Clarkslegal LLP - Solicitors in Reading and London

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Apr
25
2014

New Visa Fees Come into Force
#Immigration #Inward Investment

A number of changes were introduced to the immigration rules on 6 April 2014 (see our previous Buddy blog). Alongside these changes came the yearly increase in fees for visa, immigration and nationality applications and premium services, which also apply from 6 April. As before, the fees vary depending on the type of visa application and whether the application is being made outside or inside the...

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...

Apr
23
2014

The persistent whistleblower - can an employer dismiss?
#Employment

If an employee "blows the whistle", any subsequent disciplinary action taken can result in a detriment claim or an automatically unfair dismissal claim (if the employee is dismissed).  There is no upper limit on the amount of compensation that can be awarded in these cases.  This can present difficulties for employers when managing an employee who raises multiple grievances and/or raises a grieva...

Apr
23
2014

Liability for claims for failure to inform and consult.
#Employment

The EAT in Allen v Morrisons Facilities Services Ltd has confirmed that the obligations to inform and consult employee representatives under Reg 13(2) of Tupe are vertical obligations between an employer (whether Transferee or Transferor) and its own employees. As such, any claims for failure to provide the required information must also be brought vertically by employees against their respective...

Apr
17
2014

Procurement Changes on the Horizon - The New Public Contracts Directive
#Public Sector

On Friday, 28th March 2014, Directive 2014/24/EU on public procurement ("the New Directive") was published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The New Directive will repeal Directive 2004/18/EC (public works, supplies and service contracts) when it comes into force today (17th April 2014). Member States will then have two years to implement the New Directive into national legislation....

Apr
17
2014

When ignoring company principles can put you in breach of contract
#Employment

The case of IBM UK Holdings Ltd v Dalgleish shows that when it comes to making fundamental changes to employees` benefits and terms and conditions, the employer`s ethical standards and principles in dealing with its workforce can be relevant  when considering whether the changes were lawfully made.   IBM altered its pension arrangements to address a large deficit in the scheme.  The changes...

Apr
17
2014

Zero hours contracts are "abusive and exploitative and should be abolished"
#Employment

Zero hours contracts allow employers to hire staff with no guarantee of work.  Under such contracts, workers only work as and when they are needed by employers, often at short notice, and are only paid for the hours that they work. On 19 December 2013, BIS launched its consultation on zero hours contracts, which sought evidence on the use of such contracts and views on possible options.  The co...

Apr
16
2014

Update on Illegal Worker Penalties
#Immigration

We recently reported that the government intends to increase the maximum penalty payable by an employer who employs an illegal worker from £10,000 to £20,000 per illegal worker.  By way of update, the government has recently announced that it expects this change to come into force at the start of May 2014....

Apr
11
2014

Long term sick HR drafting error not discrimination but made dismissal unfair
#Employment

In the recent case of Crime Reduction Initiatives (CRI) v Lawrence, the EAT held that a procedural error did not undermine an employer`s justification defence to a disability discrimination claim. However, it did make the dismissal unfair. Mrs Lawrence worked for CRI and, whilst on long-term sick leave, was assessed by Occupational Health as suffering from post-natal depression.  This was consid...

Apr
11
2014

Just when you thought you had heard them all! Top 10 excuses given for not paying the minimum wage…
#Employment

The national minimum wage (NMW) is a set minimum hourly rate of pay to which most workers are entitled.  All employers are obliged to pay NMW, irrespective of their size.   Despite being in place since 1999, it is hard to believe that some employers still do not pay NMW.  Interestingly, HMRC has revealed the 10 worst excuses given by employers, which include: "I don`t think my workers know an...

Apr
11
2014

UK law on industrial action does not violate human rights, Court says
#Employment

In a landmark case brought by the RMT union against the UK in the European Court of Human Rights, the Court has ruled that the UK`s laws banning secondary industrial action do not violate the right to freedom of association under the European Convention on Human Rights. RMT v UK. The judgment is not final as the decision could be referred to the Court`s Grand Chamber....

Apr
10
2014

UK law on industrial action does not violate human rights, Court says
#Employment

In a landmark case brought by the RMT union against the UK in the European Court of Human Rights, the Court has ruled that the UK`s  laws banning secondary industrial action do not violate the right to freedom of association under the European Convention on Human Rights. RMT v UK. The judgment is not final as the decision could be referred to the Court`s Grand Chamber. The case arose after the R...

Apr
09
2014

Government publishes draft statutory code of practice to prevent unlawful discrimination and illegal working
#Immigration

The government has recently published a draft statutory code of practice on how to avoid unlawful discrimination while preventing working. What does the code say? All employers have a duty to carry our pre-employment immigration checks to ensure that their workers have the right to work in the UK.  However, an obvious risk arises if an employer only undertakes checks in respect of its non-Brit...

Apr
07
2014

Changes to the Immigration Rules come into force
#Immigration

On 6 April 2014 a number of changes to the Immigration Rules came into force. Full details of the changes (including an explanatory note) can be found here. So how will these changes impact on employers? There have been changes to the Tier 2 (General) visa route, under which workers from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) can be sponsored by licenced employers (sponsors) to carry out a...

Apr
04
2014

Key employment law changes from 6 April 2014 include power for tribunals to impose £5,000 fines on employers
#Employment

A number of key changes come into effect on 6 April 2014. They are: Power of employment tribunals to impose penalties on employers - In cases presented on or after 6 April 2014, the tribunal will have the power to impose financial penalties on employers who lose at tribunal. The fine will be between £500 - £5,000 and will be imposed where the employer has...

Apr
04
2014

Holiday pay survey: 80% of employers taking part may be underpaying holiday pay
#Employment

In our recent employmentbuddy survey, we asked employers how they calculate holiday pay. First, we asked whether when paying their staff, they pay additional sums to basic pay, in particular overtime, commission and other payments and enhancements such as shift allowance. Then we asked whether those sums are included in the calculation of holiday pay. It has long been understood that where emplo...

Apr
04
2014

Increased penalty for employing illegal workers
#Immigration

Last year we reported that the government planned to introduce tougher civil penalties for employers who employ illegal workers by increasing the maximum penalty.  Since then a draft order has been presented to parliament which will increase the maximum penalty from £10,000 to £20,000 per illegal worker (The Immigration (Employment of Adults Subject to Immigration Control) (Maximum Penalty) (Amen...

Apr
04
2014

Clarkslegal secures first UK acquisition for global industrial supplier to the LP Gas industry, Kosan Crisplant
#Corporate

Clarkslegal has successfully advised the world-leading manufacturer of products and systems for LP gas cylinder filling, Kosan Crisplant A/S, on its purchase of Swansea based LP gas engineering company, RMS Gas Engineering Limited....

Apr
03
2014

Reforms to Judicial Review Procedures
#Public Sector

On 6th September 2013 the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) published a consultation paper on reforming judicial review. The MOJ had a number of specific concerns about the use of the judicial review process including its use as a campaigning tactic and the delays and costs involved in the process...

Apr
03
2014

Buddy Quiz March - how did you do?
#Employment

Thank you to everyone who completed the last Buddy Quiz, posted throughout March. We have posted the answers to the questions below so you can check how you did! 1. The rules that apply to ACAS early conciliation procedures will come into force on 6 April 2014. However, when will early conciliation become mandatory? 6 April 2014 6 May 2014 6 June 2014 2. Under the new TUPE changes, where...

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