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When should an employer refer to Occupational Health?

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As an employer, the physical and mental wellbeing of your staff should always be a top priority. Occupational Health is a key component in achieving this goal and in this article, our Employment team detail what Occupational Health is, when you should refer to Occupational Health and what preventative measures they can assist with.

Can I reject a job application based on a spent conviction?

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When interviewing for new employees, you may well encounter a candidate that discloses a prior conviction to you. If that conviction is “spent”, then you must treat the applicant as if the conviction never happened, and in many cases it is unlawful to refuse to hire a candidate based on that fact. However, there are some circumstances where you can lawfully reject and applicant with a spent conviction, and in this article our Employment team detail those circumstances, as well as what a spent and unspent conviction is.

Can a settlement agreement include a restrictive covenant?

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If you are offered a settlement agreement by your employer, depending on your role and the circumstances of you leaving the business, it is likely it will include restrictive covenants. There are several types of restrictive covenant that could be included; in this article, our Employment team explains each of them, what makes them enforceable and if you can negotiate the restrictive covenants with your employer before signing your settlement agreement.

Can fixed term contracts become permanent?

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A fixed term contract is a form of employment that expires after a certain “term” ends. The term could be a number of things, for example when a particular project has been completed, or when another employee returns from either sickness or maternity leave. There are occasions where fixed term contracts can become permanent, and in this article our Employment team discuss under what circumstances this can happen.

Employment Law Case Update: Post Termination Restrictions

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Post termination restrictions, or restrictive covenants, are stipulations put into contracts that prevent former employees from engaging in certain activities after leaving a job. This is done for a variety of reasons, for example, to protect businesses and prevent former employees from poaching current staff members or clients. There have been several cases where post termination restrictions have been scrutinised in court, and Tillman v Egon Zehnder is one of those cases.

Employment Law Case Update: Unfair Dismissal and Whistle Blowing

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As an employer, it is inevitable that you will at some point have to dismiss an employee. Whether this is done through redundancy or due to gross misconduct, fair dismissal procedures should always be followed to avoid potential unfair dismissal claims. Ali v Indian Cuisine is an example of the repercussions employers can face for unfairly dismissing employees.

Can a restrictive covenant be removed from an employment contract?

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If a restrictive covenant is already in your employment contract, you can seek your employer’s consent to have it removed. Depending on the reason, they could refuse this request or it may be removed by an Employment Tribunal if they determine it is unreasonable.

Can I ask my employer for a settlement agreement?

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Whilst employers are usually the ones to take the first step in offering a settlement agreement, it is possible to request a settlement agreement from your employer. In this article our Employment team detail what a settlement agreement is and what you need to consider when requesting one.

Employment Law Case Update: Disability Discrimination

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As an employer at some point you may have an employee bring an issue to you that requires you to make reasonable adjustments. It is important to note that this responsibility is triggered as soon as an employee informs management of any sort of mental or physical impairment that is causing them a disadvantage, and does not need a medical note confirming a diagnosis.

What is positive action in the workplace?

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Positive action in the workplace is designed to help people belonging to protected groups overcome or minimise disadvantages, meet the particular needs of a protected group, or encourage them into an activity they might otherwise feel excluded from. There are specific grounds on which you, as an employer, can take positive action and here our Employment team discuss them.

Employment Law Case Update: Sex Discrimination

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As an employer, it is important that when disciplining, or indeed dismissing employees, the criteria on which you do so is consistent for all instances. The Case of Higham and Escott v Greater Manchester Police is a prime example of just how severe the consequences can be as a court found they treated two female officers differently than male officers during two separate disciplinary procedures.

Can I re-employ someone I made redundant?

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If you have made an employee redundant, but then your business’s economic situation improves and you need to recruit, you can re-hire the redundant employee. You are under no obligation to wait a certain period of time before offering the job to the redundant employee. Similarly, if their previous role does become available once more, you are not obliged to offer the role to them; you can recruit someone else, as long as the original dismissal for reason of redundancy followed a fair procedure and there must have been a genuine reason for the redundancy.

