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Top Employment Law Stories of 2018

Top Employment Law Stories of 2018

20 December 2018 by Nicola Brown

Employment law never stands still, and 2018 was yet another busy year. I thought it would be useful to look back at the developments over the past 12 months by looking at the top 10 most popular stories on our News page. (Please feel free to imagine the Top of the Pops music... read more »

Protection against discrimination for vegans

Protection against discrimination for vegans

20 December 2018 by Nicola Brown

As you may have seen in the news, a case is being brought against the League Against Cruel Sports which is believed to be the first time that someone in the UK has claimed discrimination on the basis that they are a vegan. The Equality Act 2010 includes ‘philosophical belief’ as one... read more »

Good Work Plan?

Good Work Plan?

18 December 2018 by Peter Stevens

Possibly as a bit of a distraction from Brexit, the Government have announced a Good Work Plan which is designed to improve protection for agency workers, those on zero hour’s contracts and others with atypical working arrangements. The main headlines are that the Government plans to: Introduce a requirement for all employees and workers... read more »

Are Uber drivers workers? Our take on the latest decision

Are Uber drivers workers? Our take on the latest decision

20 December 2018 by Nicola Brown

Yesterday afternoon the Court of Appeal handed down its judgment in the case of Uber v Aslam and others. I actually found it a surprisingly interesting read, although that may just be me (!) – if you decide to take a look then be warned, it is 70 pages long! The media... read more »

Purely thrilled!

Purely thrilled!

1 November 2018 by Nicola Brown

We are delighted to confirm that yet again we have been recognised as a top firm in the 2019 edition of Chambers & Partners, the UK's guide to the legal profession. In addition, Peter and Nicola have both again been rated as 'notable practitioners' in employment law. The Chambers guides determine their ratings through... read more »

Setting the record straight – asking applicants about their criminal record

Setting the record straight – asking applicants about their criminal record

30 November 2018 by Nicola Brown

Some of you may have seen the statistics recently which claimed that “1 in 5 employers break the law in asking candidates about their criminal record.” In my view that was potentially misleading, and I thought it would be helpful for me to explain the position further. For most jobs, the disclosure of criminal... read more »

Colleagues unable to work together - which to sack?

Colleagues unable to work together - which to sack?

30 November 2018 by Peter Stevens

Who would want to be an employer in this situation? You have two employees who can’t work together. You have tried everything you reasonably can to resolve the issues between them, but to no avail. You don’t really want to get rid of either of them, but given the situation you have no... read more »

Is it always reasonable to dismiss an employee for failing a drugs test?

Is it always reasonable to dismiss an employee for failing a drugs test?

30 November 2018 by Marianne Wright

As employers, you have a legal duty to take reasonable care of the health, safety and welfare of your employees. If an employee is suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs (whether prescription or illegal drugs) then you may be expected to take action to protect them and others. The... read more »

Individuals can be personally liable for whistleblowing claims

Individuals can be personally liable for whistleblowing claims

22 October 2018 by Nicola Brown

It has been the case for a long time that individuals can be held personally liable for acts of discrimination, so (for example) a manager who refuses to promote a woman because of her pregnancy can be named as a Respondent in her Employment Tribunal claim for discrimination, alongside the employer. We have... read more »

Can you make someone redundant when they are off sick?

Can you make someone redundant when they are off sick?

22 October 2018 by Nicola Brown

I thought I would write about this topic as it is something that has cropped up (by coincidence) with several of my employer clients over the past few weeks. In particular, we have come across several situations where the employee avoids attending consultation meetings, is then signed off work with stress and refuses... read more »

The importance of a fair procedure

The importance of a fair procedure

19 October 2018 by Peter Stevens

The test of whether or not a dismissal is fair or unfair in law is set out in the Employment Rights Act 1996. This provides that it is for the employer to show that they dismissed the employee for one of the potentially fair reasons (conduct, capability, redundancy, breach of a statutory enactment,... read more »

After the after-party - vicarious liability

After the after-party - vicarious liability

22 October 2018 by Marianne Wright

It’s been nearly 2 years since we first reported on the case of Bellman v Northampton Recruitment in our article, ‘Christmas time, fisticuffs and wine’. In summary, the case related to a managing director who assaulted one of his employees at a spontaneous after-party which followed the work Christmas do. Unfortunately, the... read more »

Why appeals are absolutely crucial

Why appeals are absolutely crucial

30 September 2018 by Nicola Brown

Employees often say that they feel appeals are a bit of a waste of time, and it is true that in our experience the vast majority of appeals result in the original decision being upheld. However, a recent case illustrated that whatever the outcome, they can play a very significant part in any... read more »

What Not to Ask at Interview!

What Not to Ask at Interview!

30 September 2018 by Nicola Brown

A recent survey of 2,000 managers who have responsibility for interviewing found that 85% of them admitted to having asked inappropriate questions of a candidate at interview. Can you be sure that managers at your organisation wouldn't do the same? While it is of course important that line managers are involved in the recruitment... read more »

Don't let your company vehicle policy drive you round the bend!

Don't let your company vehicle policy drive you round the bend!

30 September 2018 by Marianne Wright

The recent Employment Tribunal case of Genus and Kelly v Fortem Solutions Ltd involved two employees who carried out property repairs and who were each given company vans. Both were long serving employees with prior clean disciplinary records, but were dismissed for gross misconduct for using company vans for private purposes. Fortem had investigated the employees’... read more »

The importance of equal treatment

The importance of equal treatment

30 September 2018 by Peter Stevens

No, I don't mean equal treatment in terms of discrimination and the Equality Act (although that is important too of course!), but rather the importance of consistency when dealing with disciplinary issues. Common sense says that if you have more than one person misbehaving in a similar manner then, in the absence of any... read more »

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