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Can an employer reject the decision of an appeal panel?

Can an employer reject the decision of an appeal panel? A decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has confirmed that there will be circumstances where it is fair for an employer to reject the decision of an appeal panel and proceed to dismiss an employee. We take a look at the case and how this may affect employers in a similar situation.

In the case of Kisoka v Ranpinyotip T/A Rydevale Day Nursery, the claimant was suspected of starting a fire in her workplace.

Alterations to TUPE - are you aware of key changes?

Alterations to TUPE - are you aware of key changes?

As many people will be aware, the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE) are in place to provide employees with protection when their employment is transferred to another employer. The coalition government recently carried out a consultation regarding alterations to TUPE and various proposals to change the regulations were recommended. On 31 January 2014 these changes will be introduced via the Collective Redundancies and Transfer of Undertaking Regulations 2014, although not all of the changes will take effect on that date. Outlined

How to avoid employment law issues at Christmas parties

How to avoid employment law issues at Christmas parties

With the countdown to Christmas already started, it might be an idea to look at how to avoid the potential employment law issues at Christmas parties. Without wanting to be viewed as the 'Scrooge' of the party season, we think that it is helpful to set out some useful tips before entering into the party season and heading for that next glass of mulled wine.

Employees should continue to be aware that when on a work Christmas lunch or dinner, they are still employed by

TUPE Regulations - what are the changes?

TUPE Regulations - what are the changes?

Are you up to date with the changes in TUPE regulations? In November 2011, the Department for Business, Skills and Innovation (BIS) published a call for evidence, seeking views on the effectiveness of the current TUPE regulations. This was on the basis that it was thought that the regulations 'gold-plated' the EU Directive.

Following this call for evidence, the Government announced how the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (TUPE) Regulations 2006 will change. After deciding not to go ahead with two significant changes it

Maternity leave and holidays

Maternity leave and holidays

Do you know your rights regarding maternity rights and holidays? I am regularly asked this question by both employees and employers.

Legislation states that all contractual terms (except pay) survive during both ordinary maternity leave (OML) and additional maternity leave (AML). Women are therefore entitled to accrue statutory and contractual leave while on maternity leave.

If they can't take all the leave they're entitled to during a particular year, they can carry it over to the following year. Many employers allow employees to add all

What are zero hours contracts?

Large employers such as Sports Direct, McDonalds and even Buckingham Palace have recently been ?exposed? as using zero hours contracts. ?So what are zero hours contracts?

What are zero hours contracts?

Zero hours contracts are generally contracts of employment between employer and worker with no minimum hours for the worker, and no obligation on the employer to provide any hours. It also means, in theory, that the worker is not obliged to accept the hours which are offered to them.

Workers are entitled to be

Introduction of Employment Tribunal Fees

Introduction of Employment Tribunal Fees

29 July 2013 marks a dramatic change to employment tribunals (ET) as we have known them, with the introduction of employment tribunal fees. Under these new rules, claimants will be required to pay an upfront fee when submitting their claim to the ET and a further 'hearing fee' 21 days before their hearing takes place.

From 29 July, claimants wishing to submit a claim to the ET will be required to pay £160 or £250 to lodge a claim with a further charge of either

Age Discrimination - it applies to 'youngsters' too

Individuals in employment are protected against discrimination based on age under the Equality Act 2010. This includes harassment and victimisation and age discrimination can apply to youngsters too.

Age harassment occurs when there is unwanted conduct related to age and this conduct has the purpose, or effect, of violating the dignity of the employee, or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them.

In the case of ?Roberts v Cash Zone (Camberley) Ltd and Another an employment tribunal found that a

How can Employers Avoid a Constructive Dismissal Claim

How can Employers Avoid a Constructive Dismissal Claim

Constructive dismissal has become 'sexy' following the highly publicised tribunal decision in the case of Stella English v Amshold Group Limited. Miss English (2010 winner of The Apprentice), brought a claim of constructive dismissal claim against her employer, Lord Sugar's company, stating that she had no choice but to resign as she had no real role at the company.

