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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.

Public Sector Workers Score Important Win

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

In a vitally important decision for public sector workers, the High Court has ruled that a government department had no lawful right to unilaterally change the terms of its employees’ contracts to their detriment without first obtaining their consent.

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Defining Disability Remains a Quandary

Published on: 04 February 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

In a case which illustrates the continuing quandary of accurately defining the concept of disability, a services manager who claimed that he was discriminated against due to hearing impairment and a painful condition affecting his shoulder has had his hopes of compensation reborn.

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Armed Forces Personnel ‘Not Employees’, Court Rules

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

In the context of compensation claims brought by members of the armed forces who are injured at work, the High Court has emphasised that services personnel are not employed by the Ministry of Defence (MoD), nor do they work under contracts of service.

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Government Names a Further 37 National Minimum Wage Offenders

Published on: 18 January 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

The Government has announced the names of a further 37 employers who have failed to pay their workers the National Minimum Wage (NMW).

Collectively, the offenders owe a total of £177,000 in arrears and have received financial penalties totalling more than £51,000.

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‘Gold-Plated’ Occupational Pensions Lose Their Lustre

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

Occupational pensions used to be considered gold-plated – but not anymore, it seems, after a retired employee’s campaign to increase levels of compensation paid by the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) fell on fallow ground at the High Court.

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Medical Professionals and Conscientious Objection

Published on: 28 December 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

Two devoutly Roman Catholic midwives who refused to take even supervisory roles in the termination of pregnancies have failed to convince the Supreme Court that their NHS employer trampled on their right to conscientiously object.

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Government Acts to Prevent Large Backdated Holiday Pay Claims

Published on: 18 December 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

In a move described by the TUC as a 'blatant attempt to water down' last month's decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal in Bear Scotland v Fulton that holiday pay should reflect non-guaranteed overtime that is routinely worked, the Government has laid before Parliament regulations amending the Employment Rights Act 1996 and the Working Time Regulations 1998 so as to limit Employment Tribunal (ET) claims on this issue to two years before the date on which the ET1 claim for unlawful deduction of wages is lodged and clarifying that the right to payment in respect of annual leave is not intended to operate in such a way as to provide that right under a worker’s contract. It is a separate statutory right.

There will be a transitional period before the two-year time limit is introduced. It will only apply to complaints presented to the ET on or after 1 July 2015.

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Extra-Territorial Reach of Employment Tribunals Considered

Published on: 17 December 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

A novel attempt to deploy human rights legislation to extend the territorial reach of UK employment tribunals, so that they could deal with whistleblowing cases from around the globe, has fallen on fallow ground but may be a sign of things to come.

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National Security Can Trump Individual Employment Rights

Published on: 11 December 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

In a case which involved a tricky balance being struck between national security and individual employment rights, a Muslim immigration officer who was dismissed from his post without any explanation has failed to convince a tribunal that he is entitled to know at least the gist of the reasons which lay behind his sacking.

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Holiday Pay and Overtime – UNITE Will Not Appeal Against EAT Decision

Published on: 30 November 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

In the latest case on workers' remuneration in respect of annual leave (Bear Scotland Ltd. and Others v Fulton and Others), the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) ruled that employers should include ‘non-guaranteed’ overtime that is routinely worked when calculating an employee’s holiday pay.

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Cut and Thrust of Film Industry Workplace Practices Exposed

Published on: 26 November 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

In a bitterly fought case which exposed the cut and thrust of workplace practices in parts of the film industry, a producer has convinced the High Court that she at least deserved to be paid for more than three years of effort she put in before her contract was terminated.

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Acas Publishes Early Conciliation Figures

Published on: 20 November 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

Acas Publishes Early Conciliation Figures

Since 6 May 2014, it is a legal requirement, unless an exemption applies, for anyone wishing to make a claim to an Employment Tribunal (ET) to first notify the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) by completing an Early Conciliation notification form.

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CEO Who Helped Himself Must Repay £300,000

Published on: 13 November 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

The former chief executive of a spread betting company who helped himself to more than £300,000 of its funds before it went into special administration has been ordered to repay every penny, with interest, by the High Court.

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University’s Disciplinary Process ‘Not Negligent’

Published on: 22 October 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

A senior university lecturer whose health and career suffered after she was accused of helping a colleague to create a false and misleading job reference has had her hopes of a substantial compensation payout dashed by the Court of Appeal.

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CIPD/Simplyhealth Annual Absence Management Survey

Published on: 15 October 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has published the findings of its fifteenth employee absence management survey, carried out in partnership with Simplyhealth. This provides useful benchmarking data for organisations on absence levels and the cost and causes of absence, as well as information on employee well-being.

