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Employment - Legal Updates

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Aug
09
2012

Discrimination - comparator need not be in identical circumstances
#Employment

In the case of Hewage v Grampian Health Board the Supreme Court have confirmed the approach a tribunal should take in deciding cases of discrimination. The claimant was a dentist at the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and claimed that she had been bullied and harassed because she was a Sri Lankan woman. Unfair constructive dismissal was conceded by the respondent. The tribunal found that she had been...

Aug
09
2012

Curing the mutual trust and confidence relationship
#Employment

A recent case concerning hot heads in the kitchen may be of interest to Gordon Ramsay. In Assamoi v Spirit Pub Company (Services) Ltd the EAT held that even though an employer cannot cure a breach of trust and confidence, it can prevent a situation escalating into a breach of trust and confidence by apologising....

Aug
08
2012

Work for welfare is not slave labour says High Court
#Employment

The Department for Work and Pensions` back-to-work schemes, criticised as "slavery" or "forced labour" by some opponents, were ruled lawful by the High Court this week. To help recipients back to work, individuals are required to participate in these schemes that involve them providing unpaid work. A failure to participate in the scheme can result in a loss of job seekers allowance. In R (on beh...

Aug
06
2012

Government rolls out Electronic Fit Note (eMed)
#Employment

The Government`s Electronic Fit Note (eMed) began its roll out from July 2012 and is expected to be completed by early 2013.  The eMed is a soft copy version of The Statement of Fitness for Work (Fit Note) to be used by GP practices....

Aug
02
2012

Major changes to employment tribunal system: will claimants get over the hurdles?
#Employment

Whilst much focus has been on 2012 and creating sporting history, the government has been tackling another challenge of Olympic proportions - reforming the heavily burdened tribunal system. Judging by the preparations under way, 2013 is looking to be a decisive year for changes that could see early conciliation come out on top....

Aug
02
2012

Rise in number of graduates working for free
#Employment

A report published by the Higher Education Statistics Authority has shown that the number of graduates going into unpaid employment or voluntary work has increased by 23% in the past year, and more than tripled since 2003....

Aug
01
2012

Dramatic fall in workplace pensions
#Employment

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has recently conducted an Employer`s Pension Provision survey.  This tracks the number of people in workplace pensions.  The survey has revealed that only a quarter of private sector workers are active members of their employers` pension schemes.  However, it has also come to light that only three in ten private sector companies offer any pension provi...

Jul
27
2012

Olympics strike called off
#Employment

Further to our blog on the government`s plans to block strike action by public sector workers on the eve of the Olympics, the strike has now been called off....

Jul
26
2012

Annual leave during summer holidays - should parents be given priority?
#Employment

Few topics provoke more argument in the workplace than the question of how holiday requests are granted to accommodate a wide range of staff with differing child care or other family responsibilities. Is there a "holiday hogger" in your workplace? What about the school summer holidays? Employees are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks` paid annual leave.  The process for granting annual leave requests...

Jul
26
2012

Greek triple jumper expelled from London 2012 following racist tweet
#Employment

Greek triple jumper, Voula Papachristou, has been expelled by the Greek Olympic Committee from competing in London 2012 after tweeting a racist joke.   Voula`s tweet: "With so many Africans in Greece, at least the West Nile mosquitoes will eat home made food!" has sparked outrage and huge criticism across the social media networks.  Despite having issued a lengthy apology the Greek Olympic Comm...

Jul
26
2012

Worker status - can a "self-employed" surgeon actually be a worker?
#Employment

In the case of Hospital Medical Group Ltd v Westwood, the Court of Appeal commented on how to decide whether an individual is a "worker" rather than a self-employed contractor....

Jul
26
2012

Sick workers and annual leave - does a request for leave have to be made?
#Employment

The Court of Appeal has given a judgment in NHS Leeds-v- Larner, an important case on the law surrounding annual leave....

Jul
25
2012

Government seeks injunction to stop Olympics strike
#Employment

The government is seeking an injunction to block strike action by thousands of public sector workers on the eve of the Olympics. The Home Office has said that it believes there were "procedural errors" in the PCS union ballot and that it will be requesting an injunction in the High Court today. If successful, the union would be obliged to re-ballot its members, delaying the strike....

Jul
25
2012

Dress code: should religious symbols be allowed in the workplace?
#Employment

The Prime Minister has recently pledged to "change the law" to allow people to wear religious symbols in the workplace in relation to a discussion regarding the case of Eweida v British Airways Plc [2009]. Nadia Eweida was a former British Airways (BA) employee. She was asked to go home by BA for wearing a visible crucifix around her neck in breach of the company`s dress code. She claimed relig...

Jul
22
2012

Doctors` union suspends further industrial action
#Employment

The British Medical Association has announced that it is not planning any further industrial action at this stage.    The BMA had encouraged NHS doctors to take industrial action on 21st June 2012 by stopping all non-urgent NHS patient care (as we reported on 30th May 2012).  This was over concerns with the Government`s plans for doctors` pensions and an increase in their retirement age to...

Jul
20
2012

Defeat for Home Office on immigration rules
#Employment

The Supreme Court yesterday handed down judgment in R (Alvi) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2012] UKSC 33 and some commentators are already saying it could be one of the most important judgements on immigration in a decade. The Telegraph reported yesterday, Supreme Court delivers blow to the immigration rules, the Supreme court was unanimous in it decision that it was wrong to bar...

Jul
19
2012

Redundancy for pregnant employees and those on maternity leave - Some questions...
#Employment

Can I make a pregnant employee or an employee on maternity leave redundant? When looking at selection criteria, do I have to ignore all the negatives associated with an employee because she is pregnant or on maternity leave? Do I have to prejudice others in a redundancy process because another employee in the pool is pregnant or on maternity leave? Does an employee on maternity leave have to...

Jul
18
2012

The employment status of a lapdancer: Is she an employee or self-employed?
#Employment

This was the question that an Employment Appeal Tribunal recently had to consider in Quashie -v- Stringfellows Restaurants Ltd.    Miss Quashi had been a lapdancer at a Stringfellows gentleman`s club, Angels, in London. She brought an unfair dismissal claim against Stringfellows, and for this needed to show that she was an employee.   Miss Quashi had initially understood that she was self-em...

Jul
13
2012

Tribunals to sift weak claims and impose guillotines
#Employment

Mr Justice Underhill, the former President of the EAT, has proposed some fundamental changes to the existing Tribunal Rules, including: requiring an early paper sift of weak cases to ensure employment judges consider these earlier in the process and dismiss claims with no arguable complaint or response. This is something that has mooted for some time and would bring employment tribunal process...

Jul
13
2012

Social media: who owns client contacts, the employer or employee?
#Employment

The rise of social media as a prevalent tool for conducting business has led to issues such as if an employee leaves, can the employer stop them taking business relationships with them?...

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