Employment Law Case Update: Unfair Dismissal and Wrongful Dismissal

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As an employer, you may well find your self in the situation where you have been presented with information that suggests an employee has been acting inappropriately at work. While these situations should never be dismissed out of hand, the ensuing investigation should be thorough and detailed. In the case of Hyland v Cheshire & Greater Manchester Community Rehabilitation Company Limited, the consequences of a poor and vague investigation are made clear.

What can I do if an employee is off sick for over a week with no doctor's note?

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Usually, employers are happy for staff to self-certify their absence from work for the first 7 days of sickness and only require a doctor’s note (also known as a fit note) if they are sick for longer than 7 days. If you are in the situation where an employee is off sick for longer than this period and they do not supply you with the doctor’s note, there are a number of steps you can take, for example, withholding sick pay or you could initiate disciplinary proceedings. Our Employment team explain more here about how to take these measures, and why it is so important to have the correct sickness policies in place.

Employment Law Case Update: Walker v Arco Environmental Limited

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The case of Walker v Arco Environmental Limited is a good example of what can happen if, as an employer, you react inappropriately when an employees informs you they are pregnant. It also shows what can happen if you create a hostile environment in the work place due to news that you perceive as inconvenient to the business.

What can I disclose after signing a non-disclosure agreement (NDA)?

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Non-disclosure agreements have been featured heavily in the news recently due to their controversial nature, and the legality of them is currently being questioned. Whilst NDAs are predominantly used by employers to protect confidential business information, there are certain things in which you cannot be prevented from disclosing, such as information that is already publicly available. Here, our Employment team discuss what else you may be able to disclose, some potential incoming changes to NDAs and why the use of them can be controversial.

Employment Law Case Update: McKay v Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd. v Glasgow City Council

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When dealing with an employee who you believe is guilty of gross misconduct, it is imperative that an objective and thorough investigation is conducted. In the case of McKay v Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd, the dismissal of Mr McKay was upheld in tribunal due to the investigation carried out by Network Rail.

Can I carry out covert surveillance on my workers?

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As an employer, you can carry out covert surveillance on workers, provided you follow certain guidelines. You will also need to consider two potential issues; whether there are any conflicting principles with their rights in Data Protection their right to privacy through the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Our Employment team explain more about these considerations here, as well as the guidelines you need to follow as an employer.

What notice pay should I give my employee if she resigns whilst on maternity leave?

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This is a tricky area of employment law and will be determined by your employee’s employment contract as this will state the notice pay they are entitled to if you have chosen to go over and above the statutory entitlement. Our Employment team explain your position and how you can calculate the amount that your employee is entitled to.

What should be included in my social media policy?

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Depending on your business, how you use social media and why you use social media, a social media policy should specify the appropriate language to be used on both personal and company profiles, who should be posting on behalf of the company, when employees can and cannot be accessing social media, as well as the sanctions if the social media policy is not adhered to. Here, our Employment team explain more about the detail that should be included within a social media policy.

What rights do carers have at work?

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Carers who are also in full time or part time employment have certain rights and protections, such as the right to time off for dependants and protection from associative discrimination. There are currently 6.5 million carers across the UK who are looking after the country’s most vulnerable people while also working.

Employment Law Case Update: Aplin v The Governing Body of Tywyn Primary

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It is often said that your private life should not mix with your professional life. It can be difficult as the two so often run a very close parallel, but it can become a source of conflict when the two worlds collide. This is evident in the case of Aplin v The Governing Body of Tywyn Primary.

Can I keep my Linkedin contacts when I move to a new job?

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This is a complicated area and one that will be dependent on various factors, including the details of your employment contract, when the contact was made and whether they were made due to your own individual efforts. When you leave your employment, LinkedIn could be a potential threat to your former employer as you can notify all of your contacts at the same time of your new position just by updating your profile, which could be a risk if your new employer is a competitor to your previous one.

How do we decide who to put at risk of redundancy?

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If you are faced with having to make redundancies in your business, you will need to consider your redundancy pool and your selection criteria. Our Employment team explains here who should form your redundancy pool, what factors should form your selection criteria, and how to ensure it is a fair procedure for all concerned.

How can I reduce the risk of tribunal claims?

