Archives / 2014 / April
  • Bereavement Leave: Current Rights and Ongoing Fights

    Tags: Employment Law

    When an employee suffers a bereavement it is a serious and upsetting time for them and those around them and as such it is likely to leave the bereaved person requiring time away from work to deal with the fallout.

    Under the Employment Rights Act 1996, employees currently have a statutory right to a ‘reasonable’ amount of time off following a death, however if they are refused such leave by an employer, they may have a claim to seek compensation.

    The same Act defines the particular individuals in respect of whom an employee may take bereavement leave for, specifically a spouse, civil partner, child, parent or an individual for whom the bereaved provided care. Employers are however allowed to exercise discretion in authorising leave in respect of the passing of non-dependents. … more

  • Whistleblowing: The Vigilante Syndrome

    Tags: Whistleblowing, Employment Tribunal

    ‘Whistleblowing’ claims, or to give them their technical name, claims for a detriment under section 47B of the Employment Rights Act 1996 following the making of a protected disclosure, are more common than you might think.

    In the mainstream media, as with most things legal, the act of ‘blowing the whistle’ is somewhat romanticised and to a large degree exalted, and perhaps rightly so. When the term is mentioned in casual conversation, most people’s minds jump to Robert Redford in ‘All the President’s Men’, Al Pacino in ‘Serpico’, or more latterly Edward Snowden. In any event the term elicits an almost instantaneous and uniform reaction that the person blowing the whistle is a crusader, a vigilante of sorts who from in their … more

  • Can drafting errors have any effect on the enforcement of restrictive covenants?

    Tags: Restrictive Covenants, Employment Law, Employment Tribunal, Injunction

    Whenever employees exit a business, one of the first things that crops up for both the employer and employee is the enforceability of restrictive covenants.

    Usually my response is; providing that the restrictions are fair, reasonable and necessary in protecting the company business, they are likely to be deemed to be enforceable by a court. However, the question that frequently follows is how enforceable are ill-drafted restrictive covenants?

    In the recent case of Prophet plc v Huggett, the High Court held that ill-drafted restrictive covenants can be enforceable even when the court needs to add words in order to give it effect.

    The employee in question was subject to a non-competitive restrictive covenant. An additional sentence in the contract qualified this restriction by … more

  • Statutory Sick Pay: Reclamation Cessation

    Tags: Employment Law Reforms, Statutory Sick Pay

    As of 6 April 2014 employers will no longer be able to claim back the last remaining subsidy for the Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) of employees.

    When speaking to the average citizen about SSP over the years, the abiding belief has more or less always been that SSP is either partly or fully paid by the Government. Employers and Employment Lawyers of course know that this is simply not true and that the now defunct Percentage Threshold Scheme (PTS) only came into play when an employer’s liability for SSP in a certain month was more than 13% of its National Insurance contributions for the same period.

    It may then come as a somewhat belated surprise to the public that not only did the previous system only apply in limited circumstances but has now been scrapped altogether. The motivation … more


  • Understanding Your Legal Rights When an Employee Leaves

    Tags: Notice, Garden Leave, Payment, Company Property, Training Costs, Restrictive Covenants, Exit, Resignation, Employer, Employee, Employment Law, UKEmpLaw

    When an employee leaves, the focus is often on their entitlements. But what are your rights as an employer and what practical steps can you take to ensure a smooth exit? 

    Giving Notice 

    When it comes to employees giving notice, there are several key areas to note. Employers do not have to ‘accept’ a resignation – it is a unilateral act. Equally, they do not have to accept a retraction of notice, unless it was given in the heat of the moment, or the employee was unwell.

    Employees must give at least a weeks’ notice once they have been employed for more than a month. However, longer notice is usually set out in the employment contract.

    If the employee starts work for someone else in their notice period, it is possible to obtain an injunction to prevent … more


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