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Employment Law Case Update: Walker v Arco Environmental Limited

Employment Team
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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. 

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

Employment Team
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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?

Employment Team
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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.

Employment Law Case Update: Sherbourne v Cancer Research UK

Employment Team
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Staff parties and team building exercises are a great way to create a strong bond between colleagues and reward employees for work well done. Whether it's an out-door activity or a meal out, it's important to conduct a thorough risk assessment to make sure anyone attending is being put at any risk.

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

Employment Team
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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.

Employment Law Case Update: Fitz v Holland and Barrett Retail Limited

Employment Team
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Asking our employees to work overtime is occasionally a requirement, but do your employment contracts stipulate whether that time will be paid or unpaid? 

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

Employment Team
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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?

Employment Team
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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

Employment Team
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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?

Employment Team
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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

Employment Team
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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?

Employment Team
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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.

Employment Law Case Update: De Groen v Gan Menachem Hendon Limited

Employment Team
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A recent case has highlighted the complicated nature of discrimination claims and protected characteristics; our Employment team review the case here and advise employers on their best course of action.

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

Employment Team
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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. 

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

Employment Team
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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.

Employment Law Case Update: Pimlico Plumbers

Employment Team
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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.  

Employment Law Case Update: Statement of particulars

Employment Team
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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.

When should I involve Occupational Health?

Employment Team
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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

Employment Team
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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?

Employment Team
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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

Employment Team
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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?

Employment Team
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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

Employment Team
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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...

Employment Law changes in 2019

Chris Greep
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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.  Chris Greep, Employment Solicitor, reviews the key updates we can expect to see in the next 12 months. ...

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

Employment Team
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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...

New pay slips requirements from April 2019

Gina McCadden
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New pay slip requirements are set to come into force requiring itemised calculations for variable rates of pay and hours worked.  This requirement will also be extended to include workers, not just employees.  Gina McCadden, Employment Solicitor,...

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

Employment Team
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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?

Employment Team
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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?

Employment Team
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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

Employment Team
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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?

Employment Team
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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

Employment Team
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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?

Employment Team
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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

Employment Team
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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?

Employment Team
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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 eligible to make a statutory request,...

Employment Law Case Update: Phillips v Pontcanna Pub Company Ltd

Employment Team
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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...

GDPR - Much Ado About Nothing?

Natalie Rawson
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GDPR has been effective for almost six months now and the Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) has prosecuted or taken other enforcement action (and imposed monetary penalties, enforcement notices, or demanded undertakings)...

What is the Executive Pay Ratio Report?

Chris Greep
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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...

Employment Law Case Update: Patel v Folkestone Nursing Home

Employment Team
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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: Talon Engineering Limited v Smith

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Mrs Smith, employed by Talon Engineering Ltd (TEL) since 1994, held a clean employment record. However, in 2016 she was accused of an act of gross misconduct and asked to attend a disciplinary hearing on 5 th  September.  Due to a period of...

Employment Law case Update: Ali v Torrosian and others

Employment Team
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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  cannot show that the treatment was...

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

Employment Team
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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 Team welcomes new Trainee Solicitor

Pam Kamel
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Our Employment team are delighted to welcome a new Trainee Solicitor to their team; Pam Kamel.  Pam has worked at Warner Goodman since 2015, beginning in the Residential Conveyancing team in Portsmouth before moving to the Commercial Property team as a...

More qualification success as Trainee Solicitor qualifies into Employment team

Gina McCadden
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Celebrations continue in the Southampton office of Warner Goodman as Gina McCadden has qualified into the Employment team. Gina joined the firm in September 2014 working as a Paralegal in the team.  Prior to this, she studied law at the University of...

Employment Law Case Update: Davies v Scottish and Tribunal Service

Employment Team
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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: Kurmajic v Sainsbury's Supermarkets Ltd

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Mr Kurmajic was employed by Sainsbury’s for 12 years as a Customer Assistant. There were policies in place in relation to social media, explaining that staff should keep customer information safe and not post anything on social media that they would...

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

Employment Team
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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 worker’s home is at...

Employment Law Case Update: Stanley v Gnewt Cargo

Employment Team
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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

Employment Team
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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

Employment Team
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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: Mbubaegbu v Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Employment Team
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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

Employment Team
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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

Employment Team
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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

Employment Team
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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

Employment Team
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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.

Mental Health Awareness Week; what employers need to know

Chris Greep
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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?

Chris Greep
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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.  

Employment Law Case Update: Capita Customer Management Limited v Ali

Employment Team
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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.

Employee theft; when to investigate

Emma Kemp
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According to a poll commissioned by office-furniture supplier Kit Out My Office, more than two-thirds of UK office workers have admitted to stealing from their employers and colleagues at some time during their careers. With the cost of stolen items averaging at £12.50 and an estimated 15 million workers having confessed to employee theft, the cost to UK employers adds up to a staggering £190 million each year.  For employers, dealing with employee theft can be a difficult process; Employment Lawyer, Emma Kemp, explains what steps you should take if you suspect one of your workers is stealing from your business.

Celebrations as Trainee Solicitor qualifies into Employment Law Team!

Chris Greep
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Tuesday 1st May is an important day for Chris Greep, who has been a Warner Goodman Trainee Solicitor for the last 18 months, as this is the day he becomes a Solicitor.

