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Employment - Legal Updates

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Apr
12
2013

Employer`s refusal to employ trade union members was lawful
#Employment

Miller and ors v Interserve Industrial Services Ltd was a recent case in the Employment Appeal Tribunal concerning alleged blacklisting of union members. Interserve Industrial Services Ltd (IIS) provides workers for the oil industry and the 3 claimants were members of Unite the Union who had a history of acting as shop stewards. IIS and the trade union had a collective agreement that they would,...

Apr
12
2013

Workplace Representative: a Union Representative`s view
#Employment

I am a trade union workplace representative and postgraduate law student and with a particular interest in employment law. This week I am on work experience with Clarkslegal in the Cardiff office and have been asked to share what it is like and what challenges I have faced working with the union. I have been a union workplace representative for nearly 3 years and counting. Before I was appointed...

Apr
05
2013

Facebook dismissals: gross misconduct or stress relief and letting off steam after a bad day?
#Employment

When is it fair for an employer to dismiss on grounds of gross misconduct for posting comments on social media sites such as Facebook? Looking at recent cases, a recurring problem for employers and employment tribunals is deciding where the boundary lies between gross misconduct and misconduct. The difference between the two is crucial to whether a dismissal will stand up to the scrutiny of an unfair dismissal claim. Given the nature of transgressions made by employees on social media sites, which are often blatant and offensive and easily attributable to the employee, establishing misconduct should be straight forward. These are cases where a warning including a final written warning would be the appropriate sanction under the employer`s disciplinary policy....

Apr
05
2013

Recruitment of replacement employee led to a redundancy situation
#Employment

In Malekout v Ahmed & others (t/a The Medical Centre) UKEAT/0556/12 the Employment Appeal Tribunal has upheld the decision that a redundancy situation existed when an employee was dismissed following recruitment of a better performing replacement....

Apr
05
2013

6 April 2013 employment law changes
#Employment

The 6 April 2013 is the first day of the new financial year and also the date the following changes in employment law come into effect....

Mar
28
2013

Obese employee was disabled under discrimination law
#Employment

In Walker v Sita Information Networking Computing Ltd UKEAT/0097/12 is was held that an obese claimant was disabled under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. However they also suffered from a number of physical and mental conditions....

Mar
28
2013

Football club "transfer " was an unfair dismissal.
#Employment

Kavanagh and others v Crystal Palace FC (2000) Ltd and others was recently heard in the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT).  The football club went into administration in January 2010 and G, the administrator, sought to sell the club as a going concern.  A couple of months later a consortium was set up and given preferred bidder status....

Mar
27
2013

UKBA to be abolished
#Employment

Following last year`s split which saw the UK Border Force (responsible for daily operations) stop being part of the UK Border Agency, the Home Secretary has now announced that the Agency is to be abolished altogether....

Mar
21
2013

Working relationship breakdown? Dispute over salary and aggressive solicitor not enough
#Employment

Some other substantial reason (SOSR) can often be viewed as a "get out of jail" card by employers.  However, the Employment Appeal Tribunal in Handshake Ltd -v- Summers UKEAT/0216/12 has recently upheld a Tribunal decision that the fair grounds of SOSR did not apply when a senior executive was dismissed....

Mar
20
2013

Key Employment Law Changes
#Employment

The new employment tribunal rules, originally expected to come into force in April 2013, will now come into force in summer 2013. These rules and other expected employment law changes are summarised in the table below. Employment Law change Date expected to come into force The current regulations for National Minimum Wage will be consolidated. April 2013...

Mar
15
2013

Redundancy competency tests unlawful because of "blind faith" of HR
#Employment

In Mental Health Care (UK) Limited v Biluan and another UKEAT/0248/12, the EAT held that it is not. This case considered the fairness of a redundancy selection process which utilised assessment centre competency tests normally used when recruiting new employees. Facts In 2010, the management of a residential hospital decided that there was a need to close one of its wards, resulting in 19 red...

Mar
15
2013

Can a giving a bad reference lead to a victimisation claim?
#Employment

The EAT has held that the Equality Act 2010 does not provide protection against victimisation which occurs after the employment relationship has ended. Therefore an employee could not succeed with a victimisation claim based on an unfavourable reference provided by his former employer....

Mar
15
2013

Can covert recordings be used in tribunal hearings?
#Employment

The Employment Appeal Tribunal has recently criticised a Tribunal`s reasoning in outrightly refusing to allow a Claimant to rely upon covert recordings that she had made (Vaughan -v- London Borough of Lewisham and others UKEAT/0534/12/SM)....

Mar
14
2013

Gagging clauses for NHS staff "must come to an end"
#Employment

The health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has said he wants to see a clampdown on "Gagging clauses" in severance agreements for NHS staff.  He would also like to introduce wording into severance agreements making it clear people could still whistle-blow....

Mar
08
2013

Police Officer ‘bullied` out of his job wins his employment tribunal
#Employment

PC Mike Baillon claimed he was forced out of his job after he was filmed smashing a disabled pensioner`s car window with his truncheon, after he was seen driving along country roads without a seatbelt. Mr Baillion stated that his colleagues made fun of him and defaced his locker at work. The video of the footage was uploaded onto YouTube and viewed more than 30 million times. An internal invest...

Mar
08
2013

Response to ICO draft code of practice to handling Data Protection information requests
#Employment

Clarkslegal has submitted a response to the Information Commissioner`s consultation regarding subject access requests under the Data Protection Act 1998.  The consultation, which closed on 21st February 2013, sought views upon whether the Information Commissioner`s new draft code of conduct provided the correct level of guidance and practical examples to assist organisations to deal with access r...

Mar
06
2013

Can collective agreements justify a difference in pay between men and women?
#Employment

In the Irish case of Kenny v Minister for Justice, female civil servants carrying out clerical duties for the national police claimed that they were paid less than male employees carrying out the same work. These male employees were assigned to specific clerical posts reserved for members of the police, called ‘designated` posts, in an effort to reduce police numbers. The employees brought an eq...

Mar
05
2013

ACAS consultation on draft code of practice for flexible working requests
#Employment

In its response to its Consultation on Modern Workplaces the government has proposed extending the right to request flexible working to all employees with at least 26 weeks` continuous employment. The government has also proposed replacing the statutory procedure for considering requests with a new duty on employers to act reasonably within a reasonable period.  In response to these proposals, A...

Mar
01
2013

Redundancy consultation period due to be halved to 45 days from 6 April 2013
#Employment

Following consultation the government has decided that the 90 days consultation period is not usually required. Reducing the minimum consultation period from 90 days to 45 days will enable employers to be more flexible and aid them by saving administrative and salary costs. It was seen to be important to allow employers to restructure more quickly especially at a time when the future of the company could be at risk....

Mar
01
2013

When can an employer rely on a final warning in deciding to dismiss?
#Employment

Two recent cases have explored the circumstances in which a Tribunal can examine the validity of a previous warning, which formed part of the employer`s decision to dismiss an employee. The Court of Appeal confirmed in the case of Davies v Sandwell that only in limited circumstances will a tribunal be entitled to `re-open` an employer`s decision to issue a final warning, which the employer later...

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