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Employment Updates

Our Employment Law Updates are an excellent way to keep up to date with important issues.

 

You can search our archive of cases using the search facility below. Alternatively you can scroll down the page to view our entire archive, which is listed in date order, with the most recent at the top of the page.

Final Warnings Must Be Given in Good Faith to Have Any Effect

Published on: 28 April 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

In a guideline decision, the Court of Appeal has ruled that final warnings given in bad faith are not to be taken into account when assessing whether there was sufficient reason for dismissing an employee.

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Putting 2014/15 to bed: Notes for Employers

Published on: 26 April 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

Although the 2014/15 tax year has come to a close, there are still some tasks that employers may need to do in order to put the year to bed.

RTI reporting

Under real time information (RTI) you need to tell HMRC that your final FPS submission for the tax year is the last one for that year.

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Employment Intermediaries – New HMRC Reporting Requirements

Published on: 15 April 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

On 6 April 2015, the Income Tax (Pay As You Earn) (Amendment No 2) Regulations 2015 came into force. These aim to crack down on false self-employment and abuse of offshore working by introducing reporting and record-keeping requirements for employment intermediaries/recruitment agencies.

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Manufacturer Fined £200,000 in Corporate Manslaughter Case

Published on: 09 April 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

Manufacturer Fined £200,000 in Corporate Manslaughter Case

A manufacturing company which was convicted of corporate manslaughter after one of its workers was burnt alive in an industrial oven from which he could not escape has been fined £200,000. Its technical director was also hit with a £25,000 penalty and only narrowly escaped an immediate prison sentence.

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‘Resignation’ is Voluntary – But Not If You’re a Civil Servant

Published on: 30 March 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

The word ‘resignation’ denotes voluntary departure from employment – but it bears a different meaning if you are a civil servant, the Court of Appeal has ruled in an important decision for any worker affected by privatisation of public services.

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Collective Redundancy Consultation for Employers Facing Insolvency

Published on: 25 March 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

The Government is carrying out a consultation exercise seeking views on consultation with employees where a business is facing insolvency, or has moved into an insolvency process, to see if outcomes for both employees and employers could be improved.

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Managing Director Jailed After Worker Fatally Crushed

Published on: 22 March 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

Breaches of health and safety rules in the workplace can lead to criminal convictions, heavy fines and even jail for senior management. In one such case, the nation’s most senior judge made an example of a company managing director after a worker was crushed to death under a heavy piece of machinery.

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Government Increases the National Minimum Wage for Apprentices

Published on: 16 March 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

The Government has announced that the National Minimum Wage (NMW) rate for apprentices will increase by 57p (20 per cent) from 1 October 2015, from £2.73 to £3.30. The Low Pay Commission (LPC) had recommended an increase of 2.6 per cent to £2.80 per hour.

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Updated Statutory Guidance on Calculating the Minimum Wage

Published on: 11 March 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

Updated Statutory Guidance on Calculating the Minimum Wage

The Government has updated its statutory guidance on calculating the National Minimum Wage (NMW).

This covers eligibility for the NMW, calculating the amount payable, the working hours for which the NMW must be paid and enforcing payment of the NMW.

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Enforced Subject Access a Criminal Offence

Published on: 10 March 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

On 10 March 2015, legislation came into force making it a criminal offence to require an individual to exercise their subject access rights under Section 7 of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) to gain access to information about their convictions and cautions and provide that information as supporting evidence regarding a job application or before entering into a contract for goods, facilities or services.

The Information Commissioner's Office has published guidance explaining the criminal offence, which is created under Section 56 of the DPA.

Enforced subject access will typically occur where a person wishes to see another individual’s criminal record but chooses not to use the established legal system for so doing. Committing such an offence in England and Wales can carry an unlimited fine.

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Disabled IT Worker Suffered Discrimination

Published on: 05 March 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

Disabled IT Worker Suffered Discrimination

A disabled IT specialist who was cut out of the communication loop by his employer whilst on long-term sick leave has triumphed in a discrimination claim and will receive thousands of pounds in compensation following a tribunal ruling.

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Expatriate Workers – Are You Properly Insured?

Published on: 25 February 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

In a warning to expatriate workers that the small print of their employers’ insurance policies needs careful perusal before they move abroad, the widow of an IT specialist discovered that her husband was not covered when he died in a road accident after being sent to work in India.

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Can An Unpaid Worker Be An Employee? Judges Say Yes

Published on: 24 February 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

A businessman who worked full time as a director of a start-up company – but was paid not a penny for his toil as the business fought to establish itself – was nevertheless entitled to full employment rights, the Court of Appeal has ruled.

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Annual Inflation-Linked Changes in Tribunal Awards

Published on: 23 February 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

The Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) Order 2015, which details the annual inflation-linked changes in limits on the compensation amounts which can be awarded by employment tribunals, was laid before Parliament on 13 February 2015 and applies where the appropriate date falls on or after 6 April 2015.

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Judges Can’t Mend Broken Working Relationships

Published on: 15 February 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

Judges Can’t Mend Broken Working Relationships

The power of judges does not extend to the mending of personal relationships, as a senior doctor discovered when the High Court refused to order his return to work almost four years after he was excluded from the operating theatre.

