Archives / 2015 / October
  • 5 legal issues that will scare employers this Halloween

    Tags: Social Media, Discrimination, Misconduct, Employment Law, Employment Tribunal, Halloween

    It is no surprise that Halloween is one of the holidays that your employees enjoy celebrating in the workplace. Celebrations range from trick or treating, pumpkin carving contests, adult costume contests to parties with alcohol. For employees’ they all encourage interaction and workplace engagement but for employers’ they all open the door for potential liabilities and concerns. So what are the 5 top legal issues that employers need to be aware of to avoid the scare this Halloween?

    1.    Discrimination against Pagans

    Religion is simply defined by the Equality Act as “any religion”, and does not state the belief has to be a major religion to be protected. Therefore employers must take non-mainstream religions as seriously as they do with the … more

  • Can employees watch porn during their lunch break?

    Tags: Unfair Dismissal, Employment Law, Employment Tribunal

    They can, if they work in Italy! Earlier this month the Supreme Court in Rome ruled that an employee in Italy caught watching pornographic material at the workplace during his lunch break was unfairly dismissed.

    The eyebrow-raising decision follows a 5-year legal battle after the car manufacturer Fiat dismissed an employee in 2008 for watching a pornographic movie on his personal laptop in an electricity supply room on the factory floor.

    According to the Judge, this employee who enjoyed “just a glimpse of the film during a meal break” did not commit an act of gross misconduct as his choice of down time had not interfered with the rest of his shift.


    Of course this ruling has no binding effect on the courts of England and Wales, though it serves as a highly … more

  • Grandparents will be entitled to shared parental leave and pay!

    Tags: Employment Law, Employment Tribunal, Shared Parental Leave and Grandparents

    Earlier this month, the Chancellor George Osbourne announced that the Government is planning to extend Shared Parental Leave (SPL) to include grandparents by 2018. However, this will only affects working grandparents (non-working grandparents aren't likely to meet the eligibility criteria).

    Given the fact that 2 million grandparents have given up work, reduced their hours or taken time off to help cut down childcare costs, this extension to SPL will be welcomed by working families.

    The planned changes recognises the crucial role grandparents play in providing childcare hence it will increase flexibility and choice in parental leave arrangements and support working parents with the costs of childcare during the first year of a child’s life.

    The government will consult on the … more

  • Recent health and safety prosecution highlights the importance of machinery guarding

    Tags: Health and Safety

    A company based in Dudley has been fined for safety failings after an employee suffered injury to his left hand.

    The company – AirDesign (UK) manufactures heat recovery units.

    On the 10 March 2015 a 36 year old employee was operating an unguarded notching machine when his finger became entangled in the machinery. This caused an injury to a finger on his left hand which later required amputation to the second joint.

    On October 6 2015 AirDesign were fined a total of £2000 and order to pay £632.36 in costs after pleading guilty to an offence under Regulation 11 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

    The need to guard dangerous parts of machinery is well known and the consequences of not guarding to current standards are as above.

    If … more

  • Caste Discrimination: EAT Confirms Earlier Decision

    Tags: Discrimination, Employment Law, Employment Tribunal, Caste

    Way back in March 2014 we reported on the Employment Tribunal case of Tirkey –v- Mr & Mrs Chandok. This matter for those that recall or indeed have come across its more recent publicity in the mainstream press, concerned Ms Tirkey who was a domestic servant for Mr and Mrs Chandok, initially in India and then later in the UK. Ms Tirkey was recruited in India for the specific task of serving the couple.

    Ms Tirkey was of the Adivasi people, who some in India consider to be of a servant or lower ‘caste’. Upon being brought to the UK Ms Tirkey claimed that she was being essentially kept as a modern slave. She alleged that she was paid well below the minimum wage at 11p per hour, as well that she was on call 24 hours a day, made to sleep on the floor, prevented from … 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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