Archives / 2012 / March
  • Age discrimination and ‘proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim’.

    Tags: Employment Tribunals, Age Discimination, Discrimination, The Equality Act 2010, Employment Law, Woodcock

    Finally the Court of Appeal decision of Woodcock –v- Cumbria Care Trust [2012] EWCA Civ 330The facts:Some of my readers will recall that this was an appeal by Mr Woodcock in respect to his age discrimination claim. The Trust dismissed Mr Woodcock on the grounds of redundancy when he was just short of his 49th birthday giving him 12 months notice without a consultation period. The Trust’s reasons for not following the correct redundancy procedure was that had they done so Mr Woodcock would have reached 50 when he was given the notice, this would have entitled him to an early retirement with an enhanced pension. The timing of the notice deprived him of the benefit. The benefit Mr Woodcock would have attained could only have been achieved at a substantial additional cost to the … more

  • Are interns workers?

    Tags: Unfair Dismissal, Employment Tribunals, Employment Law, Interns, Workers

    It seems that businesses should be very careful in the type of work that they delegate to interns as a recent tribunal (Ms Keri Hudson –v- TPG Web publishing Ltd (TPG) [2011]) held that due to the nature of the work carried out by the claimant she was a ‘worker’ therefore entitled to receive the national minimum wage. The tribunal in this case heard how the claimant undertook editorial responsibilities without payment. In the absence of an employment contact the tribunal were satisfied that there was an implied contractual duty on the basis the company had previously discussed remuneration with the claimant and the duties she carried out were of value to the company. The moral of the case is take legal advice when considering hiring interns. more

  • Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)– what are the rules?

    Tags: Maternity Leave, Employment Law, Maternity Pay, SMP, Continuous Employment

    I think everyone gets confused about maternity and entitlements. So I thought a quick guide to help everyone understand their rights would be useful. Whether you are an employer or employee if after reading this guidance note you are still confused then please do make contact and I will try and place you on the correct path.Who is entitled to SMP?Employees qualify for SMP if they satisfy the:(1) The continuous employment rule:- This means an employee must be employed by the same employer continuously for at least 26 weeks into the 15th week before the week the baby is due (the qualifying week).

    - Exceptions can be made if the baby is born premature.When can a break amount to being continuous employment? When an employee:- Is absent (for periods of 26 consecutive weeks or less) because … more

  • Can employers subjectively choose who they like for newly created roles during a redundancy process?

    Tags: Employment Tribunals, Redundancy, Selection Pool, Employment Law, Reorganisation

    The recent decision by the EAT in Samsung Electronics v Monte D'Cruz [2012] is authorisation that employers can ‘appoint the best person for the job’ and this could mean that no one from the selection pool is chosen for the role.

    In this case Samsung re-organised their print division. The Claimant was one of three Heads of Department whose role was being merged into one. He unsuccessfully applied for the merged post. He then unsuccessful applied for a more junior role which came about due to the restructure. An external candidate was eventually appointed.

    This decision may mean that in certain re-organisation situations if external candidates are the best people to perform the role then the dismissal may not be unfair.

    This post is not legal advice and should not be used as … more


  • How To Manage Workplace Relationships

    Tags: Sex Discrimination, Victimisation, Sexual Harassment, Employment Law, Human Resources, Valentine's Day, Workplace Relationships, Romantic Relationships

    With Valentine’s Day making February the month for romance, this month we take a look at some of the potential risks to employers when romance blossoms amongst employees and the steps that can be taken to address these.

    Why Should An Employer Be Concerned About Its Employees Forming Romantic Relationships In The Workplace?

    Romantic relationships between employees in the same organisation can expose the employer to a number of legal risks. These are most likely to arise when one employee is pursuing another to start a relationship or, even more so, when the relationship breaks down. The most obvious legal risks are as follows:

    Sexual Harassment

    This occurs where one employee engages in unwanted conduct of a sexual nature which has the purpose or effect either of violating … more


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