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Susan Mayall
 

Tribunal fees held to be unlawful by the Supreme Court

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In a significant decision, the Supreme Court has ruled that tribunal fees introduced by the Employment Tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunals Fees Order 2013 (the 2013 order) are unlawful. The decision opens up access to justice for those who need to...

Good work for all: the Taylor Review and the potential effect on employment laws

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The Taylor Review makes recommendations on a multitude of employment law issues and seeks to establish “good work for all”. On 11 July 2017, Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the Royal Society of Arts, published his independent review...

Should employment law be taught to school children?

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This was the interesting issue raised by Malcolm Mackay of United Employment Lawyers, a Scottish firm, a couple of months ago. He was very much of the opinion that it should – and I have to say, I agree with him. But then, as an employment lawyer,...

Coping with summer's distractions: how to get the best from your employees

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June is turning out to be wet rather than flaming and most employees will no doubt be looking forward to their annual holiday and a summer of events, festivals and sport. Employers on the other hand are probably wondering how many working hours they...

Calculations for holiday pay to include non-guaranteed overtime

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In a recent appeal hearing, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) decided that employees were entitled to receive holiday pay based on their basic wage plus their non-guaranteed overtime. The appeal in Bear Scotland -v- Fulton case (and...

Ensuring a level playing field for job applicants

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Employers processing job applications should ensure the process offers a level playing field for applicants with disabilities. In The Government Legal Service -v- Brookes , the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) upheld a tribunal’s decision that a...

Can employees claim wages if they sleep at work?

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This article is not about those who dose off when they are supposed to be working! Rather it reviews the circumstances in which those who “sleep-in [at their work premises]” during their working hours are entitled to be paid the minimum wage...

Key employment and employment compensation pay rates

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The government updates most of the employment pay and compensation rates on an annual basis. Here's a summary of the key current rates. The Minimum Wage The minimum rate for workers varies according to age:...

Government inquiry into flexible working

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The BBC recently reported that fathers are ‘afraid to ask for flexible working’ believing that making such a request can harm their careers. Reference was made to the 2017 Modern Families Index which produced a “snapshot into the...

Take care over the job title when hiring an apprentice

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Employers who hire apprentices should be aware of a change in the law that will make it a criminal offence to advertise work as a statutory apprenticeship if that's not what the work actually is. I highlighted this change in the recent employment law ...

Workplace clothing issues - can you ban headscarves?

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Banning headscarves does not amount to direct discrimination (but take care with dress codes) ... An EU Court has decided that an employer's dismissal of an employee for refusal to comply with a "no headscarf" policy when meeting customers was...

Spring Brexit update

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On 23 June 2016, the UK voted to leave the European Union (EU). However, much needs to be done before the actual exit (the “Brexit”) takes effect. In the last six months, the government has been dealing with the issue of how to start the process...

Checklist for employers: gender pay reporting

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How should employers go about complying with the equal gender pay reporting obligations due to come into force in April 2017 under the Equality Act 2010? As we reported last month, the laws requiring larger companies to report on their...

Bishop allowed to withhold licence from canon

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A bishop could withhold licence from a canon who entered same-sex marriage. The Employment Appeal Tribunal has confirmed that a bishop could refuse to grant an officiating licence to an ordained, Church of England priest on the grounds of his same-sex...

The ghost of Christmas future? (If your employees behave badly...)

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Businesses can be liable for their employee’s bad behaviour... There are plenty of good reasons for ensuring that everyone behaves themselves at Christmas “work-dos” – not least the risk of damage to your...

Is your business safe from the risks of Christmas indulgence?

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It’s here already! The office Christmas party and names have gone in the hat for the secret Santa, but amidst the fun the more relaxed atmosphere at this time of year can lead to embarrassment at best - and at worst, damage to the company’s...

The Autumn Statement, November 2016 (employment perspective)

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Philip Hammond's Autumn Statement contained a raft of measures with ramifications for those dealing with employment issues. There have been some fairly gloomy reports in the press including "Worker prospects dreadful, says the IFS"...

Brexit Wrangle Continues with New Court Decision

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The Divisional Court has upheld an application brought against the Government, and held that the Government does not have prerogative power to invoke Article 50 without a vote by Parliament. In other words, Parliament needs to vote in favour of doing so...

INSIGHT: It is Uber Difficult When You Face a Tribunal

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An Employment Tribunal has now ruled that two drivers who provide services to Uber are 'workers' within the meaning of the Employment Rights Act 1996. The case could have an impact on other firms with large self-employed workforces in the so called...

INSIGHT: Checklist: dress codes in the workplace

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Employers often require dress codes in the workplace for a number of reasons: staff may be asked to wear a uniform to communicate a corporate image and ensure that customers can easily identify them; or there may be health and safety reasons. For example,...