Following the unanimous dismissal of Miss English's claim, Lord Sugar praised the tribunal and saw it as a victory against the so-called 'claims culture'.

So

Employee shareholder legislation ? third time lucky?

Employee shareholder legislation ? third time lucky?

Following three re-drafts by the Government, a consensus was finally reached on employee shareholder legislation. In April 2013, the House of Lords and the Government agreed on wording of the Growth and Infrastructure Bill which introduced a new employment status employee shareholder.

First proposed by the Chancellor George Osborne at the Conservative Party Conference last October, the original proposals saw a new employment status of employee shareholder that would see employees who were employed under this contract between £2,000 and £50,000 worth of shares, in

Do employers need a social media policy?

Do employers need a social media policy?

Should employers have a social media policy? The potential employment risks around social media was highlighted this month after the resignation of the first Youth Police and Crime Commissioner, Paris Brown, following racist tweets on her Twitter account. Although the tweets were sent before she applied for and accepted the job, they were there to be scrutinised by her future employers and the media.

It is taken for granted that everyone now has some sort of online presence  be it for business, pleasure or both.

Disability Discrimination - A Weighty Issue

Disability Discrimination - A Weighty Issue

We are often asked by employers to advise on disability discrimination.

Equality Act 2010 states 'a person has a disability if he has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on his ability to carry out normal day to day activities'. Long term means the impairment has lasted, or is likely to last:

  • at least 12 months
  • or for the rest of a person's life
  • or, if it is in remission, is likely to recur

The guidance

Dealing with workplace sickness absence

Dealing with workplace sickness absence

In 2011 a review of workplace sickness absence was carried out by Dame Carol Black, the Government's national director for health and work, and David Frost, director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce.

The Government has responded to that review by announcing that it will introduce a new independent assessment and advisory service in order to address sickness absence and get employees back to work.

This is likely to be in place by 2014. The service will offer a health assessment for employees who have

Employment law 2013, 6 things you need to know

2013 is shaping up to be another busy year for employment lawyers and HR professionals alike. With a raft of changes expected, we have summarised the most important, and will keep you updated throughout the year with regular blogs and tweets about employment law 2013.

1.?? From 1st February:

-? the Unfair dismissal compensation?award limit will increase from ?72,300 to ?74,200, and

-? a week?s pay for calculating statutory redundancy will increase from ?430 to ?450.

2.?? The Enterprise Regulatory and Reform Bill

Facebook Employment Advice & Disciplinary Action

Facebook Employment Advice & Disciplinary Action

What Facebook employment advice should you know about and what disciplinary action could be taken against you?

The rise in the use of social media in both business and in private is stratospheric. Often the lines between what is work related and what is truly 'private' can become blurred. Employees have been dismissed because of inappropriate comments (which have amounted to bullying and harassment) being posted on Facebook about colleagues, or where they have posted comments which have brought the employer into disrepute.

A Housing

Service Provision Changes, TUPE, legal advice

Service Provision Changes, TUPE, legal advice

We highlighted some issues that can surround a transfer of undertakings under TUPE, particularly in relation to service provision changes (SPC).

One of conditions that have to be satisfied for service provision changes to occur is whether, immediately before the SPC, there is an organised grouping of employees whose principal purpose is working for the 'client'.

But who is the 'client' This case helps to answer this question.

The case involved an in house lawyer who worked for JAS Ltd, part of the Jarvis Group.

Employment Law - What?s Hot and What?s Not?

Do you know what?s on the cards for Employment Law in 2013?

Agency Workers

The Government is expected to review employers? administrative obligations in the Agency Workers Regulations in June 2013, with a view to making sure that practical arrangements are as straightforward as possible.

