Services
People
News and Events
Other
Blogs
Howard Robson
 

Are the restrictive covenants in your employment contracts reasonable?

  • Posted

Every business with a bright future will strive to protect their competitive edge. When an employee departs they could seek to exploit commercially sensitive information, tap up former clients for business or encourage colleagues to follow them to a...

TUPE - A green light to inflate pay and terms? Think again.

  • Posted

Over the coming months, it is likely we will begin to see businesses being bought and sold in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic. When a business is bought with the employees as part of the purchase, those employees need to be transferred over...

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

  • Posted

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 changes in 2019

  • Posted

2019 will be a year of change for employers and it is vital that companies are prepared in order to avoid potential tribunal claims against them. Howard Robson, Partner in our Employment department, reviews the key updates we can expect to see in the...

What is the Executive Pay Ratio Report?

  • Posted

The requirement for companies with over 250 employees to annually produce a Gender Pay Gap Report came into force this year, with much publicity around its implementation and subsequent results. The same attention has not been given yet however to the...

Feeling forced to resign; what is constructive dismissal?

  • Posted

Howard Robson, Partner in the Employment department, explains the situations where a constructive dismissal claim may be an option, the steps you can take before you resign and how to proceed in your claim if things do not improve.

Mental Health Awareness Week; what employers need to know

  • Posted

Mental Health Awareness Week begins today, Monday 14th May, and serves as an opportunity for employers to revisit current practices and confirm if their policy and culture match up to best practice. The taboo of talking about mental health has started to shift, following several high-profile campaigns, but many employers are keeping quiet and avoiding conversations with staff, even though they have legal responsibilities and it’s been shown to improve the bottom line.

What are my responsibilities as an employer for my transgender employees?

  • Posted

Gender and gender reassignment are protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010; this protection applies to transgender employees at any stage of transition, including those who are ‘proposing to undergo, undergoing or have undergone’ a process.

All is fair in equal pay?

  • Posted

Recent months have seen numerous news stories revolving around equal pay, with the BBC notably coming under fire for inequality in pay between the sexes. With the Gender Pay Gap Report deadline looming on 4th April 2018 (which is when all employers with 250 or more employees are required to report their gender pay gap and bonus details) this is not the last of the stories we will see.

What will the key employment law cases be in 2018?

  • Posted

Employment law had an eventful 2017 and this is set to continue in 2018. We review here some of the key cases we can expect to see appealed in 2018 and what this will mean for employers.

Meals on wheels - legal ruling finds Deliveroo riders are not 'workers' in employment law

  • Posted

A statutory body, the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC), has ruled that riders for meal delivery app, Deliveroo, are not ‘workers’ but are self-employed. Worker status means a number of rights are available to the individual including trade union recognition. Howard Robson, Employment Partner, explains what led to this decision, and what impact this may have on the so called ‘gig economy’.

Tribunal fee refunds to commence

  • Posted

Last month, the Ministry of Justice and HM Courts and Tribunals Service announced that the refund process was to commence in respect of Employment Tribunal fees. Howard Robson, Partner in our Employment department, explains here how the process will work, and reviews what the future may hold for Employment Tribunals in the future.

New ACAS support for employers regarding mental health

  • Posted

A new report published has highlighted the impact of mental ill health in the workplace. The Thriving at Work report, commissioned by Prime Minister Theresa May, has found that up to 300,000 people with long-term mental health problems have to leave their jobs each year, with poor mental health costing the UK economy up to £99billion each year.

Do you need a dressing down over your dress code policies?

  • Posted

Dress codes have been a hot topic this year as the weather, crucifix’s and heeled shoes have left many employers wondering where they stand. Howard Robson, Employment Partner, reviews the different reasons why dress codes have been under the microscope this year, and explains what employers should, and shouldn’t, include in their policies.

How much compassionate leave should employees receive?

