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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
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...

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
03
2014

Buddy Quiz May - how did you do?
#Employment

Thank you to everyone who completed the last Buddy Quiz, posted throughout May. We have posted the answers to the questions below so you can check how you did. 1. Employers can only refuse to agree to ACAS early conciliation where it is reasonable to do so. True False 2. Employees cannot commence ACAS early conciliation until the employer`s internal disciplinary and    grievances procedur...

May
30
2014

World Cup tips for employers
#Employment

Companies with football fans among their workforce could see some disruption within their business during June and July.   What can employers do to minimise this potential disruption whilst keeping employees engaged?   1.  Offer flexibility Allowing employees to watch matches during working hours will be very important to some employees and so could be a huge morale boost.  This flexibility cou...

May
30
2014

Adequacy of Reasons
#Employment

If you have ever read a Tribunal judgment and been confused over how it reached its decision, it may not be your fault. One of the few grounds of appeal open to a party in the Employment Tribunal system is if the Tribunal fails to give adequate reasons for its decision. As the Court of Appeal has explained: "...although a Tribunal decision is not required to be an elaborate formalistic product o...

May
29
2014

Constructive dismissal - delay in resigning
#Employment

It`s a well known principle that in order to claim constructive dismissal an employee should not delay when resigning in response to a fundamental breach of his/ her contract. Therefore, it was no surprise that the EAT held in the case of Cockram v Air Products plc that an employee who resigned but then proceeded to work a seven month notice period (his contractual notice period was three month...

May
29
2014

Engaging, communicating and energising employees
#Employment

The business case for engaging employees is well established. There is a huge body of evidence confirming that engagement drives many important areas such as income growth, productivity, innovation, employee retention and wellbeing.This paper is taken from a workshop first presented on 15th May 2014 by Michael Sippitt of Clarkslegal LLP, Samantha Gee of Innecto and James Poole and Scott Addison o...

May
23
2014

Holiday pay time bomb update
#Employment

Last December we reported on the Advocate General to the European Court of Justice`s opinion in the referred case of ZJR Lock v British Gas that, in order to comply with the Working Time Directive, holiday pay should include commission payments that would otherwise have been earned had the individual not been on holiday.  As anticipated, the ECJ, in issuing its full judgment, has confirmed this a...

May
22
2014

Unemployment reaches 5 year low
#Employment

The number of people unemployed in the UK has fallen to a five year low according to recent statistics released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The number in both full and part time work increased and there was also a large rise in the numbers of self employed. The statistics show increasing signs of confidence and recovery in the economy, however as 868,000 young people (aged betwe...

May
22
2014

UNISON renews challenge to Tribunal fees
#Employment

UNISON has been granted permission to appeal the High Court`s rejection of its application for judicial review challenging the introduction of employment tribunal fees. The challenge had originally been brought on various grounds including excessively limiting the exercise of rights conferred by EU law and the level of the fees being discriminatory. As we noted in February, the High Court dismi...

May
22
2014

Premier League email sexism row
#Employment

The Premier League chief executive, Richard Scudamore is not to face action from the Premier League or the FA, for sexist comments contained in private emails, leaked to the media by a temporary PA. He has since apologised and described the email content as an "error of judgement". The premier league clubs said the emails contained inappropriate remarks but declined to take disciplinary action...

May
09
2014

Small businesses at risk of false references
#Employment

A survey 1,800 small firms  conducted by the Federation of Small Businesses and BBC1`s Fake Britain reveals that 17%  had discovered  job candidates with fraudulent references. The survey found that fraudulent  references are most common for entry level positions and mid-level positions, although 12 per cent were for management positions and two per cent were for director level positions. It is o...

May
09
2014

4,000 people have contacted ACAS about Early Conciliation
#Employment

ACAS say that around 1000 people have contacted ACAS about Early Conciliation every week since its launch on 6 April and that 100 employers have also got in contacts to try ACAS Early Conciliation. ACAS Chairperson, Sir Brendan Barber, said, "Early Conciliation has got off to a very good start and has given us the chance to help more people resolve their disputes early as well as save taxpayers...

May
02
2014

Would you agree to ACAS early conciliation? Your questions answered.
#Employment

You have probably heard already that from 6 May 2014, conciliation via ACAS becomes mandatory for claimants wishing to bring employment tribunal claims. If so, you may have heard of the new rules being referred to as "mandatory conciliation" or "early mandatory conciliation". As an employer, you may be wondering how a conciliation process can be mandatory. Mandatory for whom you may ask and also, what happens if you do not like what is being proposed in the conciliation process?...

May
02
2014

Labour to restrict zero hours contracts
#Employment

Zero hours contracts have always been a hot topic and not necessarily for the right reasons.   Whilst they offer a flexible approach for employers as there is no obligation to provide work; individuals who are engaged under these contracts have little protection and fewer employment rights than employees.  Those who oppose these contracts believe that they provide little stability and security to...

May
01
2014

Buddy Quiz April - how did you do?
#Employment

Thank you to everyone who completed the last Buddy Quiz, posted throughout April. We have posted the answers to the questions below so you can check how you did. 1. It is becoming increasingly easier for employees to secretly record disciplinary, appeal and grievance meetings, but, when are these recordings allowed as evidence before an employment tribunal? Secret recordings are never allowed...

May
01
2014

Men win equal pay case
#Employment

The University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) recently announced that it had conceded claims for sex discrimination and equal pay for a group of its male caretakers and maintenance staff. UWTSD merged with Swansea Metropolitan University in August 2013 to become the men`s employer and in so doing also became liable for the consequences of contractual changes implemented by Swansea in 2007...

Apr
24
2014

War Horse: interfering with the Royal National Theatre`s "artistic freedom"
#Employment

In the case of Ashworth & Ors v The Royal National Theatre, the High Court dismissed an application which would force the Theatre to re-engage musicians who were replaced with pre-recorded music for the production War Horse.  The court concluded that to do so would interfere with the Theatre`s "artistic freedom".   Originally the Theatre used live music during its productions of War Horse. Howe...

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