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Paul Burton
 

Coping Mechanisms and Disability Discrimination in the workplace

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Disabled employees should not be denied the ability to engage in strategies and mechanisms which help to cope with the effects of their condition simply because they inconvenience other staff. Paul Burton looks at a recent case where disability discrimination was disputed.

Indirect Discrimination and the Childcare Disparity

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Although fathers are spending more time caring for their children, there is still a ‘childcare disparity’ faced by working mothers. In a recent case, the EAT gave a judgement regarding the indirect discrimination of a working mother with such childcare obligations. Paul Burton, Head of Employment, discusses this case and provides advice for employers.

Should employers use software to monitor remote workers?

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In this article, Paul Burton, Head of Employment at Frettens, considers whether remote monitoring is necessary, outlining the key considerations for employers.

Should employees be paid the National Minimum Wage for sleep-in shifts?

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Paul Burton, Head of Employment, looks at a recent case where The Supreme Court gave a ruling on whether workers should be paid the national minimum wage for sleep-in shifts. Paul discusses the outcome of this case and what the ruling means for employers.

Is time spent on standby classed as 'working time'?

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What constitutes working time? Paul Burton, Head of Employment at Frettens, looks at some recent cases where it was disputed whether standby time falls under the definition of working time.

Should Flexible Working become a standard option for employees?

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As the nation began returning to work after lockdown, there have been calls for employers to make flexible working a standard option for employees. Paul Burton, Head of Employment at Frettens, discusses the implications of flexible working for employees and employers.

Religious discrimination in the workplace

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What is the definition of religious discrimination? Employment solicitor Paul Burton looks at religious discrimination in the workplace, dissecting a case where tension rose between religious beliefs and sexual orientation.

2021: Potential changes to Employment Law after Brexit

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Head of Employment, Paul Burton looks at the potential changes to employment law post-brexit. He discusses holiday pay, TUPE, unfair dismissal and the working time directive.

Returning to work after lockdown

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Paul Burton, Head of Frettens' specialist employment law team, looks at the opening up of the economy and the implications for employers as people return to work starting April 12th

Repudiatory breach and employee dismissal

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Paul Burton, Head of Employment, discusses reprudiatory breaches of contact and describes a recent case where both an employee and employer were called into question. Does a repudiatory breach from one party allow the other to ignore contractual terms?

Furlough Scheme extended until September

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Paul Burton looks at the changes to furlough and what the extension means for employers and the self-employed. What was announced in the budget? Why has furlough been extended?

What is indirect discrimination in the workplace?

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Paul Burton, head of Frettens' specialist employment & HR law team, provides an overview indirect discrimination in the workplace, explaining what indirect discrimination is and what employers and HR managers need to know about it.

Constructive dismissal and maternity leave

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Paul Burton discusses constructive dismissal in relation to maternity leave. Looking at the case of Chemcem Scotland V Ure in particular. He answers questions such as: when are you able to claim constructive dismissal?

Unfair Dismissal and Redundancy

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Paul Burton discusses Unfair Dismissal and Redundancy. He looks into the case of Aramark (UK) Ltd v Fernandes, and answers the question: When is Redundancy fair?

Changes to the National Minimum Wage in 2021

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Paul Burton details the upcoming changes to the National Minimum Wage.

Whistleblowing: Defining protected disclosures

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Paul Burton discusses Whistleblowing and Protected Disclosure, giving his specialist view on the topic.

furlough scheme extended to end of April 2021

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The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has just announced the furlough scheme is being extended until the end of April 2021, so an extra month on the previous announcement of the end of March 2021.

Review of Employment Law in 2020

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Paul Burton provides a short update as to what has happened, as well as touching on some of the biggest issues facing us in coming months.

Can an Employment Tribunal award costs?

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Cost claims in employment tribunals Unlike the civil courts, costs (including legal fees) are not usually paid by the losing party in employment tribunal cases. When can costs be awarded in tribunals?...

The potential scale of furlough fraud

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The potential scale of furlough fraud

The National Audit Office reports that almost 1 in 10 workers were asked to work while on furlough

What is the legal definition of disability?

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Head of our employment & HR team, Paul Burton summarises a recent case that examined mental health, the legal definition of disability and dismissal.

How will the coronavirus job support scheme work?

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Paul Burton looks at the chancellor's winter economy plan, including the coronavirus job support scheme, viable jobs, pay as you grow and the VAT changes.

what is the new furlough scheme?

