An update on employee owners (or should we say ’employee shareholders’?)

We updated you in our October ebulletin about the Government’s proposals to create employee owners, who will exchange specific employment rights for shares in the company they are employed by. Our article on the proposals can be found here.

A consultation was released by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills on 18 October 2012 and lasted just over 2 weeks, which is a very short period of time by the usual standards. The Government released its response to the consultation on 3 December 2012. The responses to the consultation showed that very few of the respondents were in favour of the proposals, but despite this the Government is going ahead anyway. They plan to bring the proposals into force very quickly – by 6 April 2013. Read more

Changes to the minimum consultation for collective redundancies

The Government have announced that the requirement for there to be a period of 90 days’ consultation where an employer proposes to dismiss 100 employees or more at the same establishment will be reduced to a period of 45 days with effect from April 2013. The period of consultation required where an employer proposes to dismiss between 20 and 99 employees at the same establishment remains unchanged at 30 days. Read more

Increase in Employment Tribunal limits for 2013

The Employment Tribunal limits increase each year with effect from 1 February. The details of the limits that will apply in 2013 are as follows: Read more

Candid camera – tagged and in trouble

The staff Christmas party went well and everyone went home in good spirits. The HR team breathe a sigh of relief as no employee seemed to cross the line on the night and no complaints of bad behaviour were received. Then, a manager gets in touch – they’ve seen one of their team members at the Christmas party tagged in a photo on Facebook by another employee and they are not happy with what they see. The manager wants the employee disciplined. What to do now? Read more

Fear factor – how to deal with reluctant witnesses

Employers dealing with allegations made against an employee will often need to take statements from other employees who may have witnessed what happened. Where witnesses are happy to cooperate with the employer’s investigations, matters are usually fairly straightforward. However, where employees are not prepared to cooperate, or say they will only give evidence on an anonymous basis, matters become more complicated. This article looks at various options available to employers in these circumstances. Read more

You’ve been warned!

In the recent case of Wincanton Group plc v Stone (2012), the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) had to consider whether an Employment Tribunal had made an error of law in finding that the dismissal of Mr Stone was unfair. In this case, Mr Stone was a driver who had been issued with a first written warning for refusing to obey a reasonable management instruction. He appealed against the decision on the basis that he said the employer had no contractual right to give that instruction. The appeal was rejected.

Subsequently, but whilst the first warning was still valid, Mr Stone breached health and safety rules whilst manoeuvring a vehicle. This was considered by the employer as a serious issue who would normally deal with such breaches by way of a final written warning. However, because of Mr Stone’s previous warning, he was dismissed. He claimed unfair dismissal. Read more

Time off for cosmetic surgery

One of our employees has said that she will be undergoing cosmetic surgery in the New Year and will need to take time off. Will that time count as sickness absence, and are there any other points we should be aware of? Read more

FAQ: What are the rules when an employee is called for jury service?

Readers will perhaps be surprised to learn that there is no statutory right for an employee to take time off in relation to jury service. However, employees are protected from being subjected to a detriment or from being dismissed as a result of being summoned to fulfil a period of jury service. Read more

New family friendly rights announced

Many of you will have read the announcement by Deputy Prime Minster Nick Clegg that there is to be a flexible system of parental leave in place by 2015. The announcement was made on the same day as the Government released its response to a consultation on flexible working, which can be found here.

The main focus of the announcement was on the flexible system of leave. It will remain the basic legal position that 52 weeks of maternity leave is allowed. However, the flexible system will mean that new mothers, after the compulsory two weeks of leave after a birth as a recovery period has been taken, can then end the maternity leave and both parents can opt to share the leave on a flexible basis for the remaining 50 weeks. Read more

Protection from discrimination on the grounds of political views

A judgment from the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Redfearn v The United Kingdom (2012) means it is now likely that political views held by individuals should be treated as ‘philosophical beliefs’ and therefore granted protection from discrimination under the Equality Act 2010.  Read more

LEGAL INFORMATION

Pure Employment Law | 1 Little London, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 1PH
enquiries@pureemploymentlaw.co.uk | Tel: 01243 836840

Pure Employment Law is the trading name of Pure Employment Law Limited, registered in England and Wales with company number 07134294 and whose registered office is 1 Little London, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 1PH. Pure Employment Law Limited is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority with registration number 533794. A list of the company’s directors is available for inspection at the registered office

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