TUPE Regulations 1981. The position then was that a service provision change was treated no differently than a business acquisition and the test of whether TUPE applied was derived from a pure application of EC Directive and EC and UK case law....

Sep
27
2013

Sugar loses £50k costs application in Apprentice case
#Employment

Lord`s Sugar has lost his bid to recover £50,000 worth of costs from a previous Apprentice winner, Stella English. Stella raised a claim for constructive dismissal which she lost at Tribunal in April .  The original tribunal said the case ‘should never have been brought` which was reiterated by Lord Sugar`s lawyers however, the East London Tribunal Service rejected the bid and ruled she should n...

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