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What is Furloughed Leave and how does it work?

Employment Team
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On Friday 20 March, the Chancellor announced the concept of Furloughed Leave in response to the economic uncertainty caused by the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). As part of this announcement, the Chancellor explained that a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (the Scheme) would be set up to allow “all UK employers… to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.” This has been referred to as Furloughed Leave. Here, our Employment team explain what Furloughed Leave is, who it applies to and how employers can apply for the grant.

Employment Law Case Update: Investigations and Whistleblowing Claims

Employment Team
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As an employer, there will be times when something, such as a complaint or a whistleblowing claim, is brought to your attention that will require investigation. The case of Fairhall v North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust illustrates the importance of an employer properly investigating and dealing with an employee’s request to instigate the formal whistleblowing procedure and the issues that can arise from any subsequent dismissals.

What status do workers on casual or zero hour contracts fall under?

Employment Team
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Having an individual that is said to be engaged on a casual or zero hours contract is not enough to determine their status.

Whether they are a worker or employee will largely depend on the nature of your working relationship in practice. The terms "casual contract" and "zero hours contract" are often used interchangeably by employers and there is a large degree of crossover between the two types of contract. In this article, our Employment team detail the differences between a casual contract and a zero hours contract, and how Employment Tribunals (ET) have been viewing them.

Employment Law Case Update: Unfair Dismissal and Disability Discrimination

Employment Team
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Interviews can sometimes be a difficult task. Depending on how many applications you receive and how many positions you have available, you could be interviewing multiple candidates over a number of weeks and it important that detailed notes are kept for you to review when deciding who, if anyone, to hire.

How often should I do appraisals and what should be included?

Employment Team
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Although some employers may treat appraisals as no more than a tick box exercise, or find conversations on poor performance difficult, they are important. While there is no legal requirement for you to carry out appraisals with your employees, they can be useful in monitoring and supporting their performance. How often they should be held will depend on your business, but the more regularly they are scheduled, the better. In this article, our Employment team explore this in further detail and also explain why you should hold appraisals, what should be included in them and what can happen if you don’t hold them.

Employment Law Case Update: Sexual Harassment and Bullying

Employment Team
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The case of Beaney v Highways England illustrates the importance of an employer properly investigating and dealing with complaints of sexual harassment in the workplace.

Do I have to pay my employees if I have to close my business due to poor weather or travel disruption?

Employment Team
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The commute to work can be difficult at the best of times, but adding adverse weather conditions into the equation can mean employees may find it impossible to get into the office at all, but what does that mean for their pay? As an employer, you might decide to temporarily close your business due to the weather conditions, in which case your employees would still be entitled to their pay. However, where your business site remains open, you are under no obligation to pay employees who do not attend work due to transport disruption, unless this is provided for in their employment contract. In this article, our Employment team detail the considerations you will have to make in regards to closing your business due to weather conditions, as well as alternatives you can offer your employees if they cannot attend work.

Coronavirus at work: what employers need to know

Gina McCadden
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Coronavirus has now been declared as a global health emergency by the World Health Organisation and, at the time of writing, two cases have been confirmed in the UK. The risk of the spread of coronavirus in the UK continues to rise and so employers should be considering how they should act if an employee intends to travel to China, contracts the virus in the UK or is absent from work. Gina McCadden, Employment Solicitor, here explains the facts about the virus and how employers can take steps in accordance with the law.

Employment Law Case Update: Discrimination and Reasonable Adjustments

Employment Team
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The case of Harkness v Holland and Barratt illustrates how a failure to make reasonable adjustments resulted in a successful constructive unfair dismissal claim.

How can I support my LGBT employees - Ten ways to create an inclusive workplace

Employment Team
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Over the last decade, organisations in all sectors have made huge strides in supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees and creating an inclusive workplace. However, there is still work to be done as many LGBT people in the UK still choose not to disclose their sexuality at work. Research has also shown that LGBT job seekers are 5% less likely to be offered a job interview than heterosexual applicants with comparable skills and experience. In this article, our Employment team list our top ten tips for supporting LGBT employees, as well as explain the law protecting them and what positives can come from a more diverse workplace.  

