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
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
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
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
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