In this edition of Workplace Law we look at the new guidance on employment references, the call for a four day week and some tribunal statistics.
We’re not one for causing controversy but we couldn’t let this one just pass us by!
It’s that time again; the Government has published the latest batch of tribunal statistics detailing claims from April to June 2018.
The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) have produced new guidance on providing references in an effort to assist employers when providing references for departing personnel.
The hot topic
More and more people think they may be being discriminated against – but there are many different forms of discrimination which means potential claims are not always straight forward.
In this edition of Workplace Law we look at holiday pay calculations and the recent gender pay gap reporting.
We are really heating up this edition of Workplace Law as we take a look at the recent heatwave and the government’s recent list of employers failing to pay the National Minimum/Living Wage.
The saying goes “another day, another dollar”.
Summer has officially arrived and with it comes a heatwave. With some parts of the country reaching a scorching 30 degrees there are a number of heatwave warnings in place.
Welcome to another edition of Workplace Law. In this edition, we consider how you can survive the World Cup and the recent Supreme Court case involving Pimlico Plumbers.
By way of a very brief re-cap to this long running worker status case, Mr Gary Smith commenced work for Pimlico Plumbers in August 2005 and worked solely for them until he was released from service on 3 May 2011. During this time Pimlico Plumbers gave him a contract that labelled him as an independent contractor.
Football fever has once again gripped the world with the advent of the World Cup – Russia 2018
We wanted to say a big thank you and goodbye to Susanna Rynehart.
Shared parental leave has had a very low uptake on a national scale.
Whenever you are faced with an actual or potential employment tribunal claim, the first thing to look at is whether the claimant will/has lodged their claim within the limitation period for the specific claim(s).
Internships are an increasingly common route into work, particularly for young graduates. In April, the Institute for Public Policy Research published research suggesting that the number of internships has doubled since 2010. Of these internships, they estimate that one in five is unpaid.
Happy Easter! In this Spring edition, we consider the possible extension of shared parental leave to the self-employed, the increase in ACAS Early Conciliation notifications and tribunal claims and finally the recent case outlining that costs can be awarded even before the ET3 is served on the claimant.
Unlike the other civil courts in the UK, costs are not necessarily awarded to the winning side. Instead, costs can be awarded generally only when a party has acted, amongst other things, unreasonably.
Since the abolishment of the employment tribunal fees in July 2017 there has been an increase in both ACAS Early Conciliation (EC) notifications and employment tribunal claims.
Shared Parental Leave (SPL) was introduced to the UK in 2015 and allows mothers going on maternity leave to split up the 52 weeks of maternity leave and 39 weeks of statutory pay with their partners.
The transport and logistics sector relies upon having a flexible workforce, and the ability to require employees to work overtime is key to ensuring that customer demand is met.
Happy New Year and welcome to another edition of Workplace Law.
In this edition, we consider rogue employees when it comes to data breaches, covert cameras and the increase in tribunal fees.
We are certain that you’ve never read a more enticing heading.
Surveillance at work is a tricky issue. Employers need to protect their business and property, including against the risk of unscrupulous employees. The difficulty arises where this practical necessity comes up against data protection law and human rights.
We have a look at the future of the Fit for Work scheme, unlimited roll over of unpaid holiday and how softening the blow of dismissal can make life harder for employers. We wish all of our readers a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year.
Dealing with performance issues can be awkward and it can often be easier to put it off and hope that the matter will resolve itself. Many choose to ‘soften the blow’ by giving reasons that do not reflect badly on the employee, like redundancy or reorganisation, what could be wrong with that? That way we can all avoid that awkward conversation that the employee is not meeting the requirements but still achieve the ultimate goal of removing the employee. Yes, that sounds good! Wrong.
A recent European Court of Justice case has found that where workers are not paid for annual leave, their annual leave entitlement will roll over indefinitely. At the end of their employment, they are then entitled to payment in lieu of their accrued entitlement, apparently without limitation.
The government has recently announced that it is scrapping the Fit for Work scheme in England and Wales from 31 March 2018, citing low uptake for the GP-led occupational health programme. When surveyed, two thirds of GPs had not referred anyone to under the scheme in the last year, and of those who had, 40% had no successful returns to work.
