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Alexandra Dean
 

Tesco to face UK's largest ever equal pay claim

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In a recent news article published by the BBC they reported that Tesco is facing Britain's largest ever equal pay claim and a possible bill running to £4bn. Many thousands of women who work in Tesco stores could be entitled to receive back pay...

Making a case study of an enforceable contract

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The judgment in the case of Blue v Ashley The basic requirements of a contract are that both sides have reached an agreement, which is intended to be legally binding, is supported by consideration, and is sufficiently certain and complete to be...

Was your redundancy unfair?

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There are certain criteria that need to be met in order for a redundancy to be considered a fair dismissal. Areas to consider when being made redundant include: redundancy pay, notice period, consultation with your employer and time off to find a new job. If...

Can your boss make you work at Christmas?

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With just one month to go before Christmas, we’re all looking forward to a few days off with family, friends, or just curled up with a good film and a loved one for the day. However, life still goes on (even on Christmas Day) and there are plenty of...

Can grandparents charge you for babysitting?

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Childcare is, after your mortgage or rent payments, one of the biggest family expenditures. For working parents, finding someone they can trust to look after young children while they work can be incredibly difficult, and very expensive. While the government...

How rural employers are having to rethink their employment strategies

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We haven’t even shut the door on Europe yet, and already farms are finding it difficult to hire foreign seasonal workers for next year’s harvests. Since Brexit was announced, there have been plenty of divisive headlines about crops potentially...

Lessons for business from the #metoo headlines

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Following the allegations of sexual misconduct against Harvey Weinstein and other leading figures, businesses need to make sure they have clear policies to inspire the right culture in their workplace. The initial revelations about the Hollywood mogul...

What are the restrictions of employing young people?

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The legal minimum age a child can work is 13 years old as a part-time worker, however there are exceptions to when a child can work below this age. For children who are between 13 and not more than 16 years of age, there are restrictions to where and...

And Wimbledon begins

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As Wimbledon begins there is no doubt that the tournament will be full of surprises. However, as an employer have you considered what surprises your business could face during times of sporting events? As an employer, are your employees allowed to have time...

Good intentions not enough in wage calculations

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Accurate calculations of the National Minimum Wage continue to cause headaches for employers, with an employment tribunal acknowledging the complexity, saying there is no single key to unlock every case. Recently, unintentional underpayments in staff pay...

Corporate Governance Code: Changes Imminent?

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In February 2017, the Financial Reporting Council ('FRC') announced a fundamental review of the UK Corporate Governance Code. It will then ask for consultation on the proposed changes later in the year. Following the disastrous corporate...

Workforce wellbeing must include mental health awareness

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Understanding of mental health issues is high on the agenda, thanks to the involvement of the younger members of the Royal family in the Heads Together awareness campaign which has seen the # oktosay hashtag trending. Their activity gave an extra boost to...

White-collar crime agencies stepping up their efforts

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Public awareness of white-collar crime has come to the fore in recent years and the Government is under ever-greater pressure to put a stop to corrupt practices. This year, the biggest crime agencies are being audited to determine their effectiveness and...

Small suppliers set to get intel on big company payment performance

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New regulations designed to help small businesses get paid on time came into force this month, with a requirement for larger companies to publish information about how long they take to pay suppliers. The requirement affects companies and LLPs who...

Courts hit high and hard with new health and safety fines

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One year after the introduction of tough new health and safety sentencing guidelines, a series of high profile cases show that courts are not holding back when it comes to imposing the higher fines, which can be directly linked to a corporate...

Complex challenges for employers in the year ahead

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Constant changes and increasing complexity have helped make employment law a frontline challenge for business and this year looks set to continue the trend. The first weeks of January saw Maggie Dewhurst, a bike courier with City Sprint, winning her case to...

Legal right to avoid work emails...

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In a recent news article it was reported that French employees will have the right to avoid emails outside their usual working hours. The new law, which has been dubbed the "right to disconnect", came into force on 1 January. Companies with more...

Are 'Power Naps' the answer?

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According to a new study report on by the BBC , sleep-deprived workers are costing the UK economy £40bn a year. The calculation is based on tired employees being less productive or absent from work altogether. Research firm Rand Europe, which...

How employers can say no, without saying a word

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As the countdown to the festive season gets underway, employers juggling the pre-Christmas workload need to ensure workers are enabled to take their rest breaks. The warning comes after an employer was found to have failed to take the necessary steps to...

Assault at the Christmas Party

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The High Court held in the case of Bellman v Northampton Recruitment that a company would not be vicariously liable for injuries caused by an employee after a work Christmas party had ended. The case involved an assault of a manager by a director after a...

Hot air and bra sizes all add to the discrimination mix

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The news that Airbnb has adopted a new anti-discrimination code, following accusations of racism by hosts on the home-sharing site, highlights the growing challenge in managing this increasingly sensitive issue. Other recent headlines have ranged from...

