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.

  • Online Management Course

    It has been an extremely busy week and in between everything this week I was determined to complete the Management Course 2, which I had purchased from Data Law (www.datalawonline.co.uk) a few weeks ago. Now I do not know about the rest of you but I am certainly sceptical about courses online however I urgently needed to do this one as it was long overdue (long story, if I was to go into it you may be here all day). I was very pleasantly surprised it was conveniently split into 6 parts which meant that you did not have to go through the whole 6 hours in one go, but it also allowed you to log each section that you had completed (I will let you know whether the logging process worked in due course). Mr A R Mackay was very entertaining lecturer and gave live examples of managing a company, … more

  • Unfair Dismissal: Pitfalls to avoid

    Tags: Unfair Dismissal

    I hope none of my followers and readers have started the New Year with an employment tribunal claim for unfair dismissal being served on them! However unfortunately at the moment I seem to have an influx of instructions for unfair dismissal so I thought I would put together a quick reference guide of things to think about before dismissing your employee. 1. Always ensure that you adhere to the ACAS Code on disciplinary procedures and carry out: A careful and fair investigation of the issues; Inform your employee of the issues of concern in writing setting out a date for a disciplinary hearing and informing them the right to be accompanied; Conduct a disciplinary hearing, ensure minutes are taken and that your employee agrees with the minutes; At the hearings, explain the complaint and … more

  • Changing terms and conditions of employment contracts fairly

    Tags: Unfair Dismissal, Employment Tribunals, Redundancy, Changing Terms and Conditions, Employment Law, Some Other Substantial Reason

    In the New Year there has been great media speculation about whether we are heading towards a double dip recession. This is unwelcomed news for employers and employees who will both be faced with difficult decisions.

    If you are an employer who as a result of a downturn in work is considering how to effect changes to your employees' terms and conditions then you might be in luck the EAT has provided you with some guidance in Slade and Others v TNT (UK) Ltd [2011] UKEAT/0113/11/DA. In this case, the four claimants were test cases for some 183 cases.

    Slade and Others has expanded on the case law history surrounding the definition of 'some other substantial reason' which is a ground for fair dismissal (under section 98 of the Employment Rights Act 1996). The employer in this case found that … more

  • The Queens Diamond Jubilee: 5 June 2012

    Tags: Queens Diamond Jubilee

    I hope that you have all had a great Christmas and New Year break...the most difficult week of the year is over!!

    I thought I would reminder all employers that this year there will be an additional bank holiday on 5 June 2012 to celebrate the Queens Diamond Jubilee which falls right after the Spring Bank Holiday on 4 June 2012. This may result in a high volume of holiday requests from employees for the 6-8 June 2012 as they will be looking to enjoy a longer break by using fewer annual leave days (well they do deserve it).

    But those of you with businesses may (if you have not already done so) want to set a policy to either restrict the number of employee’s taking annual leaving during those dates, particularily SME's who may find themselves in a position where they have no staff on … more

  • Redundancy checklist for employers

    Tags: Selection Criterion, Selection Pool, Redundancy Payment, Employment Law, Redundancy Procedure, Redundancy Consultation

     

    Employees are a company's greatest asset and no successful business owner wishes to make redundancies, however sometimes there is no other choice so I have put together a guide to ensure that if your business is faced with this difficult dilemma you can ensure that you undertake a fair and proper procedure.

    First Consultation Meeting:

    Meet with all of the employees who might be made redundant (as a group).

    Explain the reasons for the potential redundancies.

    Explain how many jobs are at risk of being redundant.

    Explain the methods being explored to avoid the redundancies (for example, restrictions on recruitment, alternative employment, re-training, voluntary early retirement, voluntary redundancy, short-term working and restricting overtime).

    Explain the selection … more

  • Goodbye 2011

    For many of us (lawyers included) 2011 has been a challenge with prospects of the recession returning, cuts in the public sector, a squeeze on lending and a rise in inflation (not to mention VAT going up to 20%!). The government has promised the private sector and in particular small businesses/entrepreneurs government secured loans and changes in employment law (though the finer details are yet to be announced) in 2012 in a bid to get the economy back on track but only time will tell how that will come to fruition.

    Reflecting on 2011, I have mixed emotions about the riots which started in London and travelled all the way up to Manchester (luckily Leeds was not on the hot list!). The local police forces did everything in their power to put a stop to the riots and punish the offenders, … more

  • When TUPE applies what does the business agreement need to cover?

    Tags: TUPE, Employment Law

    Most small business owners don’t understand the importance of taking legal advice before they agree to sell or purchase a business due to perceived costs associated with approaching a solicitor and this is perhaps due to the fact that they do not understand the importance of warranties and indemnities particularly when it comes to transferring employees under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE).

    What are warranties?

    These are assurances by a party in a transaction that something is true or something will happen. If the warranty is breached then the party relying on it will be able to make a claim. To illustrate this, when a buyer is purchasing a business and the seller warrants that all electrical items work; if this proves untrue then … more

  • Alternative Business Structure (ABS) Friend or Foe?

    Tags: Alternative Business Structure (ABS), Employment Law

    ABS's are soon going to hit our streets; they are advertised as being "simpler, cheaper and more accessible legal services for consumers". Is that going to prove to be a reality?

    Are local governments and private companies going to look at whether they can turn their in-house team into a commercial entity? High street firms and sole practitioners have shown increasing concern that this de-regulation of the legal sector can only end in disaster but will it also bring with it opportunity for some. How is it going to affect you?

    I think employment lawyers would all agree that they have been competing against non-lawyers for a long time and we are still here :). Though I think there may be some mileage in the argument that the advantage that firms have previously had (and which may soon be … more

  • The Agency Workers Regulations 2010: What your business needs to know!

    Tags: The Agency Workers Regulation 2010, Employment Law

    The Agency Workers Regulations 2010 came into force on 1 October 2011.

    Who is an agency worker?

    - Any individual who works through any “Temporary Work Agency” (TWA) under the supervision and direction of a hirer.

    Who will the Regulations cover?

    - Traditional PAYE temporary workers paid by staffing companies;

    - Individuals “employed” under overarching employment contract by intermediary organisations (sometimes called ‘umbrella companies’) and then supplied to hirers via staffing companies.

    The following class of workers may also be considered as agency workers:

    - Sole traders and interims operating intermediaries (unless genuinely self-employed);

    - Personal service company workers (unless genuinely self-employed);

    - Those supplied through … more

  • Employment reforms–how will they affect you?

    Tags: Unfair Dismissal, Employment Tribunals, ACAS, Vincent Cable, Employment Law, Employment Law Reforms, TUPE, BIS

    On 23 November 2011 Vince Cable announced a number of reforms, some of which came as no surprise for employment experts however the real question is - will the changes kick start recruitment in small and medium sized businesses? In my opinion the key proposals for employees, businesses and employment law specialists are as follows:

    Employees:

    1. Unfair dismissal qualifying period doubled from 1 year to 2 to be implemented from 6 April 2012.

    2. A fee to be changed for lodging employment tribunal claims and a further fee for taking the claim to a full hearing. There will be a consultation in respect to this policy however there is a hint that due to the level of detail provided by Mr Cable that this policy will be implemented.

    3. All employment claims will go to ACAS for pre-claim … more

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