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Employment Law Blog

Phil Cookson
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The Supreme Court has given judgement in favour of an unmarried cohabitant in a dispute with a public sector employer regarding a ‘survivor’s pension’. The case dealt with the question of whether or not an employee’s unmarried partner...
Phil Cookson
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Meeting the National Minimum Wage ought to be a priority for employers big and small across the UK - it is essential for providing individuals with enough money to get by in an economy with an ambiguous future. Despite this, it’s been widely reported...
Phil Cookson
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The Employment Tribunal’s decision in proceedings against Uber, released last week, has provided a potential hurdle to businesses seeking to utilise a network of self-employed individual contractors to provide services to customers, or...
Phil Cookson
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The law in relation to holiday pay, and in particular what should be included in holiday pay, has evolved in recent years in light of cases such as Williams –v- British Airways plc and Bear Scotland Ltd –v- Fulton.  A recent decision...
Phil Cookson
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Large numbers of  businesses are about to become subject to new Gender Pay Gap reporting regulations. Due to come into effect next spring, many companies appear to be unaware of the new regulations. Background The difference between men’s...
Phil Cookson
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Two recent news stories highlight the continued problem of sexual harassment in the workplace and the risks to employers who commit such acts or do not take complaints seriously. The TUC union has published the results of a survey of 1,500 women which...
Phil Cookson
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A recent Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decision provides a reminder to employers about the effect of internal appeals against disciplinary sanctions. In Folkestone Nursing Home Ltd v Patel the EAT considered the effect of an internal appeal...
Phil Cookson
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A recent decision of the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) in relation to a Polish employment case confirms the principle that an employee who is prevented from taking their holiday entitlement due to sickness should be allowed to take their...
Phil Cookson
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The results of a survey conducted by Peninsula and analysis of statistics by Citizens Advice have highlighted two issues which will be of concern for employers. Citizens Advice analysed statistics produced by the Office of National Statistics which...
Phil Cookson
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High Court claims brought by Lithuanian nationals for exploitation have succeeded against a Kent based chicken farming company.  This is the first court ruling against a UK company for civil damages in relation to victims of trafficking and...
Phil Cookson
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Many people will have followed the developments in the proceedings brought by Chelsea FC’s former doctor, Eva Carneiro, against the club and former manager, Jose Mourinho, for constructive dismissal and discrimination.  Such interest may have come...
Phil Cookson
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The Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) has reported the prosecution of an employee in relation to the unlawful obtaining of personal data. The case concerned an employee who emailed himself details of 957 clients of his employer...
Phil Cookson
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There has been much publicity about the introduction of the National Living Wage (“NLW”) which came into force on 1 st April 2016.  The basic premise, a minimum hourly rate of pay for those who are aged 25 and over set at £7.20 per...
Phil Cookson
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Employers say they are essential and should remain.  Workers’ organisations say they are harmful and should be banned.  Zero hours contracts have, in recent times, attracted a lot of media attention and the debate as to whether they should...
Phil Cookson
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There has been focus on the calculation of holiday pay by employers since the decision of the Employment Tribunal in the case of Bear Scotland which dealt with the issue of overtime when calculating holiday pay. The latest case on the topic, British...
Phil Cookson
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The Starbucks decision is a reminder to employers to deal with disabilities and consider reasonable adjustments. An Employment Tribunal has upheld claims of disability discrimination brought by an employee against Starbucks.  The case involved an...
Phil Cookson
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The Government has published draft legislation on the Apprenticeship Levy, which will be introduced from April 2017. The draft legislation confirms that from April 2017, employers with an annual wage bill of more than £3m will have to pay a levy...
Phil Cookson
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A judgement in the European Court of Human Rights ( ECHR ) this week  has ruled that employers can justify reading workers’ private online messages. The decision is binding in the UK as it has ratified the European Convention on Human Rights. ...
Phil Cookson
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With 2016 well under way it's a good time to take a look at what is coming up in terms of employment law.  Our Employment team has summarised the main highlights below. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us. Zero hours...
Phil Cookson
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A recent decision by the Employment Appeal Tribunal has widened the scope of what activities will be classed as ‘working time’ in relation to the Working Time Directive, particularly in relation to those employees who participate in trade union...
Phil Cookson
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We recently highlighted the key facts in relation to the Government’s new Fit for Work Service which is designed to assist employees return to work from long term sickness absence.  Dealing with sickness absence can be difficult for any...
Phil Cookson
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Following the earlier Advocate General’s opinion, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that where a worker has no fixed place of work, the time spent travelling to their first appointment and back home from their last does, indeed, count as...
Phil Cookson
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The Fit For Work (FFW) service has just been launched.  Aimed at helping employees back to work, this Government backed scheme aims to use occupational health professionals as part of the process of assessing employees who have been off work for more...
Phil Cookson
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Why is it important to follow the law when dismissing an employee? Dismissing an employee for a reason other than one allowed by law, without following the correct procedure or giving adequate notice, may lead to a claim for unfair or wrongful...