  • Posted

Social media company, Facebook, has recently upgraded their compassionate leave policy for their employees if either an immediate or extended family member dies, as well as time off for sick relatives. Howard Robson, Partner in the Employment team, here reviews their new policy and advises employers about their own compassionate leave policies.

What does 2017 hold for employment law?

  • Posted

Most employers this year will be considering how employment law will change as we start our negotiations to leave the EU, and while we cannot predict how this decision will impact employment law at this stage, there are certain areas that we can foresee.

Blue Monday highlights the real problem of depression in the workplace

  • Posted

Today is Blue Monday, a day statistically proven to be the most depressing day of the year as factors such as the weather, debt overflowing from Christmas and the fact many of us have already failed our New Years Resolutions worry us.

Will the New Year mean a new career?

  • Posted

A New Year makes us all think about resolutions; some of us join a gym to get fit, some of us may wish to volunteer more, and apparently one in three of us would like to start a new career or change jobs.

Dismissal in the world of agency employers and employees

  • Posted

A recent case has shown the tricky line that exists between agency employers and employees when it comes to dismissal, and whether dismissal can be implied by the agency finding no more work for the employee once one assignment ends.

National Work-Life Week makes us consider flexible working requests

  • Posted

This week is National Work-Life Week; a week created by charity, Working Families, to promote wellbeing at work and a healthy work-life balance. Howard Robson, Employment Partner, reviews the week and the implications this has on businesses when it comes to family friendly policies and flexible working requests.

The ACAS Code of Practice: Ill health

  • Posted

The Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) had to decide if the ACAS Code of Practice regarding Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures applied to an ill heath dismissal where there was no evidence of poor performance.

DBS Checks: What you can and cannot do as an employer

  • Posted

As part of their recruitment process employers are increasingly requesting enhanced criminal records checks through the Disclosure and Barring Service (‘DBS checks’). Additionally, in some roles such as those that involve working with children and vulnerable adults, these checks need to be updated regularly. It is therefore imperative that employers know their rights and limitations when requesting DBS checks from both existing and potential employees.

An employers' duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled employees

  • Posted

In a recent case heard by the Employment Appeal Tribunal Mr Carreras (the Claimant) brought a claim for constructive dismissal and disability discrimination after his employer failed to make reasonable adjustments for his disability

University hikes salaries for female employees to address gender pay gap

  • Posted

The University of Essex has given female professors a one-off salary increase to align their salaries with their male counterparts. Data analysis by the Times Higher Education has shown that full-time female academics are paid 11% less than men

Is flexible leave the right way forward for your workplace?

  • Posted

A New Zealand bank has introduced a policy allowing employees time off work to look after pets. Offered on a case-by-case basis, this new benefit allows animal-lovers similar rights to parents and carers, by enabling them to attend medical appointments, settle in the house and new surroundings and attend emergencies.

Enforcing restrictive covenants in employment contracts

  • Posted

In the recent case of Bartholomews Agri Food Ltd v Thornton the High Court rejected an employer’s application to enforce the terms of a restrictive covenant contained within a contract of employment.

Discrimination against trade union members causes confusion in employment tribunals

  • Posted

To mark the start of #Heartunions week, we look at the precautions an employer must take when dealing with an employee involved in union activity. Trade unions play a very important role in many workplaces, often campaigning for better working conditions and employee rights, and offer staff opportunities to get involved in workplace politics.

Warner Goodman weighs in on employers' ability to monitor private messages

  • Posted

Employees across the country are today warned to reconsider using their employer’s communications systems and their working time to send personal messages after the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that companies could monitor workers’ communications online.

Should travel time be included as working time?

  • Posted

It may be ‘Drive Time’ on the radio; but it may also be working time…and paid too. A recent Spanish Court case will impact on businesses employing mobile workers. A Spanish Court case has concluded that employees who travel from home straight to a client’s business address were doing so within ‘working time’ under the EU’s Working Time Directive. The decision may impact on both working time limits and wages.

