Author Archives: alison

Covert Surveillance by an Employer

Was covert surveillance harassment? In a recent case decided by the Employment Appeal Tribunal an employer’s behaviour in carrying out covert surveillance on an employee was considered in the context of the employee’s assertion that the reason for the surveillance was his disability. The Law Section 6 of the Equality Act 2010 states: (1) A […]

Employment Tribunal Judgements Online

Employment Tribunal Judgements are now available to view online: a good or bad thing for employers? Last week saw the launch of an online register of Employment Tribunal decisions which is accessible for all. You can access here. Employment Tribunal proceedings are open to the public and you have been able to find out what […]

Discrimination for Religious Beliefs

Genuine religious beliefs requiring protection? In this case the interesting question arose with regards to an employee’s true motivation for requiring an extended period of annual leave off over the school summer holidays. Gareddu v London Underground Ltd  The Law Section 10 of the Equality Act 2010 states: (1) Religion means any religion and a reference to […]

Employment Status and the ‘Gig’ Economy

Pimlico Plumber’s Employment Status Those of you who listen to the podcast (The Employment Law and HR Podcast) will recall that I have previously reported on the high profile and important case being pursued by Uber drivers who are seeking to assert their rights as workers. This case is currently being appealed and there have […]

Dress Codes, High Heels & Discrimination at Work

Dress Codes, High Heels & Discrimination  Hot on the heels of several large scale marches that took place around the world in support of women’s rights comes the joint report of the House of Commons Petitions Committee and the Women and Equalities Committee, regarding high heels and workplace dress codes You may recall in the […]

When does Gross Negligence amount to Gross Misconduct?

Dismissal without notice In this case the Court of Appeal have analysed what constitutes gross misconduct and whether a finding of gross negligence will also be gross misconduct. The Law In order to dismiss an employee without giving notice the employer must be satisfied that the employee has done something which could be classed as […]

Why having a separate performance improvement procedure will make your life easier

Performance Management Issues When it comes to dealing with employee issues of performance it can be much harder to manage the process than straightforward misconduct issues, and as a result many business owners and managers I talk to just avoid it until the problem becomes completely unmanageable. There are numerous reasons given for letting poor […]

When can you rely on previous warnings to justify a fair dismissal?

Unfair Dismissal & Previous Warnings? A question that often arises from employers who are dealing with employee misconduct cases is “can I rely on a previous warning to justify dismissal for a new conduct issue?” In a recent case decided by the Employment Appeal Tribunal the reasonableness of a decision to dismiss an employee following […]

Five ways to retain good staff

 Do you want to reduce staff turnover and retain good staff? The resounding issue that employers and clients I speak to have is that currently they cannot find good quality experienced staff. The pool for experienced, quality candidates with the right skills seems to be very small. Whether this is because employees are not moving […]

Employee Rest Breaks at Work

Do employees have the right to a rest break even if they don’t ask for one? In a recent case an employer’s failure to allow an employee rest breaks during the working day was considered by the Employment Appeal Tribunal. What is unusual about this case is that the employee had not actually requested to […]

Discrimination & Shared Parental Leave

Should men and women be paid the same when taking shared parental leave? The shared parental leave provisions were introduced in April 2015 and recently the first case on this issue has been decided by a Scottish Employment Tribunal. The outcome of this case is that the employer Network Rail have been ordered to pay […]

Asda Employees Equal Pay Case

Should men and women in different locations be compared for equal pay claims? A key issue in the ongoing equal pay claim brought by Asda employees has been decided by the Employment Tribunal, meaning that the group of female Asda store employees can proceed with their claims to the next stage. The Law The Equality Act […]

Employment Status: Hermes Investigation

Employee or Self-Employed Person? The parcel delivery service, Hermes, has recently come under scrutiny following complaints by its workers about their pay and working conditions. Hermes drivers are currently classified as self-employed persons meaning that they pay for their own costs of performing the job role and do not have the benefits and legal rights […]

Suspension: When can you suspend an employee?

Getting suspension right I have been contacted by a large number of people recently who have been suspended from work in rather unusual circumstances or where suspension is clearly not justified, and therefore I thought it may be useful to remind employers of some key points to remember when suspending an employee. Can I suspend […]

Settlement Agreements & Mental Capacity

Can a Settlement Agreement be set aside if the employee claims to lack mental capacity? A Settlement Agreement’s or ACAS COT3 agreement is the only way in which an employee can legitimately waive their employment rights. In this recent Employment Appeal Tribunal case it had to be decided whether an employee who signed a Settlement […]

EasyJet Breastfeeding Employees Win Discrimination Case

Flexibility required for employees who are breastfeeding You may have heard in the news about a case which has been decided by the Bristol Employment Tribunal following a claim by two employees who had made a request for reduced hours to enable them to breastfeed. The Law Although there is no statutory right to time […]

Zero Hour Contracts: Is the end near?

Public Pressure To End Zero Hour Contracts As you may have heard in the news recently several companies who have been using zero hour contracts as standard for their staff have experienced negative publicity in the press and on social media and are now agreeing to change terms for their employees. The misuse of zero […]

Cyber crime & the effect on your business

Security in your business – Getting your processes right Although not entirely employment law related I just wanted to give you a warning about ‘cyber fraud’ and to emphasise why it is necessary to ensure that you and your staff have the correct training and information available about your processes and particularly steps to take […]

Grievance Procedure: Part 4 Frequently Asked Questions Grievances for Employers

FAQ’s Grievances for Employers This is the last in the series of guidance for employers on dealing with grievances and this week I answer some of the frequently asked questions about grievances. The employee has raised a grievance related to a disciplinary process what should I do? If an employee raises a grievance during an […]

Discrimination of a Job Applicant

A Job Applicants claim for compensation In a recent case decided by the European Court of Justice the tricky issue of discrimination of job applicants was considered and a helpful decision for employers. The Law European Law in the form of the Equal Treatment Framework Directive and Equal Treatment Directive provides protection for employees and […]

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