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Employment Law Blog

Employer found liable for the actions of a rogue employee's disclosure of staff data

Grant Shackleston
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Introduction. Recently the High Court found Wm Morrisons Supermarket PLC (Morrisons) to be liable to its staff for the actions of a rogue employee who distributed personal data of the staff to a file sharing website.  The Facts of the Case. ...

Case Law Update: Michalak - "The Nature of Judicial Review"

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Michalak v General Medical Council [2017] UKSC 71 The recent case of Michalak involves the nature of judicial review on administrative action. The Claimant brought a claim in the Employment Tribunal against the General Medical Council (GMC), its chief...

Video Surveillance in University Lecture Halls: A Right to Privacy?

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Case : Antović and Mirković v. Montenegro ( application no. 70838/13 ) On 28 November 2017, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruled that video surveillance installed in University Auditoriums infringed professors’ Article 8...

Uber's leapfrog appeal to the Supreme Court refused

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Last month we saw the Employment Appeal Tribunal dismissing Uber’s appeal in Uber v Aslam and upholding the Tribunals decision that drivers working for Uber were ‘workers’ rather than self-employed and therefore had certain basic employment...

Proving an employee's right to work - can you dismiss for lack of documentary evidence?

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It is unlawful under immigration laws for employers to employ individuals that do not have current leave to enter or remain in the UK, or individuals who have leave but are not allowed to work in the UK. A breach of the law makes employers liable to a civil...

Refunding of Tribunal fees - an update

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The government has opened up applications for Employment Tribunal fee refunds to all who may be eligible, following a pilot scheme. This comes after the defeat suffered by the government back in July 2017, where the Supreme Court upheld an appeal by Unison...

Anti-Bullying and Harassment Week 2017. Dealing with Workplace Bullies

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In all walks of life, there is the potential to be exposed to bullying. Take sharks, for instance, who are colloquially characterised as the “bullies of the sea.” Although bullying is unacceptable anywhere, it is especially insidious in the...

Settlement agreements - what they are and when to use them

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Settlement agreements, formerly known as compromise agreements, have been commonly used by employers for many years as a means of ending the employment relationship with an employee.  They are binding contracts signed by the employer and employee...

Be warned, you cannot always snoop on your staff's emails!

Grant Shackleston
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Introduction The monitoring of staff use of IT systems, e.g. email and telephone, is often deemed necessary by an employer to ensure that its staff are working during working hours.  However employers in particular need to be wary of the risks of...

Promoting Positive Mental Health at Work: For the Benefit of All

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World Mental Health Day was marked on 10 October 2017 amid growing general awareness of mental illness, its impact, and greater willingness to discuss a subject which, especially in the past, has carried a stigma. This year, the theme is mental health in...

Are Post-Termination Covenants Enforceable?

Grant Shackleston
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Introduction Many contracts of employment particularly in respect of senior staff, contain clauses known as post-termination covenants or restrictive covenants which can still bind an employee even after the termination of the employment contract. ...

When can you recover your costs in the Employment Tribunal?

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Whilst instructing a solicitor to represent you in a Tribunal claim can benefit your case, it is true that the cost of instructing a solicitor to represent you throughout such a claim can potentially be significant.  It is common for a party to...

Equal Pay - An Issue Businesses Cannot Afford to Ignore

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Hardly a week passes when equal pay is not in the news. A recent example of this is the debate over BBC top earners’ salaries, published in July 2017, which has leant momentum to calls for greater transparency on gender pay divergence, not only in the...

Increase in compensation for discrimination claims

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Where a Claimant succeeds in a discrimination claim, an Employment Tribunal has the ability to: Order payment of compensation (uncapped) Make recommendations Make a declaration as to the Claimant’s and Respondent’s rights Injury to...

A quick guide to time off work

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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

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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

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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

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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?

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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

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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?

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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

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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?

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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

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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

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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

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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

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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...

Male Discrimination during Shared Parental Leave

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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

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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...

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