Clarkslegal LLP - Solicitors in Reading and London

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Feb
25
2014

Illegal worker succeeds in sexual harassment claim against employer
#Immigration #Inward Investment

In the case of Wijesundera v Heathrow 3PL Logistics Ltd the EAT held that a Sri Lankan national who was working without a work permit was able to bring a claim of sexual harassment. On applying for work with the Respondent, the employee informed them that she required a visa to lawfully work in the UK. In the months before she started work she visited the Respondent`s offices to discuss work and...

Feb
25
2014

Flooding and Property Insurance
#Real Estate

The ongoing floods, following the wettest winter on record, have affected almost everyone in some way and have dominated the headlines over the past few weeks. This crisis has come against the backdrop of an already challenging situation with regard to insurance for properties in areas liable to flood....

Feb
21
2014

ACAS early conciliation: comes in from 6 April 2014 and is mandatory from 6 May 2014
#Employment

The ACAS early conciliation (EC) procedures for tribunal claims will come into force on 6 April 2014. Transitional provisions cover the period between 6 April and 5 May 2014 during which EC will be available to prospective claimants. EC will be mandatory for claims presented on or after 6 May 2014. Other points to notes are that following some changes to the draft rules, as an alternative to su...

Feb
21
2014

Update on union sweetheart deals and breach of European Law
#Employment

On 31st January 2013 we reported on a recent High Court case in which it was held that recognition agreements with ‘sweetheart unions` which effectively ‘block` statutory recognition from being sought are in breach of Article 11 of the European Convention of Human Rights. The High Court withheld its final order in this case and gave the union involved - the Pharmacists` Defence Association Union...

Feb
21
2014

Over 1 in 3 working fathers offered no flexibility by their employers
#Employment

According to a survey by My Family Care, reported by the BBC today: 22% of men questioned wish they had looked after their children rather than returning to work (approximately the same for women) Over 33% told researchers that they worked full-time and were offered no flexibility at all by their employers The survey was commissioned to help launch the Work and Family Show, which begins in...

Feb
21
2014

Dismissal fair despite employer`s failure to follow independent panel`s decision on appeal
#Employment

The EAT has found that an employer who had dismissed an employee for gross misconduct was not required to follow the decision of an independent panel, who had heard the employee`s appeal and which overturned the employer`s decision to dismiss. The fact that the employer did not implement the panel`s decision did not render the dismissal unfair. Importantly, the tribunal had found that the empl...

Feb
14
2014

Is an end user liable for act an of discrimination committed by a subcontractor?
#Employment

Unlawful acts (other than criminal offences) committed by employees in the course of their employment are treated as also having been done by their employer for discrimination law purposes. An employer may therefore be vicariously liable for an employee`s act of race discrimination, whether or not it was done with the employer`s knowledge or approval. But what about contract workers? The Court o...

Feb
14
2014

Controversy over student visas and fraudulent English test providers
#Immigration

UK immigration continues to be a controversial issue. The BBC`s Panorama programme has recently highlighted alleged abuses of the student visa system, including cheating in English tests and falsifying documents in order to provide illegal entry to the UK. Footage shows "fake sitters" with perfect English taking speaking and listening exams in the place of candidates, as well as the invigilator r...

Feb
14
2014

Tribunal fees: UNISON legal challenge fails but fees may be recovered from respondents.
#Employment

UNISON`s attempt to challenge to the introduction of fees in the employment tribunals and EAT by way of judicial review in the High Court has failed. The High Court found that the fundamental difficulty with the case was that it had been brought prematurely and that, as a result, the robust evidence needed to persuade it to overturn the fees regime had been absent. However, the Court made it clea...

Feb
11
2014

Why Step-In to a Construction Contract?
#Construction

If you are funding a development, or your development is being funded by others, you will, most likely, have come across the phrase "step-in rights". What are step-in rights and why do development funders want them?...

Feb
07
2014

The holiday pay time bomb? Help the CBI to lobby the Government
#Employment

In view of some recent cases involving UK employers and interpretation of the EC Working Time Directive, particularly in the European Court of Justice (ECJ), employers may be significantly underpaying holiday pay. The Directive regulates not just working hours and holiday entitlement. It also regulates, according to the ECJ, the calculation of holiday pay, even though the Directive does not spell that out....

Feb
07
2014

Challenges to the validity of erroneously signed Wills
#Dispute Resolution

A recent decision of the Supreme Court has confirmed that the courts will now take a more flexible approach to the rules which apply to the signing of wills...

Feb
07
2014

What does your agency agreement say about compensation?
#Dispute Resolution

Under the Commercial Agents (Council Directive) Regulations 1993 (the "Regulations"), an agent is usually entitled to a payment when his agency agreement is terminated by the principal (unless the agreement is being terminated as a result of the agent`s own breach). The Regulations provide for two different payment regimes: compensation and indemnity. It is not possible for the parties to contract out of these provisions of the Regulations...

Feb
04
2014

Mortgagees Consent to the Grant of a Lease - Factors to Consider
#Real Estate

The purpose of a condition against letting a property without the consent of the mortgagee is to protect the mortgagee`s security, and to ensure that it is not burdened with an unsatisfactory lease....

Jan
31
2014

Settlement agreement was still without prejudice even though discussions were "amicable"
#Employment

Employers, particularly HR practitioners, need to be very careful before getting into discussions with employees over possible termination of employment. The risk is that the employee will rely on those discussions in a tribunal claim later on if agreement is not reached.  In an interesting case concerning settlement agreements, the EAT (overturning an Employment Tribunal`s decision) has held tha...

Jan
31
2014

Sweetheart union deals breach European law
#Employment

An independent trade union seeking to be recognised by an employer may apply for statutory recognition from the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC).   However, a trade union is prevented from seeking recognition  where there is already a recognition agreement in place which entitles another trade union to ‘collectively bargain` on behalf of any workers in the bargaining unit.  With this in mind...

Jan
24
2014

New right for all employees to request flexible working delayed
#Employment

We recently reported that as of 6 April 2014 new rules governing the right to request flexible working under the Children and Families Bill would be introduced.   Currently only employees with at least 26 weeks` continuous employment who have children under the age of 17 (18 if the child is disabled) or who are carers have the right to request flexible working.  Furthermore, specific statutory p...

Jan
23
2014

Woolworth`s case referred to the European Court of Justice
#Employment

At the hearing this week, the Court of Appeal has referred the Woolworth`s and Ethel Austin cases to the European Court of Justice. Confirmation is now awaited as to exactly what questions to be considered by the ECJ. John Hannett - Usdaw General Secretary said: ‘We are pleased that this case is going to be heard at the highest level and that we will get a definitive decision. Exactly how defin...

Jan
22
2014

Are you being fairly served? Your options if you are unhappy with your property service charges
#Dispute Resolution

It is common for tenants of multiple occupancy buildings to complain about the level of their service charges. Some are lucky enough to have been able to negotiate a fixed or capped service charge, but in many cases tenants feel they are at the mercy of their landlord or managing agent when it comes to service charges. In modern buildings these can often constitute a significant proportion of the costs of occupation...

Jan
17
2014

Tougher penalties for failure to pay the national minimum wage from February 2014
#Employment

The government has published the draft National Minimum Wage (Variation of Financial Penalty) Regulations 2014 under which employers who fail to pay workers the national minimum wage (NMW) will face tougher penalties from next month. The maximum fine for anyone failing to pay the statutory level will increase from £5,000 to £20,000. The NMW for the period 1 October 2013 to 30 September 2014 for...

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