An employer's guide to holiday requests

Employment Team
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All workers are entitled to make holiday requests throughout the year and running a business means you need to be ready for such requests with the appropriate policies, pay structure and cover in place.  Our Employment team explain here the key facts...

Do I have to pay my commission based employees the National Minimum Wage if their commission falls below it?

Employment Team
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In certain lines of work, it is common for employees to be paid on a commission basis as opposed to more traditional means. However, workers who you pay wholly or partly on the basis of sales made or deals completed must still be paid at least the National Minimum Wage (NMW). In this article, our Employment team detail what payments do and do not count towards the NMW, when you have to pay the NMW and what to do if your commission only workers are required to be at work for a certain amount of hours.

Do I have to pay my apprentices the National Minimum Wage?

Employment Team
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Apprenticeships are one of the most common ways for employers to effectively train skilled workers for the future. When deciding whether to take on an apprentice there are many considerations you must make, one of which is what to pay them. Apprentices are entitled to the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and in this article our Employment team detail how much you have to pay your apprentices according to their age or how long they have been an Apprentice with you, how to hire an apprentice and how to make sure your Apprenticeship Agreements are compliant. 

What Employment Law legislation changes should I look out for in 2020?

Louise Bodeker
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The world of Employment Law is one that can move fast and with multiple Employment Law changes coming into effect from April 2020, as an employer, it’s important for you to be aware of them. In this article, our Employment team details the six key legislation changes to look out for in 2020 as well as how they might affect your business.

Employment Law Case Update: Detrimental Treatment due to Whistleblowing

Employment Team
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As an employer, at some point, you may well have to deal with a case of whistleblowing. If this happens it is very important to go through the proper processes to address the claim. Not doing so can leave you open to potentially expensive and damaging tribunal claims, as seen in the the case of Royal Mail v Jhuti, which illustrates the wide scope afforded to whistleblowing protection and shows the need to be sure and clear of the reason for any dismissal.

How should I support employees going through the menopause at work?

Employment Team
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In the UK alone, there are around nine million women aged between 40 and 60 who could be experiencing symptoms of menopause or perimenopause (menopause transition). Three and a half million of these women are employees over 50 with a wealth of experience and skills to offer, but how is the menopause and the associated symptoms dealt with in the workplace? While perimenopause and the menopause are not specifically protected by law, as an employer, you should make every effort to support your employees in this situation. In this article, our Employment team detail how you can support employees going through the menopause and what symptoms they may experience, what the law says about the menopause, and how to manage the general workforce when making adjustments

Employment Law Case Update: Direct Discrimination, Harassment and Victimisation

Employment Team
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The advent of social media and instant messaging services like WhatsApp, has given an employers an additional avenue to promote their businesses and communicate with their employees, but they so also present significant dangers that become very apparent in the case of Mr K Krabou v Tower Hamlets Homes.

What is a payment in lieu of notice (PILON)? - Advice for employers

Employment Team
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In the situation that you wish to terminate an employee’s employment immediately and have them not work their notice period, this can be done using a payment in lieu of notice (PILON). This would pay them for their contractually agreed notice period. In this article, our Employment team explains why you might want use a PILON, what can happen if you don’t include the option to use it in all employee contracts, and the difference between a PILON and garden leave.

Five key Employment Law cases to watch in 2020

Employment Team
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In the constantly shifting landscape of Employment Law it can be difficult to keep up to date with the latest cases and updates, particularly at the start of a new year. Here, our Employment team detail the high profile cases of 2020, explaining how they could impact you and your business, and how you can stay up to date throughout the year.

How should I prepare for IR35?

Natalie Rawson
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One of the most significant changes that will impact businesses in 2020 will be the expansion of the rules regarding IR35. Employers should be acting now to prepare for this change, or they could face significant financial and reputational consequences from HMRC. Natalie Rawson, Associate Solicitor in our Employment team, explains more here about the change and how we are supporting businesses to prepare now.

