Newsletters


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Varying terms and conditions – A salutary lesson to all

What can be considered specific consideration (i.e. “value given by the employer”) for the purposes of accepting new terms and conditions?

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Virtual Reality and employment tribunals collide

The Employment Tribunal system has brushed with Virtual Reality: you may be liable for more employees than you think. How?

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Holiday pay – What your business needs to know and do

This guide explains the implications for employers of the recent holiday pay cases which were decided together by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) on 4th November 2014.

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You did, You didn’t, You did, You didn’t

Varying terms and conditions of employment can be a risky business.
How often have you, as an employer, wanted your employment terms and conditions to be just a little bit different?

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Shoot The Messenger?

Employers aren’t liable for insurance benefits which discriminate against certain employees, especially where there are no alternative insurance products in the market, so long as (and here’s the sting in the tail) they’ve explored what’s available in that market in the first place.

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Holiday pay

As you may have heard, the much anticipated day has arrived. The Employment Appeal Tribunal has given its ruling on whether non-guaranteed overtime must be taken into account for the purposes of calculating holiday pay.

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Teeth and TUPE

The baring of teeth in popular culture (for Halloween, the dental work in Real Wives of Orange County and by media vampires) has recently been reflected in commercial and judicial culture too.

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“Faites vos jeux”

If I’d been given £1 each time a client had asked me “what are my chances?” in bringing or defending a claim or in adopting a particular strategy, I wouldn’t be writing this now; I would be rich enough to have retired. But I wasn’t and I haven’t.

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The Minimum Wage

There is growing pressure from many quarters to introduce a living wage. All of the main parties at their recent conferences made promises aimed at improving the financial position of those on the national minimum wage.

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Injured feelings

An injury to feelings award is is not linked to actual financial loss therefore compensation can be given when there has been no loss at all.

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Things that come in threes

Buses often come in threes. The same principle now seems to apply to TUPE cases. Here are some recent examples of TUPE in triplicate, to ease you from late Summer into early Autumn.

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Don’t leave me this way… or it will cost you

Whilst many of us were packing our bags for our summer holidays, the High Court was dealing with a particularly interesting and tricky issue – Sunrise Brokers LLP v Rodgers.

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Flexibility at breaking point

The government is set to ban the use of exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts.The government launched a consultation on their use (or misuse) in December 2013. By the time that consultation closed in March 2014, it had received over a record breaking 36,000 responses.

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TUPE – and Size Matters

Employers with fewer than 10 employees (i.e. employers with 1 to 9 employees, but not employers who have 10 or more employees) no longer have to invite those employees who are affected by a TUPE transfer to elect representatives with whom to inform and consult about that transfer.

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“Fat is a feminist issue”…

The proposition that “fat is a feminist issue” apparently caused much debate, initially in the late 1970s, when its author, Susie Orbach, suggested that women were fat because of an unconscious desire to protect themselves against being expected to be as thin as the supermodels of the day.

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Yeah, but No, but Yeah, but No, but…

This is an important update to a warning we gave on restrictive covenants in our blog of 22 April 2014 “Can a court rewrite a non-compete restriction in favour of an employer2.

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Sun, sea, sand and …

The holiday period is upon us, but has a ruling from the European Court of Justice (ECJ) turned a well-earned rest for employees into an expensive nightmare for employers?

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Good Leavers, Bad Leavers & Guilty Employers

Employers, be careful. Do you treat your retiring employees as good leavers? If so, do you allow them to retain valuable accrued benefits linked to incentive schemes? If your answer is “yes” to both questions, you may be guilty age discrimination against younger employees.

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Is Robin Hood alive and well? Clawbacks and bonuses

Have you ever wished that you could require an employee to pay back a cash bonus or give back an award of shares or some other form of remuneration when things haven’t worked out as well as your organisation had hoped, or if profits are down, or if staff have misbehaved or underperformed?

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The changes to flexible working – nuisance or opportunity?

On 30th June 2014, more employees will have the right to request flexible working. Currently, an employee needs 26 weeks’ continuous employment, and the request must be to care for a child 17 years or younger (18 years if they are disabled) or for an adult.

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To know or not to know? When should an employer know that an employee is disabled?

What should an employer do with advice received from occupational health?

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“Star Wars: The Phantom Menace” re-enacted by Share Transfer & TUPE?

A transaction based on a share transfer doesn’t generally get caught by TUPE. But there is a risk that TUPE may lurk in the shadows. Make sure you don’t get caught out.

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Watch Out! – Phones have ears…

An employee’s secret recordings of private discussions at disciplinary and grievance hearings may be admissible as evidence in subsequent tribunal hearings.

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Discrimination and the surrogate mother: not as family friendly as you thought?

Many UK employers have developed policies that cover surrogate parenthood, on the basis that it is equitable to treat parents of babies in the same way, regardless of how they have become parents.

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Can a court rewrite a non-compete restriction in favour of an employer?

The answer should be ‘No’, but in the case of Prophet v Huggett, the court did exactly that.

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Early conciliation of Employment Tribunal claims: an Employer’s winning streak?

The Government seems to be succeeding in unclogging Tribunals. Many people think that it is doing so by promoting targets at the expense of justice (an old fashioned, but still important concept).

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Guest Briefing Note – Rm2 on Share Schemes: Back To Basics

We are delighted that Rm2 have contributed a Briefing Note this month. Rm2 has been helping companies set up and run employee share plans since 1998.

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Changes to watch out for in April

A round up of the changes in employment law we can expect in the next few weeks in April 2014.

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Can a small employer use an independent panel on an internal appeal, and ignore their decision? The answer is sometimes.

Often a small employer faces the dilemma after investigating misconduct and carried out a hearing, there is no senior manager who was not involved in the case to deal with any appeal.

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Employment Tribunal statistics: the introduction of fees in tribunals is resulting in a staggering reduction of claims. Is it all good news?

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Holiday pay – again…

How long will it be before the calculation of holiday pay stops being a problem? Not for some time yet, it seems.

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Employment Tribunals -1 : UK Government – nil

It is unusual for a case by an Employment Tribunal to be reported, since published decisions tend to be by the higher courts. However Tirkey v Chandok and another has been widely reported as pre-empting a proposed change to legislation.

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Social media and restrictive covenants: Death by a thousand cuts?

Do easy relationships and information available via social media limit an employer’s ability to enforce restrictive covenants? The good news for employers is that a High Court decision says not.

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Collective Consultation – the latest instalment on when to do so

When will employers who want to make redundancies have to consult on a collective basis?
We don’t know.

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Guest Briefing Note – Cummings Law on Taxation of Partnerships and LLPs

We are delighted that Cummings Law has contributed a blog this month. Cummings is a boutique law firm specialising in funds and fund management, offering a dedicated, bespoke legal service.

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Change of date for increase to statutory rates

It’s now official: nothing exciting happens in February…

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Zero Hours Contracts – When does flexibility become insecurity?

Of all the issues that affect employers and individuals, the use of zero hours employment contracts was one that was particularly picked up on by, and debated, in the media last year.

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Will the Government’s changes to TUPE make a difference for businesses?

At the time of giving my talk, there was a hope that changes would be proposed to TUPE to make it more flexible and commercial.

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Don’t risk becoming a hostage

It was reported on 7 January 2014 that the HR Director of Goodyear was one of 2 executives who were taken hostage in France by a disgruntled workforce, which barricaded them in a room by using a (Goodyear?) tractor tyre.