In the wake of a number of high profile allegations of sexual harassment we consider how to deal with sexual harassment in the workplace in this month’s Workplace Law. We also consider on going case law developments in respect of employment status and the risk assessment you need to perform for women who want to breastfeed at work.
The obligations on employers to carry out risk assessments in relation to new and expectant mothers are well-established. Where working conditions might put new or expectant mothers or their babies at risk, employers must carry out a risk assessment.
Just over a year ago two drivers brought an action against Uber in the Employment Tribunal (ET) arguing that they should be treated as employees. The ET concluded that Uber drivers were not employees but that they were workers as a result of which they were entitled to be paid the minimum wage, receive paid statutory holiday and be paid statutory sick pay.
Half of British women and a fifth of men have been sexual harassed in the workplace, a BBC report revealed recently.
The #metoo campaign that’s swarming social media has revealed that many individuals are not aware of what actually constitutes sexual harassment and that there are far more victims then we currently think.
The management of mental health in the workplace has been hitting headlines in recent months.
In October, the Thriving at Work report, commissioned by Prime Minister Theresa May, found that up to 300,000 people with long-term mental health problems have to leave their jobs each year, with poor mental health costing the UK economy up to £99billion annually.
The government has announced a new Social Care Compliance Scheme (SCCS) to help care providers who have underpaid workers carrying out sleep-in shifts in the past.
The workplace as we know is ever evolving so make sure you are up to date with the latest issues in the workplace by reading this edition where we consider the ECJ ruling on discrimination for Greek police, previous incidents at work being considered in a misconduct dismissal and the taxation position of termination payments from April 2018.
The Court of Appeal has found that segregation of pupils by sex at an Islamic faith school in Birmingham was directly discriminatory.
Could you live without a job? For some the answer is ‘of course, as long as I win the lottery!’ But for the majority of us, our employment is our livelihood; it pays for the food on our table, the clothes on our backs to the cars we drive.
Love them or hate them, tattoos are popular and more and more people have them. From Judi Dench to Harry Styles, an increasing amount of people are choosing to decorate their bodies with ink.
Last year, in Barbulescu v Romania, the European Court of Human Rights decided that employers were able to monitor their workers’ emails where there was a good reason for doing so. Now, in a surprising turn of events, that decision has been reversed on appeal.
E-cigarettes have not been around long but you can find an E-cigarette shop in almost every high street or shopping centre and it is estimated that there are circa 2.8 million E-cigarette users in the UK.
The conciliatory service ACAS recently published a report focused on workplace attitudes towards supporting parents who take extended leave to care for children. The report, Flexible Working for Parents Returning to Work – Maintaining career development, confirms that while there’s been a big push for employers to encourage women to feel comfortable taking maternity leave without losing their status in the workplace, the same can not be said for their male counterparts.
The workplace as we know is ever evolving so make sure you are up to date with the latest issues in the workplace by reading this edition where we consider vaping at work, monitoring employees and the tattoo taboo..
There are over 95,000 babies born prematurely in the UK every year. Currently there are no enhanced or additional maternity or paternity rights for parents of babies born early.
With effect from the 11 September 2017 there will be a very significant rise in compensation awards for injury to feelings or psychiatric injury in discrimination cases.
On 26 July 2017, the UK Supreme Court ruled that the employment tribunal fees regime, introduced in 2013, was unlawful. The government had already undertaken that if it lost the case it would refund the fees paid over the last four years.
There is lots of information in our August edition of Workplace Law, we have split it into three sections. These include: Voluntary overtime - we talk about a new ruling which will be welcomed by employers who are paid overtime. Statutory payments - employers need to alter how they have been calculating various statutory payments. Injuries to feelings in the workplace - a recent case (De Souza v Vinci Construction) resolved questions as to whether civil courts can now apply injuries to feelings.
Just before Parliament broke up for its summer break, the Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Bill was introduced into the House. The bill proposes that employed parents who have lost a child will, for the first time, get statutory paid leave to grieve.
Whilst this decision cannot compete with the recent employment tribunal fees ruling in terms of consequences for employers, it does go against over 20 years of established practice and will come as a shock to most employers.
A recent case involving an NHS trust has demonstrated that, for a group of employees to transfer to a new contractor under TUPE, it is essential that they are organised for the principle purpose of carrying out the end client’s particular work.
Employees who regularly work voluntary overtime should have these payments included when calculating their holiday pay, following a landmark decision on overtime and holiday pay at the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) last week, in the case of Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council v Willetts.
