Non-financial misconduct and harassment – a guide for HR, Part 4 (UK)

If the Financial Conduct Authority is to extend or confirm (depending on what you read) its remit to include non-financial misconduct and specifically bullying and harassment in its fitness and propriety assessment, then the potentially career-ending consequences for those concerned require that we are all very clear as to what those terms mean.… Continue Reading

Non-financial Misconduct – A Guide for HR, Part 3 (UK): FCA’s Definition of Non-financial Misconduct

“Non-financial misconduct is misconduct, plain and simple” – that is what Christopher Woolard (former FCA director) said in 2018. Except that as it turns out, fairly predictably when dealing with shades of human behaviour, it’s not that plain, nor that simple. With a lack of guidance on what non-financial misconduct (NFM) actually is, firms have thus … Continue Reading

Non-financial Misconduct – A Guide for HR, Part 2 (UK): FCA Proposals – What Will They Change?

The FCA’s consultation paper (CP23/20) proposes a framework to establish and define the minimum standards expected from regulated individuals in the financial services sector. Specifically, it clarifies the FCA’s expectations around non-financial misconduct (NFM). But, if implemented, will these proposals actually change anything? We think these rules would have a direct effect on the conduct … Continue Reading

Another foot in the grave of workplace common sense? (UK)

“HMRC boss sending worker unwanted birthday card was harassment“, said the Times Online yesterday, surely a second nailed-on candidate for 2024’s No Good Deed Awards after a similar allegation earlier this year in relation to offering an older worker a chair. Needless to say, there is somewhat more to the story than that, so those … Continue Reading

Latest instalment on settlement agreements covering future claims (UK)

In an earlier post we looked at how far a settlement agreement could validly waive claims in respect of things which haven’t yet happened.  The Scottish Court of Session in Bathgate -v- Technip UK Limited had very sensibly indicated that you can agree not to pursue future rights provided that the settlement agreement contains wording … Continue Reading

Non-financial Misconduct – A Guide for HR, Part 1 (UK)

Not just more management consultancy buzz words, “non-financial misconduct” is becoming an increasingly important term for everyone working in HR in the financial services sector. As most readers will be aware, it is the role of the FCA to ensure that the UK financial markets work well. In pursuit of this, and to protect the … Continue Reading

Disciplinary Issues in the Workplace Webinar – Follow-up questions answered (Part 4 – UK)

Here are the last few questions – and our outline answers – from our recent webinar on Disciplinary Issues in the Workplace. What’s the best way to manage disputed notes from meetings, particularly where participants try to “re-write” history after the meeting? We share your pain – we have had numerous clients complain that employees … Continue Reading

Disciplinary Issues in the Workplace Webinar – Follow-up questions answered (Part 3 – UK)

Here are a few more of the questions – and our outline answers – following our recent webinar on Disciplinary Issues in the Workplace. In a large organisation, is it necessary to have consistency in decision-making across departments?  Usually decisions vary depending on who heard the hearing. In short, yes.  Ultimately if a matter ends … Continue Reading

Disciplinary Issues in the Workplace Webinar – Follow-up questions answered (Part 2 – UK)

Here are a couple more of the questions – and our outline answers – following our recent webinar on Disciplinary Issues in the Workplace. Can a disciplinary hearing be held in an employee’s absence? Yes, potentially, although this should usually be a last resort. As a general rule, disciplinary hearings should be conducted in person … Continue Reading

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

Is your use of AI in the workplace compliant and guided by policies? (Germany)

The recent decision of the Hamburg Labour Court concerning a German works council’s attempt to enforce a ban on the use of AI in a workplace makes it clear once again that employers cannot simply let the use of AI run its course unchecked. Employers are well advised to take a moment check their current … Continue Reading

Dismissal for religious beliefs plays well in theatre drama – but as reason or context? (UK)

What with God, theatre and lesbians, the recent EAT decision in Omooba – v – Michael Garrett Associates and Another might truly be said to be the case that has it all.  Sadly the legal points underneath the facts are rather more prosaic, but this ruling is nonetheless worth noting for their possible practical application … Continue Reading

Employee sent packing after empty bag theft — mitigation in dishonesty dismissals (UK)

Last month the BBC reported the Employment Tribunal’s decision that it was fair to dismiss a Mr Doffou for gross misconduct because he had not paid for a handful of bags he packed his shopping in after his shift. Mr Doffou had been happily employed at Sainsbury’s in Romford for nearly 20 years when given … Continue Reading

Belgium – the double or triple whammy of employment protection indemnities

In Belgian law, there are certain periods of employment during which there are greater than usual restrictions on an employer’s ability to dismiss an employee. These include periods of maternity, parental and other types of care leave. Parting company with employees during any period when they are protected against dismissal can become a costly affair, … 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

Clarity covers a multitude of sins – Court of Session restores order to settlement agreement waivers (UK)

Back in October 2022 we reported here on the EAT’s decision in Bathgate -v- Technip UK Limited. This was a particularly unnerving ruling to the effect that settlement agreements could not cover claims yet to arise because of the requirement under section 147 Employment Rights Act that such agreements must relate to “particular claims”. The … Continue Reading

When making reasonable adjustments is a real trial (UK)

Everyone knows that if there is something about a job which causes a disabled employee particular difficulties with it, the employer is under an obligation to make reasonable adjustments to the role to reduce or remove that disadvantage.  But suppose that there are no adjustments to the role which can be made.  Does that duty … Continue Reading

UK Business Immigration: Skilled Worker visa salary hike on 4 April 2024 – what employers need to know

The Home Office announced a number of immigration-related changes in December 2023, including a significant increase in minimum salary thresholds for Skilled Worker visas.  The finer detail, in the form of new Immigration Rules, will be published on 14 March with most of the changes coming into effect on 4 April 2024. In the meantime, … Continue Reading

Does permitting the use of AI in employment call the works council into action? Not necessarily, says the German Labour Court

The use of ChatGPT and its peers to make work easier and faster – whether permitted, tolerated or prohibited – is already part of everyday working life in many companies. However, the spread of that technology has raced far ahead of the law so the legal consequences of that use (employment rights and obligations, data … Continue Reading

Workplace Harassment in Germany: “We take all allegations regarding harassment seriously” – but what are the consequences?

In the third of our short series “Workplace Harassment in Germany”, Laura Sparschuh takes a look at some recent court rulings regarding harassment. Awareness of workplace harassment as an issue in Germany has significantly increased over the past couple of years. In many cases of sexual harassment in particular, employers keen to be seen to … Continue Reading