Dismissal

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Constructive criticism – last straw dismissal decision overturned by EAT (UK)

Every so often there comes along a case which is not madly interesting on its own facts (stay with me here) but which still serves as a useful future touchstone on a particular issue. If your particular interest is constructive dismissal, and in particular, constructive dismissal through the route of the proverbial last straw, then … Continue Reading

When voluntary redundancy goes bad – precautions for employers (UK)

Employee volunteers for redundancy, is then made redundant on the terms offered and yet still claims unfair dismissal.  A non-starter, surely? That was the view taken by the Employment Tribunal in White –v- HC-One Oval Limited at the back end of 2020.  Ms White had volunteered for redundancy so could reasonably dispute neither the existence … Continue Reading

The four day working week: revolutionising working life, one day at a time (UK)

The idea of a universal four-day working week – with the reduction in working time intended to bolster productivity and wellbeing – is not new. In 1956 Richard Nixon argued (perhaps a little prematurely) that “the four-day work week is inevitable”; from 2007-2011 Republican politicians in Utah redefined the week for State employees as from … Continue Reading

Looking into workplace investigations, Part 1 – what are you talking about? (UK)

Today we start a new series of posts tackling the vexed area of workplace investigations.  We will look at the background law, of which there is very little, and at best practice guidance, of which there is more than can possibly all be useful.  We will offer some examples of investigations done badly and consider … Continue Reading

New Acas fire and re-hire guidance – how to do the wrong thing in the right way (UK)

Back in June Acas produced a report on the “fire and re-hire” practices used by some employers to make detrimental changes to employees’ terms and conditions of employment. In essence, the employee is given notice of dismissal from his old contract but offered immediate reinstatement on a new one which incorporates the changes the employer wanted … Continue Reading

Not signed, not enforceable? How UK employers can enforce restrictive covenants in unsigned contracts.

Restrictive covenants are a common feature of many employment contracts.  They are favoured by employers which want to ensure that departing employees will not solicit business, compete, poach clients or colleagues, and so on.  When they are needed they are really needed and so this is an important question. It is always good practice to … Continue Reading

Disciplinary Procedures webinar – your questions answered (UK)

Our webinar on disciplinary proceedings last week began unpromisingly – there is no new law and little new practice to learn, I had to say, not necessarily what you want to hear from your legal training session.  Nonetheless, we had several hundred sign-ups, perhaps tribute to the enduring mystique and indeed terror implicit in conducting … Continue Reading

EAT hits employer with warning shot on disciplinary procedures (UK)

London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham – v – Keable is an EAT case with everything in it – Nazis, Holocaust deniers, Momentum activists and Members of Parliament, though not necessarily all at the same time.  Oddly, despite this outstandingly diverse cast, the most important part of the decision for employers is actually the EAT’s … Continue Reading

Grievances and punishment – Is it enough to succeed, or must others fail? (UK)

If you look for the statutory source of the ordinary right to bring a workplace grievance, you may be gone some time.  It arose initially as a by-product of the implied duty of trust and confidence, and formally bubbled to the surface in WA Gould (Pearmak) Limited – v – McConnell in 1995.  There the … Continue Reading

Bogged down in pointless appeals? – The Law speaks (UK)

Periodically a case comes along to remind us that underneath all good dismissal practice, Acas guidance and the rest is The Law, and that The Law is sometimes less rigid in its requirements of a fair dismissal than all that guidance might suggest. Moore -v- Phoenix Product Development Limited is today’s such case, an everyday … Continue Reading

Whistleblowing webinar questions, Part 2 – interim relief (UK)

In our webinar last week we touched on the existence of a largely unique remedy for whistleblowing dismissals, the concept of interim relief, more recently and lucidly known as a contract continuation order (“CCO”).  Time did not permit a full rehearsal of the ins and outs of this potentially devastating employee tool, so here is … Continue Reading

Proposed right to disconnect lacks joined-up thinking (UK)

BBC News Online reported last week a call by trade union Prospect for the Government to legislate to “ban out of hours emails from bosses” or, beneath the headline, to “ban bosses from routinely emailing or calling outside set working hours“.  This looks like the proposed introduction into English law of the “right to disconnect” … Continue Reading

Acas Issues Short Advice on Long Covid (UK)

Clearly a quiet week over at Acas Towers, judging by all the detailed advice and reasoned analysis which doesn’t feature in its new two-page guidance note on long Covid (also referred to in the guidance as “long-tail Covid”, which is the same but with more feathers). The main thrust of the guidance is notionally to … Continue Reading

New Acas guidance on the return to the workplace – the importance of talking back to your workers (UK)

In line with the impending movement back to the physical workplace comes some updated Acas guidance around consultation with your workforce about preventing the Coronavirus in the process. The line between communication and consultation in the guidance is not always clearly marked, but that should not be an issue in view of Acas’s injunction that … Continue Reading

“Fair dismissal for not wearing face-mask” headlines hide full story (UK)

It’s not natural for our freedoms and permissions to be limited in the way they have been since last March, so whatever one’s own views, it is hardly surprising that some have found those restrictions hard to swallow and have railed against COVID-19 related rules, state imposed or otherwise. The requirement to wear masks in … Continue Reading

Future of the Workplace webinar 18 March – follow-up questions answered, Part 3 (UK)

Here are answers to two more of the questions which came up at our webinar last week, this time dealing with employee resistance to workplace Covid testing and the wisdom or otherwise of agreeing to post-lockdown WFH without formal changes to terms of employment. If an employee refuses to be tested at work, how should … Continue Reading

Future of the Workplace webinar 18 March – follow-up questions answered, Part 2 (UK)

Here are a couple more answers to questions coming up at our webinar last week: Do we still need to comply with collective consultation where we are not dismissing, only making contractual changes? Our policy currently removes COVID-related absences from our Bradford factor sickness calculations – should we do the same for adverse reactions to … Continue Reading
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