Home > Legal Opinions tagged employment

  • deductions for strike action at the rate of one working day

    Emily Spragg

    An employer does not have to pay employees who strike for those periods they are not working. So, how much pay should be deducted? The Court of Appeal decided that, where an employee takes part in a one-day strike, the employer is entitled to withhold one working day’s pay rather than one calendar day where […]

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  • at last, the ECJ provides clarity on redundancy and collective con...

    Tom Toulson

    For a long time the law was simple: an employer had to engage in collective consultations when it planned to make 20 or more people redundant at one establishment within a 90-day period. An ‘establishment’ meant a single site or workplace. Then came the EAT’s decision in USDAW v Woolworths and suddenly things were, well, […]

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  • match certificate of sponsorship to job role or risk losing your l...

    Hayley Prescott

    The Secretary of State’s decision to remove a care home’s sponsor licence was lawful, according to a judicial review. The employer advised UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) that a migrant worker would undertake the role of ‘public relations officer’. A visa was granted on this basis. Following a routine audit from UKVI less than three […]

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  • disclosures in the public interest where only a small group is aff...

    Emily Spragg

    Mr Nurmohamed told senior managers he believed his employer had deliberately misstated £2-3 million of costs and liabilities, affecting the earnings of 100 senior managers, including himself. The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) upheld his automatic unfair dismissal claim – the disclosure was in the interests of the 100 senior managers, which was a sufficient group […]

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  • outcome on anti-avoidance of exclusivity clauses in zero hours con...

    Helen Taylor

    As a result of concerns that employers could avoid a ban on exclusivity clauses in ZHC (e.g. by offering 1 hour contracts), the Government has announced plans to introduce draft regulations, ensuring that: exclusivity terms are unenforceable unless there is a guaranteed minimum level of income for the worker. It is proposed that the minimum […]

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  • a reasonable approach to investigating gross misconduct

    Emily Spragg

    In Shrestha v Genesis Housing the Court of Appeal confirmed that employers do not have to investigate every line of defence put forward by an employee as long as the investigation is reasonable as a whole. Mr Shrestha put in mileage claims, which were higher in 2011 than usual. On review, the mileages claimed were […]

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  • 'tomfoolery' does not necessarily equal vicarious liability…

    Jonathan Cook

    The recent case of Graham v Commercial Bodyworks Ltd reiterated the court’s acceptance that a serious misjudgement by two co-workers resulting in one being badly burnt did not fix their employer with liability. In this instance, an employee sprinkled another’s overalls with thinning agent which was subsequently ignited. There was evidence of horseplay but no […]

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  • the latest chapter in the challenge to the fee regime

    Gemma Steele

    As we reported in February, UNISON’s original High Court challenge on the introduction of the employment tribunal fee regime was dismissed. Appeal to the Court of Appeal was granted but in light of new evidence it was deemed appropriate for UNISON to issue a new judicial review claim which was heard by the High Court […]

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  • Supreme Court finds illegality does not stop discrimination claim

    Rachel Billen

    Mary Hounga entered the UK dishonestly on a visitor’s visa, with no right to work in this country. She was subjected to violence by her employer and subsequently brought a claim of race discrimination. At the Court of Appeal, it was found that the illegality of the contract of employment formed a material part of […]

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  • an end to exclusivity clauses

    Helen Taylor

    Following a six month consultation, the Government has yesterday introduced legislation to ban exclusivity clauses in zero-hours contracts. It is thought that the ban will be pushed through before next year’s general election. Exclusivity clauses, which are estimated to affect 125,000 workers in the UK, operate to prevent zero-hours workers from working for another employer, […]

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  • teachers should definitely be paid more than they are at the moment

    Debbie Stanley

    Education Secretary Michael Gove says “teachers should definitely be paid more than they are at the moment”. How on earth can this be funded at a time when financial pressures are very real? Changes to the School Teachers’ Pay & Conditions Document (STPCD) mean that all schools have the flexibility to pay the best teachers more […]

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  • DfE issues new guidance on teacher misconduct

    Rachel Billen

    Schools dealing with disciplinary issues arising out of teacher conduct must consider new guidance issued by the DfE. Where a teacher receives a conviction or caution for ‘sexual misconduct’ (rather than for ‘serious sexual misconduct’ as referred to in previous guidance) or for any activity involving indecent images of a child, they should be considered […]

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  • minimum wage hike – can we really afford it ..... ?

    Sarah Parkinson

    George Osborne said that he wants to see above-inflation increase in the national minimum wage, increasing the hourly rate from £6.31 to £7 an hour by 2015 for over 21s. Whilst many people will support the Chancellor’s plans, not everyone is in favour of them. Trade associations have warned that the above-inflation increases will hurt […]

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  • breach of patient confidentiality was not gross misconduct

    Most NHS Trusts would be surprised to hear that disclosing patient information in a public place was not sufficiently serious to amount to gross misconduct. However, in West London Mental Health v Chhabra the Supreme Court said exactly that, where a doctor was subject to disciplinary proceedings for discussing patient information on a busy train. […]

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  • occupational hazards

    Rachael Jellema

    If an occupational health report advises that an employee is not disabled, then an employer cannot have knowledge of that disability, right? Wrong, said the Court of Appeal in Gallop v Newport City Council. In order for an employer to fail to make reasonable adjustments, it must have actual or constructive knowledge of the employee’s […]

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  • some changes, but not much TUPE excited about

    Tom Toulson

    The Government has finally published its proposed changes to the TUPE Regulations 2006. It claims the draft regulations will “cut red tape for businesses” but those hoping for a radical shake-up of the law in this area are likely to be disappointed. As expected, the Government has abandoned its controversial plan to repeal the regulations […]

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  • teachers strike action postponed – for the moment...

    Rachel Billen

    The strike action planned by the NUT and NASUWT to take place before Christmas has been postponed. The announcement follows confirmation from Michael Gove that he was willing to meet for talks on performance related pay, pensions, workload and terms of employment. Speaking late last week Mr Gove said, “We have regular meetings with all […]

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  • can a wide non-solicitation post-termination restriction be valid?

    Emily Spragg

    A restrictive covenant preventing an ex-employee from soliciting customers from its former employer can be valid, even if the clause is not restricted to customers that the ex-employee has had recent dealings with. In Coppage v Safety Net Services, Mr Coppage appealed against a decision that he had breached a non-solicitation clause. He argued that […]

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  • changes to employment tribunal remission system announced

    Rachel Billen

    Hot on the heels of the launch of fees in July, the Government has announced the introduction of a revised remissions system.  Claimants may currently be entitled to full or part fee remission if they are in receipt of certain benefits or meet the gross annual or net monthly income tests. The scheme, set to […]

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  • teachers’ unions announce national autumn strike in England

    Hayley Prescott

    The NUT and NASUWT are threatening to call a one-day national strike before Christmas, in addition to the regional strikes already planned for 1 October and 17 October. The unions have not set a date for the national strike, and it’s believed that the date will be set once the regional strikes have taken place. […]

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