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What is the new furlough scheme? How will it work, who is eligible and how long will the coronavirus job support scheme run for?

What is constructive dismissal and the final straw doctrine?

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A constructive dismissal takes place when an employee resigns in response to a fundamental breach of contract on the part of the employer. Paul Burton, specialist employment and HR lawyer examines a recent case and looks at the final straw doctrine.

TUPE: Can employees' terms and conditions change?

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The Transfer of Undertakings Regulations (known as TUPE) provide that an employee’s terms and conditions cannot be changed because of the transfer of their employment from one employer to another.

What are the penalties for employing someone who doesn't have the right to work in the UK?

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Doing so knowingly is a criminal offence and inadvertently employing someone who is working illegally can lead to a civil penalty of up to £20,000 for an employer who has not carried out a proper documentation check.

What's the difference between unfair and wrongful dismissal

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An employee dismissed without notice will often claim both unfair and wrongful dismissal. These are two distinct claims.

What is unfair dismissal?

Unfair dismissal is concerned with the reasonableness of the employer’s decision to dismiss the employee.

What is wrongful dismissal?

Wrongful dismissal is a contractual claim centred around whether the employer was entitled to dismiss the employee without giving the full contractual notice required. That in turn depends on whether or not the employee was actually guilty of gross misconduct.

What is the flexible Furlough Scheme?

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What is the flexible furlough scheme and how will it work? An employment law expert gives an overview.

What is the coronavirus job retention bonus scheme?

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What is the job retention bonus? Who is eligible and how will it work?

NEWS FLASH: CJRS qualifying date changed

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The government has amended its guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) again today and, while there is only one real change, it is a very important one. They have amended the qualification date for employees to be eligible for...

More government guidance on Job Retention Scheme

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The government has published not one, but two new sets of updates on the guidance relating to the job retention scheme over the last week or so. Paul Burton summarises the additional information and clarification provided by the government in...

Claiming wage costs for furloughed workers FAQs

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UPDATE: The Chancellor announced changes to the furlough scheme on Thursday 17th December - the update can be read here . At the end of last week, the government released further details of the coronavirus job retention...

Carrying over holiday after coronavirus furlough period

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Annual leave and the coronavirus

Workers who are unable to take all of their statutory annual leave entitlement by the end of 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak will now be able to carry it over into the next two years.

Business secretary Alok Sharma announced on Friday that the measures would come into force.

The announcement comes after pressure from employers and the CBI. Furloughed workers returning may have to take a large amount of leave in a short space of time, leaving businesses short-staffed whilst trying to recover.

Employment law advice on coronavirus outbreak

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Paul Burton, Head of our Employment & HR team, has put together the following summary of advice for employers during the coronavirus outbreak. Including advice on SSP, termination, maternity, holiday accrual and qualification.

New measures to help self employed during coronavirus

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Paul Burton explains what the new measures mean for self-employed workers during the coronavirus outbreak. What will self-employed workers get and how do they claim financial support during the COVID-19 outbreak?

Coronavirus help for self-employed

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Paul Burton, head of our specialist employment team, explains:

  • What help is currently on offer for the self-employed during the coronavirus lockdown?
  • Why is it taking so long for the government to announce further help for the self employed?
  • When will the government announce the financial help for self-employed?
  • What is a self-employed worker?
  • How do I claim support as a self-employed worker?

Is dismissal for whistleblowing automatically unfair?

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A dismissal will be automatically unfair if the main reason for the dismissal is the fact that the employee has 'blown the whistle' on malpractice. The Supreme Court has recently decided that an employer was liable for automatic unfair dismissal...

Trans-phobia or Philosophical Belief

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In the high profile case of Forstater v CGD Europe, an employment tribunal has looked at whether the philosophical belief that humans cannot change sex is protected by the Equality Act 2010. The employee was a consultant charity worker. She tweeted extensively (in a private rather than work capacity) on proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act 2004 (GRA).

In-house workplace investigations and misconduct

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Is a dismissal unfair if the employer changes an investigation report following advice from an in-house lawyer? Not in this case, said the Employment Appeal Tribunal in Dronsfield v The University of Reading.

TUPE Transfers and 'Workers'

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What is the definition of a ‘worker’? Employment Rights Act 1996 The worker status debate leached into the TUPE sphere towards the end of 2019. A 'worker' is defined by section 230(3) of the Employment Rights Act...