The Golden Rules of your Employee Handbook

  • Posted

These are all reasons why keeping your staff content is crucial, and if a situation arises where there is a problem, having an up to date and complete employee handbook is an essential way to support your decisions and procedures, and potentially keep you away from an Employment Tribunal.

Perks of the job: The onuses of employee bonuses

  • Posted

“I’m afraid that there’s no one in the office at present; they’re all off to Ibiza”. It may sound unlikely, but such a response is becoming increasingly plausible as employers strive to find new and exciting ways of attracting and incentivising staff through the use of perks. And, yes, a trip to sunny Ibiza is genuinely available to top performers at one particular business. Howard Robson reviews here the range of benefits that employers are starting to introduce in the name of employee retention, and advises what those employers should do in terms of a paper trail.

Temperature rises for employers over holiday pay

  • Posted

The summer holiday season may be a thing of the recent past, but employers should be taking the necessary precautions to avoid getting burnt over holiday pay in the future. Howard Robson, Employment Partner, here explains how the outcome of a recent case means employers are now required to permit holiday entitlement to be carried over for up to 18 months if it has been unused due to sickness.

An exclusive deal...not any more!

  • Posted

Zero hours contracts have been in the spotlight for several years, and in the run up to the General Election they became a political ‘hot potato’! One area regularly under scrutiny was that of exclusivity clauses. These prevent a worker on a zero hour’s contract from working for another company. These clauses are now consigned to history, and as of 26th May 2015 the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act outlaws exclusivity clauses in a zero hour’s contract.

A Weighty Issue

  • Posted

Howard Robson, Partner in our Employment Team here reviews a recent case considering obesity as a disability and whether employees have the right to bring a claim for weight related disability discrimination.

Meaning of the word 'establishment' clarified in high profile redundancy case

  • Posted

The recent case of USDAW and another v WW Realisation 1 Ltd, Ethel Austin Ltd and another provides clarification of the meaning of the word ‘establishment’ for the purposes of determining when collective redundancy requirements apply. Howard Robson, Employment Partner, reviews the cases and what they might mean for employers.

Careful Consideration

  • Posted

The use of restrictive covenants has grown significantly in recent years as our economy and job market improves, encouraging new business start-ups and heightened competition. The onus of proper use of restrictive covenants has tended to fall towards the employer, but employees must also be sure to act within the restrictions in their contract, otherwise they could face legal action such as an injunction or a claim for damages

Obesity a disability?

  • Posted

The question of whether obesity is a disability was put to the European Court of Justice recently as the Danish case of Mr Kaltoft was brought. Mr Kaltoft was dismissed after 15 years employment as a child-minder for Billund local authority, and he argued that his obesity was a factor in his dismissal.

Event season ends on a high

  • Posted

The Employment Team at Hampshire based law firm Warner Goodman LLP recently drew their events season to a close with a seminar dedicated to the upcoming changes to maternity and paternity leave; namely the introduction of Shared Parental Leave.

Team enter triathlon for second year running

  • Posted

In September 2013 a team from Warner Goodman LLP entered the firm’s first ever triathlon, the Rose Road Triathlon, and had incredible fundraising success almost doubling their target. Howard Robson, Employment Partner and also team member from last year, here explains why they’re taking part again this year.

Recent case could change the face of holiday pay for commission based workers

  • Posted

A recent opinion given by the Advocate General (AG) regarding commission in holiday pay calculations could have far-reaching consequences for many businesses and their workers if accepted by the European Court of Justice (ECJ). Howard Robson, Employment Partner, reviews the case in which the opinion was delivered, Lock v British Gas Trading Limited, and advises how employers can prepare for the future.

From the Tribunal to the Art Gallery

  • Posted

Warner Goodman Employment Partner Howard Robson is often found in the Employment Tribunal defending the firm’s business clients or presenting at the team’s regular seminars and masterclasses. But Howards’s latest venture steps away from the legal profession and into the world of Art, having recently become a Trustee of the charitable trust the FW Smith Art Bequest. The Charity supports the purchase of new art works for the local community’s enjoyment and education.

