Author Archives: Kathy Lockwood

What’s new in the world of Employment Law And HR – September /October 2019

An update for Employers & HR professionals Here’s a round-up of some recent legal developments plus a few interesting news stories: There was some good news for…. Clowns – who may have found a new line of work (in New Zealand at least).   Although more likely to be seen at a child’s birthday party than […]

Are the Champions of England champions of Equality?

Social Media and Discrimination Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva has been charged with misconduct by the Football Association over a tweet he sent to team-mate Benjamin Mendy. Silva compared Mendy to the character on a packet of Conguitos – a sweet brand available in Spain and Portugal. The Portugal player, 25, is alleged to have committed […]

What do you need to know about discrimination as an employer?

Discrimination: The Basics The law regarding discrimination and protection for employees can seem complicated and at times it can be difficult to understand (which is why we always recommend you get help from an expert 😉). I have however tried to condense this article into the key points that employers need to understand. 1. Be […]

HR Planning for an uncertain future

Practical steps to consider in readiness for Brexit – whatever the outcome! No-one really knows what is going to happen with Brexit, deal or no deal? Extension or no extension? Whatever happens you can of course only really influence those things within your control and therefore to help you make a start on planning I […]

Was a male employee subjected to unlawful harassment when a female manager massaged his shoulders?

Not according to the facts of this case, was the – somewhat surprising – finding of the Employment Appeal Tribunal in the recent case of Raj v Capita Business Services Limited & Ms Ward. The Law The law relating to unlawful harassment in the workplace is set out in the Equality Act 2010.   The Equality […]

Should You Let Employees Watch the Rugby World Cup?

As another major sporting event takes place, what are the things you should be considering as an employer? The men’s Rugby World Cup kicked off on the 20th September 2019 in Japan and marks the start of a mammoth competition where for once, the home nations are among the favourites. This is one of the […]

Is the use of an Electronic Signature legally compliant?

Electronic Signatures For Legal Documents The Law Commission have confirmed that documents signed electronically, even when a statutory requirement for a signature predates our digital age, have legal force. This is an extremely helpful attempt to clear up lingering doubts over the issue. In the final report of a government-commissioned study, some 124 pages long, the commission […]

Is it enough for an employee to hold a reasonable belief that a disclosure is in the public interest (even if it may not be) in order to have protection under whistleblowing legislation?

Whistleblowing Disclosures Yes, according to the Employment Appeal Tribunal in the recent case of Okwu v Rise Community Action. The Law Under the Employment Rights Act 1996 (“the ERA”), an employee is unfairly dismissed if the reason or principal reason for the dismissal is that they made a protected disclosure (s103A of the ERA). Dismissal […]

Enforcement action when a business fails to comply with a Subject Access Request

GDPR & Data Protection Rights In the latest episode of the podcast I covered the basics of what an employer needs to consider when dealing with Subject Access Request from employees under Data Protection legislation. Coincidentally in the latest newsletter update from the Information Commissioners Office (ico) details have been provided of a recent enforcement […]

Can you discriminate when making jokes about someone being bald?

Baldness and Discrimination Gary Lineker has recently drawn official complaints to the BBC and suffered a huge backlash on social media over a remark he made at the start of a recent episode of Match of the Day. The joke, if it can be called such, was at the expense of his Match of the […]

Should holiday pay include a payment for voluntary overtime?

Another case about holiday pay! This case decided by the Court of Appeal is one of a long line about holiday pay and how it is calculated. We have reported on many of the past cases and within this case the Court of Appeal give a clear decision taking into consideration the cases which come […]

Making it tricky for employees to “pull a sickie”

Managing Sickness Absence Picture the scene.  It’s Friday and it’s the middle of August.  You get into work bright and early.  There’s a busy day ahead but you know all your staff are going to be in and that together you will get the job done.  Then you get the call:  “I’m sorry boss, I […]

Holiday Entitlement for term time workers

Should you pro-rata holiday entitlement and pay for those workers who only work part of the year? In a recent case decided by the Court of Appeal the issue of term time workers and their entitlement to holiday was scrutinised. The outcome should simplify things for employers who have term time or part year workers. […]

Asda’s problem: Changing terms and conditions for employees

As retailers face continued pressures, more employers may feel they need to change their terms and conditions of employment in the near future to help combat overheads. It has been announced that Asda’s staff will stage protests on the 14th August 2019 after they were told to accept changes to their contracts or face losing […]

How to be the best employer: Tip 10

Training & Development When you think of training and development it is easy to think of sending staff on expensive courses or obtaining expensive and time-consuming qualifications. Whilst this is one way of investing in training and development for staff, there are other simpler ways that you can do so. Some no cost/low cost ideas: […]

Is there a legal maximum temperature at work?

As temperatures continue to soar, many employees are struggling to keep their cool at work. So, when is it too hot to work? The Law Unfortunately, there is not one, clear rule for when the temperatures rise, and the law is generally unhelpful for all those suffering in the heat. An employer is expected to prevent the […]

Non-Disclosure Agreements and Confidentiality in Settlement Agreements

Government response to report on Non-Disclosure Agreements We reported in our newsletter on 17 June 2019 about the recommendations made by the Women and Equalities Committee of the House of Commons on the use of confidentiality clauses or Non-Disclosure Agreements in workplace discrimination and harassment cases.   The Government has now published its response to the […]

Is it misconduct for an employee to make a covert recording of a meeting?

Can you treat it as gross misconduct? It has increasingly become a common tactic for employees who may be experiencing issues at work to covertly record meetings with their employer.  The reasons for doing so range from the innocuous – for example, a fear of saying something that may be misrepresented – to the insidious; […]

How to be the best employer: Tip 9

be the best employer

PR and Marketing In order to attract the best staff and ensure that you are seen as one of the best employers in your industry or area you need to ensure that you shout about your successes, what are you good at and why you are the best in your industry. In much the same […]

What is an ‘Interest in’? Victory for employers as Supreme Court rules in landmark competition case

Post-termination Restrictions The Supreme Court has upheld a non-compete restriction in the first employment competition case to have reached the highest court in over a century. In a historic decision, five Supreme Court justices unanimously concluded that an injunction should be restored, setting aside an order by the Court of Appeal. Background The case is […]

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