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Employment Law Blog

A quick guide to time off work

Natalie Gibbons
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The holiday season, while welcomed by most of us, can bring a number of issues for both employers balancing the needs of employees, and parents trying to juggle work and childcare commitments. Here are some useful points to consider when it comes to workers...

SUPREME COURT RULES THAT EMPLOYMENT TRIBUNAL FEES ARE UNLAWFUL

Ewan Carr
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In a landmark ruling, the Supreme Court has today ruled that Employment Tribunal fees are unlawful.  The case against the government, which introduced the Employment Tribunal Fees Order in 2013, was brought by Unison who had appealed a previous ruling...

Dementia in the workplace

Natalie Gibbons
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Alzheimer’s Society is Chattertons charity of the year and all employees have undergone training to become a dementia friendly firm.  Dementia can affects us all in many ways, therefore it is vital that we increase our understanding of Dementia to...

Successful direct sex discrimination claim over shared parental pay

Natalie Gibbons
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A father has won a direct sex discrimination claim for failure to pay enhanced shared parental pay in circumstances where female employees were entitled to enhanced maternity pay. Background Shared Parental Leave and pay Shared parental leave allows...

CAN AN EMPLOYER FORCE AN EMPLOYEE TO TAKE HOLIDAY AT A SPECIFIED TIME?

Ewan Carr
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It is not uncommon for employers to determine that employees and workers cannot take time off at certain times of the year.  This is particularly true in certain industries (for example, industries that rely on seasonal work or where demand for a...

EAT confirms bar on holiday pay deductions claim after three month gap

Natalie Gibbons
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The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has confirmed in Fulton and another v Bear Scotland that a gap of three months or more between one series of non-payments or underpayments and the next (in this case holiday pay), will break the ‘series of...

OFFICE OR EMPLOYEE RELOCATIONS - WHAT DOES AN EMPLOYER NEED TO BEAR IN MIND?

Ewan Carr
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There are a number of reasons why an employer may wish to relocate an employee, several employees or even the whole office. Perhaps there have been problems between employees in a particular office, or there is more demand for the services carried out by an...

Nominal Damages Awarded in Breach of Confidentiality Claim

Manisha Chauhan
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This was considered in the case of Marathon Asset Management LLP and another v Seddon and another [2017] . In this case, 2 employees worked for an asset management firm, Marathon Asset Management LLP. In the months before they left, a number of files were...

Leaked draft Labour manifesto: Key employment law issues

Danielle Lister
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After the draft Labour party manifesto entitled "For the many not the few" was leaked to and published on the BBC website, we review the proposed far-reaching employment law reforms which Labour may implement if they were elected on the 08 June...

National Minimum Wage for sleeping on the job?

Natalie Gibbons
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All employers irrespective of their size must pay workers a National Minimum Wage (NMW) with different rates applying for different categories of workers (current rates set out below).    To establish whether a worker has been paid the NMW...

Competency tests for recruitment - Beware of discrimination claims

Danielle Lister
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In the recent case of Government Legal Service v Brookes, the EAT has upheld a decision that, in requiring a candidate with Asperger’s syndrome to sit a multiple choice test as part of its recruitment process, Government Legal Service...

So when does Notice of Termination Actually take Effect?

Manisha Chauhan
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You issue a letter of notice to your employee by post. The question is however, does the notice of termination take effect on posting, delivery or on communication of the notice if there is no express term in the contract of employment stating when the...

How high is the threshold for dismissal for some other substantial reason?

Natalie Gibbons
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There are 5 potentially fair reasons for dismissing an employee: conduct, capability, redundancy, statutory illegality or “some other substantial reason of a kind such as to justify the dismissal of an employee holding the position which the employee...

Employment law...Important dates for 2017

Danielle Lister
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What is happening? Date: Employment/Immigration - Immigration skills charge applies to Tier 2 (general) and healthcare surcharge is added to Tier 2 (intra company transfers) visa category. April 2017 National Living Wage -...

Dismissals for Long-Term Sickness Absence

Manisha Chauhan
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This is always a difficult decision employers tend to face when there is an employee off sick for a long period time and shows little or no prospect of ever returning to work. What is the best decision for the employer whilst ensuring they do not open...