Unfair Dismissal Compensation

The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill (ERRB), which is currently progressing through Parliament, will:

  • give the Secretary of State power to change the limit on the amount of unfair dismissal compensation.
  • change the name of Compromise Agreements

Auto-enrolment pension scheme update

Employers with more than 5 employees were required, until 1st October 2012, to help their employees access a stakeholder pension scheme but this requirement has now been abolished with the introduction of the so called auto-enrolment pension scheme. However, transitional provisions do still allow an employer to continue deducting contributions from the salary of an employee who is an existing member of a stakeholder scheme after 1 October 2012. It's best to check with the scheme provider for further guidance on this.

Auto-enrolment means

Owner-employee contracts explained

So what are owner-employee contracts? In his speech to the Conservative Party conference on 8 October 2012, Chancellor George Osborne set out proposals which could see employees give up employment rights in return for shares in their company and tax free gains under a new owner?employee contract.

People employed on the contract will give up their rights to claim unfair dismissal, redundancy, the right to request flexible working and time off for training. Women will also have to give 16 weeks' notice of their date

Impact of sickness during annual leave

Impact of sickness during annual leave

Whether or not workers can reclaim holidays if they are sick during annual leave has caused a headache for employers for some time. In 2012, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled in workers? favour. So what is the impact of sickness during annual leave?

What does this mean for employers?

In the case of ANGED v FASGA, the ECJ held that workers who fall ill during annual leave can take their holiday again at a later date.

Workers are already allowed to retake

A Guide to Employment Tribunal Statistics and Fees

A Guide to Employment Tribunal Statistics and Fees

Employment Tribunal statistics

The Employment Tribunals have published their annual statistics for the period 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012. Interestingly the total number of claims continues to decrease (from 236,000 in 2009/2010 to 218,000 in 2010/2011 and decreasing again to 186,000 in 2011/212).

Unfair dismissal claims have fallen from 47,900 to 46,300. If anyone is interested in reading the report it can be obtained from the Ministry of Justice website.

Employment Tribunal fees

The Ministry of Justice has recently published the results of

Data Protection Regulations - change on the way?

Data Protection Regulations - change on the way?

The European Commission published draft proposals in January 2012 which aim to update data protection regulations and unify data protection within the EU.

Summary of Proposals

  • Stricter requirements on organisations to adopt policies and procedures that clearly demonstrate how processing of personal data is carried out. Organisations will only be able to collect the minimum amount of data required for the task in hand, and can't retain data for longer than is necessary.
  • Public authorities or commercial organisations which employ more than 250 people will

Do I need an employment contract?

Do I need an employment contract?

We are often asked - do I need an employment contract? The employment status of an individual isn't always easy to answer, but is important for a number of reasons. Certain legal rights only apply if an individual is an employee: e.g. the right not to be unfairly dismissed and the right to receive a statutory redundancy payment. If you don't have an employment contract is that a problem?

By law an employee is defined as an individual who has entered into or works under

What are the risks when recruiting via social media?

What are the risks when recruiting via social media?

Just what are the risks when recruiting via?social media? ACAS now estimate that up to 25% of employers use social media as part of their recruitment process to vet job applicants. By taking a closer look at social media as a recruitment tool in general, are you aware of the legal implications for employers?.

The massive growth in popularity of social media can't be overstated. It's perhaps not surprising that employers are tempted to view the online profiles of job applicants. There are, however, risks

Will plans to introduce no fault dismissals work?

Will plans to introduce no fault dismissals work?

In March 2012, the Government announced it was seeking views on whether a system of no fault dismissals for businesses with fewer than 10 employees could work. The Government also announced the publication of a "call for evidence" on whether current dismissal procedures are too complicated and burdensome for employers, and whether the process is in need of a radical makeover.

George Osborne hinted at the introduction of such a system when he addressed the manufacturers' association EEF in March 2012. This could potentially mean,

Indirect discrimination and Recruitment Practices

Indirect discrimination and Recruitment Practices

Are you aware of the issue of indirect discrimination in recruitment practices? In January 2012, the Northern Ireland Industrial Tribunal found in favour of a mum who had been discriminated against by not being shortlisted for a post because she did not have the required experience.