Phil Cookson
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Although each case is different, there are some key issues a business should consider when conducting a disciplinary procedure connected with misconduct or poor performance. The Acas Code of Practice (Acas Code) was introduced in 2009 to replace the...
Phil Cookson
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We’ve just uploaded our a-z of employment law onto the web site.  This was originally sent to recipients of our popular employment e-briefing service, but we’ve now made it available in one easy to find place, under the employment section of...
Phil Cookson
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Today sees the introduction of legislation which prevents employers from using exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts. T he changes mean that any clauses in such contracts which required employees to work exclusively for one employer are no longer...
Phil Cookson
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The European Court of Justice has just handed down its judgment in the Woolworths case which looked at whether an ‘establishment’ in terms of redundancy consultations consisted of one location or the employer as a whole. The Court has held...
Phil Cookson
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This briefing highlights some of the key issues that a business currently needs to understand about cyber security. This rapidly evolving field is increasingly attracting regulatory attention, resulting in a series of new laws. What is a cyber attack? A...
Phil Cookson
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What are the penalties for failing to comply with disability discrimination laws? Discrimination legislation imposes a duty on businesses to make reasonable adjustments to premises or working practices where a disabled job applicant or employee is placed...
Phil Cookson
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The Fit for Work service (FFW) will be introduced on a phased basis and is due to be completed by May 2015. The FFW provides: Free health and work advice through its website and telephone advice line to help with absence prevention. Free referral...
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The Advocate General of the European Court of Justice has made a recommendation on the ‘Woolworths’ collective redundancy issue.  In his opinion, UK employers should not be obliged to consult collectively about redundancies across multiple...
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Phil Cookson
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What is TUPE? TUPE is an acronym for the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006. Where TUPE applies, employees automatically transfer from one employer to another with their terms of employment and continuity of service...
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The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has announced that three people have been convicted and sentenced as part of its investigation into the Sustainable Growth Group (SGG), including its subsidiaries, Sustainable AgroEnergy plc (SAE) and Sustainable Wealth (UK)...
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Over the Christmas period the Government announced that holiday pay claims made since the recent landmark judgement (see our blog here and here) will only be able to stretch back two years. The announcement followed the decision that holiday pay should...
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It has long been publicised that being overweight or obese can have an impact upon health and wellbeing but the issue has now been caused to be considered the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) in the context of employment and disability...
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With Christmas officially here (according to many of our high street shops), our thoughts turn to office-organised seasonal festivities. There are many horror stories about office parties and their implications for employers, but you should not be afraid of...
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Hot on the heels of yesterday's announcement that holiday pay should include overtime payments, further details have emerged of the Employment Appeal Tribunal's ruling. The key points are: Workers are entitled to be paid a sum of money to reflect...
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The Employment Appeals Tribunal has today announced that overtime payments should be taken in to account when calculating holiday pay - currently only basic pay counts when it is calculated. Whilst the full details of the ruling have yet to be released,...
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Phil Cookson
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ACAS has just published its guide to the forthcoming changes in parental leave which come in to force from 5th April 2015. It gives advice on how employees can make requests and how employers can ensure they deal with requests fairly. The new regulations...
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From 1 October 2014 expectant fathers, or the partner of a pregnant woman, will be entitled to take unpaid time off work to accompany the woman to up to 2 of her ante-natal appointments. The core details: There is no qualifying period for the right for...
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The news that hundreds of police officers are being investigated for breach of social media policies again shows the importance of having a set of guidelines in place. A social media policy sets out rules for employees on the use of social media both in and...
Posted in:, Employment Law
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Business Secretary Vince Cable has today announced plans to ban exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts. Some employers who use zero hours contracts to balance their workforce with business requirements include an exclusivity clause which prevents the...
Posted in:, Employment Law
Phil Cookson
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The European Court of Justice has ruled that employers must include commission in holiday pay. The case on which they were ruling (Lock v British Gas) concerned an employee whose income was made up of a basic salary plus commission based on the sales he...
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Tuesday 24th June 2014 at 5pm may seem like a long way away, but it's a time and date HR teams need to consider now. Why? Because it's the kick-off of England's final group game at this year's Football World Cup when they face Costa Rica...
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Phil Cookson
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It is usual for April to be the start date for changes in employment law and this year is no different. Below is a brief summary of the changes coming in to force in April 2014. Statutory Sick Pay From 6 April, the rate of Statutory Sick Pay increases...
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Following on from the announcement of a delay in the right for all employees to request flexible working, the Government has just confirmed the revised date for the introduction of the new measures.   From 30th June 2014 all employees will have the...
Posted in:, Employment Law
Phil Cookson
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As previewed in our previous e-briefing here, the Government had planned to introduce the right for all employees to request flexible working from 6th April this year. The latest news is that this has been delayed, and the Department for Business Innovation...
Phil Cookson
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The first half of 2014 sees a number of employment law changes coming in to force. Most have been well publicised, and employers should already be aware of them, but in case some have passed you by, the key points can be summarised as follows: Automatic...