New ACAS Guidance on Menopause

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This once taboo topic has been high profile lately. Half of the population will go through the menopause and yet it has historically been off limits as a discussion topic. Menopause is more important now than ever with older workers expected to stay in work...

Statutory and contractual redundancy pay

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In a redundancy situation, an employee might be entitled to both statutory and contractual redundancy payments. How much is statutory Redundancy pay? Statutory redundancy payments are calculated using age, length of...

Time limits on unfair dismissal claims

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How long do employees have to make an unfair dismissal claim? Most employment claims should be brought within a three-month time limit. If it is not 'reasonably practicable' for an employee to present their claim within the...

Discriminatory job adverts

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Are your job adverts accidentally putting off potential applicants? A new LinkedIn report has looked at the language used in job adverts and found that certain things can deter a potential applicant from applying. Job descriptions that...

Is vegetarianism a philosophical belief?

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Following on from our article on veganism in the workplace, we look at a recent tribunal’s decision on vegetarianism. Is vegetarianism a protected characteristic? A philosophical belief might be a protected...

Employment Law Team is now one of the largest in the area

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Frettens Solicitors' Specialist Employment and HR Law Team have expanded as Chris Dobbs joins. Chris is a specialist Employment lawyer and will be based in the Christchurch office.

Injury to feelings

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Three bands of compensation for injury to feelings If an employee wins a discrimination claim, the employment tribunal will award compensation for injury to feelings. There are three bands: Top band...

Clarity on Expected Behaviour

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Protected characteristics and conduct Harassment has been in the legal news again this month. Anthony harasses Belinda if he does something in relation to a protected characteristic (race, sex etc) which has the purpose or effect of...

Underpaid holiday pay

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If employees are underpaid for their holiday, they can bring an unlawful deduction from wages claim. A claim must be submitted within 3 months of the underpayment, or the last in any series of deductions. Deduction from wages claims...

Unfair dismissal and Permanent Health Insurance (PHI)

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PHI provides employees with pay during long term sickness or incapacity. Policies can define incapacity differently. Some policies define it as an employee's inability to return to their actual job. Some policies define it as an inability to return to...

Unfair dismissal & re-engagement

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What is re-engagement? If an employee wins their unfair dismissal claim, a tribunal can order compensation. They also have the power to order reinstatement (to the old job) or re-engagement (to a comparable job). Can...

Race Discrimination through Social Media platforms

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The ever-increasing use of social media is having a knock-on effect on relationships in the workplace. The Employment Tribunal are seeing matters brought before them in relation to online discrimination and harassment, the question being whether the employer...

Shared Parental Leave Pay Discrimination

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The Court of Appeal has decided that it is not discriminatory for an employer to pay men on shared parental leave less than birth mothers on statutory maternity leave. The Court of Appeal looked at the issue in a series of joined cases, including Hextall v...

Can unfavourable treatment arise in consequence of a mistaken belief?

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No, held the EAT in iForce v Wood . Disability and fixed workstations iForce employed Ms Wood as a packer in their warehouse. Ms Wood was a disabled person for the purposes of The Equality Act 2010, suffering from...

Long Term Disability Benefits

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A recent EAT judgement on Long Term Disability Benefits answered the following question: “Where an employer was contractually obliged to provide an employee with long-term disability benefits until his ‘return to work’, did that mean the...

What defines 'Long Term' Disability Discrimination?

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A recent EAT, Nissa v Waverly Education Foundation , provides some guidance on what defines ‘long-term’ disability. This certainly isn’t black and white, and the case has been remitted to a different tribunal for reconsideration, but it...

New Acas Age Discrimination Guidance

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Acas has published new Guidance on Age Discrimination to help employers and line managers manage an age diverse workforce, prevent unfair treatment at work, and eradicate bias against older and younger workers. The Guidance includes a 'top ten...

Redundancy Protection for Women and New Parents

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The government has published another consultation paper, following a suggestion in the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices . Currently, if a woman on maternity leave is selected for redundancy, she must be given priority over other redundant...

Gross Pay and Employment Status

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It seems Employment Status features heavily in every update we issue at the moment. Another interesting judgement was published on 10th January, after last September’s hearing. Is the right to use a substitute consistent with employee...

Disability Discrimination

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Is the award of an enhanced pension on medical retirement "unfavourable treatment"? under the Equality Act 2010 , if the amount is calculated based on part-time salary because the employee is working part-time as a result of a disability? The UK...

Are Uber drivers 'workers'?

