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Employment - Legal Updates

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Jan
13
2011

End of the default retirement age
#Employment

Ministers have confirmed that the default retirement age will end, as planned, this year. Therefore, retirements falling before 1 October 2011 can still be effected provided notice of retirement is given no later than 30 March 2011, so employers need to be monitoring closely 2011 retirement dates now....

Jan
12
2011

Sacked for sledging: teachers on a slippery slope
#Employment

The press story of the dismissal of Swansea design and technology teacher, Richard Tremelling, has caused outrage not only in Swansea but has attracted much national and international condemnation. Mr Tremelling was not only sacked for allowing two 15 year pupils to have a ten minute riding session in the snow on a "design classic" Scandinavian sledge at the end of a lesson, which Mr Tremelling had brought in to school to demonstrate, he was then subjected to professional misconduct proceedings which could have led this week to his removal from the teaching register altogether....

Jan
11
2011

BBC Loses Age Discrimination Claim
#Employment

"Youth," according to Herbert Henry Asquith, "would be an ideal state if it came a little later in life." Whether or not this sentiment was foremost on the mind of the Judge in the tribunal claim brought by Miriam O`Reilly has yet to be known. We can be more certain of the fact however that today`s Judgment from the London Central ET will have far-reaching implications in the media....

Jan
10
2011

Tribunal claims - a 2 year qualifying period and fees?
#Employment

Employers may be getting a late Christmas present from the government. According to reports in the media today, it is considering increasing the length of service an employee needs before he can bring an unfair dismissal claim in the Employment Tribunal. Employees currently have to have worked for their employer for one year before they can bring a claim. This may be increased to two years, making it much easier for employers to dismiss staff. Employees will still be able to bring claims within a year if they believe they have been discriminated against....

Jan
10
2011

BBC spent £600,000 on employment tribunal claims in 2010
#Employment

According to a the website thomsons online benefits the BBC has spent over £600,000 dealing with employment tribunals in 2010. This total does not include work done by in-house employment lawyers or claims brought against BBC Worldwide, the corporation`s commercial arm....

Jan
07
2011

Tick-Tock for Tax - Post Termination Payments
#Employment

Come April 2011 there will be a significant change to the treatment of income tax on post termination payments made to employees....

Jan
07
2011

Dangers of Transferring Confidential Information
#Employment

In Brandeaux Advisers (UK) Ltd and others v Chadwick (2010), the High Court looked at whether the employee`s conduct of sending large amounts of confidential information to her personal email account amounted to a repudiatory breach of contract....

Jan
07
2011

Employers must change the way they tax termination payments
#Employment

On 6 April 2011 changes will be made to the way in which termination payments are taxed. Currently, payments made to departing employees after their P45 is issued - for example termination payments typically made under compromise agreements - are subject to deductions for tax at the 20% basic rate. Any additional tax liability (because the employee is a higher or additional rate tax payer) is due later through self-assessment by the employee. This is good for employees as they can take the benefit of the additional cash for longer....

Jan
07
2011

Dinner Lady wins unfair dismissal claim
#Employment

Mrs Hill, 61, was sacked after telling a couple their child had been bullied. She had been suspended from her £125-a-month role at Great Tey Primary School pending an investigation into the incident after speaking to the girl`s parents in June 2009 and was dismissed in September 2009 after discussing the matter with the media....

Jan
07
2011

Transfer of confidential information - employees beware
#Employment

A recent case has highlighted the dangers associated with employees transferring their employer`s confidential information to their personal email account. In this case the employee argued that she had transferred the confidential information to her personal account in order to ‘arm herself for the future` in the event of a later dispute with her employers. However, the court doubted that the possibility of litigation could ever justify the transfer of an employer`s confidential information which may be relevant to that dispute. The employee would need to rely on the court`s disclosure process, even if the employee does not believe that the employer will comply with that process....

Jan
07
2011

Flexible Working Legislation Extended To Parents of Children Aged Under 18
#Employment

The right to request flexible working currently applies to parents of children aged under 17, parents of disabled children aged under 18 and carers of dependant adults. This right is to be extended to parents of all children aged under 18 and will come into force on 6 April 2011....

Jan
07
2011

New Tribunal Award Limits
#Employment

From 1 February 2011, the cap on the compensatory award for unfair dismissal increases from £65,300 to £68,400. Other changes coming into force on the same date include:...

Jan
05
2011

Claimants could have to pay up to £500 to bring claims
#Employment

Under pressure from Business Groups, the Coalition Government is considering introducing an up-front fee to bring Tribunal Claims. Proposals to be considered as part of the Consultation on Tribunal Reform, taking place later this month, suggest the fee could range between £30 and £500 per case. The intention is that it would deter spurious claims and reduce the increasing trend of tribunal claims....

Dec
17
2010

Retirement
#Employment

Employers are still in the dark about how to deal with retirements falling after 1 October 2011....

Dec
17
2010

20 weeks maternity pay?
#Employment

EU ministers are arguing against the proposals put forward by the European Parliament ("EP") that would see full maternity pay increased to 20 weeks and talks have now stalled. The UK was among the countries that lobbied against the 20-week plan for, amongst other reasons, the estimation that the proposals could cost UK businesses more than £2.5 billion a year....

Dec
17
2010

Businesses will not be required to publish the pay gap between male and female employees ... yet anyway
#Employment

The Equality Act (section 78) gave companies until 2013 before they faced mandatory disclosure of the pay gap between male and female employees but the government has announced that this will now not be required. Instead, companies will be expected to reduce the gap by voluntary means and the government will check annually that progress is being made. If progress is not being made the Government can still reconsider whether to bring in section 78 and make gender pay reporting compulsory for private and voluntary sectors. Equality campaigners are disappointed by the announcement but the impact may not be as severe as at first thought. Companies will still have to reveal their pay gap data under the voluntary arrangements and it is likely that employees will look for another job if they find out that colleagues at the same level are paid more. Therefore, the incentive to get any differences evened out is still there....

Dec
17
2010

Dismissal for telling client to put their faith in God not unfair or religious discrimination
#Employment

A Christian housing officer who advised a user that she should put her faith in God in order to recover from her illness and subsequently authorised a press release with the headline "London Homelessness Prevention Officer told ‘say God Bless` and we`ll sack you", was not unfairly dismissed and was not discriminated against because of his religion....

Dec
17
2010

Equal pay - 6 years to bring a claim?
#Employment

If an employee believes she (it`s usually a she, but don`t count on it!) is being paid less than a male comparator she can bring a claim in the employment tribunal. Generally speaking she can bring a claim at any time during her employment or within 6 months of her employment coming to an end....

Dec
16
2010

Statutory Rates and Limits increases for 2011
#Employment

The following increases have been announced in recent days. From 1 February 2011, the maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal will increase from £65,300 to £68,400....

Dec
15
2010

Default retirement age - will it stay or will it go?
#Employment

The default retirement age of 65 is due to be scrapped next year but as yet the government has not produced any guidance or draft regulations to clarify what the new legislative framework will look like. The CBI has recently called on the Government to clarify its position and explain how it will respond to businesses` concerns....

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