Archives

Not seeking references on new hires — help or heresy? (UK)

Interesting question from a client the other day  – what if we simply gave up asking for references on new hires?  Just stopped it altogether and so saved all the HR time and delay and cost implicit in the reference-checking process?  Instinctively your response is not to be so daft, everyone always seeks references so … 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

Sleepovers and the NMW, Part II – clarity at long last for the UK care sector

It was what seems an eternity ago in July 2018 that the Court of Appeal handed down its judgment in the combined cases of Royal Mencap v Thompson Blake and John Shannon v Jakishan and Prithee Rampersad (t/a Clifton House Residential Home). A link to our blog post at that time is here.  Readers will … 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

Workers gain new health and safety protection from 31 May (UK)

As the law currently stands, sections 44 and 100 Employment Rights Act 1996 protect employees against detriment (e.g. disciplinary action or suspension of pay) and dismissal as a result of their taking steps to protect themselves or others in certain health and safety situations, including where “in circumstances of danger which the employee reasonably believed … Continue Reading

Future of the Workplace webinar 18 March – follow-up questions answered, Part 1 (UK)

Over 700 sign-ups for our Future of the Workplace webinar yesterday show much continuing uncertainty on the part of employers as to just what happens next in practical HR terms as the lock-down staggers to a scheduled end in June.  As usual lots of questions were received through the chat facility, so we have combined … Continue Reading

EAT looks through Sash Window for better view on worker holiday pay claims (UK)

King –v- Sash Window Workshop Company was a particularly difficult European Court of Justice case for businesses in the gig economy.  It suggested that where a worker was not provided with an adequate facility to take the paid leave to which he was entitled by that status under the Working Time Regulations (in particular, because … 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

Legal Developments Webinar 23rd February – your follow-up questions answered, Part 3 (UK)

As attention turns increasingly to the practicalities of the physical return to the workplace in what may be little over 3 months, questions of employers’ rights and obligations in relation to testing and vaccination are becoming more common.  These are vexed areas which can easily put common interest into conflict with civil liberties.  Just how … Continue Reading

Legal Developments Webinar 23 February – your follow-up questions answered, Part 2 (UK)

Here are two more answers to questions raised at our “Employment Law in 2021 and Beyond” webinar last week.  Answers to the immigration-related questions are on their way. If you make representations to the non-compete consultation, will your name be published?  When might we see an outcome from that consultation? Do we know when the … Continue Reading

Legal Developments Webinar 23 February – your follow-up questions answered, Part 1 (UK)

Thank you to all those who signed up for our “Employment Law in 2021 and Beyond” webinar on 23rd February.  Over 400 people dialled in for the session, so our profuse apologies but maybe little wonder that we did not get to answer all the questions raised.  As promised, here are a couple of the … Continue Reading

Little scope for UK employers to get lost on recovery roadmap

So there it is, Boris’s long-heralded 4 Step plan for the country to move forward into our new future.  Lots of statistics, cautions and caveats, but what does the 60-page “COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021” document presented to Parliament yesterday contain for employers?  Is there anything new or is it, like the paper the original … Continue Reading

EAT refuses to swallow stale discrimination training – keeping up the statutory defence (UK)

As a rule, an employer will be liable for the discriminatory acts of its employees towards each other unless it has taken all reasonable steps to prevent them doing that sort of thing (section 109(4) Equality Act, often known as the “statutory defence”). Allay (UK) Limited –v- Gehlen is one of really not very many … Continue Reading

Watching the detectives – employee rights to monitor employer misconduct (UK)

Today’s word is “Avizandum”, which the internet tells me is the name of the King of the Dragons, mate of Zubeia and father Azymondias, respected by all the elves as the most powerful creature in the whole of Xadia. Clearly. Whether the elves would have taken the same view if aware that the King of the … Continue Reading

Belgium: paid time off takes pain out of employee vaccinations

In order to ensure that as many people as possible are vaccinated, the trade unions and the employers’ organisations in the National Labour Council have agreed that employees will be allowed to take the necessary time off to be vaccinated. If enough vaccines are available, at-risk patients will be vaccinated from April onwards and the … Continue Reading

Representative’s reprimand for clear misconduct unlawful, says EAT (UK)

The Employment Appeal Tribunal has recently handed down a judgment which serves as a useful reminder for employers of the risks of taking disciplinary action against union representatives for behaviour which may look like misconduct but which actually constitutes union activity. By way of background, section 146(1)(b) of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) … Continue Reading
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