Archives

Archives / 2015 / February
  • Misconduct Investigations: Leave No Stone Unturned?

    Tags: Unfair Dismissal, Employment Law, Employment Tribunal

    When investigating an employee over alleged misconduct we are often asked the lengths to which an employer needs to go in examining the evidence before them prior to making the final decision of whether to dismiss, apply a lesser sanction such as a warning or indeed take no further action at all.

    While this is a difficult question to answer with blanket advice, as naturally each instance of alleged misconduct is different and some will require more investigation than others, the term ‘reasonable’ is invariably the go-to term used in the advice provided.

    In particular when an employer has a situation where the matter is factually heavy and there are a lot of avenues that could be explored, the question of whether the employer has to investigate every defence put forward by an … more

  • Breastfeeding and employer responsibilities

    Tags: Sex Discrimination, Employment Law, Health and Safety, Flexible Working changes 2014

    An increasing number of employers are receiving requests from women returning from maternity leave to provide them with “breastfeeding facilities” i.e. somewhere to either breastfeed or express and store breast milk. This has raised the issue of whether employers have a ‘legal obligation’ to provide such facilities, and where they are unable to do so, whether they are falling foul of the Equality Act 2010. 

    Firstly, it may come as a relief to some of you to learn that while the law requires an employer to provide somewhere for a breastfeeding employee to rest (including to lie down), there is no legal requirement to provide breastfeeding facilities. Neither is there a legal obligation to undertake a risk assessment for a breastfeeding mother returning to … more

  • Cumberbatched: The Importance of Terminology

    Tags: Discrimination, Race Discrimination, Employment Law, Employment Tribunal

    Many readers will have come across the incident in the wider media last week involving the actor Benedict Cumberbatch, wherein he used the term “coloured” to describe black actors while giving an interview on an American talk show. While he has since apologised profusely for use of the term, the furore that followed immediately after the initial remark has shined a light on attitudes to such terminology on both sides of the Atlantic.

    The irony of Mr Cumberbatch’s ill-chosen words were that they were used while he was in the middle of conveying a very commendable message regarding the difficulties facing black actors in the UK as relates to their American counterparts.

    The incident as a whole gave rise to much discourse via mainstream and social media as to the issue of … 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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