Labour candidate proposes radical employment law reforms

The Labour leadership candidate, Jeremy Corbyn, has published a ‘Working With Women’ document in which he makes several employment law pledges as part of his campaign, the most eye-catching of which are ‘all workers given protection against unfair dismissal from day one’ and ‘no fees at employment tribunals’.

A qualifying service requirement has applied to the right to claim unfair dismissal since it was introduced in 1971, although it has varied in length from six [...]

By |July 29th, 2015|HR / Employment Law News|

Tribunal fees inquiry launched by select committee

Following the Government’s announcement of its long-awaited review of employment tribunal fees in June this year, a select committee of MPs has launched an inquiry into whether court and tribunal fees has affected access to justice.

The opening of the inquiry was accompanied by the following statement:

“Over the course of the last Parliament the coalition Government pursued policies aimed at decreasing the cost of Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) to the public [...]

By |July 23rd, 2015|HR / Employment Law News|

A cap on holiday accrual during long term absence

Many organisations find it frustrating when an individual on long term sickness is able to access their paid annual leave entitlement despite not having attended work in that year. However, previous tribunal cases such as HMRC v Stringer have made it very clear that absent employees are still entitled to access their paid annual leave. In some cases, employers have faced hefty demands for payment where individuals have not taken annual leave whilst off and [...]

By |July 21st, 2015|Uncategorized|

Director sent to prison for health and safety offences

Two engineering company bosses and a recruitment agency have been sentenced for health and safety offences that resulted in the death of a 16-year-old apprentice.

A director was jailed for eight months and disqualified from working in that capacity for 10 years. His son was given a suspended sentence of four months in prison, was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid community work and received a £3,000 fine. The Company was found guilty [...]

By |July 17th, 2015|Health & Safety News|

Government publishes draft Trade Union Bill

Consultation on the Government’s controversial reforms of strike balloting laws commenced this week and the proposals have been met with widespread trade union condemnation.

Currently, all that’s needed for lawful strike action to take place is a simple majority of those that vote in a ballot, regardless of turnout. This means that a small minority can exert their will over the majority of the workforce. In its manifesto, the Conservative Party promised legislation to curb [...]

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

Two-year cap on holiday pay claims takes effect

From today, workers lodging tribunal claims for unpaid wages relating to historical underpayment of holiday pay will only be able to go back 2 years.

Employers will welcome the introduction of new regulations significantly limiting their exposure to back-dated claims, following a series of recent rulings regarding what elements of pay should be included in the calculation of holiday pay.

Whilst the recent decision in the case of Bear Scotland v Fulton appeared to limit the scope [...]

Supporting religious observance

Employers can often find themselves in a quandary when faced with considering an individual’s personal appearance which may be in line with their religious belief and how best to address this.

In the case of Begum v Pedagogy Auras UK Ltd (t/a Barley Lane Montessori Day Nursery) the Claimant brought a case of indirect discrimination on the grounds of religious belief.

The nursery provided day care facilities to children aged from 2 months upwards and had [...]

Voluntary Overtime Included in Holiday Pay

Another twist in the Holiday Pay tale has recently been written following the case of Patterson v Castlereagh Borough Council heard in the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal.

Following previous cases in relation to the inclusion of overtime into holiday pay calculations (Fulton v Bear Scotland), many organisations felt satisfied that, where they could demonstrate that overtime was purely voluntary (with no obligation on either the employer to provide or the employee to undertake), they [...]

By |June 26th, 2015|Uncategorized|

Review of Employment Tribunal fees announced by Government

The long-awaited review of employment tribunal fees has just been announced by the Government and is expected to last until the end of the year.

It is worthy of note that there is no mention of any intended consultation on the regime, although the Government has said it will consult if the review identifies a need for change.

Also interesting is the timing of this announcement, coming as it does, so close to Unison’s judicial review [...]

By |June 12th, 2015|HR / Employment Law News|

Driving and using a mobile phone – When is it fair to dismiss?

There have been two recent Employment Tribunal cases in relation to driving, using a mobile phone and dismissing fairly.

In the first of these, a bus driver who was already on a final written warning, was dismissed when CCTV footage showed him to be asleep whilst parked up at a bus stand before his shift was due to start, waking up as a result of the alarm on his mobile phone going off then starting [...]