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Whistleblowers Benefit from Tribunal Test Case

Published on: 27 April 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

In a guideline decision which will come as a comfort to workplace whistleblowers, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has ruled that the recurring issue of whether a disclosure is ‘in the public interest’ – and thus protected by law – depends not upon some empirical formula but upon the state of mind of the employee concerned.

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Paid Leave for Public Office Holders – Tribunal Guidance

Published on: 22 April 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

Employers are bound to give workers paid leave so that they can hold public office. However, a tribunal has questioned whether it was right for a city mayor to be paid as a school mentor for two years after he devoted himself to politics full time.

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Cohabitees Have the Same Rights as Married Couples – No They Don’t

Published on: 15 April 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

It is a common misapprehension that the legal position of those who live together is nowadays almost identical to that of married couples. A woman who lived for 15 years with a senior RAF officer before his sudden death found out how wrong that assumption is when she was refused entitlement to his £48,000-a-year pension and death in service benefits worth £400,000.

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Driving and Drugs

Published on: 06 April 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

Driving and Drugs

The Crime and Courts Act 2013 (Commencement No 1) (England and Wales) Order 2014 came into force on 2 March 2015 and sets limits for 'drug driving' similar in operation to those used for drink driving.

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Holiday Pay and Commission

Published on: 26 March 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

Holiday Pay and Commission

Following the decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Lock v British Gas Trading Limited that an employee's holiday pay must take account of his commission payments, the Employment Tribunal (ET) has decided that it is possible to read words into the Working Time Regulations 1998 (WTR) in order to overcome the incompatibility between domestic law and EU law.

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Judges Stamp on ‘Health and Safety Gone Mad’

Published on: 24 March 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

Employers are under a duty to carry out careful assessments of risks run by workers going about their jobs. However, that does not extend to analysing such everyday matters as walking up and down stairs, the Court of Appeal has ruled.

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Memory Sticks And Confidentiality Rights Don't Mix

Published on: 19 March 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

Short of searching members of staff, there would appear to be little an employer can do to prevent memory sticks being used for wholesale breaches of confidentiality. However, one company at least had the satisfaction of winning over £290,000 in damages from a former senior salesman who violated its trust.

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Zero Hours Contracts – Tackling Avoidance of the Forthcoming Ban on Exclusivity Clauses

Published on: 12 March 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

The Government is currently legislating to render the use of exclusivity clauses unenforceable in zero hours contracts. In addition, following a consultation exercise, draft regulations have been drawn up outlining proposals for secondary legislation to prevent employers from sidestepping the ban.

The Government Response to the 'Banning Exclusivity Clauses: Tackling Avoidance' Consultation and a copy of the Draft Zero Hours Workers (Exclusivity Terms) Regulations 2015 can be found here.

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Be Careful How You Use Your Employer’s Email Account!

Published on: 10 March 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

Be Careful How You Use Your Employer’s Email Account!

Workers tempted to use their employers’ email acounts for purposes which could cause offence should take note of a High Court case in which a senior manager at a Premiership football club lost the right to a £200,000 severance payment after sending pornographic images to a junior female colleague and others.

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Director Who Put Family Before Duty Must Pay the Price

Published on: 08 March 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

A company director who breached his employer’s trust by misusing its resources to aid his son and daughter-in-law in establishing a new, and potentially competing, business has been ordered to pay more than £90,000 in damages.

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One Employee Can Be an ‘Organised Grouping’, Court Rules

Published on: 02 March 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

In what some may view as a counter-intuitive decision, but one which has significant implications for employers, the Court of Appeal has ruled that a single employee was by herself capable of forming an ‘organised grouping’ within the meaning of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE).

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Low Pay Commission Recommends Three Per Cent Increase in the National Minimum Wage

Published on: 24 February 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

The Low Pay Commission (LPC) has recommended to the Government that the adult rate of the National Minimum Wage (NMW), which applies to workers aged 21 and over, should rise by 3 per cent to £6.70 per hour from 1 October 2015.

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Sacked Nurse’s Unfair Dismissal Claim Back on Track

Published on: 23 February 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

A mental health nurse who was accused of inappropriately touching colleagues and behaving in an unacceptably sexualised manner has been given a fresh chance to prove that her dismissal was unfair.

The nurse strongly denied the accusations but was dismissed for gross misconduct by the charity for which she worked.

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Undercover Police Officers Win Overtime Dispute

Published on: 19 February 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

Undercover police officers whose jobs often entail making contact with informers at all hours of the day and night have had their right to fair overtime payments for the out-of-hours work they put in recognised by the Court of Appeal.

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Smoking Policy – Time to Update for E-Cigarettes

Published on: 12 February 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

Smoking Policy – Time to Update for E-Cigarettes

E-cigarettes are becoming more and more popular and, as is common when an innovation occurs, the law struggles to keep up.

In a recent case, the Employment Tribunal (ET) had to consider a claim for constructive dismissal brought by a school canteen worker who contended that her employer was wrong to bring disciplinary proceedings against her for smoking an e-cigarette in view of the pupils before she started work in the morning.

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