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Your employees are the foundation of your company, so treating them fairly and consistently will lead to a productive, loyal workforce, as well as helping you stay out of the Employment Tribunal. You are not always able to stop an individual from bringing a tribunal claim, but you can mitigate the risk of it happening by treating everyone that comes into contact with your company, whether they are an employee or a prospective employee, fairly and reasonably. Our Employment team explain here the main ways that you can reduce the risk of a tribunal claim being brought against you, and how we can also help.

Employment Law Case Update: Pease v South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

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It’s always a good idea to be sure your employees have heard from you, particularly those on maternity leave. Our Employment team reviews a recent case in which an employer failed to communicate with their employee correctly regarding redundancies at the business, and found themselves in Tribunal as a result.

What is presenteeism and how we can we reduce it?

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With Mental Health Awareness Week upon us, we are considering the impact the workplace can have on our mental health. Employers will be aware of employees going off sick when they are unwell, but there is a growing rise in presenteeism. Our Employment team here review what this means, and how businesses can be supporting their employees through any concerns about their mental health.

Employment Law Case Update: Nixon v Royal Mail Group Limited

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Having managers who are fully aware of the risks of discrimination, bullying and harassment is a vital step for any employer to avoid potential Tribunal claims. This was proven in the recent case of Nixon v Royal Mail Group Limited; our Employment team review the case here and advise how employers can take steps to prevent being in the same situation themselves.

Can we make a woman on maternity leave redundant?

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Redundancies are unfortunately a necessary measure for some businesses, and it is important that if this is the case for your business that you follow the right procedure to reduce the risk of Tribunal claims. If you have employees on maternity leave, there are additional conditions that must be applied; our Employment team discuss these today and explain the next steps if you are considering redundancies.

What are the common negotiated terms in settlement agreements?

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Settlement agreements are increasingly being used by employers in dismissal or redundancy situations; after signing a settlement agreement an employee has waived their rights to bring a claim against their employer. While they are usually standard documents, it is important that the clauses are reviewed to ensure that they best suit their individual needs. Our Employment team reviews here the most common terms used in settlement agreements, and what you should do if you are asked to sign one by your employer.

Employment Law Case Update: Hayman v Pall-Ex(UK) Ltd and Mr Christopher Tancock

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Tackling inappropriate comments in the workplace should be at the top of every employer's agenda when it comes to employee relations. This was proven in a recent Employment Tribunal case where an employee was called a "baby farmer". Our Employment team reviews the case and advises employers on the steps they should take to tackle such comments.

Will the termination payment in my settlement agreement be taxed?

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Settlement agreements are commonly used to settle or waive any employment related claims an employee or worker may have against an employer. Our Employment team specialise in advising employees and workers on their rights regarding settlement agreements, and are regularly asked whether the payment they receive will be taxed. Here, the team answer this question, as well as advise on the next steps should you be presented with a settlement agreement.

Employment Law Case Update: Town v The Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Police

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Staff pregnancies can be a complicated area when it comes to reasonable adjustments. The case of Town v The Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Police is one example. Here, our Employment team reviews the case and highlights the importance of risk assessments and reasonable adjustments for pregnant employees.

Do I have a whistleblowing claim?

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If you feel you are being treated detrimentally, or you have been dismissed, due to reporting on your employer, you could have a claim for whistleblowing. Our Employment team reviews the two different claims you could have in this situation, and how you should proceed if you have questions.

Employment Law Case Update: Pimlico Plumbers

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The case of Pimlico Plumbers and another v Smith has been regularly in the news over recent years and that doesn't show signs of stopping. Our Employment team review here the outcome of another case involving these parties, this time involving holiday pay.

Are my restrictive covenants enforceable if I have been dismissed or made redundant?

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With the continued rise in employers using restrictive covenants within employment contracts, it is important that employees are aware of their rights and responsibilities, from signing the contract of employment to their enforceability once they move to different employment.

Employment Law Case Update: Statement of particulars

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Issuing employees with a statement of particulars in a legal requirement and one that must be done within a certain timeframe. A recent case however has led to the question of when such a statement should be provided.

Do I need legal advice before signing a settlement agreement?

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If you have been dismissed or made redundant, you may be presented with a settlement agreement from your employer. These agreements are increasingly being used by employers in these situations as by doing so you are waiving your right to bring a claim...

