Archives

Archives / 2013 / February
  • Balancing religion in the workplace

    Tags: Eweida, Chaplin, Ladele and McFarlane, Faith Symbols, Equality Act 2010, Employment Law, Discrimination, Discrimination because of Religion and Belief, Employment Tribunals

    Balancing religious and philosophical needs of employees is becoming a challenge for employers, particularly as recent case law suggests that political beliefs may amount to being a philosophical belief. Therefore the pertinent question is - how far do employers have to go to accommodate an employee’s religious or philosophical belief?

     

    The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) recently dealt with this question in the high profile case of Eweida, Chaplin, Ladele and McFarlane.

     

    Background

     

    Ms Eweida’s and Ms Chaplin’s complaints related to restrictions placed by their employers on their wearing of a cross visibly around their necks. Ms Ladele and Mr McFarlane complained about sanctions imposed on them by their employers as a result of their … more

  • Shared parental leave and flexible working

    Tags: ACAS, Employment Law Reforms, Flexible Working, Maternity Rights, Paternity Rights, Employment Law

    The Government is acting on the promise they made last year to commit to working families in the 21st century through the publication of the Children and Families Bill. You may recall that the proposals relating to changes in employment law included shared parental leave, pay and extending the right to request flexible working to all employees – this has now been put in motion. The Bill has been through its first reading and though all is not yet clear, we now have a fair idea of the changes to be implemented. 

    New statutory rights to shared parental leave and pay

    The Bill creates new rights for shared parental leave and statutory shared parental pay. The precise detail of how the shared parental leave and pay scheme will work, including eligibility criteria, will be … more

  • Where we are with the employment law reforms

    Tags: Employment Law Reforms, Settlement Agreements, Collective Redundancy Consultation, Owner-Employee contracts, Early Conciliation and TUPE, Employment Law

    This year the Government have forgotten their policy of only introducing changes in April and October, which has traditionally provided employers the opportunity to catch up. So far, 2013 is expected to be the year that:

    - Shortens the consultation period for collective redundancies of more than 100 people from 90 days to 45 days and to include employees with fixed term contracts into the mix. The draft regulations have set the trigger date for the new consultation period is where the proposal to make more than 100 people redundant occurs on or after 6 April 2013.

    - Will introduce the new “employee-owner” status employment contracts. It is envisioned that businesses will be able to start using them from April 2013 however no firm date has been announced.

    - Introduces … more

  • Valid forfeiture of a benefit attained through a compromise agreement (now settlement agreements)

    Tags: Compromise Agreement, Breach of Contract, Competing, Solicitation, Employment Law, Court

    The difficulties of dealing with exiting senior management are the same in all industries. Existing employees, particularly those who have the potential their former employer’s damage, very easily forget their duty of fidelity. Many employers protect their interests by agreeing compromise agreements (from 29 July 2013 compromise agreements have been renamed as settlement agreements). However, does an employee forfeit their agreed financial benefit or payment if they breach their executed compromise agreement? 

    The High Court recently dealt with this question in the case of Mr Imam- Sadeque v Bluebay Asset Management (Services) Ltd (BlueBay). 

    Background 

    The Claimant, Mr Imam-Sadeque, commenced employment with BlueBay, an asset management company, in 2004 and by 201 … more

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  • 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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