News @SCESolicitors: posted by Samira Cakali (formerly Ali) aka Legal Eye Sam

I try and bring all interesting case law and all changes in legislation to your attention in a simplistic form. I hope you enjoy reading my posts and please do leave your comments. If you would like to get our monthly newsletter please email me on samira.cakali@scesolicitors.co.uk. Please note that the information in these blogs is to provide information of general interest in a summary manner and should not be construed as individual legal advice. Readers should consult with us or other professional counsel before acting on the information contained here.

  • Shared parental leave and flexible working

    Tags: ACAS, Employment Law Reforms, Flexible Working, Maternity Rights, Paternity Rights, Employment Law

    The Government is acting on the promise they made last year to commit to working families in the 21st century through the publication of the Children and Families Bill. You may recall that the proposals relating to changes in employment law included shared parental leave, pay and extending the right to request flexible working to all employees – this has now been put in motion. The Bill has been through its first reading and though all is not yet clear, we now have a fair idea of the changes to be implemented. 

    New statutory rights to shared parental leave and pay

    The Bill creates new rights for shared parental leave and statutory shared parental pay. The precise detail of how the shared parental leave and pay scheme will work, including eligibility criteria, will be … more

  • Where we are with the employment law reforms

    Tags: Employment Law Reforms, Settlement Agreements, Collective Redundancy Consultation, Owner-Employee contracts, Early Conciliation and TUPE, Employment Law

    This year the Government have forgotten their policy of only introducing changes in April and October, which has traditionally provided employers the opportunity to catch up. So far, 2013 is expected to be the year that:

    - Shortens the consultation period for collective redundancies of more than 100 people from 90 days to 45 days and to include employees with fixed term contracts into the mix. The draft regulations have set the trigger date for the new consultation period is where the proposal to make more than 100 people redundant occurs on or after 6 April 2013.

    - Will introduce the new “employee-owner” status employment contracts. It is envisioned that businesses will be able to start using them from April 2013 however no firm date has been announced.

    - Introduces … more

  • Valid forfeiture of a benefit attained through a compromise agreement (now settlement agreements)

    Tags: Compromise Agreement, Breach of Contract, Competing, Solicitation, Employment Law, Court

    The difficulties of dealing with exiting senior management are the same in all industries. Existing employees, particularly those who have the potential their former employer’s damage, very easily forget their duty of fidelity. Many employers protect their interests by agreeing compromise agreements (from 29 July 2013 compromise agreements have been renamed as settlement agreements). However, does an employee forfeit their agreed financial benefit or payment if they breach their executed compromise agreement? 

    The High Court recently dealt with this question in the case of Mr Imam- Sadeque v Bluebay Asset Management (Services) Ltd (BlueBay). 

    Background 

    The Claimant, Mr Imam-Sadeque, commenced employment with BlueBay, an asset management company, in 2004 and by 201 … more

  • Are volunteers protected from discrimination?

    Tags: Employment Tribunals, Discrimination, Employment Status, Disability Discrimination, Volunteer, Employment Law

    Every industry attracts a diverse and vast range of volunteers usually for work experience, knowledge of a specific method, and Government run work schemes. The question which arises is whether volunteers are entitled to the same employment rights as employees?

    In April 2009 the House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee said they "strongly" believed that disability discrimination protection should apply to volunteers. However the Supreme Court in X v Mid Sussex Citizen Advice Bureau (CAB) disagreed.

    Background

    The Claimant, known as X was a volunteer at the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) in Mid Sussex. She was disabled and had been diagnosed with HIV.

    X signed a volunteer agreement on 12 May 2006. This agreement was described in writing as being 'binding in honour only and not a … more

  • Non-sanction by a professional body does not make a dismissal unfair

    Tags: Unfair Dismissal, Employment Tribunals, ACAS, Disciplinary Procedure, Professional Bodies, Reasonable Test, Employment Law

    It is generally accepted that a dismissal is fair where an employer has conducted a proper investigation and reasonably concluded the allegation has been proven based on the evidence before them. However, what happens when a dismissed employee's professional body decides to take no action over the same incident? Does this make the dismissal outside the range of reasonable responses?

