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Belgium’s largest Joint Committee reaches a new agreement on employment and working conditions – deadlines for employers to act are tight!

Against the background of industrial unrest in other sectors, the social partners of Joint Committee 200 –the Committee representing the largest number of employees in the country, more than 480.000 in total – have quietly come to an agreement on employment and working conditions. The most important provisions of the agreement are summarized within this … 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

Belgium imposes tighter Covid measures (including an obligation to work from home again)

In the wave of sunny optimism following the roll-out of our vaccination programme this spring-summer, few people in Belgium had anticipated that the Covid situation would worsen again, or do so as quickly as it has. And yet the numbers of infections and patients in intensive care are now at an all-time high. New stricter … Continue Reading

Global Edge 2.0, The Inside Track: Part 3 – There May Be Trouble Ahead

One of the traditional shortcomings of conventional international employment law resources is that they are very good at what was and not bad on what is, but quite hopeless on what will be. So it takes a pretty special product to give you not just news of international employment law developments in the pipeline but … Continue Reading

National Minimum Wage compliance – car alarm for employers in new EAT judgment (UK)

The Employment Appeal Tribunal recently handed down its judgment in Augustine v Data Cars Ltd. The case concerned a taxi driver who alleged that his pay had fallen below the National Minimum Wage, but the arguments upheld by the EAT have far wider significance than the cabbing industry – they extend to any employer with … 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

‘No-poach’ agreements – EU catching up with the US on anti-competitive recruitment practices

On 19 October, Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President and Commissioner for Competition of the European Commission, delivered a speech addressing the EU’s current policy when addressing cartels, potential changes to the Commission’s leniency program and recent dawn-raid efforts. Most notably, Vestager spoke about so-called ‘no-poach’ agreements, whereby companies agree not to recruit each other’s workers and/or … Continue Reading

COVID-19: what next for UK employers, Part 5 – are they at risk under the away goals rule?

Here is another good question from our What Next webinar a couple of weeks ago. More to follow soon. If someone whose role involves International travel has a medical condition which makes that travel undesirable in a post-pandemic World, would the capability dismissal process be applicable? Probably so, but we need to look at the … Continue Reading

“There are only two ways of telling the complete truth – anonymously and posthumously” (UK)

That was according to a US economist, Thomas Sowell, but it also came up at a recent webinar we did on whistle-blowing and grievance investigations.  We were talking about limits on the employer’s ability to use evidence from witnesses whose identities would not be disclosed to the person accused.  The short point was that to … Continue Reading

How to stay competitive as a global employer in today’s challenging landscape

Global businesses today face an ever-increasing set of complex issues.  From managing flexible and hybrid working arrangements borne out of the pandemic, to meeting diversity and inclusion expectations and demonstrating the worth of their workforce, each issue brings its own challenges that employers must successfully address if they are to stay competitive. How employers address … Continue Reading

“Humblebrag” (n) (inf) – an ostensibly modest or self-deprecating statement whose actual purpose is to draw attention to something of which one is proud (UK)

Unless as part of a band, I always think that blowing your own trumpet is rather poor form, but any such scruples which many lawyers usually have around such things are dumped in a heartbeat when the latest legal directory rankings are released.  LinkedIn lights up instantly with more humblebragging than Oscars Night, though without … Continue Reading

COVID-19: what next for UK employers, Part 4

In deciding whether to allow an employee’s request to continue a full or partial remote working schedule, what account should be taken of the reasons for that request? In our ‘What next’ webinar last week, I indicated that in most cases the safest answer to this question is “none”, and that the employee’s reasons for … 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
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