Gender pay gap may remain until 2069

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Research from Deloitte has said the gender pay gap in the UK may not close until 2069 based on current salary progression. Deloitte has said that the current hourly pay gap between men and women of 9.4% was narrowing by just two-and-a-half pence a year. It...

Employers warned that they could be missing out on top staff

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The employer advice group ACAS, has suggested that negative attitudes towards visible tattoos are outdated and could be causing employers to miss out on top staff by rejecting candidates with tattoos. A Yougov poll in 2015 suggested that nearly a fifth of...

​Government incentive to boost apprenticeships

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The Government is to offer a £2,000 levy to businesses that take on teenagers, care leavers and those with special educational needs as apprentices. Under the plans, small businesses will be subsidised with 90% of the costs of providing...

Sexual Harrassment at Work

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A survey undertaken by the BBC suggests that more than half of women say that they have been sexually harassed at work. To some extremes, parcels containing sex toys left at a work desk by a male colleague, a senior boss telling an employee that he wanted...

UK Unemployment rate has fallen to 4.9%

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According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the UK’s unemployment rate has fallen to 1.65 million in the March-to-May period. This is down 54,000 from the previous quarter. The number of people in work rose by 176,000, with the...

Not such a dozy idea after all...

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The company that pays its staff to sleep Numerous studies have shown a correlation between sleep deprivation and poor employee performance in the office, with businesses facing the consequences that a lack of sleep has on productivity and...

Preventing common health problems in the workplace

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British workers take, on average, more than four times as many sick days as in other Western European countries. This equates to nine days sick leave each year, resulting in an annual cost to UK employers of about £29 billion in lost...

Acas urges firms to be more flexible during Euro 2016

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The conciliation service Acas has said that firms should be flexible with staff during the Euro 2016 football tournament. A number of games in the tournament, which begins on 10 June, will be played in the daytime. Acas has...

How companies get caught in the slave trade

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The recent conviction of a UK business owner for a human trafficking offence has been a wake-up call to big businesses to carefully monitor their supply chain, if they are to avoid being connected to slave labour unwittingly. But with the requirements of...

Employer held to dismiss employee by constructive unfair dismissal by writing to employee with concerns while on sick leave

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In Private Medicine Intermediaries Ltd and others v Hodkinson UKEAT/0134/15, the Employment Appeal Tribunal ("EAT") considered whether an employee was constructively unfairly dismissed when her employer raised written concerns with her...

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 - The Effect on Commercial Organisations

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Some commercial organisations may not be aware of the effect which the new Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the 'Act') will have on them. Section 54 of the Act now requires large organisations in the UK to produce a statement setting out what...

The Supreme Court Has Sent Employers A Wake-Up Call on Vicarious Liability

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The Supreme Court has ruled that Morrisons supermarket was vicariously liable for actions of a staff member who physically attacked a customer. According to court documents, Amjid Khan was working at a Morrisons petrol station in Birmingham in 2008 when he...

Bosses receive frost alert to manage bad weather risks

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Employers are on frost alert, following the news that a home care worker has won her claim for damages after slipping on ice and breaking her wrist when visiting a client. The ruling by the Supreme Court means that employers who expect staff to work...

Employers face stricter controls on private internet monitoring

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Recent news headlines have warned employees that social media chat and email conversations at work are open to being read by the boss, following a recent ruling by the European Court of Human Rights. But experts say that the headline writers have missed the...

Employers' new ability to snoop your personal messages during working hours.

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Employers can now legally snoop through your private messages that you send via webmail accounts and online chat software, including Facebook Messenger, iMessage and WhatsApp if the device used is owned by your employer, EU judges this week ruled. The...

Equal Pay Day

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Although from the title of this article you may believe that 'Equal Pay Day' sounds like a day to be celebrated, it is actually the day on which men (on average) have already earned what a woman will earn (on average) in a year. From the 9th November...

Women in the Boardroom

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The end of October saw the publication of the Davies report of 'Women on Boards.' Though the number of women on boards has almost doubled since the beginning of 2010, the report recommends that now a third of all boardroom positions should be given...

Working time for mobile workers with no fixed workplace

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Companies wanting to exploit the current trend of moving from office-based businesses to more mobile ones will need to take a recent ECJ decision into consideration before changing their approach. The ECJ held that the time spent by workers, who do not have...

HR involvement in disciplinary investigations

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Businesses will welcome helpful guidelines provided by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) on how much involvement and influence HR should have in disciplinary investigations. What is crucial is that HR limits advice to questions of law, procedure and...

Is there a shortage of jobs or a shortage of people to do them?

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A record number of people in the UK are in employment, and immigration from the EU is also at a record level. There would appear to be little evidence to suggest that there is currently a shortage of jobs. The latest Labour Market Statistics...

