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Apr
30
2015

Woolworth's case: ECJ upholds UK law in welcome decision for employers
#Employment

In a much welcomed decision for employers, the European Court of Justice in the Woolworths/Ethel Austin case has followed the decision of the Advocate General which we reported on 6 February 2015 (Advocate General's opinion in Woolworths' case: employers now optimistic that consultation decision will be overruled)....

Apr
23
2015

Employers must remember to take tribunal fees into account when seeking settlement
#Employment

In a recent employment tribunal case, the claimants were represented by UNISON appointed solicitors in a claim against three respondents for alleged failure to consult under TUPE. When their claim form was submitted, the claimants' solicitor paid the £1,000 issue fee. The claimants each entered into a loan agreement with UNISON to advance a sum to them equal to the tribunal fees. This was repayable in the event that their claim, or part of it, succeeded in the tribunal....

Apr
23
2015

TUPE "Acquired Rights" Directive may merge with Collective Redundancy and Information and Consultation Directive
#Employment

It may not get much of a mention in the general election debates concerning Europe or employment matters but this month the European Commission launched a public consultation with the workers and employers representatives at EU level in order to obtain their views on the possible consolidation of the EU Directives on collective redundancies (Directive 98/59EC), transfer of undertakings (Directive 2001/23/EC) and information and consultation of workers (Directive 2002/14/E...

Apr
16
2015

Some guidance on dismissals for "some other substantial reason"
#Employment

The decision to dismiss an individual must fall within one or more of the five statutory potentially fair reasons. These are, conduct, capability, illegality, redundancy and some other substantial reason (“SOSR”). Examples falling into the last category include, personality clashes, pressure from third parties and breakdown in trust and confidence. It is ultimately a decision for the Tribunal as to whether a decision to dismiss amounts to SOSR....

Apr
16
2015

Would you vote for Labour's "Granny leave" or the Conservatives' "Volunteering leave"?
#Employment

Last week, the Conservatives unveiled its election manifesto commitment for employees of large employers to be allowed to take three days paid “volunteering leave” a year to carry out charitable or other volunteering work. This week, Labour is announcing its plans for up to 18 weeks unpaid leave for grandparents to look after their grandchildren....

Apr
10
2015

Whistleblowing in relation to a group of staff was "in the public interest"
#Employment

The EAT has found that a disclosure can be made in the “reasonable belief that it is in the public interest" even if it relates only to a group of staff as a whole rather than the wider public. The EAT stated that an individual contractual dispute would not normally satisfy the public interest test but a disclosure relating to a relatively small group of people may do so; what is sufficient is necessarily fact-sensitive. ...

Apr
10
2015

Stress at Work - when is psychiatric injury foreseeable?
#Employment

In a personal injury claim, when is an employer liable for psychiatric illness caused by occupational stress? In a judgment this week, a court has upheld the leading authority of Hatton v Sutherland [2002], which confirms that it is a high hurdle for an employee to get over to demonstrate that psychiatric injury was reasonably foreseeable....

Apr
02
2015

Shared Parental Leave - The top ten things you must remember
#Employment

Much has been written about Shared Parental Leave (SPL) in recent months, but now it is here! SPL can be taken by an employee who has a baby due on or after 5 April 2015, or a child placed for adoption on or after 5 April 2015....

Mar
26
2015

Changes to the UK Immigration Rules due to come into force in April 2015
#Employment

UK Visas & Immigration ("UKVI") has recently announced a number of changes to the UK's immigration rules, most of which will take effect from 6 April 2015 and apply to new applications or extensions made on or after that date. Existing visas and applications submitted prior to 6 April will be subject to the rules currently in place....

Mar
26
2015

Tribunal decision in Lock case gives guidance on calculation of holiday pay
#Employment

In the holiday pay case of Lock v British Gas, which concerned commission payments, the European Court of Justice found that Mr Lock’s commission was intrinsically linked to his role as a salesman. Hence, his statutory holiday pay should include an amount to reflect the commission he would have earned had he not taken annual leave....

Mar
24
2015

Zero hours - anti avoidance measures confirmed
#Employment

The Government has confirmed the measures that it intends to take to tackle avoidance of the forthcoming ban on exclusivity clauses in zero-hours contracts. There will be new protection from detriment for zero-hours contract workers who take jobs under other contracts and a minimum income level below which exclusivity clauses will be unenforceable....

Mar
19
2015

Enforced subject access requests now a criminal offence
#Employment

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”)has produced guidance on the new law surrounding enforced subject access requests. A copy of the that guidance may be found here. Employers seeking to obtain details of an existing or future employee’s criminal history must now do so through the correct channel. ...

Mar
19
2015

TUPE: service provision change can occur where there is a group of clients with a common intention
#Employment

The EAT has considered for the first time the issues of whether the references to "a client" and "the client" in regulation 3(1)(b) of TUPE (which defines a service provision change) can cover "clients" in the plural. The employment tribunal held that it does not....

Mar
18
2015

What does the 2015 Budget mean for businesses?
#Employment

Today George Osborne released the budget for 2015 and announced ‘the rich will pay the most’. He stated that £30bn worth of savings must be found, however insisted that the UK economy was improving and that “the sun is shining on Britain”. Here we look at the main points of the budget likely to affect businesses and employees....

Mar
18
2015

UKIP's plans for race discrimination law
#Employment

With the general election looming, Mr Farage probably considers it a less than ideal time to become embroiled in a war of words with Channel 4. According to Channel 4, Mr Farage confirmed in an interview last autumn that he would scrap “much of” race discrimination law....

Mar
12
2015

Resignation which amounts to constructive dismissal does not fall within the meaning of harassment
#Employment

Where an employee is subjected to separate acts of harassment, can an employee’s subsequent resignation also amount to an act of harassment? The Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) recently had to consider this issue in Timothy James Consulting Ltd v Wilson [2015] UKEAT 0082/14....

Mar
05
2015

Withholding bonuses may constitute disability related discrimination
#Employment

It is important when deciding the criteria for bonus entitlement or when scoring employees during a redundancy exercise, that due consideration is given to whether an employee has been absent from work due to their disability....

Mar
05
2015

Senior executives and gross misconduct: do they have to get notice pay?
#Employment

In light of the controversy surrounding the payouts made to two former Tesco directors, there have been further calls , including from the City, for the notice periods in senior executives contracts to be reduced....

Feb
27
2015

A single employee can be "an organised grouping of employees" for TUPE purposes, Court of Appeal confirms
#Employment

The Court of Appeal has given some useful guidance on when employees transfer under TUPE in a service provision change scenario: Rynda (UK) Ltd v Rhijnsburger [2015] EWCA Civ 75. This was a case concerning the transfer of a single employee....

Feb
26
2015

Court of Appeal guidance on misconduct dismissals: how far does an employer's investigation have to go?
#Employment

When dealing with misconduct allegations, do you find that employees sometimes seek to provide explanations that are so hard to disprove or could require many weeks of investigation, that you feel like you have to give up on the matter, rather than risk a tribunal claim? Some recent guidance from the Court of Appeal...

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