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It is likely you have read or heard about this case as it has rumbled on for some time and has been afforded quite a lot of coverage in the mainstream media. Uber BV v Aslam & others The Court of Appeal judgement on the...

Parity of Pay for Part-Time Workers

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Was it less favourable treatment to pay a part-time worker 50% of full pay for being on duty 53.5% of full time hours? Yes, held the Court of Appeal in British Airways v Pinaud . Mrs Pinaud worked a part-time contract of 14 days on and 14 days off. She had...

Long Term Disability

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Is there an implied term that an employer will not dismiss an employee for incapability if that would thwart entitlement to long-term disability benefits? Yes, on the facts, held the EAT in Awan v ICTS . Long-term disability benefit plan...

Unfair dismissal - must you always follow the process?

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Unfair dismissal is when an employee's employment contract is terminated and the employer did not have fair reason to do so. Unfair dismissal can also be claimed if the employer did have a fair reason, but handled the dismissal using the...

Can an individual be liable for a whistleblowing dismissal?

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Can an individual be liable for a whistleblowing dismissal, along with the employer? Under UK legislation, an employee has the right not to be subjected to a detriment for making a protected disclosure, commonly referred to as...

Giving notice for an internal promotion

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Does giving notice amount to an unambiguous act of resignation? Not necessarily, said the Employment Appeals Tribunal in East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust v Levy . Resignation In this case, the Claimant...

'Gay cake' row - UK's most expensive cake?

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In Lee v Ashers Baking Company Ltd , the Supreme Court has held that a bakery did not discriminate against a gay man when it refused to provide him with a cake bearing a message of support for same-sex marriage. The case has been publicised in national...

Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act

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The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 has now received Royal Assent. The related Bill was introduced to Parliament in July 2017. Under the bill, employed parents who have lost a child would be entitled to statutory paid leave to allow them...

Time limits

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Is time automatically extended when the limitation period expires on a non-working day? No, held the Employment Appeals Tribunal in Miah v Axis Security Services Ltd . Claim date Mr Miah's claim for unfair...

Zero hours contract agency workers

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Can a worker be on a zero hours contract and also be considered to be an agency worker? Does it depend whether the position is considered temporary rather than permanent? Should workers like this to be considered entitled to the same basic working...

Unfair Dismissal: Qualifying Period

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Can an employee, dismissed for gross misconduct just short of qualifying for unfair dismissal, add the week's statutory notice under s86(1) ERA to obtain the right to claim unfair dismissal? No. An Employment Appeal Tribunal upheld the employers appeal...

Minimum Wage: 'On Call' Sleeping In

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A carer, who sleeps at a client's home, is technically 'on call' during the night. So are they entitled to the minimum wage while they are asleep? A case was considered on this topic in the Court of Appeal recently, MenCap v Tomlinson-Blake ....

Can you use parental leave if you have used all of your annual leave?

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Parental leave is a statutory right, available to all employees, but it is not frequently used. However, it can come in handy for some parents who may have utilised all of their holiday entitlement, especially during the school holiday periods or towards...

Employment Status

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We have reported on the Uber and Pimlico Plumbers cases around worker status and the gig economy throughout the last 12 months. A Supreme Court ruling this month considered the Pimlico Plumbers v Smith ruling and whether the tribunal was entitled to...

Transgender discrimination over pension

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A transgender woman who was unable to access her pension was discriminated against by UK law, the European Court of Justice has found. Refused state pension In the UK, women born before 6 April 1950 can apply for a state...

Presenteeism - what happened to work-life balance?

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Once, bosses fretted about absenteeism and the problem of staff not turning up for work. Now they are starting to worry about “presenteeism”, the long-hours culture and staff who simply won’t go home. From absenteeism to...

New ACAS guide: Religion and belief discrimination

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The Equality Act 2010 makes it unlawful to discriminate against or treat someone unfairly because of religion or belief (or their lack of religion or belief). Religion or belief discrimination ACAS has launched new ...

Part time workers: Comparators

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If someone is employed under a zero hours contract, they are unable to make a claim under the Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000. Or so you would think. Part-Time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable...

Giving notice of termination

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Where an employment contract does not specify when notice is deemed to be given, when does the notice of termination actually take effect? When has the notice period started? When an employer terminates an employee's...

GDPR: You will NOT receive next month's newsletter

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This year we have shared a form, asking you to re-register for our newsletter because the changes being implemented on 25th May regarding GDPR, meaning that if you have not signed up for our newsletter, you will no longer get the newsletter. We...