Employment Law Case Update: Proctor v Haxby Group Practice and Mr McEvoy

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Making reasonable adjustments is important not only for employees but also for employers to ensure they provide equal opportunities for all candidates and members of staff. Our Employment team today review a case discussing this topic; Proctor v Haxby...

As an employer, what are my obligations to find suitable alternative employment in redundancy?

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Making redundancies will be a difficult decision for your business, but one that sometimes cannot be avoided. Conducting a fair redundancy process is crucial, not only for the wellbeing of your employees, but also to avoid a potential Employment...

When should I involve Occupational Health?

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Occupational Health reports can be used in a number of cases, for example, if an employee is off sick, has taken frequent short term absences, or in the recruitment process if necessary. Absences can be disruptive to your business and Occupational Health can...

Employment Law Case Update: Flemming v East of England Ambulance Services NHS Trust

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Mr Flemming was employed by East of England Ambulance Services NHS Trust from April 2009 to November 2015. He suffered from a mixed anxiety and depression disorder which classed him as disabled under the Equality Act 2010, however Mr Flemming was confident...

Can I extend my length of service so that I am eligible to bring a claim against my employer?

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If you are dismissed without notice you may wish to extend your length of service to enable you to bring a claim against your employer. Our Employment team explain here whether this is possible and when you may be entitled to extend your length of...

Employment law Case Update: Plaistow v Secretary of State for Justice

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Mr Plaistow was a prison officer who was transferred to Her Majesty’s Prison Woodhill in September 2014. He was later suspended in January 2016 and dismissed from his role for gross misconduct in August 2016. ...

Do I need to carry out DBS checks on my employees?

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It is necessary for some roles for an employer to have a full picture of the employee’s criminal background, but this is not true for all professions; you will need to decide if a voluntary disclosure is sufficient for the role, or if an official...

Employment Law Case Update: Middlesborough Football Club v HMRC

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In 2016, Middlesborough Football Club deducted the cost of season tickets from employees' wages over a period of several weeks. HMRC stated that such deductions amounted to the club's employees being paid less than the NMW, breaching the National...

Is an employee entitled to be accompanied at a meeting to discuss poor performance?

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Going through a capability procedure (often referred to as a poor performance procedure) can be stressful for employees, so they may be entitled to support via a companion during a meeting to enable them to convey their point of view. Our Employment Team...

Employment Law Case Update: Varnish v British Cycling and UK Sport

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In 2006, Ms Varnish was selected for British Cycling’s World Class Programme, where she progressed to the Olympic Academy Programme and subsequently to the Olympic Podium Programme – competing among elite world-class cyclists. Between 2006 and...

Can an employer anonymise witness statements obtained during a grievance or disciplinary procedure?

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Conducting disciplinary or grievance proceedings are a part of any HR or managerial role and it is vital that these are carried out fairly to avoid any potential Tribunal claims against you. If witness statements are required from the employee’s...

What Employment Tribunal cases should I look out for in 2019?

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Employment law is constantly evolving, so it can be hard to keep track of the latest updates. To help guide you, we’ve devised a list of the top Employment Tribunal cases you should look out for in 2019 and how any of the decisions that are made could...

Employment Law Case Update: Glasgow City Council v Unison

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In 2017 Unison brought a claim against Glasgow City Council on behalf of around 6,000 female workers at Glasgow City Council who were affected by a pay protection scheme set up over a decade ago following a job evaluation scheme. The Council carried out a...

Can my employee retract his or her resignation?

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An employee leaving an organisation is a normal part of business, but as employers you should be prepared to deal with an employee who wishes to retract their notice to terminate their contract of employment. It is a common misconception that an...

Employment Law Case Update: Hastings v Kings College Hospital

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Hastings, a man of African-Caribbean descent, worked as an IT manager at King’s College Hospital NHS Trust (the Trust)from December 1996. In October 2015, Mr Hastings was dismissed following an incident of racial abuse in the hospital’s car park....

Can I deduct pay from an employee who has arrived at work late the morning after the company party?

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Holding Summer or Christmas parties is a part of most businesses; the opportunity to thank your staff for their hard work during the year, and bringing them together outside of the work environment. What do you do though if someone has too much fun,...

