Archives / 2012 / February
  • Can ‘cheapness’ be a selection criterion for redundancy?

    Tags: Redundancy, Employment Law, Employment Tribunals, Unfair Dismissal, Discrimination, The Equality Act 2010, Sex Discrimination, Indirect Sex Discrimination, Selection Criterion

    The answer may well be yes as the recent EAT’s recent decision in HM Land Registry Appellant –v- Mrs S M Benson and Other Respondents UKEAT/0197/11/RN (handed down on 10 February 2012) in respect to age discrimination.

    The HM Land Registry had a budget of £12 million to reduce their headcount so they offered employees a voluntary redundancy/early retirement scheme, with enhanced benefits. One of the selection criterion used was, what the tribunals referred to as ‘cheapness’ i.e. selecting employees whose entitlements under the scheme would be the lowest, to allow them to make redundant as many people as possible within the budget identified. This meant that a certain category of people were not selected for redundancy – these consisted primarily of … more

  • Can confidentiality and post termination restrictions be enforced through the courts?

    Tags: Post Termination Clauses

    Some employers are sceptical about inserting confidentiality, non-solicitation and post termination restrictions into an employment contract because they may be seen as amounting to a restriction on trade. While this may be true carefully worded clauses which are reasonable can protect your ‘trade secrets’ and ‘highly confidential data’ from breach by senior employees or employees placed in a position of trust. The recent case of QBE Management Services (UK) Ltd v Dymoke & Others [2012] EWHC 80 (QB) highlights this point. In this case three senior managers (‘the Defendants’) resigned to join a competing business, shortly after, 8 junior employees resigned to join them. All the employment contracts contained confidentiality, non-solicitation and post termination restrictions. QBE in … more

  • Update on the Employment Law Reforms

    Tags: Employment Law Reforms

    The draft Unfair Dismissal of Reasons for Dismisal (Variation of Qualifying Period) Order 2012 ( have been published and set out that employees employed on or after 6th April 2012, the qualifying period for unfair dismissal (and requests a statement of reasons for dismissal) increases to two years. Employees whose period of continuous employment began on or before 5th April 2012 will still be subject to the one year qualifying period. more

  • How to deal with employees and adverse weather conditions

    Tags: Employee Management, Adverse Weather Conditions

    I think the majority of us would agree that we love the snow and it is great to go out and build a snowman or go sledging (I was out sledging at Temple Newsam today with my friends 21 month year old). However problems arise when employees come into work late or cannot physically get into work due to disruptions with transport, school closures and severe weather warnings. This situation gives rise to the following questions:1. What are the rights of employees and 2. How can employers ensure that they apply a fair policy given the circumstances of an individual and taking into account their business needs.Here’s a guide to help you all get it right. What rights do employees have if they cannot get into work?If employees cannot genuinely get into work due to the snow (our current … more


  • Seasonal Workers: Key Contractual Issues for Employers

    Tags: Employment Status, ukemplaw, Seasonal Workers, Contractual Issues, Fixed-term, Pat-time, Casual workers, Agency workers, Young persons, EmploymentLaw

    In sectors such as hospitality, tourism, retail and agriculture, seasonal peaks can bring an influx of work at certain times of the year. A common solution for employers in these sectors is to recruit additional employees during these periods. Below we set out the key contractual considerations for employers to bear in mind when hiring seasonal employees. 

    Fixed-term employees

    An individual recruited to cover seasonal work may be taken on for a limited period of time. A fixed-term contract is therefore often used, with that contract ending on a specific date or on completion of a particular project.

    An individual employed on a fixed-term contract is protected against less favourable treatment compared to permanent employees. For example, if an employer excludes the fixed-term … more


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