News @SCESolicitors: posted by Samira Cakali (formerly Ali) aka Legal Eye Sam

I try and bring all interesting case law and all changes in legislation to your attention in a simplistic form. I hope you enjoy reading my posts and please do leave your comments. If you would like to get our monthly newsletter please email me on samira.cakali@scesolicitors.co.uk. Please note that the information in these blogs is to provide information of general interest in a summary manner and should not be construed as individual legal advice. Readers should consult with us or other professional counsel before acting on the information contained here.

  • Gig Economy – Royal Mail Group Facing legal action from drivers

    Tags: National Minimum Wage, Employment Tribunal, Employment Appeal Tribunal, Gig Economy, Worker, Supreme Court, Self-Employed, Royal Mail, Drivers, DPD

    The trend towards gig economy drivers and contractors demanding employment status rights will continue throughout 2018. This should come as no surprise when you consider the recent report published by parliamentary committees which determined nearly 1.6 million people work for gig-economy giants and find relatively little protection provided under current employment law due to their status. 

    We previously reported on the Uber drivers ongoing battle in August 2016, and the EAT decision in November 2017 if you haven’t been keeping up with our gig economy posts. 

    More recently, in December 2017, couriers at Parcelforce Worldwide commenced legal action against its parent group, Royal Mail Group Ltd, over failure to pay drivers the national minimum wage and holiday pay.& … more

  • Gig Economy Cluster

    Tags: Gig Economy, Gig Economy Cluster

    The focus of recent case law has been whether individuals are self-employed or workers. Commonly, due to the flexible and ad-hoc nature of the work provided by many businesses, individuals have been wrongly categorised as self-employed.

    A growing trend is emerging whereby the Employment Tribunal (“the Tribunal”) are holding that individuals as workers rather than self-employed. See our articles here - 

    June 2018 - LEGAL UPDATE: Supreme Court Decision Announces in Pimlico Plumbers Case

    June 2018 - Employment status: are Addison Lee Couriers workers?

    April 2018 - Update on ‘Gig Economy’ Case Law and Developments

    November 2017 - Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) uphold Uber drivers are workers

    August 2016 - Employment status: … more

  • GDPR – The Consent Trap

    Tags: GDPR, 25 May 2018, Consent, Legitimate Interest, Marketing Emails, Processing Data

    Having got past 25 May 2018, the day the GDPR came into effect, the flood of GDPR emails is beginning to diminish. But were all these emails necessary, and in particular, was it actually necessary to seek consent? In many cases it was not necessary to seek consent to “stay in touch”. 

    Under GDPR consent is one of 6 legal bases for processing data. In most cases, organisations will be able to rely on the “legitimate interests” ground to remain in contact with their contact list. 

    The recitals within the GDPR expressly say that processing of personal data for direct marketing purposes may be regarded as carried out for a legitimate interest. Many businesses can therefore rely on the concept of ‘legitimate interest’ to justify processing … more

  • How to Manage Diversity in the Workplace

    Tags: Recruitment, Policies, Training, Diversity, Workplace, Management

    Managing diversity in the workplace presents employers with a number of challenges. However, these challenges can be easily managed by employers promoting a culture of tolerance and open communication. Below are our top tips for managing diversity in the workplace.

    Treat each employee as an individual

    Avoid making assumptions about employees from different backgrounds. Instead, look at each employee as an individual and judge successes and failures on the individual’s merit. 

    Prioritise communication

    To manage a diverse workplace, organisations need to ensure that they effectively communicate with employees. Policies, procedures, safety rules and other important information should be designed to overcome language and cultural barriers by translating materials and using … more

  • BBC Bans All-White Shortlists for Senior Roles

    Tags: Training, BBC, Diversity, Senior Roles, Ethnic Minority, Cultural Awareness

    The BBC has announced that all shortlists for middle to senior-ranking posts, including editors, producers and presenters, will include at least one non-white candidate. 

    Managers will also be required to undergo cultural awareness training. 

    The organisation’s executive committee and divisional leadership teams will also have at least two people from ethnic minority backgrounds by 2020.

    Further reports are expected to be published by the BBC in the autumn on plans to improve the career prospects of women, disabled people, LGBT people and people from “different” social backgrounds.