Employment Law Case Update: Casamitjana v League Against Cruel Sports

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Jordi Casamitjana worked for League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) as a zoologist, specialising in animal behaviour. LACS states that it’s one of the most vegan-friendly employers. When it came to Mr Casamitjana’s attention that pension funds were...

Can my employer withdraw from a flexible working agreement?

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There are two ways that you can ask for flexible working: A statutory request (a request made in writing which can only be made once in any 12-month period). A non-statutory request (a request made if you’re not...

Employment Law Case Update: Phillips v Pontcanna Pub Company Ltd

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Miss Phillips was employed by Pontcanna at the Cameo Club, from September 2015 to May 2018. On 1 January 2018, at the annual staff Christmas party, Miss Phillips and Mr Webb, a chef at Pontcanna, were involved in an incident which was recorded by CCTV. The...

Employment Law Case Update: Patel v Folkestone Nursing Home

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This case illustrates how, in certain circumstances, an employee may still be able to bring a claim for constructive unfair dismissal where their employer has failed to follow a fair procedure or address all relevant issues at appeal stage.

Employment Law case Update: Ali v Torrosian and others

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Under the Equality Act 2010, discrimination arising from a disability occurs where: A treats B unfavourably because of something arising in consequence of B’s disability; and A...

Employment Law Case Update: Gray v Mulberry Company (Design) Ltd

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When an employee designs something in the course of their employment, generally the intellectual property rights in that design are owned by the employer. Often employers require their employees to sign an agreement making it clear and unambiguous who holds...

Employment Law Case Update: Davies v Scottish and Tribunal Service

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In the case of Davies v Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service, Ms Davies was a court officer, employed for 20 years by the Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service (SCTS) with a flawless service record. Ms Davies was going through the menopause, which left her...

Employment Law Case Update: Royal Mencap Society v Tomlinson-Blake; Shannon v Rampersad

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Under the National Minimum Wage Regulations 2015 (the NMWR), a worker who is not actually working, but is required to be available for the purpose of doing work, may be treated as working. There are two exceptions to this: Where a...

Employment Law Case Update: Stanley v Gnewt Cargo

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Much has been reported on the ‘gig economy’ and its effect on employment law. The classification of whether a person is an ‘employee’, ‘self-employed’ or ‘worker’ can have large ramifications for both the...

Employment Law Case Update: Reading Borough Council v James and others

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Ms James brought a claim under the Equal Pay Act 1970 (the Act) for arrears in pay dating back to 2002 when her employment began with Reading Borough Council (the Council). Section 1 of the Act provides that, if a term of a woman’s contract is less...

Employment Law Case Update: G v London General Transport Services and others

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Ms G was employed by London General Transport Services (LGTS) as a bus driver in late 2013 - a heavily male-dominated industry, with approximately 90% of the 500 drivers being male. Ms G submitted two formal written complaints against other drivers who had...

Employment Law Case Update: Pimlico Plumber v Smith

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Mr Smith worked for Pimlico Plumbers for five and a half years, until he suffered a heart attack; the contract was terminated four months later. Following this, Mr Smith brought claims to the Employment Tribunal (ET) for unfair dismissal, wrongful dismissal,...

Employment Law Case Update: Mbubaegbu v Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

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Misconduct is a potentially fair reason for dismissal; in considering whether a dismissal for misconduct was fair, the tribunal will ask whether the employer undertook a fair investigation when they reached the decision to dismiss, and whether the misconduct...

Employment Law Case Update: Ms Kaur v The Leeds Teaching Hospital

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Ms Kaur was employed as a nurse at The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (the Trust). They began disciplinary proceedings against Ms Kaur following an incident with a colleague in April 2013. Ms Kaur was issued with a final written warning in September...

Employment Case Law Update: City of York Council v Grosset

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Mr Grosset was a teacher at a school run by the City of York Council. He suffered from cystic fibrosis, which required that he spend up to three hours per day carrying out physical exercise to clear his lungs,a fact the council was aware of.