Deliveroo issues guidance on how to refer to riders

Danielle Lister
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The Guardian newspaper has reported that food delivery Company Deliveroo has issued guidance to their Managers on how Deliveroo riders should be referred to.  In what is apparently a six page document which has been seen by the Guardian newspaper,...

NO CLAIM FOR HARASSMENT WHERE DISABILITY NOT PROVED

Manisha Chauhan
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This was a case considered by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT). The Claimant, Mr Baker, was employed as a lawyer by Peninsula Business Services Limited. He claimed he suffered from dyslexia, that this was a disability and that it affected his ability to...

INCREASES TO MINIMUM WAGE AND OTHER STATUTORY PAYMENTS

Ewan Carr
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From 1 April 2017, the following minimum wage increases are due to take effect:- for workers aged 25 and over the national living wage increases to £7.50 per hour (up from £7.20) for workers aged 21 to 24 the rate increases to £7.05 per...

Two important rulings on the issue of Religious Discrimination in the Workplace

Danielle Lister
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We have just seen the European Court of Justice (ECJ) consider two separate cases involving claims of religious discrimination in the workplace. In the first case ( Achbita and anor v G4S Secure Solutions NV ) the ECJ held that a company policy which...

Employment status: ACAS guidance updated; HMRC publishes new online employee status tool

Ewan Carr
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ACAS, the advisory, conciliation and arbitration service, has launched its updated guidance on employment status in light of the large amount of publicity (most of it negative) surrounding the gig economy in recent months. The guidance aims to help...

Hiring and firing - International workers

Louis Harman
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Hiring Most businesses will already have a set procedure for hiring new members of staff. This may include the following broad steps: Advertising Preparing a Job Description and Person Specification Reviewing CV’s Invitations to interviews ...

The Trade Union Act 2016: What is being implemented in March 2017?

Natalie Gibbons
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Following the general election in May 2015 it was announced that the Conservative government would reform the law around trade union activity and industrial action to “bring an end to disruptive and undemocratic strike action”.  The Trade...

Compensation Limits Increase Once Again

Manisha Chauhan
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Compensation limits which Employment Tribunals can award are set to be further increased with effect from 6 April 2017. The changes apply to dismissals or other detriments, occurring on or after 6 April 2017 only. For anything which falls before this date,...

Apprenticeships: a change in funding from April 2017

Natalie Gibbons
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In 2015 the government announced plans to introduce an Apprenticeship Levy on employers in an attempt to expand the ‘quantity and quality’ of apprenticeships in the UK. The levy will be introduced on 6 April 2017, requiring all employers with an...

Important Decision on Employment Status: Pimlico Plumbers & Charlie Mullins v Gary Smith

Danielle Lister
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Another important decision on the issue of Employment Status; Pimlico Plumbers & Charlie Mullins v Gary Smith The Court of Appeal has handed down an important judgment in yet another case concerning employment status in the case of  Pimlico...

Can an Employer rely on Previous Disciplinary Warnings?

Manisha Chauhan
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This has been something which many employers have wondered for some time. An employee has received warnings in the past which have gone on their personnel records and eventually expired, yet can previous warnings, although expired, be relied upon when the...

Mobility Clause Dismissals... Redundancy or Conduct?

Manisha Chauhan
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Is a dismissal classed as a redundancy where employees fail to comply with a mobility clause in their contract? This was addressed by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) in the case of Kellogg Brown & Root (UK) Ltd v Fitton . Following a site closure...

Type 2 Diabetes... A Disability or Not?

Manisha Chauhan
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This was considered by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) in the recent case of Taylor v Ladbrokes Betting and Gaming Ltd . The Claimant, Mr Taylor was dismissed by his employer Ladbrokes on 4 November 2013 and brought claims of unfair dismissal and...

Gender Pay Gap Reporting

Natalie Gibbons
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On 6 December 2016 the government published the revised draft regulations on gender pay gap reporting which are due to come into force on 6 April 2017, subject to being approved by Parliament. What is meant by the gender pay gap? The gender pay gap...

Employment Law - What to expect in 2017

Danielle Lister
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2017 looks set to be another busy year for Employment law.  The following are some of the main topics which will impact significantly on Employment law, and which we can expect to hear more about throughout the course of 2017: Brexit: We can expect...