    If you need help and advice regarding diversity in the workplace, please do not hesitate to contact me or the employment team on 0113 350 4030 or at emma.roberts@scesolicitors. … more

  • LEGAL UPDATE: Supreme Court Decision Announces in Pimlico Plumbers Case

    Tags: Employment Tribunal, Employment Appeals Tribunal, Gig Economy, Worker, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court, Self-Employed

    The Supreme Court has delivered its ruling on the landmark Pimlico Plumbers case, upholding previous decisions that a ‘self-employed’ plumber was in fact a ‘worker’. This entitled him to a variety of employment rights under UK law, including discrimination protection and holiday pay. The case has continued to make headline news because of its impact on organisations operating in the ‘gig economy’. 

    The case centred on the employment status of Mr Gary Smith, a plumber who worked on a self-employed basis with Pimlico Plumbers for approximately six years until 2011. Both the Employment Appeal Tribunal and the Court of Appeal supported Mr Smith’s position that he was a ‘worker’ with certain employment rights, including holiday pay. … more

  • The Summer Dress Code Dilemma

    Tags: Employment law, Dress codes, Advice for employer’s, Summer heat, Contracts Summer, Workwear

    The Hot Weather Dilemma

    Although the British Summer often doesn't result in hot temperatures there will be times when the sun does come out and workers find themselves working in hot conditions. Especially when in recent months, the weather has been entirely unpredictable. With the possibility of the UK’s 2018 summer becoming one of the hottest in history, it is worth thinking about what you can do to prepare in the office. Below are our five top tips to help you improve your office environment during summer. 

    1. Keeping cool in work

    While employers are not legally obliged to provide air conditioning in workplaces they are expected to provide reasonable temperatures. If you have air conditioning switch it on, if you have blinds or curtains use them to block out sunlight. … more

  • Parental Bereavement Bill

    Tags: Still born, Parental leave, Parental pay, House of Commons, House of Lords, Legislation, Draft

    MP Will Quince's Parental Bereavement Bill passed the final stage in the House of Commons last month, seeking to allow parents time to grieve after the death of their child and gaining unanimous cross-party support. Quince proposed the bill along with Kevin Hollinrake, after Quince’s son, Robert, was stillborn at full term in 2014, suffering from Edward’s Syndrome.  

    Current legal position  

    While it is expected of employers to be compassionate and flexible when their employees face difficult times such as mourning the loss of a loved one, there is no legal requirement for employers to provide leave or pay to employees who are grieving the loss of a child.  

    Under the Employment Rights Act, employees do have a day-one right to take a ‘ … more

  • Is an Employee’s Off-Duty Conduct Off-Limits to an Employer?

    Tags: Employees Conduct, Free Time, Social Media Behaviour, Off-duty Conduct

    Generally, an employee’s off-duty conduct is off-limits as far as employers are concerned. Exceptions do exist if there is some relation between the off-duty conduct and your business and if misconduct outside of the workplace poses a risk for your business.  

    While you can regulate your employees' behaviour at work, your employees' off-duty conduct is a different story. When it comes to activities or behaviour employees are engaged while not at work, employers have very limited say. For you to do anything about an employee's off-duty conduct, there should be some relationship between the conduct and the employee's job or your business.    

    To determine whether there is any action that you can take regarding an employee's lawful off-duty conduct, ask … more

  • Employment status: are Addison Lee Couriers workers?

    Tags: Employment Tribunal, Employee, Employment Appeals Tribunal, Gig Economy, Worker, Zero Hours Contract, Mutuality of Obligation

    The Employment Appeal Tribunal (‘EAT’) has rejected Addison Lee’s attempt to overturn a judgment by the Employment Tribunal (‘ET’) which found that one of their cycle-couriers was entitled to basic employment rights.

    The EAT’s decision is yet another example of the gig economy litigation in which the Tribunals have looked past the written words of the contract of employment to examine the real working arrangements between the parties.

    Background

    The claim concerned one weeks’ holiday which the Claimant took but was not paid for by the ‘employer’. The Claimant brought a claim in the ET which Addison Lee defended on the basis that the Claimant was not a ‘worker’ entitled to basic employment rights such as holiday pay, … more

    

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