Author Archives: alison

Are climate change and veganism philosophical beliefs?

Philosophical belief under the Equality Act Under the Equality Act it is unlawful to discriminate, harass or victimise employees or job applicants on the grounds of their religion, religious belief or philosophical belief. “Religion or belief” is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act, just like for example age or race, and is defined as […]

Does an employer have to pay enhanced shared parental leave pay if it pays enhanced maternity pay?

Only women receive enhanced maternity pay so is it discrimination?  The answer is no, based on this recent Court of Appeal decision. The case was actually a joined appeal of two cases: Ali v Capital Customer Management Ltd and The Chief Constable of Leicestershire Policy v Hextall, which we have reported on previous. The Law […]

How to be the best employer: Tip 6

be the best employer

Consistency and fairness  We all know what it feels like to think that you have been treated differently or unfairly to someone else, and there is nothing more likely to irritate your staff than the perception that they are being treated to their detriment in comparison to colleagues. Consistency in how you treat staff will prevent problems […]

How to be the best employer: Tip 5

be the best employer

Communication Communication, or the lack of it, is the number 1 cause of disputes between employers and employees. When advising clients about situations that have reached the Employment Tribunal stage I can, in 9 out of 10 cases, identify when things first started to go wrong, and that it could have been resolved if communication […]

Does an employer have to keep a record of the hours that an employee works?

Working time

Working Time and Hours The answer is, yes, according to a case that went before the European Court of Justice.   Due to the direct effect of EU law, the ruling will have implications for UK employers and may require the amendment of the Working Time Regulations 1998, depending on how long we remain in the […]

When can an employer take ‘positive action’ in discrimination?

‘positive action’ in discrimination

The Employment Tribunal recently reached a decision about Positive Action in the case of Mr M Furlong v The Chief Constable of Cheshire Police [2018]. This case is about a relatively little used, but an often controversial, legal right employers can adopt to take positive steps to redress under representation in their workplaces. The Law […]

Does an employer have to postpone a disciplinary hearing pending the outcome of a police investigation?

Dealing with disciplinary issues This was the question before the Court of Appeal in the case of North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust v Gregg. The Law Where an employee’s alleged misconduct is also the subject of a police investigation, the question arises as to whether the employer should put on hold the disciplinary action […]

Protecting your business from departing employees and the impact of social media

Post-termination restrictions and social media Departing employees are often well-placed to take advantage of confidential information, strategic plans, customer and client details or other information about your business, after the termination of their employment. They may attempt to use this information for the benefit of their new employer, or in order to set up a […]

How to be the best employer: Tip 4

be the best employer

Hold regular appraisals, one to one’s and pay attention to staff development I can guarantee that an employee who is in dispute with their employer will say, “I didn’t even have an appraisal”. Although it is not a legal requirement, it is certainly a factor in employee’s minds when considering what constitutes a good quality […]

How to be the best employer: Tip 3

be the best employer

Ensure that all employees have contracts and that you have procedures in place Obviously, I am going to mention the legal element of your relationship with your staff, but aside from the legal requirement, giving your staff a contract makes them feel more stable and settled in their employment relationship with you. There is a […]

Is providing a dedicated parking space a reasonable adjustment for a disabled employee?

Disability Discrimination

Disability discrimination & reasonable adjustments In the recent case of Linsley v Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Custom UKEAT/0150/18 the Employment Appeal Tribunal decided the employer had not breached its duty to make reasonable adjustments when not offering an employee a dedicated parking space. This case is a useful example of how tribunals and […]

What’s new in employment law in April 2019?

what's new in employment law 2019

What do you need to know about this years’ changes to employment law Along with the usual annual increase in national minimum wage rates and other statutory payments, there is also new employment law legislation coming into force in April 2019. Increase in National Minimum Wage  The following increases took place from 1 April: • […]

Unfavourable treatment of an employee on maternity leave: An example

maternity discrimination

Sending an email to an employee on maternity leave to inaccessible account could be ‘unfavourable treatment‘ In the case of SW Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust v Jackson it was recently decided that sending an important email to an employee on maternity leave to an account she did not have access to, could amount to […]

How to deal with a complaint of sexual harassment by an employee

sexual harassment at work

Sexual harassment at work What is sexual harassment? Sexual Harassment is one of the most difficult situations a worker can face. The legal definition of Sexual Harassment is any ‘unwanted conduct of a sexual nature which has the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of a worker, or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating […]

A key case giving guidance on suspending staff during an investigation

Suspension of teacher was not a repudiatory breach In the recent case of Mayor and Burgesses of the London Borough of Lambeth v Agoreyo, the Court of Appeal has held that a school had reasonable and proper cause for suspending a teacher in order to investigate allegations that she had used unreasonable force against two […]

How to be the best employer: Tip number 2

be the best employer

Ensure that all employees know why rules and procedures are in place If you create rules and procedures, ensure that you tell your employees why and wherever possible try to discuss and consult with them before making the decision. We all know how frustrating it is to be told to do something or not to […]

How to bring ‘Joy’ to your workspace and increase productivity!

Some ways to ‘Marie Kondo’ your workspace You may have heard of the Japanese ‘tidying’ sensation Marie Kondo, who has developed her own organisation technique, called the ‘KonMari’ method, which she uses to help people tidy their living spaces. If not, we highly recommend you have a look at the method, there is currently a […]

How to be the best employer: Tip Number 1

be the best employer

Ensure that all employees know where they fit in the organisation In order to have effective and engaged employees, regardless of what your business or organisation does, you should ensure that all employees understand what role they play in contributing to the success of the business and how their role, no matter how insignificant they […]

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