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Sep
22
2011

A BT telesales worker has been awarded a record £290,000 payout!
#Employment

A BT telesales worker earning £20,000 p.a., who left her job after several incidents of alleged bullying, has been awarded a record £290,000 payout from BT after her complaints of sex discrimination and unfair dismissal were upheld. This sum represents the highest Employment Tribunal payout in the past year and included damages for personal injury, loss of potential future earnings and injury to feelings. The Tribunal found that the line manager responsible for the harassment had displayed a bullying management style and had used "obscene, homophobic and racist language."...

Sep
21
2011

Age restriction on pilots contained in collective agreement is not compatible with EU law
#Employment

A recent ECJ case (Prigge and ors v Deutsche Lufthansa AG), on appeal from the German Federal Labour Court, has held that a compulsory retirement age of 60 for Lufthansa airline pilots (set out in a collective agreement) was unlawful. The ECJ concluded that this provision was a "disproportionate requirement" that went against International and German national measures whereby the mandatory retirement age for pilots is 65....

Sep
21
2011

Can you change the reasons for dismissal on appeal?
#Employment

This is the question posed by the recent EAT case of Perry v Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.  In this case the employee worked for two different NHS Trusts in different roles.  She fell ill and, due to mobility prioblems, was signed off sick by Imperial.  She was well enough to continue with her other job and did so.  Imperial found out, felt she had&nbs...

Sep
19
2011

Should those deemed unattractive be protected under anti discrimination legislation?
#Employment

It was reported in this week’s Grazia magazine that a new cause of action in employment law is taking off in the United States, “Personal Appearance Discrimination”. A number of US States and districts (for example the District of Columbia and Santa Cruz, California) now protect personal appearance in the same way they protect racism, and sexual harassment. The definition of pe...

Sep
15
2011

Agency Workers Regulations 2010 - Anti Avoidance
#Employment

As has been recently well publicised, the Agency Workers Regulations 2010 (due to come into force next month), will provide agency workers with the same rights as employees with respect to pay and benefits after a 12 week qualifying period (i.e. a 12 week period working in the same role).  Specifically, provisions with respect to: basic pay, overtime, individual performance related bonu...

Sep
15
2011

Specific Public Sector Equality Duties Now In Force
#Employment

The Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) Regulations 2011 came into force on 10 September 2011.  The Regulations set out the specific public sector equality duties that certain public bodies must comply with.  The aim of the specific duties is to help public bodies comply with the general duty to promote equality in the workplace which has been in force since 5 April 2011. The first spe...

Sep
14
2011

Career break is not a reasonable adjustment
#Employment

Employers have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to mitigate the impact a provision, criterion or practice has on a disabled employee....

Sep
13
2011

Mediation in the European Union
#Dispute Resolution

For many years, mediation has been an important part of dispute resolution in the UK. Mediation offers a cost-effective and confidential way for parties to settle their differences and often enables parties to maintain ongoing business relationships which could be irretrievably damaged if the dispute proceeded to a full Court trial....

Sep
13
2011

Immigration: Shortage Occupation List Reduction
#Immigration

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), an independent advisory body, has advised that number of jobs on the Shortage Occupation List be reduced. This will limit migrants from outside the EEA to a smaller proportion of occupations in the UK. The MAC recommended that the list be reduced to cover 190,000 employees (not migrants), less than 1% of the UK workforce. In 2008 that list covered over 1 m...

Sep
13
2011

Renewable Energy, Judicial Review and Human Rights
#Dispute Resolution

For the first time, the Court has awarded what may turn out to be substantial damages to an energy supplier for the breach of their human rights by the Office of the Gas and Electricity Markets ("OFGEM")....

Sep
13
2011

Appointment of Arbitrators - Freedom of Choice v Equality Regulations
#Dispute Resolution

One of the many advantages of arbitration over court proceedings is the flexibility of the process. The parties are able to agree most aspects of the conduct of the arbitration to suit their needs and the nature of the dispute. For example, parties can agree the venue of the hearings, the language of the hearings and how evidence is presented to suit their particular requirements....

Sep
12
2011

Working Time & Compensatory Rest
#Employment

Under the Working Time Regulations a worker is entitled to a daily rest break if their daily working time exceeds six hours....

Sep
09
2011

Amendments to the Public Contracts Regulations 2006
#Public Sector

As of 1 October 2011, the Public Contracts Regulations 2006 (as amended by the Public Contracts (Amendment) Regulations 2009) (the "Regulations") will be further amended by the Public Procurement (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2011....

Sep
09
2011

Judicial Review - Important Costs Update
#Dispute Resolution

The Court of Appeal has recently reversed a longstanding rule on the recoverability of legal costs in judicial review proceedings. This is an important development which public bodies need to bear in mind if threatened with judicial review....

Sep
08
2011

ACAS publish social networking gudiance
#Employment

ACAS have published social networking guidance. It gives some tips on managing performance, recruitment/disciplinary issues, grievances, bullying, defamation, data protection and privacy....

Sep
08
2011

An AWOL employee cannot ‘self dismiss`
#Employment

Often, when faced with an employee who has gone AWOL,employers will write to the last known address, stating that if the employeedoes not get in touch within a specified period, it will be considered that hehas resigned.  In the recent case of Zulhayir v JJ Food Services Ltd, the EAThas held that in such circumstances, it cannot be said that there has been a ‘self-dismissal’.The...

Sep
08
2011

Unequal Pay?
#Employment

The Equal Pay Act (now the Equality Act) was introduced to ensure that  men and a women performing equal work would receive the same pay, unless the difference could be shown to be because of a material factor other than sex. However a recent case has shown that a successful claim may result in the woman receiving more pay than her comparator. A woman can pursue an equal pay claim wher...

Sep
08
2011

NMW & Sleep
#Employment

Two cases have been reported concerning staff sleeping on the job and their rights to receive the NMW for this time. In both cases, the EAT highlighted the danger of confusing ‘work` for minimum wage purposes with ‘working time` under the Working Time Regulations 1998, as the tribunal in both cases appears to have done....

Sep
07
2011

The AWR: Mr Cameron`s dilemma
#Employment

It has been reported that the Prime Minister has secretly commissioned his own legal advice on the upcoming Agency Workers Regulations (AWR). Mr Cameron is reported to be concerned about the impact the AWR could have on the fragile UK economy. He is thought to have sought advice on ways in which the AWR could be diluted....

Sep
06
2011

New UKBA website launched but is it `improved`?
#Employment

Re-launched on 4 September 2011, the UKBA’S website has brought together all the agencies online content. The integration covers the Visa Services website and most of the 200 country websites which have been hosted by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and commercial partners overseas. Remaining country websites are due to be brought into this website by the end of September. &nbsp...

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