In our July edition of Workplace Law we have prepared a summary of the key points raised in the Taylor Review on Modern Working Practices. The Good Work Report makes a series of recommendations some of which if implemented into legislation then will have far reaching consequences for employers and the employment relationship. Please therefore take some time to read this month’s edition.
In a ground-breaking decision handed down this morning the Supreme Court ruled that employment tribunal fees are unlawful, prevent people having access to justice and the fee regime will be abolished with immediate effect from today.
The recent case of Focus Care Agency Ltd v Mr B Roberts had the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) considering whether those working “sleep-in” shifts were entitled to the National Minimum Wage (NMW) for just the time they were awake or the whole of their shift, even when they were asleep.
This summer has seen the release of the eagerly anticipated independent review into modern employment practices following a swathe of high profile challenges to employment status in tribunals up and down the country.
Solicitor, Elizabeth Maxwell from our Employment team speaks to HR Magazine about use of polygraph tests in employment disputes and whether they are admissible in courts and tribunals and the implications of if an employee refuses a test.
Earlier this month, John Lewis was forced to make a £36m provision for potential costs of paying the national minimum wage, after discovering that its systems may not comply with regulations.
In this month’s edition of Workplace Law, we look at the multifactorial approach when considering National Minimum Wage for sleep-in workers, the potential discriminatory tests following an employer’s test and the MP’s assessment of the gig economy.
This month MPs came together to address the alleged bogus self-employment practices that have become a major feature of modern working practices.
On 1 May 2017 the Work and Pensions Committee published a report after hearing from gig economy companies like Uber, Hermes and Deliveroo and from the drivers who carry out the work for them.
It is more and more common for employers to use aptitude tests in order to select candidates when recruiting. These tests can be particularly useful and relevant in the sifting and selection process.
Understanding exactly what the position in relation to this question is particularly important if you are an employer in the care sector or education sector with boarding facilities or any other organisations that requires people to be on call or required to work “sleep-in” shifts
Solicitor, Elizabeth Maxwell from our Employment team speaks to HR Magazine about Uber's new insurance scheme aimed to protect its drivers.
In this month’s edition of Workplace Law, we look at dismissing employees who have been on long-term sickness, the apprenticeship levy and provide clarity on the indirect discrimination test.
The much anticipated judgement in one of the biggest cases for interpreting indirect discrimination was handed down this month.
You may be aware that from 6 April 2017 the government brought in the new apprenticeship levy. But what is this and what does it mean?
Solicitor Elizabeth Maxwell from our Employment team speak to the Times about why pay gap rules may not work.
Nick Hobden, a partner in the Employment team at Thomson Snell & Passmore, comments on the news that claimants won thier appeal against the Home Office on protected charateristics under the Equality Act. The case is was brought by workers employed by the Home Office who were required to pass a Core Skills Assessment in order to be eligible for promotion.
In our last few editions of Workplace Law we have covered the 3 big cases of Uber, CitySprint and Pimlico Plumbers - cases which have highlighted the courts new robust approach to looking behind a contract in order to determine whether an individual is an employee or a worker.
One of the most recent cases involved drivers engaged by a partnership providing haulage services to construction companies. The partnership argued that these drivers were self employed and therefore responsible for paying their own tax. HMRC took a different stance. The reality of the working relationship was that the partnership dictated the terms of the relationship and there was no real evidence that the drivers were running their own business.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has given a verdict which highlights the importance of allowing flexible working hours for employees.
Polygraph tests play a major role in investigations in the US and in recent years have started to be used in the UK, but usually in respect of criminal investigations. We think there is a case to say they have a place in the employment sphere too. Particularly in issues relating to dishonesty, deception or stealing confidential information.
In this month’s edition of Workplace Law, we look at the Pimlico Plumbers case, the increases to tribunal awards, the online tribunal database, whether gross negligence can constitute gross misconduct and ill-health retirement!
Senior associate, Ben Stepney from our employment team speaks with Growth Business to explain how to tackle name bias in recruiting to boost diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
In this month’s edition of Workplace Law, we look at the continued trend of cases in relation to employment status, the tax position for termination payments, 18 rated films and the gender pay gap.
When a gift is a gift and not a bribe. Elizabeth Maxwell considers the law on giving and receiving gifts in the workplace.