Going it alone... Watch out!

Danielle Lister
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A recent case highlights the importance of litigants in person taking appropriate advice on their claims to ensure they fully understand and properly convey the claim they seek to bring. In the case of Liddington v 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, the...

High Court rules on office Christmas party punch up

Ewan Carr
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Can an employer be vicariously liable for the actions of an employee at a Christmas party? The High Court has recently held that a company was not liable for the actions of one of its directors at the office Christmas party, after the director in question...

New English language requirements for public sector workers

Danielle Lister
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On 21 November 2016, new requirements come into force, which require public sector workers in customer-facing roles to be sufficiently fluent in English language.  The new requirement follows publication of provisions of the Immigration Act 2016 and...

Top tips for Employers during the Winter months

Danielle Lister
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As winter sets in, it is timely for employers to consider any ‘winter’ employment issues that can arise.  Being prepared for the particular issues that winter brings will ensure employers are ahead of the game and able to manage if the usual...

Male Discrimination during Shared Parental Leave

Manisha Chauhan
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This was considered by the Employment Tribunal (ET) in the case of Snell v Network Rail Infrastructure Limited. Mr and Mrs Snell were both employed by Network Rail and both applied under Network Rail’s Share Parental Leave Policy. Mrs Snell decided...

Flexible Working Requests & Breastfeeding

Manisha Chauhan
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This issue was considered by the Employment Tribunal (ET) in the case of MacFarlane and another EasyJet Airline Company Ltd. This case was brought by 2 female employees who worked as cabin crew for EasyJet and who had recently returned to work following a...

Improving Lives: Government Consultation on Health at Work

Danielle Lister
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A Green Paper has been published by the Government called Improving Lives .  This presents the Government’s vision for the next ten years on how the relationship between work and health in the hope of achieving significant improvement.  As...

Holiday Pay & Commission... the decision

Manisha Chauhan
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For some time now there has been some discussion and debate over the dreaded subject of holiday pay since two very important decisions were made by the European Courts of Justice (ECJ) which found that UK domestic legislation (that is, The Working Time...

Uber Loses Landmark Tribunal Decision

Manisha Chauhan
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On 28 October 2016 the Employment Tribunal handed down a very important decision, one that would have the subsequent impact of employers questioning the employment status of contractors within their workforce. Two taxi drivers who provide services to Uber...

Extra Pay for Healthy Workers at Argos

Danielle Lister
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Agency workers engaged by Argos over the Christmas period are to be offered an additional 80p per hour if they are able to work over the festive period without any sickness absence. The workers have been advised that if they fail to attend for work at any...

Judicial Assessment in the Employment Tribunal

Ewan Carr
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The President of the Employment Tribunal has given guidance on a new process of Judicial Assessment in Employment Tribunal cases. Judicial Assessment involves a confidential and impartial assessment by an Employment Judge of the strengths, weaknesses and...

Proposed action over alarming rate of pregnancy and maternity discrimination in UK workplaces

Danielle Lister
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It has been reported that around 390,000 pregnant women and new mothers report being treated unfairly in UK workplaces. Furthermore, the number of women who feel forced to leave work altogether after falling pregnant or having children has recently doubled,...

Employer National Insurance Deductions on Termination Payments

Manisha Chauhan
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I recently wrote a blog on Settlement Agreements entitled “ Settlement Agreements-  How do they Work ?” In my blog, I discussed the common misconceptions advisors can come across when providing advice on a settlement agreement. One of the...

Was it right to hold a disciplinary hearing in the absence of an employee?

Manisha Chauhan
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This was considered by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) in the case of Dr A Nabili v The Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust Dr Nabili was employed as a Consultant Paediatrician and was suspended from practice due to concerns relating to her...

Pikachu... is it time you had a Pokemon Policy in Place?

Manisha Chauhan
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If you are anything like me, you will neither understand the need for Pokemon Go, nor will you allow yourself be trapped into the latest craze which has individuals glued to their smartphone in a bid to “catch” Pokemon creatures by integrating...

Brexit Secretary: employment law will not radically change

Danielle Lister
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David Davis, the new Secretary of State for Exiting the EU has suggested a UK exit from the EU would not radically affect existing employment laws. Mr Davis has stated in a blog for the website Conservative Home, that “regulation already in place...