Employment blog: time to review your approach to dress codes in the workplace

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Reading through the Law Society Gazette last week, I was amused by Darren Clayton's humorous approach to a difficult problem – that of dress code dilemmas in the legal office. (You can read his article here .) A few of his comments rang...

Employment and Tax Breakfast Seminar, 23 November 2016

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It can be difficult to keep up with the new legislation affecting you and your employees and there are more changes on the horizon: we have a new cabinet, there are major HMRC changes ahead as well as the Brexit and there...

INSIGHT: Commission, Holiday Pay and Employment Law

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The Court of Appeal has handed down its decision in British Gas v Lock - an important case on the calculation of holiday pay. Mr Lock was a salesman on a basic salary with variable commission paid in arrears. Mr Lock's commission...

INSIGHT: Make Sure Your Apprentice Has the Right Contract

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From April 2017 all businesses with a wage bill of more than £3m will be subject to an apprenticeship levy of 0.5 per cent of the payroll - the aim is to “help create millions of opportunities for individuals and employers” according to the...

INSIGHT: Why you May Be Missing Out on Talent If You Stigmatise Tattoos

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Do your staff have tattoos and how do you deal with them? Recent research published by ACAS has suggested that employees with visible tattoos face discrimination in the work place and in the application process. It was found...

Ensuring your tips and gratuities reach the worker

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It's coming to the end of Summer and many of us are planning new gym and eating regimes to reduce wider midriffs after holiday indulgences. Those who enjoy eating out might be interested to learn about a government consultation that was conducted...

INSIGHT: Pay Gap Gulf in Employment

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Is your company one of the many in Britain to have a gender pay gap? Do you promote more male managers? If that’s the case then you are typical of many in the UK according to a recent study The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) recently...

INSIGHT: Can an employer ban Islamic headscarves at work?

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Employees' choice of attire can create problems in the workplace – and employers are well advised to issue policies based on, for example, moral, health and safety grounds to dictate what their employees wear. However, employers' policies must...

Just as employers recover from the Euros and tennis... here we go again!

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Just as employers recover from the Euros and tennis... here we go again! It doesn’t seem long since we warned employers to plan ahead of the Summer of sport, but look where we are now: out of the Euros, Murray a two-times Wimbledon...

INSIGHT: Taking Annual Leave and Sick Leave Concurrently

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If sickness prevents a worker taking annual leave, can leave be carried forward? Yes, reaffirmed the ECJ in Sobczyszyn v Skola Podstawowa w Rzeplinie, but whether or not such employment law with be changed post Brexit remains to be seen....

INSIGHT: What effect might the Brexit have in the workplace?

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Susan Mayall looks at how employment laws might be affected by the UK’s vote to leave the EU. (This is an updated version of Susan’s article of 21st June.) A substantial element of the UK’s employment laws come from the...

INSIGHT: Employers Need To Plan Ahead For A Summer Of Sport

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A SUMMER of sport is ahead of us and whilst the country goes sport mad for just a few weeks with the high and lows of Olympic success or face the dreaded Euro penalties and a wash out at Wimbledon, for employers it can be a tricky time with absences from...

INSIGHT: Are employment rules stifling British innovation?

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Are employment rules (like non-compete clauses) stifling British innovation? The government has pledged to make Britain the best place in Europe to innovate and start up a new business. To help with fulfilling that pledge, the government aims to publish...

Gender Pay reporting requirements for larger companies

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We reported last year on the government’s goal of eliminating the gender pay gap within a generation: click here to read that post. Under the Small Business Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 (the Act), employers of larger companies will...

INSIGHT: Round-up of employment law changes for employers, April 2016

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Several key changes to employment law come into force during April 2016. Here are some highlights. The introduction of the National Living Wage (from 1 April 2016) Those over 25 will be entitled to the National Living Wage of £7.20 –...

INSIGHT: The new national minimum wages in force 1 April 2016

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New rates for the minimum wage are in effect from 1 April 2016: Year 25 and over (the National Living Wage) 21 to 24 ...

Tips for employers: how do you manage sickness absences?

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Have you had employees “pull a sickie” on you? Recent YouGov research suggests that almost a fifth of British workers have ‘pulled a sickie’ in the last year. The flip side – and a relief for employers - is that...

INSIGHT: Budget 2016 A Must Read for Employers

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A number of measures and changes were announced in this month’s budget that are of interest to employers. “There are several key changes to employment law coming into force in April 2016, including the introduction of the National Living Wage,...

What happens at an Employment Tribunal?

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An early consultation with one of our Employment Team or using our 123 Employment Protect service can help employers avoid employment disputes and a costly visit to an employment tribunal. However, occasionally disputes cannot be resolved...