Back in October it was announced that the Employment Tribunal had upheld claims for entitlement to the national living wage and holiday pay from a group of Uber drivers. They found in the drivers’ favour and established that they are not self-employed but are workers. Since then, other cases have been decided against companies like City Sprint and Pimlico Plumbers where judges have grappled with the concept of worker status and blurred the lines of the so-called “gig” economy further.
We wish our readers all a very merry Christmas and best wishes for 2017.
In the November edition of Workplace Law, we would like to introduce you to collaborative employment law a new initiative that has been set up by us with Brachers, Furley Page and Thackrey Williams. We also consider the recent Uber case decision, holiday pay including commission, the tribunal fee report and judicial assessment.
Social media is unquestionably the new marketing frontier for businesses and the way we all like to share an opinion or have a say about what we think, eat, do and feel with our work colleagues, friends, families and people we barely know.
Nick Hobden, Partner and Head of Employment speaks to City AM about the potential implications of an employment tribunal that will be a deciding factor to whether Uber drivers will be granted entitlement to benefits such as sick pay and holiday.
Nick Hobden speaks to Kent Business about a new process, called Collaborative Employment Law.
It is definitely time to review your data protection policies – read why in our September issue of Workplace Law. We also consider the cost consequences of using zero hour contracts incorrectly and try to understand just how much information about a claim an individual needs to give in ACAS early conciliation. There is an interesting update on reasonable adjustments too…
Four law firms have joined forces to launch Collaborative Employment Law (CEL), a group aiming to bring a novel mediated approach to employment disputes as an alternative to litigation, modelled on a technique developed by family lawyers.
In this edition of Workplace Law we look at statutory holiday pay and voluntary overtime. We will also update you on the new taxation and NIC regime for termination payments, as well as introducing you to the new member of our team.
This month we consider the Uber case, when a philosophical belief is a protected characteristic, the ACAS Code’s application to ill health dismissals and the admissibility of negotiations under S. 111A and ‘without prejudice’ negotiations.
Is your bonus less than you were expecting? Is there anything you can do about it if the bonus scheme is discretionary? Our Employment Team provide some guidance that will be useful for both employers and employees.
As ever legislation is on the move and case law continues to move the goal posts, challenging HR practitioners. This month we consider whether a discretionary bonus is truly discretionary, the importance of complying with data protection laws, the review of non-compete clauses, the expectation of employees to work long hours being a PCP and the ACAS research paper on early conciliation. But first, Brexit…
The Trades Union Congress has commissioned a 66 page report, prepared by Michael Ford QC, reviewing the potential impact of Brexit. The following summarises his findings
We are pleased to receive, for another year, the accolade from eprivateclient of being listed as one of the Top 25 Law Firms in the UK.
Our employment team advised a large FE College on a difficult matter that arose involving a fraud and safeguarding investigation against a senior member of staff.
Welcome to our May edition as ever legislation is on the move and case law continues to move the goal posts challenging HR and employment practitioners.
In this month's edition of Workplace Law we consider what Brexit will mean for employment law, what is meant by a month in ACAS Early Conciliation and the ongoing debate regarding employment tribunal fees.
Leading South East law firm Thomson Snell & Passmore held its sixth successful mock Employment Tribunal (ET) in Ashford last week. The event drew a record attendance of nearly 70 people.
Make sure you read the March edition of Workplace Law so you know about the increase in maximum weekly pay and compensation on unfair dismissal claims. We also consider whether you can dismiss an employee for “pulling a sickie” and whether childcare vouchers = remuneration.
Our Employment team speaks to The Time’s The Brief and gives her opinions on the new proposed gender pay gap law.
We kick off January 2016's Workplace Law by reporting on the new Exclusivity Terms in Zero Hour Contracts (Redress) Regulations 2015, the introduction of the National Living Wage and the new ACAS guidance on legal highs in the workplace. There is also a section on a recent case concerning instructions to an employee not to speak her native language and an overview of whether this was discriminatory.
Ben Stepney speaks to Caring UK and outlines changes in employment law and states how this will affect employers and their employees.
Nick Hobden speaks to money and lifestyle publication City A.M. about the most common pitfalls associated with the awarding of Christmas bonuses and gives advice on what employers should do to avoid turning Christmas bonuses into a festive disaster.