     

    The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) dealt with this issue in the recent case of Bryant v Sage Care Homes Ltd

     

    Background

     

    Ms Bryant had worked as a registered nurse for 40 years with an unblemished record.

    Ms Bryant began working at Sage Care Group (‘Sage’) in 2005 often deputising in the manager’s absence. On 6 June 2009 while carrying out the drug round, … more

  • BIS dates for the 2013 diary

    Tags: Employment Law Reforms, Equality Act 2010, BIS, Collective Redundancy Consultation, Harassment, Employment Law, Parental Leave

    In December 2012, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) published the ‘Fifth Statement of New Regulations’ (‘the Statement’). This document sets out implementation dates for regulatory reforms in 2013.

    The Statement sets out the timetable for, and estimated financial impact of, a range of measures slated for implementation next year. The reforms cover a wide range of areas of law, including energy, planning and development, agriculture, companies and transport. For the purposes of employment law the following dates should be noted in the calendars of all employers:

    In March 2013, BIS intends to bring in the following changes:

    increasing the right to parental leave to 18 weeks (currently at 13 weeks) per parent per child and extend the right … more

  • Does a lap dancer have employee status?

    Tags: Employment Tribunals, Employment Status, Qualifying Service Requirement, Employment Law, Employment Contracts

    Distinguishing between a self-employed worker and a worker who has employee status can be difficult; however many employers accept that where employee status is gained where: 

    there is a contract which places an obligation on a person to provide work personally;

    there is mutuality of obligation between employer and employee  i.e. the employer must provide work and the employee must carry out the work and 

    there is control over the employee by the employer. 

    However, is it safe to assume when one of the limbs from the above test are missing that the worker will be self-employed? 

    This issue was recently dealt with by the Court of Appeal in the case of Stringfellow Restaurants Ltd –v- Nadine Quashie 

    Background 

    The Claimant, Ms Nadine … more

  • Fixed term contracts and permanent employee status

    Tags: Employment Law, Employment Tribunals, Employment Status, Employment Contracts, Fixed Term Contracts, Apprentices, Interns, Agency Workers

    Many industries make use of training schemes to assist in gaining affordable employees; however at what point does the trainee gain employee status? The Fixed-term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002 (‘the Regulations’) set out that anyone employed under a succession of fixed-term contracts will become a permanent employee after four years “unless employment on a fixed term contract is objectively justified”.

    The question which arises is whether the period of service spent as a trainee counts towards establishing the four year period. This was the issue dealt with by the Court of Appeal in Hudson v Department of Work and Pensions.

    Background

    Ms Hudson commenced working for the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) on 24 April 20 … more

  • To dismiss or not to dismiss– guidance for accumulative warnings

    Tags: Unfair Dismissal, Employment Tribunals, Disciplinary process, Warnings, Misconduct, Employment Law

    It is common practice for disciplinary warnings to remain active in an employee’s personnel file for a period of 12 months. Any further warnings during this period may lead to the higher sanction of dismissal depending on the type of misconduct committed.

    The question which arises for employers is how to deal with an employee who has an allegation of misconduct held against them in the light that they have had an earlier written warning. The Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) in Wincanton Group v Stone have provided guidance for tribunals dealing with this issue.

    Background

    Mr Stone, a lorry driver, was dismissed from the company following a serious driving accident, on the back of a written warning which was for a refusal to obey a lawful management order.

    The management (both … more

  • Employer versus trade union

    Tags: Employment Tribunals, Discrimination, Recruitment, Employment Law, Trade Union Discrimination

    In many industries the battle of wills between employers and trade union officials can become difficult to maintain. A question which frequently arises for employers is whether they can refuse to be dictated to about whom to employ without breaking trade union discrimination laws.

    The EAT recently dealt with this issue in the case of Miller v Interserve Industrial Services Ltd.

    Background                           

    Interserve Industrial Services Ltd provided labour for “shut-down” projects at oil depots. It was a highly unionised business. A full-time trade union official from UNITE, Mr Card, attempted to pressurise the recruiting manager Mr … more

    

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