New guidance to help avoid discrimination in job adverts

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Under the Equality Act 2010 (‘the Act’), it is unlawful for employers to place or publish a discriminatory advert for jobs and services. The Act protects potential employees from discrimination because of sex, race, disability, gender...

Employment Tribunal Fees

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The Supreme Court has now granted permission to Unison to appeal the Court of Appeal's decision regarding the Employment Tribunal fee paying regime which was introduced in July 2013 and which has resulted in a large reduction in Employment Tribunal...

INSIGHT: Commission is Holiday Pay confirms Employment Appeal Tribunal

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Employees who receive commission as a regular part of their salary must have it included in holiday pay following a recent tribunal decision In the long-running case of Lock v British Gas Trading Ltd, first brought to tribunal in April 2012, Mr Lock, a...

INSIGHT: Transgender issues and avoiding discrimination: new guides for employers, employees and service providers

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Transgender and gender reassignment or ‘transition’ (1) issues are currently under the spotlight with the recent release of ‘The Danish Girl’ starring Eddie Redmayne and the BBC’s reports this week such as ‘ UK a long...

Zero Hour Contracts update

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At last, some real protection has been introduced for zero hour contract workers. In force today, The Exclusivity Terms in Zero Hour Contracts (Redress) Regulations 2015 provide that:- any dismissal of...

INSIGHT: Part-time working hours - holiday pay calculations

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If you change an employee’s part time working hours, how do you recalculate the worker’s holiday entitlement? That was the question considered by the European Court of Justice ( ECJ ) in the recent case of Greenfield v The Care Bureau Ltd . ...

It's twenty years since legal rights for the disabled were established

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The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) came into force twenty years ago. Its enactment followed years of public campaigning and numerous demonstrations and created rights to enable the disabled to fight against state and business...

Employers: a half term reminder about holiday pay

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As the schools break for half term, it is a good time to remind employers about their obligations in relation to holiday pay. Last year, the Employment Appeal Tribunal in Bear Scotland & Ors v Fulton & Ors UKEATS/0047/13/BI set...

Social media issues for employees

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This week, we look at social media usage from the point of view of an employee. (If you are an employer, click here to read our article on ‘social media pitfalls for employers’). As an employee of any business, your behaviour in and out of...

INSIGHT: Shared Grandparental Leave Announced

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Family flexibility and care provided by the extended family has been extended as shared parental leave and pay has been extended to working grandparents, without fear of them losing their jobs. The planned changes, announced by...

INSIGHT: Peripatetic workers' travel time can be classed as 'working time'

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Does your business employ workers who travel from home to different sites? If yes, you need to be aware of a recent decision of the European Court of Justice . It was held that the time workers without a fixed or habitual place of work...

INSIGHT: Give Employees the Choice of Accompaniment, High Court Rules

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A recent case in the High Court has highlighted the importance of giving employees the choice of who to accompany them to disciplinary hearings. Susan Mayall, head of employment at Pearson, explains. The High Court’s decision in...

INSIGHT: Gender Pay Gap Reporting to be Mandatory by 2016

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David Cameron has set out his ambitious plan to eliminate the gender pay gap ‘within a generation’, with the introduction of mandatory reporting requirements. A consultation into the new measures is to begin on Tuesday...

INSIGHT: Early Conciliation: How it looks one year on

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The ink had barely dried on the reforms that saw employment tribunal fees become compulsory for claimants before the process in which workplace disputes are resolved changed once again with the introduction of Early Conciliation. ...

INSIGHT: Employers Advised To Include Voluntary Overtime In Holiday Pay

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Employers are being warned that voluntary overtime should be included in holiday pay calculations, following the recent case of Patterson vs Castlereagh Borough Council. Voluntary overtime is described as overtime that the employer...

INSIGHT: Employers Should Plan Ahead For A Summer Of Sport warns Susan Mayall

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ROYAL Ascot week officially marks the start of a summer of sport which for employers can be a tricky time with absences from work or early finish times to catch crucial matches and events. Wimbledon, The Ashes, Formula 1, The Open Golf, Women’s World...

INSIGHT: Zero Hours Workers Free From Exclusivity Clauses

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A ban on exclusivity clauses in zero-hours contracts is set to benefit workers in Oldham, according to a leading employment law expert. The provision, part of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015, was introduced today (26 May)...

INSIGHT: Woolworths Ruling Ends Confusion About The Definition of Establishment

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After months of speculation, the recent ruling by the European Court of Justice rejecting a claim for collective redundancy from former Woolworths’ employees has ended significant unease in the retail sector. Susan Mayall, head of employment at...

NSIGHT: Collective Redundancy - Does "ESTABLISHMENT" Mean "ESTABLISHMENT"

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We received last month the Advocate General’s opinion in the long running Woolworths dispute on the meaning of “establishment” in collective redundancy. The European Court of Justice will deliver its Judgment later in 2015 on the...