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Chris Amys
 

People on paternity and maternity leave exempt from cut-off date

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People on paternity and maternity leave exempt from the 10 th June 2020 cut-off date In their most recent update to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the Government stated the last day new individuals can be placed on furlough will be 10 th June...

Portal now open for employers to reclaim COVID-19 related SSP

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Portal now open for employers to reclaim COVID-19 related Statutory Sick Pay (“SSP”) As part of the Government’s response to COVID-19, one of their first announcements was the ability for businesses to recover SSP for COVID-19...

Employment Status

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Cases about employment status and the repercussions for employers continue, with a recent case against Yodel being found in the Company’s favour. A courier driver for Yodel was engaged as a self-employed contractor. He was provided with a contract...

Law Commission's proposed reforms to the Employment Tribunal

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During 2018 and 2019, the Law Commission has been consulting about a number of reforms to the Employment Tribunal. The Law Commission has now considered the responses they have received, and have now published their recommendations for reform, some of which...

Extension of deadline to submit a claim to the Employment Tribunal

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Despite COVID-19, the deadline for individuals to submit a claim to the Employment Tribunal has not changed, although Judges will consider matters in exceptional cases. The recent case of Brophy v Lowri Beck Services Ltd considered whether an individual was...

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Portal has opened

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On 20 th April 2020 at 8am, the Government’s anticipated Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Portal went live, with many employers and accountants giving excellent feedback about the Portal. HMRC have published some figures on the...

Changes to the definition of "sickness absence" for Statutory Sick Pay ("SSP") purposes

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SSP is payable when an employee is sick, i.e. when they are incapable to work due to a disease, bodily or mental disablement. One of the many changes introduced by the Government as a result of COVID-19 is a number of Regulations which have expanded the...

Staff retention after Covid-19 restrictions are lifted

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Over the past seven days I’ve been speaking in the region’s media about the ongoing Covid-19 situation, trying to help businesses cope, plan and prepare as much as they can. One of the topics I’ve covered is the need for employers to start...

Right to work and follow up checks

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Right to work and follow up checks temporarily adjusted in light of COVID-19 Employers are required to carry out right to work checks on all employees before the start of their employment, as well as follow up checks for those with time limited...

Changes to the National Minimum and Living Wage

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The annual revision to the rates for the National Minimum and Living Wage will come into force this month, in which the following changes will be made: National Living Wage for workers aged 25 and over increases to £8.72;...

Vento bands for discrimination claims increased

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In discrimination claims, Claimants are able to claim non-financial losses for injury to feelings. Although the Equality Act 2010 does not provide any guidance as to how the size of an injury to feelings award is calculated, the leading case of Vento v...

Settlement Agreements Q&A

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Q1: What is a Settlement Agreement? A Settlement Agreement is an agreement (formerly known as a Compromise Agreement) which records an employee’s termination of employment, where an employee receives a termination payment in return for the waiver of...

Ethical veganism is a philosophical belief under Equality Act

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Ethical veganism is a philosophical belief under the Equality Act The Employment Tribunal in Norwich has delivered its judgement in the case of Jordi Casamitjana and his former employer, the League Against Cruel Sports. The case concerned the issue of...

Vegetarians Do Not Have Protection Against Discrimination

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Mr Conisbee (“the Claimant”) is a vegetarian and was employed by Crossley Farms Limited (“the Respondent”) as a Waiter/Barman at the Fritton Arms Hotel in Suffolk. The Claimant was employed from April 2018 until he resigned with...

Significant fall in sickness absence at work

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The Office for National Statistics has published figures which show a significant fall in sickness absence in the workplace . In 2017, the average number of days taken off work due to sickness was 4.1 days. This is a significant reduction from the average...

Is workplace monitoring on the rise?

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The TUC has published new figures revealing 56% of workers believe they are being monitored at work by their employers, such as monitoring their internet browsing history, watching CCTV footage, viewing workplace emails, and listening into calls on...

Is working 9am-5pm no longer the norm?

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A recent YouGov poll indicates that fewer people than expected work a traditional 9am-5pm shift. The survey discovered that just 6% of people in the UK work such hours. YouGov’s survey should not come as a surprise to employers as the UK is...

Gender pay gap reporting

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In 2018, organisations across the UK with 250 or more employees published their gender pay gap data for the first time. Unsurprisingly many organisations disclosed they have a gender pay gap, with the average being approximately 18%. However the figure...

Deadline to submit a claim to the Employment Tribunal

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The recent Employment Appeal Tribunal case of Miah v Axis Security has considered an issue which arose when presenting a claim to the Employment Tribunal close to the limitation deadline. Mr Miah’s deadline to submit his claim of unfair dismissal...

Data breaches significantly up since the introduction of GDPR

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New figures from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) reveal that there has been a significant increase in the number of potential data breaches reported to the ICO since the introduction of GDPR in May 2018. The number of reported potential...

Workers bring equal pay claim against Tesco

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Over 1,000 workers at Tesco are bringing claims in the Employment Tribunal for equal pay. This is a significant increase from the initial 100 workers who issued claims earlier this year. However, with up to 200,000 workers who could be affected by the...

When employer fails to consider alternatives to dismissal

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Dr Ali, a GP at the Bedford Family Practice went on long-term sick leave following a heart attack and an ongoing heart condition. His employer received a medical report confirming it was unlikely Dr Ali would be able to return to work full-time, but might...

Deliveroo settles claims brought by couriers

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A group of riders from the British online food delivery company Deliveroo have reportedly settled their tribunal claims for an undisclosed sum. 50 couriers claimed they were incorrectly classed as self-employed contractors and argued they were in fact...

Employers fined for failing to pay the minimum wage

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It has recently been announced in a Government press release that 239 employers have failed to pay 22,400 workers the minimum wage. As such, these employers have been fined a record £1.97million, as well as ordered to repay the workers...