Employment Law Case Update: Cockram v Air Products Plc

Employment Team
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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

Employment Team
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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

Employment Team
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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

Employment Team
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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

Employment Team
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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).

Just a year to go before the United Kingdom leaves the European Union!

Emilie Gas
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Following the day the UK formally leaves the EU on 29 March 2019, a Brexit transition period will take place until 31 December 2020 during which the parties negotiate the terms of the UK’s post-Brexit relationship with the EU.  Whilst there are still a lot of uncertainties, there are a few areas which employers and HR should start thinking about which Emilie Gas, Employment Trainee Solicitor, explains here.

Employment Law Case Update: Carreras v United First Partnership Research

Employment Team
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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.

Employer responsibilities for volunteer workers

Sarah Whitemore
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There are some organisations that depend on volunteer workers to survive, such as charities and fundraising bodies.   Employers need to be aware that recruiting volunteer workers comes with certain regulations that must be met.  Sarah Whitemore, Employment Partner, here explains the legal obligations for employers to stay on the right side of the law, and how they can support charitable organisations in doing so.  

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

Employment Team
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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 Update: Malik v Cenkos Securities Plc

Employment Team
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Dr Malik worked for Cenkos Securities Plc as a Securities Analyst. He made several disclosures, some of which were found to be protected by the Employment Tribunal (ET).

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

Employment Team
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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: Crawford v Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd

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Mr Crawford worked as a railway signalman for Network Rail; he was required to provide relief cover at a number of signal boxes during his eight hour shifts. As the boxes were manned singly Mr Crawford was required to continuously monitor his post and be available to carry out his duties at any time. 

Employment Law Case Update: Royal Surrey County NHS Foundation Trust v Drzymala

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Ms Drzymala qualified as a doctor in 1987. She developed a specialism in cancer and worked at various hospitals, improving her qualifications and experience. From April 2005, she worked as a Locum Consultant in the Oncology Department at Royal Surrey County Hospital. 

All is fair in equal pay?

Chris Greep
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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.  

Employment Law Case Update: Chief Constable of Norfolk v Coffey

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Mrs Coffey was a police constable in Wiltshire Constabulary, who was refused a transfer to Norfolk Constabulary. She had some hearing loss placing her marginally outside the national standard for recruitment. However, following national guidance, the Wiltshire Constabulary arranged a practical functionality test for Mrs Coffey, which she passed, enabling her to work as a constable (without adjustments).

Employment Law Case Update: Page v NHS Trust Development Authority

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Mr Page was a lay magistrate and also a non-executive director (NED) of the Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership NHS Trust. In July 2014, Mr Page, with two other magistrates, considered an adoption application by a same-sex couple. 

Employment Law Case Update: The Sash Window Workshop Ltd and another v King

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Mr King worked for The Sash Window Workshop Ltd (SWW) as a commission-only salesman for 13 years. SWW classified him as self-employed, therefore he did not receive holiday pay when on annual leave. On termination of his employment at 65, Mr King brought a claim for unlawful deductions of wages covering his 13 year career at SWW and a claim for age discrimination.

What will the key employment law cases be in 2018?

Chris Greep
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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. 

Employment Law Case Update: Ayodele v Citylink

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Born in Nigeria, Mr Ayodele moved to the UK and joined Citylink, a logistics organisation delivering letters and parcels. Mr Ayodele worked at the distribution depot in Swansea as a warehouse operative, initially as an agency worker before gaining direct employment with Citylink. 

What will the key employment law changes in 2018 be?

Emma Kemp
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As we move into a New Year, we look ahead to the upcoming changes in employment law legislation.  It is important employers familiarise themselves with the upcoming changes in adequate time to enable the necessary steps to be taken to avoid potential fines or claims being brought against them. 

Employment Law Case Update: Rawlinson v Brightside Group Ltd

Employment Team
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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

Employment Team
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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

Employment Team
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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. 

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

Howard Robson
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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’.

Employment Law Case Update: British Airways v Pinaud

Employment Team
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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

Employment Team
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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). 

Tribunal fee refunds to commence

Tebo Sebitlo
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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.  Tebo Sebitlo, Trainee Solicitor, explains here how the process will work, and reviews what the future may hold for Employment Tribunals in the future.

Employment Law Case Update: BMC Software v Shailch

Employment Team
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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. 

New ACAS support for employers regarding mental health

Howard Robson
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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.  

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

Employment Team
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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. 

What does the Supreme Court decision on Tribunal fees really mean?

Emma Kemp
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A landmark decision was reached recently by the Supreme Court, who found that employment tribunal fees are unlawful as they “effectively prevent access to justice”.  Unison has been in a legal battle with the Government since the fees were introduced, stating that the fees made it “virtually impossible or excessively difficult” for some individuals to exercise their employment rights, and that the fees regime indirectly discriminates against some groups.  

Employment Law Case Update: Efobi v Royal Mail Group Ltd

Employment Team
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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

Employment Team
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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

Employment Team
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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. 

Why is the National Living Wage important to employment law?

Howard Robson
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The National Living Wage (NLW) was introduced in 2016 as an enhancement to the National Minimum Wage (NMW) for workers aged 25 and above, and is currently set at £7.50.  

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

Employment Team
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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

Employment Team
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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

Employment Team
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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.