Closing the gender pay gap

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A gender pay gap is the difference between women’s and men’s earnings, expressed as a percentage of men’s earnings. The new Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 came into force on 6 April 2017. Starting from this...

Bumping & redundancy selection

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In a redundancy case, must an employee specifically raise 'bumping' before an employer needs to consider it? What is bumping? Employees at risk of redundancy can be given the opportunity to ‘bump’ another...

Detriment and time limits

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What is a detriment? A detriment is unfair action taken by an employer against an employee during employment but does not go as far as dismissing the employee. It would include treatment by your employer that is demeaning or...

Working time: Time spent 'on call' at home

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Can stand-by time spent at home but within a short distance of a workplace be counted as 'working time'? On stand-by at home A recent case in the Court of Justice of the European Union looked at this issue....

Office closing due to snow - 2nd March 2018

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Due to the snow and icy weather conditions, Frettens Solicitors will be closed from Friday 2nd March at 1pm. Assuming the weather has subsided, we will be open for business as usual on Monday 5th March. Several of our solicitors are available...

The 5 most influential employment law cases of 2017

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Paul Burton , Head of Frettens' Employment Team, counts down last year's most significant employment judgments… Assessing things for businesses to be aware of to avoid costly mistakes in 2018. 5. Enhanced shared parental pay for...

Employed or self-employed: HMRC wins tax case against BBC presenter

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A ruling yesterday at the Royal Courts of Justice for former 'Look North' host Christa Ackroyd could have impact on more BBC presenters, who may face tax bills for thousands of pounds. The case pivots on whether Ackroyd was self-employed or employed...

Privacy at Work: Surveillance cameras Article 2

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Last month we looked at data protection laws in the context of staff rights to privacy and a company’s ability to use surveillance cameras and referenced a case from a Montenegro University. Another recent case has touched upon some similar issues...

Refusing to work in protest

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Employees can potentially be demoted if they have been on long term sick leave and return to work but unable to complete the same level of work as before. However, this can be deemed as discriminatory depending on the circumstances. If the...

Uber appeal on 'worker' status

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Uber's application to 'leapfrog' an appeal to the Supreme Court has been refused. Worker status We reported last month on the Employment Appeal Tribunal which dismissed Uber's appeal in Uber BV v...

Privacy at work: Surveillance cameras

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Employers have the right to monitor activities in many situations at work, including: recording on CCTV cameras & videoing outside the workplace opening mail or e-mail & use of automated...

Protected conversations and unfair dismissal

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Last month, we asked whether, as an employer, you could rely on parts of a 'protected conversation ' as evidence, whilst at the same time using those rules as a shield. Continuing this theme, we are looking at whether you could include...

Uber appeals to the Supreme Court

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According to breaking news reported on Sky, Uber has submitted a petition to appeal directly to the Supreme Court - 'leapfrogging' the Court of Appeal. This is an attempt to overturn the EAT's decision on 10th November, which upheld that...

Court backs claim for 13 years holiday pay

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In a landmark legal battle at the European Court of Justice, a British window salesman has won his claim due to not receiving paid holiday for 13 years. Conley King worked for a sash window firm on a self-employed basis, but has been found to have...

No more Tribunal fees. What next?

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Following on from our article in August, which shared the announcement that the Supreme Court had ruled that Tribunal Fees were illegal , you may be left wondering what will happen next. It's now been nearly three months since the Supreme Court ruling...

Mental health at work

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An independent review on how employers can better support the mental health of employees, including those with mental health problems or poor well-being, has been published recently. The Stevenson/Farmer review of mental health and employers, titled ...

Minimum wage - Are workers underpaid?

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The Low Pay Commission, who advise the government on minimum wage levels, have compiled a report which reveals that as many as 1 in 5 minimum wage workers could be receiving less than they are entitled to under the law. At its peak in the year, between...

Pay ratios between bosses and workers

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New corporate governance reforms have recently been announced which will mean that all listed companies will have to publish the pay ratio between bosses and workers. These are due to come into effect by June 2018. Comparing salaries of top...

Government publishes Data Protection Bill statement of intent

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The government has published a statement of intent on the planned Data Protection Bill. The Bill will provide for the repeal of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) and incorporate the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) into UK law....

Holiday Pay: Voluntary Overtime

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Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council v Willetts The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has held that pay for voluntary overtime, normally worked, is 'normal remuneration' for the purposes of calculating holiday pay. The claimants were quick response...

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