Supreme Court dismisses appeal by Pimlico Plumbers

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Employment status has been a hot topic discussed at our Employment Workshops and HR forums in the last couple of years in light of numerous high profile decisions in the courts and tribunal as well as the publication of the Taylor Review on Modern Working...

Number of Employment Tribunal claims on the rise

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It comes as no surprise that the number of Employment Tribunal claims is on the rise, as highlighted by the Ministry of Justice’s recent publication of their quarterly statistics. The statistics for the period January to March 2018 show that compared...

A third of women have experienced sexual harassment at work

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The issue of sexual harassment has been played out in the media during the last couple of years with allegations made against former high profile individuals including but not limited to Harvey Weinstein and Jimmy Savile. It therefore comes as no surprise...

Working long hours and reasonable adjustments

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Mr Carreras worked at United First Partners Research (the Company) as an Analyst. He worked extremely long hours, typically 12-15 hours a day. In July 2012, he had a cycling accident which severely affected him physically and emotionally. As a result, Mr...

Employee dismissed after informing employer about her pregnancy

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Miss Thompson worked for Really Easy Car Credit Limited (the Company) for a short period of time until the Company terminated her employment during her probationary period. The Company decided to terminate Miss Thompson’s employment on 3 rd August...

Legal costs awarded against employer in sham redundancy

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Defending an Employment Tribunal claim is not cheap, especially if neither party has the benefit of legal expenses insurance, otherwise legal fees could potentially run into thousands of pounds. Costs are rarely awarded in the Employment Tribunal and...

Employment law changes from April 2018

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April is the time of year when several changes come into force affecting employers such as the National Minimum/Living Wage, statutory payments and compensation limits in the Employment Tribunals . There are also new rules about the taxation of termination...

Employment rights during a Company shutdown or downturn in work

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It was not a good week for KFC when their new logistics supplier DHL failed to supply hundreds of KFC outlets with chicken due to operational issues. As a result, a significant number of KFC stores were closed or offered a substantially reduced menu to its...

Personal knowledge of a whistleblowing complaint

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In whistleblowing claims, workers are protected if they have suffered a detriment when they make a protected disclosure. The crucial question in any whistleblowing case is to decide whether a protected disclosure had a material influence in the...

Are companies accurately reporting their gender pay gap?

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From April 2018, companies with 250 or more employees will be required to publish their gender pay gap. Thousands of companies will be affected and many have already uploaded their data, which you can view online . However, a number of companies, such as a...

Is a worker entitled to a 20 minute continuous rest break?

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Under the Working Time Regulations 1998, workers are entitled to a rest break when they work more than 6 hours. The length of the rest break is an uninterrupted period of not less than 20 minutes. The case of Crawford v Network Rail recently looked...

Are the rights of workers and the gig economy about to change?

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The media has been reporting that workers are to receive new employment rights as a result of the Government’s response to the Taylor Review. Last year, the independent Taylor Review was published following a review of modern working practices,...

How does your business address the menopause in the workplace?

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The BBC has recently reported that their survey found 70% of respondents (1,009 woman aged 50 and 60) did not tell their bosses they were experiencing symptoms from the menopause, mainly because many find it a taboo subject. The menopause occurs in all...

Dismissal for refusing to work does not amount to discrimination

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In the case of Rochford v WNS Global Services, Mr Rochford was employed by WNS Global Services (WNS) as a Vertical Sales Lead from July 2011 until the termination of his employment on 9 th April 2013. Mr Rochford was a senior member of staff and received...

Employment Law: Christmas and workplace issues Q&A (Part 3)

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Q: Can employees put up Christmas decorations in the workplace? Employers owe a duty of care to their employees and therefore if an employer holds the honest belief that something could put an employee’s health and safety at risk,...

Employment Law: Christmas and workplace issues Q&A (Part 2)

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Q: What is the effect of adverse weather during Christmas? Adverse weather during the Christmas period can present its own problems to an employer, especially when it results in travel disruption. If an employee is unable to...

Employment Law: Christmas and workplace issues Q&A (Part 1)

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Q: Does an employee have the right to take Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Year’s Day as holiday? Over the winter months, there are three bank holidays, which are Christmas Day (Monday 25 th December 2017), Boxing Day (Tuesday 26...

The Christmas Party - "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year"

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Hosting a Christmas party is a great way to reward staff for their loyalty and performance over the preceding year as well as providing staff with the opportunity to bond. However, whether held during or outside of working hours, Christmas parties can often...

Employers and the snow chaos

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The recent frosty mornings reminds us that winter has finally arrived, and disruption due to the weather is highly likely over the next few months. We thought it would be a good time to remind you of your obligations in relation to employees and the bad...

Is an off the record discussion always without prejudice?

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In the case of Graham v Agilitas IT Solutions Ltd, the Employment Appeal Tribunal had to consider whether a number of discussions held between Mr Graham and his employer prior to the termination of his employment had the protection of the common law without...

Reimbursement scheme for Employment Tribunal fees announced

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On 26 th July 2017, the Supreme Court declared that fees in the Employment Tribunal were unlawful. This was a momentous decision and is without doubt the most significant employment case for many years, because of the impact it will have on virtually every...

Employment Law: Absence and Attendance at Work Q&A (Part 2)

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Q: What happens if an employee fails to submit a GP’s Fit Note? It is usual for employers to permit their employees to self-certify their absences for the first seven days. For absences longer than seven days, it is normal for a...

Employment Law: Absence and Attendance at Work Q&A (Part 1)

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Q: What happens if an employee calls in sick? If an employee is unable to work due to sickness, they should contact their employer as soon as possible. An employer will ask the employee about the reasons for their absence and ascertain...