Home > Legal Opinions tagged employment

  • 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

    Rachel Billen

    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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  • Zero-hour contracts – should they be outlawed?

    Sarah Parkinson

    The number of workers employed on the controversial zero-hour contracts is four times higher than officially estimated – which has really forced the issue into the limelight. However, is this just a sign of the times? At a time when many businesses face cuts, is this the best solution currently available? Whilst zero-hour contracts may […]

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  • The meaning of one establishment

    Gemma Steele

    In a redundancy situation the duty to consult with employee representatives is engaged where 20 or more redundancies are proposed at one establishment within a period of 90 days. But what does “one establishment” mean? The EAT has confirmed in the case of USDAW v Woolworths that a purposive approach should be taken in line […]

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  • 1% pay rise for teachers recommended

    Heather Mitchell

    The School Teachers’ Review Body has today recommended that pay for teachers should be increased by 1% from September 2013. This will apply to all elements of pay on the teaching and leadership pay scales, as well as for individual allowances. This proposal, and the draft School Teachers Pay and Conditions Document will go through […]

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  • Blowing the whistle in the public interest

    Gemma Steele

    A number of provisions of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 are in force tomorrow. This includes the requirement that a disclosure must be made “in the public interest” to protect a worker from detrimental treatment. This will narrow down the scope for employees to bring whistleblowing claims as an alternative to unfair dismissal. […]

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  • Draft employment tribunal fees order released

    Hayley Prescott

    The draft Employment Tribunals and Employment Appeal Tribunal Fees Order 2013 has been released, with the aim of introducing fees for employment tribunal claims. July 2013 seems likely for its implementation. The tribunal system cost the taxpayer £84m in 2011-12. It is hoped that fees will reduce that cost. ‘Simpler’ claims, e.g. for wages, will […]

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  • Teachers say no to performance related pay

    Rachel Billen

    Teachers at the annual conference of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) have voted unanimously to urge ministers to scrap their plans for performance related pay, and re-instate the former national pay structure. This vote comes hot on the heels of the announcement last week that the two largest teaching unions would strike later […]

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  • Unions announce autumn strike action

    Rachel Billen

    Teaching unions, the NUT and NASUWT, have announced a series of localised strikes starting in North-West England on 27th June. A “rolling programme” of action will continue into the autumn term and include a one day all-out national strike. The action is in response to government plans to change pensions and bring in performance related […]

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  • Are volunteers protected against discrimination?

    Helen Taylor

    Are volunteers protected against discrimination when asked to cease acting as a volunteer? The Supreme Court says not. An HIV positive volunteer advisor brought a claim for disability discrimination when she was asked to cease acting as a volunteer. At her interview she was told there would be no binding legal contract between her and […]

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