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HR New Year's resolutions

15 December 2011 by Nicola Brown

It’s that time of year again, when we open Advent calendars, tuck in to mince pies, and employment lawyers usually trot out ‘bah humbug’ articles about work Christmas parties. Well, if you are lucky enough to have a Christmas party this year, we expect you are probably already aware of what you need to... read more »

Who's your employee married to?

15 December 2011 by Nicola Brown

If people are going to get married, it is important that they choose the right partner. Blindingly obvious perhaps, but what has this got to do with employment?  Potentially quite a lot, according to the Employment Appeal Tribunal in Dunn v Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management . Mrs Dunn was employed by the... read more »

Show me the money - bonuses and potential issues

15 December 2011 by Nicola Brown

Recent research by Unum and Personnel Today shows that 55% of employers are continuing to operate bonus schemes despite the recession. Bonuses can be a huge attraction for recruitment into businesses and indeed, are expected in many sectors. However, problems can arise when the rules of any bonus scheme are unclear or... read more »

Tribunal fees – consultation document released

15 December 2011 by Nicola Brown

In our last ebulletin we explained that the consultation regarding employment law reforms, including the proposal to charge fees in Tribunal cases, would be launched soon. The consultation document was released yesterday and makes interesting reading (although be warned, it is 84 pages long!). The key points to note are as follows: -       The first... read more »

The Sack Race? Free seminar on the forthcoming Employment Law reforms

15 December 2011 by Nicola Brown

This event is now fully booked, but if you would like your name to be added to the reserve list, please let us know. We are also running the seminar again on 2 February 2012 - see here. As covered in our recent articles (which can be viewed here), the Government... read more »

Protected Conversations - all the latest on the proposed employment law reforms

29 November 2011 by Nicola Brown

As previously reported on these updates (find our previous article here), the Government is keen to make changes to employment law as it sees the current state of employment protection as a deterrent to recruitment and job creation. Further details of some of the Government's... read more »

Holiday and sickness - yet more news!

29 November 2011 by Nicola Brown

In this article we look at two recent decisions - one in the Employment Appeal Tribunal and another in the European Court of Justice, and how they affect an employee's holiday entitlement when they are on long-term sickness absence. The general rule in relation to holiday pay is clear; an employee (or worker) must... read more »

Can an employer retract a mistaken dismissal?

29 November 2011 by Nicola Brown

It has long been established that as a matter of law, once a dismissal or a resignation has been communicated to the other party, then it is effective.  There is a commonly held view that a resignation has to be accepted, but that is not accurate – both dismissal and resignation are unilateral... read more »

Tribunal tribulations - the latest reforms

31 October 2011 by Nicola Brown

As most of you will know from the news, Chancellor George Osborne announced some headline reforms on the law of unfair dismissal and the Employment Tribunal system at the recent Conservative Party Conference.  The two significant changes announced were the increase in the qualifying period of employment required to bring an unfair dismissal... read more »

Employment references - is being honest always fair?

31 October 2011 by Nicola Brown

This article originally appeared in People Management Online. References are a notoriously tricky area – if the comments are too positive, they risk claims from future employers, and if they are too negative, they risk claims from ex-employees. This is one reason why many employers have a policy of sticking to the... read more »

Who is an employee? The latest position

31 October 2011 by Nicola Brown

The question of who is an employee is one of the most fundamental issues in employment law.  Most employment rights, such as the right to minimum notice, the right to the National Minimum Wage, the right to claim unfair dismissal and the right to redundancy pay all require employment status.  It is therefore... read more »

How much can you ask employees about their retirement plans?

31 October 2011 by Nicola Brown

Question: We have an employee who is 64. About a year or so ago she was talking about retiring. She never gave us a definite date, and since then she seems to have stopped mentioning it. She is in a key role and we want to make succession plans, but we... read more »

Facebook and employer reputation – what is reasonable?

31 October 2011 by Nicola Brown

As social media such as Twitter and Facebook are becoming increasingly important in many people’s lives, it is not surprising that we are seeing an increase in employment cases involving employees’ actions on social media. Two recent Employment Tribunal decisions illustrate the importance of having a social media policy in place – but... read more »

Holidays during sickness - the latest position

8 September 2011 by Nicola Brown

For some years now it has been well established that an employee who is off work on long term sick leave is entitled to accrue their minimum holiday entitlement under the Working Time Regulations (that is 28 days, inclusive of Bank Holidays for someone who works a 5 day week).  In practice, this... read more »

Does self-dismissal exist?

8 September 2011 by Nicola Brown

Many employers will have come across the situation where an employee ‘goes AWOL’. Despite attempts to contact them, you are unable to find out when or whether they are planning to return. Sooner or later you have to draw the conclusion that the employee will not be coming back. It is not unusual for an... read more »

When is suitable alternative employment unsuitable?

8 September 2011 by Nicola Brown

When faced with making people redundant, one of the obligations on an employer is to seek to find alternative employment for the employees affected.  Where an employer is able to offer suitable alternative employment and the employee unreasonably refuses to accept that role, then under the provisions of the Employment Rights Act the... read more »

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