Archives

Archives / 2015 / July
  • Company owner jailed after a 16-year-old apprentice was killed in his factory

    Tags: Health and Safety, Death at work

    Earlier this month, Huntley Mount Engineering Ltd was fined £150,000 after being found guilty of corporate manslaughter and failing to ensure the health, safety and welfare of its employees following the death of a 16-year-old apprentice, Cameron Minshull. The teenager sustained fatal injuries to his head and face after he became entangled in an industrial machine, just weeks into his new job. 

    Without meaningful training and supervision, Cameron was operating a Computerised Numeric Lathe and was instructed to clean the lathes that was used to cut and make steel components, with emery paper while the machinery was still running. He was simply warned to roll up his sleeves when carrying out task. Whilst cleaning the lathe in his oversized overalls, which had been provided by … more

  • What is the definition of “working time”?

    Tags: Employment Law, Employment Tribunal

    Regular readers may not be aware of a recent Opinion of Advocate General Bot (AG) in the case of Federación de Servicios Privados del sindicato Comisiones Obreras which may have an impact upon the definition of “working time” for the purposes of the Working Time Directive (2003/88/EC) (WTD). AG Bot has made a bold statement which may mean that peripatetic workers (those not assigned to a fixed workplace but who rather travel from their home to their first customer and vice versa) could potentially claim that this time spent travelling constitutes “working time”. 

    All very good, but what does it mean?

    Federación de Servicios Privados del sindicato Comisiones Obreras: FACTS

    In this noteworthy case, originating in Spain, the issue at hand was … more

  • How to manage a disciplinary hearing

    Tags: Disciplinary Procedure, Employment Law, Employment Tribunal, Disciplinary Appeals, Disciplinary Hearings

    In the ideal world of employment, employee behaviour would be flawless, punctuality would be the norm, absences would be minimal, if not rare, and the standard of work would be exceptional. To the contrary, in the real world of employment, most employers will be aware that this is not always the case and, in some circumstances, issues may arise which force an employer to take disciplinary action. 

    An essential point to note is that if an employer determines that there is a disciplinary issue at hand following a thorough investigation, it is key that the employer conducts a fair and well-prepared disciplinary hearing before any disciplinary action can lawfully be taken. This is not only representative of excellent HR practice but a way to ensure that employees are able to offer their … more

  • The continued holiday pay saga: Voluntary overtime

    Tags: Unlawful Deduction of Wages, Holiday Pay, Employment Law, Employment Tribunal

    Regular readers will be aware that the Bear Scotland case gave a sense of security to employers when the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) ruled that non-guaranteed overtime (where the employer is not obliged to provide overtime but the employee is obliged to work it if asked) is required to be paid during annual leave as a form of “normal remuneration”. This impliedly left voluntary overtime (where both the employer and employee are equally not obliged to offer or work overtime if they do not wish to arrange such) out of the holiday pay calculation.

    However, this sense of security has been short lived. The fact that the question on voluntary overtime was left unanswered has naturally enticed a future tribunal to include voluntary overtime in the calculation of holiday pay … 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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