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Collective Redundancy Consultation – Advocate General's Opinion on the Meaning of 'Establishment'

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

In May 2013, in a decision involving the protective awards payable to employees made redundant by Woolworths and Ethel Austin, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) ruled that the words 'at one establishment' in Section 188 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 should be deleted in order to give effect to EU Council Directive 98/59EC, which it is intended to implement.

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Part-Time Tribunal Members Can’t Have Pensions

Published on: 29 January 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

In an important test case, part-time medical members of tribunals have failed to convince the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) that they should be entitled to pensions like their full-time, salaried, brethren.

The part-time members, who are paid fees rather than salaries, argued that their treatment violated the provisions of the Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000.

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Local Authority Finance Boss Unfairly Dismissed

Published on: 18 January 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

A local authority’s former head of finance is in line for substantial compensation after he was unfairly forced out of his job – despite failing to convince the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) that he was also a victim of sex discrimination.

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DWP Publishes Guidance on the 'Fit for Work' Sickness Absence Service

Published on: 13 January 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

DWP Publishes Guidance on the 'Fit for Work' Sickness Absence Service

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has published guidance for employers and employees on the new 'Fit for Work' service, previously called the Health and Work Service, which is being rolled out over the coming months.

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Shared Parental Leave and Pay

Published on: 04 January 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

Shared Parental Leave and Pay

Under the new Shared Parental Leave arrangements, eligible parents of children due to be born or adopted on or after 5 April 2015 have more flexibility as to how they take time off work to care for their child.

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Obesity Can Constitute a Disability, ECJ Rules

Published on: 18 December 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

Obesity Can Constitute a Disability, ECJ Rules

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that obesity can constitute a 'disability' within the meaning of EU Directive 2000/78/EC, which establishes a general framework for equal treatment in employment.

The ruling came in response to a question referred to the ECJ by the Danish District Court after an overweight childminder who in 2007 had a body mass index of 54 claimed that his dismissal from his employment with the local council resulted from unlawful discrimination on grounds of obesity.

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Disloyal Employee Receives £50,000 Damages Bill

Published on: 17 December 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

A senior recycling company employee who violated the duty of good faith and fidelity he owed his bosses when he upped sticks and set up a rival business paid a heavy price for his disloyalty when the High Court ordered him to pay more than £50,000 in damages.

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Do You Comply With Display Screen Health and Safety Laws?

Published on: 14 December 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

Many workers spend a large part of their day looking at a computer screen, laptop or touch screen. However, a survey commissioned by Specsavers, covering 138 companies of varying sizes in both the public and private sectors, has revealed that fewer than half of all employers (47 per cent) fully understand the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992, which deal with the health and safety issues associated with regularly working with Display Screen Equipment (DSE) – i.e.

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Computer Programmer Breached Employer’s Copyright

Published on: 03 December 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

A computer programmer and former non-executive director who breached his employer’s copyright by leaking specialist software to a trade rival is facing a substantial High Court damages claim after his wrongdoing was revealed.

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Mental Illness in the Workplace – Tribunal Rules

Published on: 27 November 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

In a case which put the spotlight on the difficulties posed by mental illness in the workplace, a paranoid schizophrenic who was dismissed from his job for gross misconduct after he launched physical and sexual assaults on colleagues has had his compensation hopes boosted by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT).

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Employment Tribunal Members ‘Researched Internet’

Published on: 23 November 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

Employment Tribunal Members ‘Researched Internet’

Members of an Employment Tribunal (ET) have been criticised for falling into a trap which more commonly ensnares unqualified jurors by resorting to the Internet in a bid to fill gaps in the evidence in a disability discrimination case.

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Sacked Housing Association Officer Wins Appeal

Published on: 19 November 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

A former housing association officer who succeeded in an unfair dismissal claim – but was awarded not a penny for the impact which his unlawful treatment had on his future earnings – has been handed a fresh chance to win a bigger compensation award.

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Redundant Company Secretary Triumphs in £400,000-Plus Claim

Published on: 10 November 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

The former company secretary of a global mining concern, who received a £487,925 bonus after the company merged with a former rival, is entitled to £418,774 more after he was made redundant less than a year after the deal went through, the High Court has ruled.

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New Guide on Managing Bereavement in the Workplace

Published on: 19 October 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service has issued new guidance, developed in partnership with Cruse Bereavement Care and others, which aims to help employers support members of staff who have suffered bereavement.

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Director ‘Still an Employee’ Following Resignation

Published on: 14 October 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

An entrepreneur who resigned as a director of a company he founded, in order to help it out of cash flow difficulties, nevertheless continued to be an employee and was entitled to tax relief on the profits he subsequently made by selling his shares in the venture.

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