POLONIUS: What do you read, my lord? HAMLET: Words, words, words. (Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2) Neurodiversity Celebration Week took place between 21 and 27 March. The following week was Autism Acceptance Week, culminating in World Autism Awareness Day on 2 April. This means neurodiversity has featured heavily on social media recently. During Neurodiversity … Continue reading Neurodiversity and Workplace Policies
Holiday pay and working time. In a decision with potentially huge ramifications for misclassified workers, the ECJ has held that workers who are wrongly told they have no right to paid holiday may carry their holiday rights over indefinitely, and be paid in lieu, on termination, for any untaken holiday over their entire period of … Continue reading Employment highlights: November 2017
Discrimination. The ECJ has held that an employer’s failure to assess the workplace risks posed to a breastfeeding worker amounted to direct sex discrimination. The decision challenges the position of UK law which prevents a woman from bringing a direct sex discrimination claim if she has suffered a detriment related to breastfeeding. The ECJ has … Continue reading Employment highlights: October 2017
Discrimination. Advocate General Sharpston has given her view that the Pregnant Workers Directive (92/85/EC) should protect workers against dismissal from the moment they become pregnant, even before they have notified their employer of the pregnancy. This appears to be at odds with Article 2(a) of the Pregnant Workers Directive, and as the AG acknowledges, can … Continue reading Employment highlights: September 2017
As the Summer comes to a close, the promised first data from the audit of racial disparities in public services is still awaited. This month, a survey conducted by the TUC has suggested that white workers earn an average of 8.3% more than their black counterparts despite holding the same educational qualifications and the Equality … Continue reading Employment highlights: August 2017
In Green v London Borough of Barking & Dagenham UKEAT/0157/16, the EAT held there should be no modification to the application of section 98(4) of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA 1996), which tests the fairness of the dismissal, in the case of redundancy where existing employees must compete for a reduced number of new … Continue reading Redundancy dismissals: fairness should always be judged in the same way
Employment tribunals. In a momentous decision, the Supreme Court declared that employment tribunal and EAT fees are unlawful under domestic and EU Law. The Court quashed the Employment Tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal Fees Order 2013 (SI 2013/1893) on the basis that it prevents access to justice. The effect is that all fees paid … Continue reading Employment highlights: July 2017
Queen’s speech and Brexit. The Queen’s Speech on 19 June 2017 included the announcement of a new Immigration Bill to deal with the immigration status of EEA Nationals and the forthcoming repeal of EU freedom of movement law. A new Data Protection Bill was also announced to implement the EU General Data Protection Regulation and … Continue reading Employment highlights: June 2017
General Election 2017. We published a new practice note examining the manifestos from the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties and their implications for employment law. The General Election will be held on 8 June 2017. Practical Law’s General Election 2017 landing page contains materials summarising the implications of the manifestos, policy statements and pledges … Continue reading Employment highlights: May 2017
General election. Parliament will be dissolved on 3 May prior to a snap general election to be held on 8 June. Although it was previously thought that the Finance Bill would be pushed through unamended, the government has in fact dropped the changes to the taxation of termination payments (as well as other controversial measures … Continue reading Employment highlights: April 2017
Brexit. On 29 March 2017, the Prime Minister gave the European Council the Article 50 notification of the UK’s intention to leave the EU. In the absence of any agreed extension, the UK will leave the EU at midnight on 29 March 2019. Visit the Practical Law Brexit page and the Thomson Reuters Brexit resources … Continue reading Employment highlights: March 2017
Tribunal fees. Headline news this month is that the Ministry of Justice has finally published its long-awaited post-implementation review of employment tribunal fees. Although it believes fees are working well, the MoJ concedes that there has been a substantial drop off in claims, and is consulting on proposals to widen the means test for fee … Continue reading Employment highlights: February 2017
It is not uncommon for a new claimant client to ask their adviser about the risk of a future employer finding out that they have brought a claim. Previously, the adviser has been able to largely reassure the client that the risk was minimal in most cases. However, the situation is now very different and … Continue reading Employment tribunal online database: a further disincentive to claim?
