Archives

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

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

Revisions to statutory dismissal and re-engagement Code provide welcome simplification (UK)

This week saw the issue of what will probably be the final version of the Government’s statutory Code of Practice on dismissal and re-engagement.  This follows the consultation on an earlier version which we covered here.  The new Code comes accompanied by some Guidance which is an unusually, in fact disconcertingly, helpful summary of the … 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

Food for thought – can UK gig economy workers go on strike?

If there was ever any doubt that Trade Unions target their dates for industrial action to cause maximum inconvenience (think train drivers striking on the day of major sporting events, or binmen striking at Christmas), then Deliveroo and other food delivery company drivers striking on Valentines Day surely put that to bed. Scant consolation for … Continue Reading

Workplace harassment in Germany (Part 2): a checklist for your workplace investigations

“We conduct investigations in line with all applicable laws and regulations.” Easy for you to say, but what does that mean in practice?  In part one, Laura Sparschuh discussed the options available to employees in Germany when reporting cases of workplace harassment. In this second article, Anna-Maria Hesse and Laura highlight what employers need to … 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

UK Business Immigration – what’s in store for 2024?

There are several key immigration developments in the pipeline which are likely to affect UK employers.  Here’s what you need to know: 6 February 2024: Visa Application costs increase The Immigration Health Surcharge is increasing from £624 to £1,035 per year for most adult UK visa applications from today, 6 February 2024.  For under-18s, students … Continue Reading

Workplace Harassment in Germany: “We Encourage You to Speak Up!” But to Whom?

In the first of a short series of blog posts on workplace harassment in Germany, Laura Sparschuh highlights Germany’s new Whistleblower Protection Act and key issues for employers to consider when handling reports of harassment.   In Germany, the Whistleblower Protection Act came into full effect in December 2023. The main news is that employers … Continue Reading

Belgium – “When the lights go out”: the burn-out pandemic

In this last episode of our mini-series on long-term absence, we will zoom in on probably the most common current ground for long-term absence in Belgium, which is burn-out. Burn-out was in the Belgian press again recently because of a decision in the Antwerp Employment Court that it is discriminatory for a health care insurer … Continue Reading

Pre-nups in employment contracts – not a marriage made in heaven (UK)

In its judgement in Zabelin -v- SPI Spirits and Shefler this month, the Employment Appeal Tribunal has offered a refresher course on some important questions around protected disclosures, contracting out of statutory rights and when the Acas Code applies. The background facts are relatively simple. Zabelin worked for SPI which is owned by Mr Shefler. … Continue Reading

Does failure to prevent sexual harassment lead to directors exposing themselves? (UK)

In the normal course, the question of whether there is any interplay between the new duty to take proactive steps to prevent sexual harassment on the one hand and section 172 Companies Act 2006 on the other would be a bit of a downer at your Christmas dinner.  However, if you are a director then … Continue Reading

Belgium – “Who you gonna call?” — appointment of a person of trust mandatory as of 1 December

While some are already hanging up the Christmas decorations and squeezing back into their Christmas jumpers, the Belgian legislator has picked the festive season to introduce a number of new measures relating to well-being in the workplace. We will discuss these measures in a series of blogs. The first measure holds that the appointment of … 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

Attention! Important new decision on accrual of paid leave in France

French law has traditionally provided that absences due to non-occupational illness are not taken into account when determining the amount of paid leave accrued, as they do not constitute a period of actual work. Periods of absence due to an occupational accident or illness lasting more than one uninterrupted year are not taken into account … Continue Reading

Knew this would happen, Part 3 – draft Acas code fails to plug holes in predictable working patterns law (UK)

Last week saw the publication of the draft Acas Code of Practice for handling requests for a “predictable working pattern”.  When we previewed the draft Bill in February, we noted here Knew this would happen – entirely predictable problems with new working patterns Bill (UK) the lack of any definition of “predictable” despite the obvious … Continue Reading

Workplace monitoring – new guidance from the ICO

Workplace monitoring has become a matter of particular contention in recent years. In a world where remote and hybrid working practices have become the norm, many employers have concerns about what their employees are actually doing while ‘at work’ elsewhere. This has led to an increasing amount of discussion about monitoring employees who are working … Continue Reading
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