Can I reclaim money if I have overpaid an employee?

Employment Team
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It is not uncommon for a business to accidentally over pay an employee and it can happen for a variety of reasons. If it does occur, you may be wondering if you can reclaim any money mistakenly paid. Employees are protected by law from deductions from wages being made unlawfully, however, you are able to reclaim from employees in certain circumstances, like an overpayment of wages. Here, our Employment team go into further detail on when you can reclaim money from an employee, what to consider when doing so and how to do so staying on the right side of employment law.

Do I have to give non-Christian employees additional time off to celebrate religious festivals?

Employment Team
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Living and working in a multi-culture and multi-faith society leads to an array of religious holidays and festivals; however there is no requirement for you to give employees additional time off to celebrate them. In this article, our Employment team discusses how to deal with holiday requests around these festivals, what you can do if you can’t grant a request, as well as detailing a case that serves as an example of what can happen if requests are not handled correctly.

Are my employees entitled to a day's extra pay in a leap year?

Employment Team
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Although it only happens once every four years, the extra day that comes with a leap year can catch employers out when it comes to paying their employees. Whether or not you need to pay them for the extra day depends on if the employee is salaried or is paid hourly. In this article, our Employment team detail the difference between a salaried employee and one who is paid hourly in regards to a leap year, as well as how the changed date for the May bank holiday could affect holiday entitlement next year.

Can I amend my Employment Tribunal claim form once it's submitted?

Employment Team
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In order to bring a claim against your employer at an Employment Tribunal (ET), you must complete an ET1 claim form. It is vital that you complete this form correctly, as once your ET1 form has been sent, you cannot change anything on it unless you get permission from the ET. You may wish to amend your claim form due to an error in your initial submission, or because more information has come to light that wasn’t apparent before. Whether the ET will agree to amend the claim form depends on what the changes are and their significance to your case. In this article, our Employment team detail the facts that the ET will consider when deciding whether to allow amendments to a claim form and they examine the case that provides a guiding influence on the process.

New appointment grows Employment Law offering

Natasha Young
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We are pleased to announce a new string to our Employment Law bow, with the appointment of Natasha Young as External Training and HR Manager. 

Natasha has 20 years experience of working in HR across a range of sectors and is also a Fellow of the CIPD. In her new role with the Hampshire law firm, Natasha will be working with local employers in two main areas, namely providing training and in-house HR support.

Can I recover training costs if an employee leaves?

Employment Team
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Throughout an employee’s tenure at your business, you may well pay for them to attend various training sessions, but can you recover those costs if they leave? The answer to this depends completely on the employee’s contract or the terms of any training agreements they have signed. If there is no contractual right that allows you to reclaim payment, the money cannot be recovered. You may be able to offset the amount owed against the money the employee is due to receive during their notice period; however this comes with its disadvantages. In this article, our Employment team detail on what grounds you can reclaim training costs, the risks involved and what considerations you’d need to make in regards to National Minimum Wage.

What is the difference between agile working and flexible working?

Employment Team
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Both agile working and flexible working are becoming more common in modern workplaces; but to effectively implement either of these approaches, employers need to understand that while similar in many ways, they are different in what they aim to achieve. In this article, our Employment team detail what flexible working and agile working are, their objectives and the positive and negative impacts of both.

If an employee is sick abroad, can I accept a foreign medical certificate?

Employment Team
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It isn’t an uncommon occurrence for an employee to return from holiday, only to claim to be ill and be delayed in returning to work. If the employee returns and presents a foreign medical certificate as evidence of their sickness, you should treat it as legitimate unless you have evidence that it is not, or evidence that the employee is not really sick. In this article, our Employment team detail what you should do if an employee is sick during their holiday and requests the time off be considered as sickness absence and not annual leave, as well as where you stand in regards to Statutory Sick Pay.

Can I refuse suitable alternative employment when being made redundant?

