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Employment Law News

 

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.

Employment Law Case Update: Conducting Investigations

Employment Team
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If you suspect an employee of misconduct, it is of vital importance that you carry out a full and thorough investigation to make sure any disciplinary action you take has a solid foundation and is fair and reasonable. When explaining your findings, you must ensure that proper evidence is fully considered and used to avoid any claims of unfair dismissal. 

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 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.

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

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

Employment Law Case Update: Walker v Arco Environmental Limited

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. 

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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.  

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

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

Employment Law Case Update: Statement of particulars

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.

Do I need legal advice before signing a settlement agreement?

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

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...

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...

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...

Employment Law Case Update: Pimlico Plumber v Smith

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

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

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

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

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

Employment Case Law Update: City of York Council v Grosset

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

Employment Law Case Update: Pemberton v Inwood

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

Employment Law Case Update: Lopez Ribalda and others v Spain

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

Mental Health Awareness Week; what employers need to know

Howard Robson
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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?

Howard Robson
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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

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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!

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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

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

Employment Law Case Update: Lofty v Hamis

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

Employment Law Case Update: Brazel v Harpur Trust

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

Employment Law Case Update: Reilly v Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

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

Employment Law Case Update: Ville de Nivelles v Matzak

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

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

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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 we explain here.

Employment Law Case Update: Carreras v United First Partnership Research

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