Employment Law Case Update: Pemberton v Inwood

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Canon Pemberton is a Church of England Priest in a same-sex relationship. When the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 came into force it was opposed by the Church of England. Canon Pemberton later became engaged, and informed several bishops of his intent to marry and received feedback stating that marrying his same-sex partner wouldn’t be appropriate. Despite objections from the Church, Canon Pemberton got married in April 2014.

Employment Law Case Update: Lopez Ribalda and others v Spain

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Ms Lopez Ribalda and the four other applicants worked as cashiers at MSA, a Spanish supermarket chain. The manager noticed significant discrepancies between stock levels and what was supposedly being sold in store - in some months as much as €20,000.

Employment Law Case Update: Capita Customer Management Limited v Ali

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Mr Ali was an employee of Telefonica until Telefonica transferred their employees and policies to Capita, and he became an employee of Capita. Female employees who had transferred from Telefonica were entitled to enhanced maternity pay. The maternity policy stated that female employees who had been employed for at least 26 weeks were entitled to 14 weeks’ enhanced maternity pay on full salary, followed by 25 weeks’ statutory maternity pay.

Employment Law Case Update: Cockram v Air Products Plc

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Mr Cockram participated in a Long Term Incentive Plan offered by Air Products. At age 50 Mr Cockram decided to retire, and at this age he was able to have benefits under the defined benefit pension scheme.

Employment Law Case Update: Lofty v Hamis

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The Equality Act 2010 provides protection against discrimination which relates to certain listed characteristics which people may possess, including disability. Section 6 of the Act defines disability as any physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and a long-term adverse effect on a person's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

Employment Law Case Update: Brazel v Harpur Trust

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Ms Brazel was a visiting music teacher at a school run by the Harpur Trust. Employed under a zero hour’s contract, she worked mainly during school term-time, between 32 and 35 weeks a year. The contract provided for her to have 5.6 weeks' annual leave - her statutory entitlement.

Employment Law Case Update: Reilly v Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

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In the case of Reilly v Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, Ms Reilly was head teacher at a primary school, and had failed to disclose her close personal relationship with a man (S), who had been convicted of making indecent images of children.

Employment Law Case Update: Ville de Nivelles v Matzak

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In case of Ville de Nivelles v Matzak, the European Court of Justice considered whether time spent by a firefighter, who was at home on ‘stand-by’, was considered ‘working time’ under the Working Time Directive (WTD).

Employment Law Case Update: Carreras v United First Partnership Research

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Mr Carreras was employed by United First Partnership Research (United) from October 2011 to February 2014, where he would typically work 12-13 hour days. In July 2012, Mr Carreras suffered a serious bike accident and had to take several weeks off work. Following his return he continued to suffer from physical symptoms of the accident – dizziness, headaches, fatigue and difficulty in concentrating and working late.

Employment Law Case Update: Ali v Petroleum Company of Trinidad and Tobago

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Sometimes education leads to destitution… In Ali v Petroleum Company of Trinidad and Tobago (Petronin) Mr Ali had worked for Petrotrin for 11 years when he was awarded a scholarship to study abroad for a degree. Petrotrin also paid Mr Ali a monthly living allowance in the form of a repayable loan.

Employment Law Case Updates: Ms Bickerstaff v The Royal British Legion

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Ms Bickerstaff was employed by the Royal British Legion as a Case Officer. Issues in the workplace began when another member of staff went on long term sick leave. Ms Bickerstaff was concerned that she would be unable to cope with the increase in workload.

Employment Law Case Update: Rawlinson v Brightside Group Ltd

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Mr Rawlinson joined Brightside Group Ltd as Group Legal Counsel in December 2014. When Mr Wallin was appointed as CEO of Brightside in January 2015, he expressed concerns with Mr Rawlinson’s performance and started an internal investigation. Mr Rawlinson was aware that senior management had concerns which needed to be addressed, but the details were not shared with him.

Employment Law Case Update: Creighton v Together Housing Association Ltd

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Mr Creighton commenced his employment with Together Housing Association Ltd (THA) as an engineering apprentice in 1987. During his employment he was promoted to Lead Gas Engineer in 2014, which involved managing gas engineers.

Employment Law Case Update: Schofield v Manchester Airport

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Mr Schofield, a security officer at Manchester Airport (MAG plc), was diagnosed with four learning difficulties: dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia and dysgraphia, classifying him as disabled under the Equality Act 2010.

