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Labour’s employment manifesto – the road paved with good intentions? (UK)

There is, as you will have noticed, an election looming in the UK and in amongst the wrangling over lies about tax, missing D-Day commemorations and the fiercely contested issue of which leader has the least charisma, there are some potentially very significant changes in the offing when it comes to employment law.… Continue Reading

I won’t take this sitting down – how to escape liability for kind thoughts in the workplace (UK)

Into the second half of April we go with a strong contender for the No Good Deed prize in the 2024 Has it Really Come to This? Awards,. Employers staring aghast at news in the Times on Saturday that “Offering a seat to older staff risks discrimination” should not worry – there is a great … Continue Reading

When the ET won’t bite back – limits on strike out-powers (UK)

Rule 37 of the 2013 ET Rules of Procedure contains the Tribunal’s nuclear deterrent, the power to strike out part or all of a claim or defence. That big red button can only be pushed for a small number of specified reasons including (for today’s purposes) Rule 37(b) that the manner in which proceedings have … Continue Reading

When the Employment Tribunal bites back (and when it doesn’t) (UK)

Two recent cases on how Employment Tribunals should handle the inappropriate conduct of proceedings by claimants have shed some useful light on their more punitive powers.  Both decisions made clear that the ET is far more interested in getting to a fair trial of the issue despite such conduct than in thumping claimants because of … Continue Reading

Employment tribunal fees consultation, V.2 – yes but why? (UK)

The ancient art of fiddling while Rome burns is obviously still flourishing in government, as witness the release last week of a new consultation paper on fees for Employment Tribunal claimants. My colleague Alexander Bradbury has the official line here. We have been this way before.  The ET started charging claim and hearing fees in … Continue Reading

New Consultation on UK Employment Tribunal Fees

In 2013, the Government introduced fees for bringing claims to the Employment Tribunal and the Employment Appeal Tribunal.  Although they were then abolished following a Supreme Court ruling in 2017, the issue is back in the spotlight and the subject of fee-rocious debate once more following the publication of a Government consultation into their re-introduction. … Continue Reading

The trouble with the reluctant complainant (UK)

It has been annual review season here at Squire Patton Boggs.  Looking back over my efforts this year in the usual endeavour to justify my own existence, I have spotted the same scenario cropping up with unusual frequency.  An employee tells their employer that they have experienced something at work that they are not too … Continue Reading

Knew this would happen, Part 2 – predicted problems persist in working patterns legislation (UK)

Back in February I offered here some thoughts on the main practical problems implicit in what was then the Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Bill.  It was a mess, missing explanations of key concepts and grossly over-engineered for its objectives. That makes it all the more depressing to report that it has now received Royal … Continue Reading

Increased liabilities under new draft Code on dismissal and re-engagement – evidence is all (UK)

Back in November 20201 we reported here on some new Acas guidance on changing terms of employment through dismissal and re-engagement, and in November last year on the Government’s intention to issue a new statutory Code on that practice here. A first draft of that Code has now landed and we can exclusively report that … Continue Reading

A step into the unknown – waiving future claims by settlement agreements (UK)

You would think that in the twenty-plus years since they were first introduced as an alternative to the Acas COT3, all that could be said about the law relating to settlement agreements would have been said.  However, along now comes the Scottish Employment Appeal Tribunal in Bathgate –v- Technip UK Limited and Others with a … Continue Reading

In the market for worker status advice? – new Guidance fails to deliver (UK)

The thing about one-stop shops is that if they do not stock what you want, they become next best thing to useless.  Anyway, welcome to the government’s new Guidance on Employment Status, expressly billed in the accompanying press release as meeting all your worker status needs in one handy document. … Continue Reading

Crikey, it’s the rozzers – police involvement in your workplace investigation (UK)

Oops.  Just found an unanswered question left over from our investigations webinar and blog series earlier in the year.  Apologies if it was yours.  The question revolves around employer and investigator interactions with the Police where the subject matter of your workplace investigation is potentially criminal conduct, and is maybe best answered as a series … Continue Reading

Looking into workplace investigations, Part 14 – closing submissions

Since most workplace investigations involve something contested, most investigation reports will disappoint one party or the other.  Indeed, since very few workplace disputes are exclusively the responsibility of one party alone, it is entirely possible if you put your mind to it that at one level or another your report will be a disappointment to … Continue Reading

“All the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order” – previewing your investigatory record-keeping requirements (UK)

Nearly 700 sign-ups for our workplace investigations webinar earlier this month gives a clear indication that this once relatively unfashionable area of HR law and practice is very much dish of the day at the moment, so from the first ten parts on this blog in December-February, now seems the time to move on to … Continue Reading

New code of practice on employers’ failure to consult – policy or politics? (UK)

An interesting development on the old employment relations front this week with the announcement of a new statutory code of practice concerning, well, that strictly remains to be seen.  Scarcely able to stand up under the weight of politically-charged invective and hyperbole, the government’s statement refers to “clamping down” on “unscrupulous employers” which fail to … Continue Reading

To lead or not to lead, that is the question – looking into workplace investigations, Part 9 (UK)

A great deal of the available guidance on conducting workplace investigations relates to the form of your questions of the parties involved, and in particular to whether they should be open, closed, or leading.  This is the difference between: “And what happened next?” – open, because the answer can go off in any direction; “Did … Continue Reading

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing for future Tribunal hearings survey (UK)

Look, it’s certainly not for me to criticise efforts being made by HM’s Courts and Tribunals Service to explore and improve how justice is best delivered during the pandemic and beyond. So the recent arrival in my inbox of a survey on the point being conducted by an independent external organisation IFF on behalf of … Continue Reading

2020’s parting gift to UK employers – you really shouldn’t have

It is easy to dismiss some EAT decisions as a storm in a teacup, legally-speaking, all very traumatic for those bobbing about in them, but of little significance to the wider world of employment law or practice. Steer – v – Stormsure Limited earlier this month is not one of those decisions. It has the … Continue Reading

Online Employment Tribunal hearings – remote possibility or part of our new normal? (UK)

Remote evidence in Tribunal hearings have traditionally been limited to circumstances where an individual’s location or health makes it very difficult for them to attend the venue. Historically the ETs have not much liked it and there is a continued perception that evidence given remotely is like that given by a written statement alone – … Continue Reading
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