Clarkslegal LLP - Solicitors in Reading and London

Employment - Legal Updates

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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...

Feb
28
2013

Whistleblowing must now be in public interest but need not be in good faith
#Employment

The government is intending to introduce a number of changes to whistleblowing law through the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill ("ERRB") but whether this will prompt employers to encourage employees to blow the whistle remains to be seen. Whilst whistleblowers are protected against detriment and dismissal as a result of blowing the whistle, they often suffer in more subtle ways such as ostra...

Feb
22
2013

Unfair dismissal: Can a tribunal decide that an employee would have been dismissed in any event?
#Employment

In the case of Hill v Governing Body of Great Tey Primary School it was found that a Claimant`s dismissal was procedurally unfair. The tribunal calculated the remedy on the basis that the Claimant`s employment would have terminated in any event two months later (had a proper procedure been followed). An 80% reduction on account of contributory fault was also applied, leaving the claimant with the...

Feb
22
2013

Public sector pay deals may bind private sector says European Court
#Employment

Question: Would public sector employees who are subject to industry or sector wide negotiated terms continue to be entitled to benefit from increases in pay which are negotiated under those terms after they have transferred to the private sector? Background of the case: The Claimants were originally employed by London Borough of Lewisham. These Claimants had a contractual entitlement to pay i...

Feb
20
2013

Where`s the Pope?
#Employment

No, this is nothing to do with the Pope`s resignation last week. In Heafield v Times Newspaper Ltd, Mr Heafield pursued claims for harassment on the grounds of his religion on the basis that his line manager`s comment "can anyone tell me what`s happening to the f***ing pope", which was shouted in a pressured newsroom,  was intended to deride and insult his religion and in the alternative, the com...

Feb
14
2013

Religion and belief in the workplace: new guidance
#Employment

In response to recent European Court of Human Rights judgment about religious rights in the workplace, the Equality and Human Rights Commission has this week published good practice guidance for employers on how to comply with the Court`s judgment.   This guidance gives various examples of requests that might be made by employees and what it regards to be an appropriate response.  Two such exam...

Feb
14
2013

The proposed simplification of the Auto-Enrolment rules
#Employment

The DWP plans to consult in March 2013 on several changes to the auto-enrolment regime. The changes to be introduced are intended to simplify technical aspects of the legislation, reflecting the lessons learned so far from how the regime has operated in practice. Three specific areas have been singled out by the DWP: To simplifying the process of assessing the workforce. Making it easier fo...

Feb
13
2013

When can age discrimination be justified?
#Employment

Background The Employment Equality Age Regulations 2006 ("the Age Regulations") provide that a person will be directly discriminated against if they are treated less favourably than a comparator on the grounds of the person`s age and the treatment cannot be objectively justified.   The Age Regulations also provide that a person will be indirectly discriminated against if a provision, criterion o...

Feb
08
2013

Be careful about your staff working on the train and don`t make your disciplinary procedure contractual
#Employment

The recent case of West London Mental Health NHS Trust v Chhabra confirms the need to exercise great care to ensure that disciplinary procedures are not contractually binding on employers. If a court is able to construe a disciplinary procedure as having contractual effect, a breach of the procedure could lead to the employee seeking a court injunction preventing the disciplinary procedure going...

Feb
08
2013

Can policies in employment handbooks be contractual?
#Employment

Another recent case has dealt with the question of whether a redundancy policy can be contractual...

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