Although it's a decision from a different jurisdiction, it is a useful reminder that if organisations have strict experience requirements in place when it comes to shortlisting candidates, they should be mindful of indirect sex discrimination claims.

In Summary:

What rights do pregnant employees have?

As an employer (or employee...), what rights do pregnant employees have? Are you not sure how to deal with time off for your employees? Our brief checklist should help.

1. Sick Leave

-? Pregnant employees have the same rights to paid sick leave as all other employees (apart from the last four weeks of pregnancy). If an employee is ill during their pregnancy, they should still follow their employer?s normal sickness reporting procedures. If they qualify, they will be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).

How to avoid post Christmas party complaints

How to avoid post Christmas party complaints

With Christmas fast approaching, thoughts turn naturally to social events. It's the time of year when most employees feel they can look forward to a slowing pace of work and the office Christmas party. Most workplaces will have a function of some sort to celebrate the festive season, whether it's a lunch or dinner at an external venue, or something in the business premises themselves. It is often seen as a good way to boost staff morale and make employees feel appreciated. However what can

Bad Weather Policy - How to Deal with Employee Absence

Bad Weather Policy - How to Deal with Employee Absence

How do you deal with employee absence in bad weather? ?Boss, there?s a river running down my street, I can't come into work. Sound familiar? Not only does adverse weather cause problems for employees who commute to work, it can result in significant financial loss to the employer, particularly if the bad weather is on-going.

Below are the answers to commonly asked questions about employee absence during adverse weather:

If an employee fails to show up for work because of bad weather do I have

Are the employment law reforms good for employers?

Are the employment law reforms good for employers?

In May 2011 we reported that the Coalition government had announced plans to reform UK employment laws. But are the employment law reforms good for employers? Details of the reforms are slowly starting to emerge as the Chancellor has announced that:

1. As from the 1st April 2012 an employee will need to have been employed for 2 years as opposed to 12 months before they can bring a claim for unfair dismissal against their employer

2. Secondly, fees will be introduced for

Are TUPE & contractual variations permitted?

Are TUPE & contractual variations permitted?

TUPE protects employees by ensuring that a transfer does not disadvantage them in any way, by preventing variations to the employment contract. We are often asked - are TUPE & contractual variations permitted?

The recent case of Smith v. Trustees of Brooklands College (EAT) has confirmed that an agreed variation to an employment contract following a TUPE transfer is effective where the transfer is not the sole or principal reason for the variation.

All contractual variations are void if the sole or principal reason is

Redundancy Preparation & Consultation Requirements

Due to the current economic climate many employers will reduce staffing levels and/or restructure their organisation to make savings. ?Employers need to consider in advance redundancy preparation & consultation requirements?for any redundancies.

Failure to follow the correct procedures when making redundancies could prove to be costly, particularly if it results in legal proceedings being raised against the employer.

Unfair dismissal arising for redundancy may be caused by the following:-
??? Unfair selection of pools
??? Unfair application of selection criteria
??? Failure to fully consult

An Overview of the Agency Workers Regulations 2010

After many years of campaigning by trade unions, the Agency Workers Regulations 2010 are due to come into force on 1 October 2011 (and are not retrospective).

In general terms, agency workers will qualify for treatment equal to directly employed workers ? that is equality in terms of basic employment conditions; after 12 weeks in the same role with the same hirer regardless of whether they have been supplied by more than one agency for part of that period of time. ? Basic working and

A Guide to Employment Tribunal Procedures

Employment tribunal procedure is designed to deal with claims brought against employers by employees, which have not been resolved by other means. Many employment rights are contained in legislation and the majority of these rights can only be enforced by Employment Tribunals. Tribunals also have jurisdiction to consider some contractual claims arising from contracts of employment. While an Employment Tribunal hearing is less formal than a court hearing, the decisions made by Employment Tribunals are legally binding and must be followed. ?So what happens on