Protected Conversations or Without Prejudice?

Manisha Chauhan
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From 29 July 2013, section 111A Employment Rights Act introduced the principle of confidential negotiations before termination of employment, known as protected conversations. Section 111A is designed to allow employers to talk freely to their employees...

Settlement Agreements - Broken Promises

Manisha Chauhan
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A legally binding settlement agreement has been entered into with your employee. She has obtained legal advice on the agreement, it has been signed by all parties and the termination payment has been paid. You find out a few months later that she has leaked...

Settlement Agreements - How do they work?

Manisha Chauhan
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You’ve employed a Sales Executive for 4 years. Around  6 months ago you noticed a change in his work, failure to meet targets and a lack of commitment to the role which is having an impact on the company’s performance. You’ve met...

Vaping in the Workplace - A Burning Issue

Danielle Lister
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We know that smoking cigarettes in enclosed or substantially enclosed public places and workplaces in England has been prohibited since 1 July 2007 under section 7 of the Health Act 2006 and associated regulations.  However, e-cigarettes are not...

UK Votes Leave - What does this mean for Employment Law

Manisha Chauhan
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Chattertons’ Employment Law specialists Manisha Chauhan and Danielle Lister consider the impact of the historical Brexit vote on Employment law and workers’ rights. The Brexit campaign has been the talk of the country for some time now, with a...

Tribunal Fees have had significant impact on access to justice

Danielle Lister
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House of Commons Justice Committee finds that Tribunal fees have had a significant and unacceptable impact on access to justice The House of Commons Justice Committee has completed its eagerly awaited inquiry into the impact of Employment Tribunal fees,...

TUPE in Part Transfers or not TUPE

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The Transfer of Undertaking (Protection of Employment) Regulations, commonly known as ‘TUPE’ is a frustratingly complex area. We have analysed a recent case which has provided some clarification in the law. The TUPE Regulations protect and...

International recruitment: An Immigration Goldmine

Louis Harman
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Businesses in the UK do not have an automatic right to hire non-EU workers. The right to recruit internationally is regulated by UK Immigration legislation. As a result of this ‘red-tape’, there is no immediate incentive for businesses to...

Avoiding Red Cards in the Workplace

Danielle Lister
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The European Cup 2016 is set to take place between Friday 10 June and Sunday 10 July.  Many of the games, including one between England and Wales, are being played during the working day.   Large sporting events can often throw up a number of...

Football clubs lose employment tribunal cases

Ewan Carr
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Two football clubs are in the news for unwanted reasons having both lost employment tribunal cases in the space of a few days.  Both Jonas Gutierrez (against Newcastle United) and then Lucy Ward (against Leeds United) were successful in their...

Solicitor joins employment team in Grantham

Manisha Chauhan
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Local law firm, Chattertons Solicitors, are pleased to announce the appointment of  Manisha Chauhan  to their team in Grantham. Manisha qualified as a solicitor in 2013 and has since been specialising in all aspects of  employment law...

Brexit: will we see employment laws exit stage left?

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For the first time in a generation, we are facing the real possibility of the UK leaving the EU. When we consider its potential impact on UK employment law, there are many differing opinions and we wait with interest to see the outcome for ourselves. The EU...

Tier 2 Visa Reforms for Skilled Non-EU Workers

Louis Harman
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Early this year we reported that the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) had published a review of Tier 2 (Skilled Worker) migration which had recommended, amongst other things, a minimum salary uplift for future visa applicants. The Home Office have...

Employment Law Changes 2016: Are you ready?

Ewan Carr
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April 2016 sees a number of changes to employment law.  Employment Law Solicitor,  Ewan Carr  summarises these changes: National Living Wage The well publicised National Living Wage will come into force on 1 April...

Employees 'pulling a sickie' could be dismissed

Danielle Lister
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The Employment Appeals Tribunal has recently clarified the position in respect of the options available to Human Resource professionals in dealing with employees who ‘pull a sickie’. In the case of  Metroline West Ltd v Ajaj , Mr Ajaj was...

Supermarket is vicariously liable for employee attacking customer

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An unprovoked attack of a customer by an employee was considered by The highest UK court, the Supreme Court, whether Morrisons supermarket could be held responsible for the employee’s actions. They considered the scope of the ‘close...