Employment Law Case Update: British Airways v Pinaud

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Ms Pinaud joined British Airways on 24 June 1985 and was promoted to Purser in 1993 where she worked on a full-time basis. In 2005 she returned to work after maternity leave working on a part-time basis. She continued working part-time until she took voluntary redundancy on 30 April 2015.

Employment Law Case Update: NHS v Pillar

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Ms Pillar was a Nurse Practitioner employed by NHS 24. Her role consisted of taking telephone calls from members of the public and triaging them by asking appropriate questions to determine their medical priority and the appropriate clinical outcome. In December 2013 Ms Pillar directed a patient describing symptoms of a heart attack to an out of hours GP rather than the emergency services. She was dismissed for gross misconduct following a Patient Safety Incident (PSI).

Employment Law Case Update: BMC Software v Shailch

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Working in the sales team at BMC Software Ltd since 2004, Ms Shaikh was considered a good worker who performed well, and therefore received various promotions during her employment. Ms Shaikh was awarded two pay rises on “merit” and by July 2013 her basic pay was £60,000.

Employment Law Case Update: International Petroleum Ltd and others v Osipov and other

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Mr Osipov became CEO of International Petroleum Ltd (IPL), an oil and gas exploration company doing work in Niger in 2014. Within days of commencing his role as CEO he discovered serious wrongdoings by his predecessor that put the business in a precarious position with the Government of Niger.

Employment Law Case Update: Efobi v Royal Mail Group Ltd

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Mr Efobi, a black African born in Nigeria, worked as a postman for Royal Mail. He hoped to secure a role in IT and submitted approximately 33 job applications for internal IT roles but was unsuccessful.

Employment Law Case Update: Barbulescu v Romania

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Mr Barbulescu, a Romanian national, was employed by a heating company as an engineer in charge of sales. At the request of the company, he was asked to create a Yahoo Messenger account to deal with client enquiries. The company’s policies strictly prohibited any personal use of its IT equipment, including computers and internet access.

Employment Law Case Update: Various Claimants v Barclays Bank plc

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An astonishing 126 claimants sought damages against Barclays Bank for sexual assault. The claimants were job applicants and existing employees who were required to undergo medical assessments, most of whom were young women. As part of the bank’s application process, they were required to attend a medical assessment with a doctor nominated by the bank.

Employment Law case Update: Utilitywise plc v Northern Gas & Power Ltd Ors

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In order to prevent unfair competition after employment ends, it is advisable for an employer, where it is possible, to insert a restrictive covenant into the employee’s contract. In the absence of an effective restrictive covenant, an ex-employee may compete with the ex-employer, solicit the former customers of the ex-employer and poach its staff.

Employment Law Case Update: Williams v Meddygfa Rhydback Surgery

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Getting good performance from staff requires more than rebukes – it’s where proper procedure is essential. The case of Williams v Meddygfa Rhydback Surgery illustrates how not to do it, especially when a manager is himself the object of many complaints.

Employment Law Case Update: Agoreyo v London Borough of Lambeth

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A topic that has featured in the news lately is whether suspension amounts to a breach of trust and confidence. This was considered by the High Court in the case of Agoreyo v London Borough of Lambeth where the claimant - a teacher - was suspended as result of the force she used on two children.

Employment Law Case Update: Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust v Akinwunmi

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In the case of Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust v Akinwunmi, Mr Akinwunmi (‘Mr A’) was a consultant neurosurgeon for the NHS trust. Mr A had poor relationships with a number of fellow surgeons, and had previously complained that he was being bullied - and bought a race discrimination claim to the Employment Tribunal, which was settled.

Employment Law Case Update: FM ltd v Tuleikyte

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Sometimes the best laid HR plans can backfire with unfortunate results. What HR professional would ever want to unhouse and impoverish a new mother and baby?

Employment Law Case Update: MPT v Peel

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It has been an accepted fact that every employee is under an implied duty of good faith towards their employer. However the case of MPT v Peel has tested this idea in the High Court. The Court had to consider whether employees had to answer honestly when asked by their employer whether they had plans to set up a competing business when leaving the company.