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Jul
31
2014

Freightliner holiday pay case settles but three other cases continue
#Employment

Neil v Freightliner, a key case on holiday pay, has settled in the Employment Appeal Tribunal. In this case the tribunal decided that Mr Neal`s holiday pay should have been calculated by reference to his normal earnings, which included overtime and shift pay. The case has been appealed and was expected that it would decide whether overtime should be included in the calculation of holiday pay. How...

Jul
24
2014

Obesity can be a disability, European court says, relying on UN Convention
#Employment

We know that obesity is one of the most critical health issues facing the developed world, not least in Western Europe. The European Court of Justice now looks set to confirm, based on a preliminary opinion of the Court this week in a Danish case, that obesity, at least severe or "morbid" obesity can be a disability. In fact, leaving aside questions of European law, the Employment Appeal Tribuna...

Jul
24
2014

HR consultant`s costly drafting mistake put employees on higher band
#Employment

The EAT in the case of Hershaw and others v Sheffield City Council has held that an employer was bound by the rates of pay included in a grievance appeal letter that was written by a HR consultant. The Council had sought to reduce its patrol officers` pay following a pay review. The employees lodged a grievance so the Council engaged a HR consultant to investigate. Whilst the consultant had no a...

Jul
17
2014

Comet`s redundancy consultation failures result in £25 million potential protective award
#Employment

Last month the Leeds Employment Tribunal found that Deloitte, the administrators of Comet, had failed to consult with redundant employees.  The employees were entitled to awards of up to 90 days pay and it is expected that the total bill will be nearly £25 million. Background The Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 ("TULRCA") provides that employers proposing to dismiss mo...

Jul
15
2014

Routes for graduates
#Employment

The number of international graduates in the UK is increasing; approximately 219,000 study related visas were issued in 2013. However, once migrants have completed their studies, many will want to stay in the UK.  This note sets out some of the visa routes that graduates can explore if they want to stay in the UK post study. Tier 2 (General)   What is it?   Under this route graduates from ou...

Jul
10
2014

Cameron promises tighter strike laws
#Employment

David Cameron promised yesterday that the next Conservative manifesto will include a proposal to require a minimum turnout threshold when union members vote in an industrial action ballot. That would mean that there would have to be a minimum percentage threshold of eligible union members voting in favour of industrial action for the action to be lawful. At present, a simple majority of union mem...

Jul
10
2014

Met Police deleted investigation records in discrimination claim
#Employment

An employment tribunal has found that the Met Police told staff to delete records on sex and race discrimination against one of its employees. Firearms officer Carol Howard, 35, was "singled out and targeted" for nearly a year, a panel ruled. An officer looking at her complaints was asked to delete references in a report into discrimination related to race or sex, it said. The Met said it was "...

Jul
03
2014

Flexible working changes - Buddy`s new policy
#Employment

Due to the changes on flexible working that came in to force this week from 30 June 2014, a reminder that Employmentbuddy has updated our template Flexible Working Policy. Also this week, ACAS have also published a new flexible working code of practice and new homeworking guidance notes which should help employers understand the changes and how to handle requests appropriately. If you have any...

Jul
03
2014

Standard references: are they legal?
#Employment

There are at least three legal duties for an employer to consider when providing a reference. 1. Reasonable care and skill must be taken to ensure that the reference provided is true, accurate, fair and not misleading. If an inaccurate reference is provided, which could include a standard reference, the referee may be sued for negligent misstatement (www.practicallaw.com/6-107-6878)....

Jun
26
2014

Compulsory equal pay audits due in force from 1 October 2014.
#Employment

The government has issued a response to its consultation "Equal Pay Audits: A Further Consultation" launched in May 2013. The government will issue draft regulations setting out  minimum requirements for equal pay audits which a tribunal would be able to impose on employers found to be in breach of discrimination laws in relation to equal pay. These regulations are due to come into force on 1 Oct...

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

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
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
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
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

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
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...

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