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Employment - Legal Updates

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Dec
12
2012

Conversations about retirement were not discriminatory
#Employment

One difficulty for employers since the abolition of the default retirement age in April 2011 has been how to approach the subject of retirement with their older employees in a legitimate context without the perception of any discrimination.   In Quick v Cornwall Council and another ET1701914/2011 an Employment Tribunal held that making age related comments regarding a colleague`s retirement...

Dec
11
2012

Employment tribunal award limits increase from 1 February 2013
#Employment

The limits on employment tribunal compensation awards will increase on 1 February 2013.   In cases involving dismissal, the new limits will apply where the effective date of termination falls on or after 1 February 2013. The new figures now mean that the maximum unfair dismissal award can be £87,700 (maximum basic award plus maximum compensatory award).   Please see below for a table showing...

Dec
07
2012

Survey shows how mediation can be successful
#Employment

We have recently undertaken a survey on workplace mediation in association with Alison Love an accredited workplace mediator and one of our Forbury People consultants. Alison reports on the findings here. The survey looked at the use of mediation and what barriers there might be to the use of mediation as well as success rates and what if any further information or support might be required....

Dec
05
2012

Christian employee entitled to express views about gay marriage on Facebook
#Employment

The fairness of dismissals relating to the use of social media has been considered in a number of cases recently highlighting that the distinction between the working and private life is a fine one. The common argument from employers of damage to reputation justifying dismissal, where employees breach codes of conduct set at work through use of social media outside of work, has so far not been re...

Dec
05
2012

Facebook comments continuing acts for discrimination purposes
#Employment

In Novak v Phones 4U Ltd UKEAT 0279/12 the EAT considered whether Facebook entries made about an employee by various colleagues were part of a continuing act for discrimination purposes....

Nov
30
2012

Disability discrimination decision about a "provision, criterion or practice"
#Employment

The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 provides that employers must make reasonable adjustments to a working environment for a disabled employee or job applicant where a provision, criterion or practice ("PCP") places a disabled person at a substantial disadvantage in comparison to persons who are not disabled. The same duty is now contained in the Equality Act 2010.    In Nottingham City Transp...

Nov
30
2012

Cardiff Council clamps down on sick pay
#Employment

Businesses have always had issues with sickness absence, some more so than others, and Cardiff Council ("CC") has one of the biggest. CC employees managed an average of 11.49 days off in 2011/12, drastically higher than the UK average of 4.5 days. This absence resulted in huge losses to the authority: over £15 million in sick pay and over £1.5 million in hiring agency staff to cover the work. To...

Nov
29
2012

Definition of apprenticeship "stretched too far" warns report
#Employment

The BBC reported this week on the findings of the Richard Review on the future of apprenticeships in England published on 27 November 2012. Entrepreneur Doug Richard was asked to consider how to ensure that apprenticeships deliver high-quality training and the qualifications and skills that learners need. As successive governments have encouraged young people to consider apprenticeships instead...

Nov
28
2012

Border officials apologise but insist on keeping their bonuses
#Employment

Two senior UK Border Agency officials have formally apologised for misleading MPs over ‘significant failings` in the handling of a huge backlog of asylum and immigration cases. They admitted they had ‘inadvertently misled` Home Office ministers and the Commons home affairs select committee over the backlog and whether security checks had actually been carried out.  Their apology was graciously ac...

Nov
23
2012

No consultation but still a fair redundancy dismissal
#Employment

As a general rule a redundancy dismissal will be unfair if the employer has not undertaken a consultation with the employee prior to the dismissal.    However, in exceptional circumstances, an employer may be able to dismiss fairly in these circumstances if it can show that the consultation exercise would have been futile. This defence has recently been accepted by the EAT when it held that an e...

Nov
22
2012

Chelsea sacks interim manager
#Employment

Chelsea Football Club has controversially dismissed its interim manager, Roberto di Matteo, after he joined in March 2012.  In commenting upon this, the Club thanked Roberto "for all he has done for the club" including his input in the Champions League victory and a seventh FA Cup.  However, it said that the team's recent performances and results had not been good enough.   Rafa Benitez has bee...

Nov
22
2012

Definition of "short term duration" under TUPE
#Employment

The Employment Appeal Tribunal has provided guidance on what is meant by a "task of short-term duration" when interpreting the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006.   Background In Liddell`s Coaches -v- Cook and others UKEATS/0025/12 the EAT considered the Tribunal`s ruling that Mr Cook had not transferred to Abbey Coaches.    Mr Cook was employed as a driver...

Nov
16
2012

Spending cuts are affecting the health of UK workers, says TUC survey
#Employment

The top safety concerns cited this year by union safety reps in the TUC's tenth biennial survey this year were stress, bullying and harassment, problems relating to being overworked and violence and intimidation.   The TUC believes that these concerns are down to rising fears of insecurity and unease felt in the UK workforce due to spending cuts.   Safety reps in the TUC survey also raised co...

Nov
16
2012

New `employee owner` contracts - confusion to follow?
#Employment

The Law Society commented this week that the proposed new ‘employer owner` status will create confusion....

Nov
16
2012

Boris Johnson and CBI Director General, John Cridland attack Government`s immigration policy
#Employment

Boris Johnson and John Cridland have attacked the Government`s immigration policy as a block to economic growth. They are joined by the Chancellor, George Osborne who is urging the Home Secretary, Theresa May to steamline the bureaucracy surrounding immigration. Mr Cridland stepped up his criticism, asking the Prime Minister to scrap the net migration target which was badly hitting the Higher Ed...

Nov
13
2012

The Government to unveil plans for flexible parental leave today
#Employment

Following on from our article on flexible parental leave, Nick Clegg is today expected to announce the Government`s plans for a fully flexible system of parental leave which should come into effect in 2015. The plans would allow new mothers to return to work two weeks after childbirth and share the rest of their maternity leave with their partner, and follow the Government`s consultation on exten...

Nov
13
2012

BNP member should have been protected against unfair dismissal
#Employment

This was the effective decision of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Redfearn -v- United Kingdom (judgment given on 6 November 2012)....

Nov
09
2012

Use of devices at work: ACAS recognises need for guidance on "bring your own" policy
#Employment

ACAS has recently published limited guidance in relation to bringing your own device to work policies, or ‘BYOD` for short.  Such a policy essentially covers the use of personal mobile phones and computers etc in the office or for work purposes.  Although this has its advantages, it could also throw up a number of problems for both employers and employees....

Nov
08
2012

TUPE - When there will be no service provision change?
#Employment

Regulation 3(1)(b) of TUPE provides employment protection to employees where there is a change of service provision.  It applies where a client contracts out of services, or takes it back in-house, or transfers the service from one provider to another....

Nov
05
2012

A "living wage" - Labour`s plans
#Employment

The Labour Party has announced that it wants to see employers paying employees a "living wage", which is higher than the national minimum wage.  The proposed living wage is £8.30 per hour for those working in London and £7.20 per hour for those working elsewhere.  This compares to the current hourly minimum wage of £6.19 for those over 21 years of age.   Labour has announced this as part of...

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