New sentencing guidelines for Health & Safety offences now in force

For some time, the view has been expressed that penalties imposed for health and safety and corporate manslaughter offences, particularly on large organisations, were too low and that the approach to sentencing in the courts is inconsistent.

In response to that concern, the Sentencing Council issued new guidelines which will apply to sentencing in all health and safety and corporate manslaughter prosecutions after 1 February 2016, regardless of whether or not the offence took place [...]

By |February 12th, 2016|Health & Safety News|

When is a benefit not a benefit?

During maternity leave employees are entitled to receive all terms and conditions with the exception of remuneration and so the key question in the case of Peninsula Business Services v Donaldson was whether the childcare vouchers provided on a salary sacrifice basis, should be considered ‘remuneration’ or a ‘non-cash benefit’.

This has been a topic of much debate over the years which led the HMRC to issue guidance in this regard clearly stipulating that childcare [...]

By |February 3rd, 2016|Uncategorized|

ECHR ruling does not give employers free rein to snoop on employees’ personal messages

There has been a lot of media interest in a recent European case Barbulescu v Romania. The BBC reported that ‘Private messages at work can be read by European employers’ and in the same article had another headline that read ‘Employers can read workers’ private messages sent via chat software and webmail accounts during working hours, judges have ruled’.


So what are the facts and what impact does this have on the UK?

In brief, the [...]

By |January 28th, 2016|HR / Employment Law News|

EML’s 2016 HR Planner now available

As per usual, there’s a multitude of employment law developments scheduled for 2016. However, rather than present them in the usual text-heavy format, we thought we’d try something different and have produced the following infographic…


For a fully interactive version that you can save to your desktop, please contact us and we will email one to you.

With so many changes in the pipeline, it’s little wonder that employers struggle to keep up and remain compliant [...]

By |January 12th, 2016|HR / Employment Law News|

News flash – Exclusivity in Zero Hour Contracts

In their manifesto, the Tories stated they would pass legislation to make exclusivity clauses, which prevent an individual from working for another employer even when no work is guaranteed, unenforceable. The Exclusivity Terms in Zero Hour Contracts (Redress) Regulations 2015 are effective from today and provide that:


dismissal of any employee on a zero hour contract for the principal reason is that he/she has breached a contractual clause prohibiting him/her from working for another employer [...]

By |January 11th, 2016|HR / Employment Law News|

North West companies sentenced following worker deaths

Two North West companies have been fined following the deaths of two workers at a Merseyside woodchip factory. The men were killed whilst carrying out maintenance work on a conveyor belt at the Sonae factory in Kirkby.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that on 7 December 2010, one man employed at the time by Metso Paper Ltd and another self-employed contractor for the same company, had been asked to replace part of conveyor belt at Sonae [...]

By |January 8th, 2016|Health & Safety News|

Persistent lateness – Grounds for a fair dismissal?

In Ghartey v Royal Museums Greenwich, the Employment Tribunal dealt with the fairness or otherwise of the dismissal of a long-serving museum worker for persistent lateness. The case concerned a visitor assistant who had been spoken to as far back as 2005/06 about arriving late at work. He was advised that his timekeeping would be monitored and that disciplinary proceedings would be implemented if there was no improvement. Following a series of discussions and [...]

By |January 8th, 2016|HR / Employment Law News|

Ex-Chelsea doctor, Eva Carneiro, appears at Employment Tribunal

Most of us will recall the anguished look on Jose Mourinho’s face as the Chelsea team doctor launched onto the pitch to tend to a fallen Eden Hazard during the 2-2 draw with Swansea at Stamford Bridge on 8 August 2015 and the resulting media frenzy regarding the Manager’s reaction.

What may have gone unnoticed is the actions taken following this match which resulted in Eva Carneiro then not having a place on the Chelsea [...]

EAT hears British Gas’ appeal against Lock decision on holiday pay and commission

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) heard the appeal in British Gas Trading v Lock & Anor on 8 and 9 December 2015. The appeal was against the decision reached by Leicester Employment Tribunal in March which was that holiday pay should include an element reflecting commission where applicable.

To recap, a British Gas sales consultant claimed he was owed holiday pay due to the amount he received whilst on annual leave not incorporating an amount [...]

By |December 17th, 2015|HR / Employment Law News|

Government says organisations not prepared for National Living Wage increase in April 2016

The National Living Wage (NLW) is due to come into effect on 1 April 2016. This means that from that date the minimum hourly rate payable to those aged 25 and over will increase to £7.20, an increase of 11% on the current national minimum wage.

According to a recent Government report, however, the majority of employers across the UK are not yet ready for the introduction of the NLW, despite there being just four [...]

By |December 16th, 2015|HR / Employment Law News|