On 17 January 2017, the Prime Minister gave a speech on the UK government’s negotiating objectives for exiting the EU. This was followed on 24 January by the Supreme Court’s decision that an act of parliament is required before the Article 50 exit process can be triggered. As a result, the European Union (Notification of … Continue reading Employment highlights: January 2017
As the Brexit case rumbled on in the Supreme Court, with a decision expected early in the New Year, the House of Lords Library published a briefing paper on leaving the EU and the Bar Council Brexit working group published “The Brexit Papers” to help the government assess the most pressing legal concerns arising from … Continue reading Employment highlights: December 2016
Following the Prime Minister’s announcement last month that notice to leave the EU under Article 50 will be given by the end of March 2017, the High Court held that the government does not have power to do this under the Royal Prerogative. It therefore seems that an Act of Parliament will be required, although … Continue reading Employment highlights: November 2016
Is the process of Brexit becoming clearer? The Prime Minister announced Article 50 would not be triggered before the end of March 2017 and the House of Commons library published a new briefing paper on the employment law implications of Brexit. For more information on the process of Brexit and the protection of employment rights following … Continue reading Employment highlights: October 2016
It ought to feel like good news, that the number of jobs being advertised in the online gig economy is on the increase. But somehow it just feels sinister, that there is a growing trend to engage remote workers for piecemeal, short-term or project-based work delivered over the internet (for example, see Amazon Mechanical Turk). … Continue reading The changing world of work
All employment practitioners are well aware that there is a very narrow window of time for an employee to present an employment tribunal claim. In most cases, it needs to be in within three months of the event complained of, subject to the relatively short extension afforded by participation in Acas early conciliation and the … Continue reading Employment tribunal limitation dates: isn’t it time for a re-think?
Following the summer break, discrimination received a lot of government scrutiny and there were several interesting decisions at the EAT. The EAT held that protecting a disabled employee’s pay can be a reasonable adjustment. Whether it was reasonable for the employer to have taken that step was a separate question. It also found that there … Continue reading Employment highlights: September 2016
Traditionally the quietest month of the year for legal developments, August has nevertheless been busy for employment law news. The ECJ has held that EU discrimination laws do not protect a job applicant who applies for a job purely seeking compensation. While sham applications in order to bring claims do occasionally occur, they are rare. … Continue reading Employment highlights: August 2016
“Nobody would dispute that protecting children from sexual harm is of the utmost importance, and disclosure is plainly necessary if the risk to children in the school is enhanced. But we are in a dangerous world if mere association with a sex offender warrants that conclusion being drawn.” Those were the words of Elias LJ, … Continue reading Teachers and the disclosure of personal relationships: guilt by association?
Recent reports suggest that Deliveroo requires its couriers to warrant that they will not bring an employment-related claim, and to indemnify the company if they do. It is clear that the warranty would be unenforceable, but are Deliveroo onto something with the indemnity?
With the legal world reeling and British politics in turmoil following last month’s surprise Brexit decision, it was business as usual in the courts and tribunals, with little respite from the deluge of new judgments in the run up to the summer recess. In the ECJ, Advocate General Sharpston opined that an employee’s dismissal for … Continue reading Employment highlights: July 2016
In George Osborne’s Autumn Statement 2014 speech, he said that the government were going to consult on whether “umbrella companies” (not to be confused with umbrella contracts) were being used to deprive people of basic employment rights like the minimum wage, and avoid tax. Umbrella companies are a type of managed service company and are used … Continue reading It’s raining again: are holes appearing in umbrella company arrangements?
This week JCB became the latest business to wade into the choppy waters of the EU referendum debate. What sets JCB’s contribution apart from many of the others, like Unilever and Wetherspoons, is that the chairman’s letter in support of leaving the EU was specifically directed at the company’s employees, rather than its customers or … Continue reading Should you tell your employees how to vote in the EU referendum?
The non-renewal of a French hospital social worker’s contract for her refusal to stop wearing a headscarf was found to be a legitimate interference with her Article 9 rights in the ECtHR case of Ebrahimian v France. The basis of the decision, that it was necessary to protect the neutrality of public services, also has … Continue reading Leaving religion at the door of the workplace in the name of neutrality
Three major Bills affecting employment law received Royal Assent this month, becoming the Trade Union Act 2016, the Enterprise Act 2016 and the Immigration Act 2016, the last of which creates new immigration offences from 12 July 2016. Compared to last year, the Queen’s speech contained little for employment lawyers, besides the recycled promise of a British Bill … Continue reading Employment highlights: May 2016
What is it about contract law, that when a case like Geys comes long, people are left wondering why a seemingly fundamental point has either never been challenged before or else has lain dormant for so long? Is it possible that the label ‘freedom of contract’ acts as a kind of dead weight, deterring employment lawyers … Continue reading Contract law and terminating employment
Now that the distraction of new year’s resolutions are a distant memory, it’s time to get to grips with the likely changes ahead in 2016. You will feel prepared reading Practical Law Employment’s helpful What to expect in employment law. In the blog post I have highlighted some changes that have caught my eye.
The last 10 years have gone past faster than we ever thought possible. We have been speaking to lawyers who have been involved with the service about how employment law, and the work of employment lawyers, has changed over this period, and how Practical Law has helped them dealing with these changes. It made us … Continue reading Practical Law Employment celebrated its 10th anniversary this year