Franchisee...or employee?

  • Posted

A recent case involving a white goods supplier demonstrates the risks for franchisors and others who attempt to avoid the responsibilities of employers by offering contracts of self employment. Howard Robson, Employment Partner, here reviews the case and advises on how employers can be prepared.

Employment Team announce new partnership with health and safety experts HCS Safety

  • Posted

During a time when local businesses are recovering from the recession, their focus will naturally be on matters to further continued growth and development. This can mean that certain elements of running a business can be pushed to one side, such as employment legislation or health and safety matters. This can be dangerous when part of growing your business may be hiring new staff, meaning that contracts and handbooks need to be up-to-date, and your health and safety procedures are accurate.

EU vetoes maternity leave in surrogate cases

  • Posted

The European Court of Justice has ruled against claims for maternity benefits by mothers whose babies were born through surrogacy in two cases just announced, with the decisions coming weeks after the UK has agreed legislation that will put both intending surrogate and adoptive parents on the same footing as natural parents from next year. Howard Robson, Employment Partner, reviews the two cases and the impact this has on employers and employees.

Changes to TUPE arrive but employers disappointed

  • Posted

Employers hoping for a complete overhaul and greater flexibility in the transfer of employee rights following a business sale or change of contractor, under what is known as TUPE legislation, are likely to be disappointed when the new regulations come into force at the end of the month warns Howard Robson, Employment Partner.

Shares for Rights... Another example of the Osborne ingenuity?

  • Posted

Recent proposals from the Chancellor, George Osborne, for a new type of employee-employer relationship have Howard Robson, Employment Partner, wondering what impact, if any, these could have on employees and employers around the country.

Do zero hours contracts mean zero benefits?

  • Posted

In the last few weeks zero hours contracts have been in the focus of the media following the publication of various statistics which demonstrated that they are far more widely used than previously thought. In particular, statistics were released showing that workers on zero hours contracts earn, on average, £6 an hour less and that there are more than a million workers on zero hours contracts.

Banking on a lesson in promised bonus payments

  • Posted

As banker bonuses continue to draw negative headlines, a €50 million payout to bank staff has been forced to go ahead after a bank’s offer at a ‘town hall’ meeting was found to be legally binding.

Are you prepared for Employment Law changes in 2013?

  • Posted

Employment law is arguably one of the most complex and sensitive areas within law. With legislation changes happening on what seems like a daily basis, the rules to which employers must adhere to avoid tribunal claims whilst maintaining a productive workforce can be tricky and time consuming.

Landmark ruling opens way to change in workplace policies on religion

  • Posted

A flood of workplace reviews is expected warns Hampshire based law firm Warner Goodman LLP, following a European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruling which has said that a Christian employee of British Airways had her human rights breached when she was not allowed to wear a crucifix with her BA uniform.

Down with Spanish Flu?...don't lose your holiday because of it

  • Posted

We all know that feeling, first day of the holiday and down with a hideous virus. Well, until recently an employee has had to pull up the duvet and hope for better luck next time a holiday comes around, unless their boss is sympathetic says Howard Robson, employment law partner at Hampshire based law firm Warner Goodman Commercial.

Tribunal Fee Structure...Reducing Costs or Claims?

  • Posted

As with a lot of things in today’s world, an employment tribunal claim can be commenced at the click of a button, and at no cost. However, following Government responses to the Charging Fees in Tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal consultations in July 2012, it is likely that from Summer 2013 there will be the introduction of a fee structure to the tribunal process.

Keeping up with social media

  • Posted

The ever changing world of social media is posing new problems for employers and employees alike. Howard Robson, Employment Partner at Hampshire law firm Warner Goodman LLP, looks at the latest social media issues.