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FAQs: Settlement Agreements

20 December 2013 by Nicola Brown

This article is available as a downloadable pdf here. Since Settlement Agreements were introduced in July this year, we have been receiving a lot of enquiries from employers about them. How do they differ from Compromise Agreement (if at all)? How does the without prejudice rule work with new... read more »

Is a requirement to work on Sundays religious discrimination?

20 December 2013 by Nicola Brown

Yet again, the intersection between employment law and religion has been in the headlines following the Eweida case earlier this year. The latest case, Mba v London Borough of Merton , considered whether it was discriminatory for an employer to insist upon a Christian employee working on Sundays. Mrs... read more »

Can an employer rely on Occupational Health report as to whether an employee is disabled?

20 December 2013 by Nicola Brown

Most employers would understandably feel that if they have taken specialist advice from Occupational Health, they would be entitled to rely on the advice they have been given. Unfortunately the case of Gallop v Newport City Council shows that this may not always be correct. Employers of disabled... read more »

In the red – political views of a Labour party activist accepted as a philosophical belief

20 December 2013 by Nicola Brown

The Equality Act 2010 protects employees from discrimination on the grounds of their religion or philosophical beliefs. Previously it was thought that this should not apply to political beliefs. However, the tide may have started to turn, particularly as following the Redfearn case earlier this year, employees are protected against unfair... read more »

I’m a celebrity; don’t get me out of here! – John McCririck loses age discrimination case

28 November 2013 by Anna Rabone

Celebrity cases in the Employment Tribunals usually attract a lot of media attention.  The latest involved John McCririck, the former presenter of Channel 4 Racing, who lost his claim for age discrimination following a decision by Channel 4 not to retain him as a television presenter (John McCririck v Channel... read more »

Penalty? Dealing with repayment provisions

28 November 2013 by Peter Stevens

Employers often put provisions in contracts of employment requiring an employee to repay sums which the employer has spent on behalf of that employee. A common example is a requirement to repay the costs of a training course if the employee leaves their employment. Usually, these provisions operate for a fixed... read more »

Employee fails to disclose disability and refuses consent to medical advice – can they still claim discrimination?

28 November 2013 by Nicola Brown

The recent case of Cox and Essex County Fire & Rescue dealt with a number of questions that we are often asked by employers. Do employees have an obligation to tell their employer if they suffer from a disability? And what happens when an employee refuses to consent to... read more »

Extending time limits for Employment Tribunal claims

28 November 2013 by Anna Rabone

All claims in the Employment Tribunals have clear time limits attached to them. For example, a claim for unfair dismissal must be brought within 3 months of the date employment terminated. A discrimination claim must be brought within 3 months of the discriminatory act. However, there are circumstances in which an... read more »

Constructive dismissal - what’s the reason for the resignation?

23 October 2013 by Nicola Brown

In our experience, constructive dismissal is one of the most misunderstood areas of employment law. There is often confusion about what amounts to a dismissal or resignation and what it takes for an employee to be able to bring a claim. In particular, the recent case of Wright v North Ayrshire Council... read more »

When does a resignation take effect?

23 October 2013 by Nicola Brown

If an employee resigns, when does the resignation take effect? Normally, the letter of resignation will make this clear, for example by giving a month’s notice, but what happens when the letter of resignation is silent on this? This was the question considered by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) in... read more »

Reasonable adjustments for disabled employees

23 October 2013 by Nicola Brown

The question of what constitutes a reasonable adjustment often turns up in case law and the latest case of Croft Vets Ltd & Ors v Butcher (2013) is no exception. The Equality Act 2010 imposes a duty on employers to make reasonable adjustments to help disabled job applicants, employees and former... read more »

FAQs: Termination payments for employees dismissed due to ill health

23 October 2013 by Nicola Brown

We sometimes receive queries about what should be paid to an employee who is dismissed due to long-term ill-health. We answer these questions below and give some guidance on a slightly strange provision around the payment of notice in such circumstances: If an employee is dismissed because he or she... read more »

Frustration

23 October 2013 by Nicola Brown

The legal concept of frustration is something all would-be lawyers are taught when learning about contract law. The idea is that a contract can be set aside where an unforeseen event makes it impossible for one or both parties to fulfil the contract. The principle comes from the case of Taylor... read more »

Whistleblowing – learning from Orchid View

23 October 2013 by Nicola Brown

The shocking news about what went on at the Orchid View care home in Copthorne, West Sussex, was brought to light by administrator Lisa Martin. Ms Martin called the police after she witnessed numerous serious failures being covered up or ignored by the care home’s management. We look at what... read more »

Latest National Minimum Wage rates

22 October 2013 by Nicola Brown

As from 1st October 2013, the new rates for the National Minimum Wage are as follows:             Over 21 years old:                      £6.31 (from £6.19)             18 – 20 year olds:                      £5.03 (from £4.98)             16 – 17 year olds:                      £3.72 (from £3.68)             Apprentice rate:                         £2.68 (from £2.65) If you have any queries about the National Minimum Wage in... read more »

Social Media, Generation Y and Employment Law - Free Breakfast Seminar

15 October 2013 by Nicola Brown

Following the success of our Portsmouth seminar in October, we are delighted to have partnered with Hays yet again for this Breakfast Seminar on the 12th November  2013 from 8.15am – 10.40am at the Sussex County Cricket Ground, Hove. The morning will feature two interesting presentations and an informal table discussion focused on recently... read more »

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