Travel time pay ruling will have significant implications

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The European Court of Justice has ruled that time spent travelling to and from first and last appointments by workers without a fixed office should be regarded as working time. The ruling is the latest in a series through European and UK courts reinforcing...

Could the living wage be the 'death' of the care industry?

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Under plans announced in the recent Budget, workers aged over 25 in the UK will be paid a minimum of £7.20 an hour from April 2016, rising to £9 by 2020. Four major care home providers have commented this could cost the care sector £1bn by...

Holiday pay sums are hot spot for employers

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With the summer holiday season at its peak, employers have a hot-spot to watch out for back home, with the news that they must permit holiday entitlement to be carried over for up to 18 months if it has been unused due to sickness. It follows the decision...

Dismissal kicks up a stink at the sewage works

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A worker who was dismissed after failing to follow new health and safety guidelines has won his claim for unfair dismissal in the Court of Appeal. And the decision is a warning to companies that it is not enough to issue new procedures and risk assessment...

Disciplinary procedure: business development briefing

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Why is it important to follow the Acas Code? It can avoid a finding of unfair dismissal The Acas Code was introduced to help businesses and employees deal effectively with issues of alleged misconduct or poor performance. When deciding whether an employee...

Abusive email puts employer on the spot

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The email was sent to 48 year old James Allen, a former serviceman from Devon, who was described in the letter as ‘an old, aesthetically challenged guy with no teeth’. Written by the company director of a window and conservatory manufacturer,...

More parents can ask for time off from next month

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And as the deadline looms, businesses are being warned to make sure they’re prepared, or risk claims for discrimination by fathers seeking to share the time with their newborn. Paid Shared Parental Leave is a new right available to parents...

£300 per week less for ZERO HOUR workers

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Average weekly earnings for zero-hour workers are £188, compared with £479 for permanent. The article based its report on unpublished data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The ONS has estimated there are 1.4 million contracts with...

Be careful if you're leaving employees lonely this Christmas

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It comes after convenience store operator McColl was fined £150,000 for failing to protect its staff during a series of store robberies in Merseyside. The case was brought by Wirral Council, who argued that the company’s “failure to carry...

Holiday Pay Ruling

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Historically, many employers have paid workers holiday pay on 'basic pay' only excluding non-guaranteed overtime payments. That is overtime payments that workers are not guaranteed, but if requested must work. In the case of AMEC v Law...

Tribunal decision shakes up personal use of office email

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An employee has failed in an attempt to have the content of personal messages he sent from his work email account excluded from a disciplinary investigation. The messages were discovered during an investigation into Mr Atkinson, the former director of...

Automatic pension enrolment: business briefing

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What is auto-enrolment? From a date after October 2012, businesses will be required to automatically enrol eligible “jobholders” in a pension scheme. A “jobholder” will include permanent, fixed-term and...

Latest Employment Tribunal news

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An Employment Tribunal has recently decided that an individual can be deemed an 'employee' even where they have declined to be paid for their services. In Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills v Knight, Mrs Knight was the...

Employers must gear up for April living wage deadline

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The National Living Wage has been catching headlines since Chancellor George Osborne announced it last summer, but the Government’s target of £9 per hour by 2020 has overshadowed the detail, and many businesses remain unaware of the...

High Court considers restrictive covenants in employment contracts

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The facts of this case led the court to consider the dichotomy between two legal principles: the principle that an agreement in resolution of a dispute should be upheld against the principle of restraint of trade. In such scenarios, the onus is on the...

High Court rules on a suitable care arrangement in catastrophic injury case

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In this case (Farrugia v Burtenshaw and others [2014]), liability had been admitted by the defendant road traffic insurer and most quantum issues agreed, however, the parties remained in dispute over the provision of future care and case management. The...

Administration: business briefing

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What is administration? Administration is the procedure by which a company that is, or is likely to become, insolvent can be reorganised or have its assets sold for the benefit of creditors. When a company goes into administration,...

Penalties for breaching environmental legislation

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Understanding the regulator’s approach to the enforcement and prosecution of environmental offences should enable businesses to minimise their risk of being prosecuted. It should also help: Reduce the level of any penalties if...

Dismissing an employee: business briefing

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Why is it important to follow the law when dismissing an employee? Dismissing an employee for a reason other than one allowed by law, without following the correct procedure or giving adequate notice, may lead to a claim for unfair or wrongful dismissal...

2014 Budget - Highlights

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Tax free childcare The government has confirmed that the new tax-free childcare scheme will be launched in autumn 2015. Under the scheme, working families (all parents in the household must be "in work" earning on average £50 a week,...

Changes to Employment Law

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Acas conciliation The Acas early conciliation procedure will be introduced. Discrimination questionnaires Section 138 of the Equality Act 2010 (which deals with discrimination questionnaires)...

Employment Law update

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Announcements have been made by the Government in relation to its ongoing reform program for employment law . The key developments are; Unfair dismissal compensatory awards will be capped at the lower of one years pay...