National Living Wage - Frequently asked questions and answers

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1. When do I need to worry about it? It will be compulsory for all employers from 1 April 2016. 2. Who should I pay the new rate to? It only applies to employees aged over 25 years old. Younger employees will still receive the National...

Office romances - the legal position

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Whilst exploring the legal issues surrounding intimate relationships between employees of the same company may seem somewhat unromantic, the truth is that such relationships can lead to problems that employers need to be aware of, and put themselves in the...

Minimum Salary Thresholds for Non-EU Workers - Upcoming Changes?

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The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has published a review of Tier 2 migration which suggests changes to the salary thresholds that must be met when hiring skilled non-EU workers. In order to hire non-EU workers, employers must ensure that their...

How to host a claim-free Christmas Party

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Christmas time is here again, bringing with it all the usual tinsel covered fun and frivolity. In keeping with modern tradition, many employers will be holding Christmas parties for their employees to celebrate the end of hopefully another successful year....

Effect of derogatory comments on social media

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A claim brought by an  employee  for unfair dismissal was recently heard in the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) -  British Waterways Board v Smith [2015] .  The employee had been dismissed due to a number of derogatory comments...

Strict time-limits for employment claims

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Employees have 3 months less 1 day from the date of dismissal to pursue an employment claim. However, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) Early Conciliation process effectively ‘pauses’ the time-limit for up to 1 month plus...

Zero Hour Contracts and Exclusivity

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Does your business employ people on zero hour contracts? The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 came into force on 26 March 2015 and one of its main aims is to offer greater protection for zero hour contracted employees by banning...

Shared Parental Leave

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From April 2015, a new ‘Shared Parental Leave’ regime will give parents greater flexibility to ‘share’ their entitlement to time off work to look after a new child. A recent government survey – ‘Shared parental leave:...

Employment Solicitor joins Chattertons at Newark

Danielle Lister
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Employment specialist, Danielle Lister has recently joined the  Employment team  and is based at the  Newark  office. Danielle specialises in all aspects of  employment law , supporting both individuals and businesses with the...

New Laws to support Good Samaritans

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Changes to the law designed to support Good Samaritans and community heroes moved a step forward recently. The government’s Social Action Responsibility and Heroism (SARAH) Bill is currently being considered by Parliament and has now completed the...

Could you benefit from new rules about flexible working hours?

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Before 30 June 2014 the right to request flexible working only applied to parents of children under the age of 17 or disabled children under the age of 18 and those caring for an adult. Since 30 June 2014 this is no longer the case. Now the only requirement...

Top tips on everything you need to know about the hiring process

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Before hiring a new employee you should think carefully about the process of advertising the role, producing a contract and much more. Read our briefing which highlights some of the keys factors to consider. This business briefing just provides an overview...

Buying a property with a friend or partner? Protect your investment now

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Are you thinking of buying a house with a friend or co-habitant? The Law Society is urging people to seek legal advice before signing an agreement to protect your estate and your investment. Co-habiting couples or friends buying together have no protection...

Have you been a victim of age discrimination in the work place?

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Age may be just a number, but for some employees it does not feel that way. The Equality Act 2010 has made it unlawful to discriminate against, harass or victimise an employee because of their age. In Roberts v Cash Zone (Camberley Ltd) Ms Roberts was 18...

Can my boss read my personal emails?

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Do you use your work computer for personal matters? Make sure you are clear on your employers right to access or monitor your online activity at work. There is a contractual term of trust and confidence which is implied in every employment relationship. An...

Important changes to Employment Law

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Did you know that there have been several key changes in Employment Law? Are you up to date with the changes that came in to force on 6 April 2014? Since 6 April 2014 employees have had the option of submitting details of their dispute to ACAS before they...

Employment Law changes

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Did you know that there have been several key changes in Employment Law? Are you up to date with the changes that came in to force on 6 April 2014. From 6 April 2014 employees will have the option of submitting details of their dispute to ACAS before they...

Major Employment Law Change

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If you have a claim against an employer, from 6 April you must first go through the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service. One of the major changes to Employment Law this year will be the launch of the Early Conciliation service on 6 April 2014....