Employment Team
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If your employer has notified you that your role is at risk of being made redundant, they are obliged to consider whether there is the possibility of offering you alternative employment so as to avoid redundancy. You can refuse the role if one is found, but you should be cautious as doing so on unreasonable grounds will mean that you are not entitled to your statutory redundancy payment. In this article, our Employment team details what your employer must do to offer you an alternative role and for what reasons you can turn down the role and still receive your redundancy pay.

What is ACAS Early Conciliation?

Employment Team
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If you are considering bringing an Employment Tribunal claim against your former, current or a potential employer, you will have to go through ACAS Early Conciliation before you do so. This is the process that employees and individuals are required to enter into before they are able to bring claim to an Employment Tribunal (ET). It is designed to try and resolve disputes, if possible, before they reach the ET; in this article, our Employment team details how to start the conciliation process and how long it could take.

Under what circumstances can I suspend an employee?

Employment Team
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Suspending an employee is never a decision to be taken lightly. If you suspect an employee has committed an act of misconduct and wish to suspend, you first must ensure that it would comply with certain circumstances for it to be an appropriate action. In this article, our Employment team discuss under what circumstances it is appropriate to suspend, what considerations you should make before suspending and what happens once you have suspended.

What can I do if my employer rejects my flexible working request?

Employment Team
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While flexible working is a much more common occurrence than before, requests are not always granted. If your request is rejected, your employer could allow you to appeal their decision. In this article, our Employment team detail what criteria has to be met in order to first make a flexible working request, how you can appeal if your request is rejected and what you can do if your appeal isn’t successful.

Employment Law Case Update: Contractual Breaks

Employment Team
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Most likely, there have been times when work has been too busy for us to take a proper lunch break, but what happens if there is no data or record of when this happens?

The case of Hallett v Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust illustrates the importance of ensuring employees take their contractual breaks and the financial implications for not doing so.

Can I use a trial period to test flexible working arrangements?

Employment Team
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The traditional working structure has been undergoing a transformation in recent months and with the advent of technology and programs like Skype and Slack, employees being able to work remotely or from home is becoming more common place. In turn, this has led to an increase in flexible working requests so employees can have a better work-life balance. If an employee does make that request you can trial a flexible working arrangement; in this article, our Employment team detail what to do if a flexible working request is made and when to use a trial period.

Employment Law Case Update: Sexual Harassment

Employment Team
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Fostering a positive atmosphere in the workplace is important and employees that get along and enjoy working together is always a welcome sight to employers, but what happens if that friendliness is over stepped?

Can my partner attend my antenatal appointments?

Employment Team
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It is well known that pregnant employees are entitled to time off to attend antenatal appointments, and rights for partners are now being extended. The introduction of Shared Parental Leave is one example, and rights to accompany a pregnant woman to an appointment have also been revised. In this article, the Employment team discuss who is eligible to attend antenatal appointments and what your employers might request from you.

Employment Law Case Update: Unfair Dismissal and Known Disabilities

Employment Team
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The case of Kuppala v HBOS illustrates the importance of factoring in a known disability when considering issues of misconduct. Employers should make sure to fully investigate how a known disability could have impacted the misconduct and whether dismissal is a fair decision.

When should an employer refer to Occupational Health?

Employment Team
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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.

Employment Law Case Update: Suspending Employees

Employment Team
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Recently, a bus driver from Norwich was suspended from work while he is investigated under disciplinary policy for refusing to drive a bus with its number in rainbow colours.

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

Employment Team
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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?

Employment Team
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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.

Employment Law Case Update: Whistleblowing and Unfair Dismissal

Employment Team
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As an employer, it is more than likely 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 fixed term contracts become permanent?

Employment Team
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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.

When can restrictive covenants be too restrictive?

Antoinette Merryfield
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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.

Can a restrictive covenant be removed from an employment contract?

Employment Team
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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?

Employment Team
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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.

What is positive action in the workplace?

Employment Team
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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

Employment Team
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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?

Employment Team
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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

Employment Team
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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.

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: 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

Howard Robson
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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. Howard Robson, Partner in our Employment department, reviews the key updates we can expect to see in the...

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?

Howard Robson
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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...