Archives / 2013 / August
  • TUPE changes pushed back but still very much happening

    Tags: TUPE, Employment Law Reforms, Employment Law

    The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has announced that revisions to the existing Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations are now likely to come into force in January 2014; the amendments were originally intended to be implemented in October 2013.

    The governments does still however plan to publish its response to the consultation on the proposed changes in September 2013, which should act as a clear barometer as to what the finalised legislative revisions will be.

    The current proposed TUPE changes include a repeal of the much hated (at least by certain employers) Regulation 3(1)(b) which relates to service provision changes such as an outsourcing situation. It is also proposed that there be a repeal of the requirement for the relevant … more

  • Disciplinary and Grievance hearings and the right to be accompanied

    Tags: Employment Law, Employment Tribunal, Grievance Hearings, Disciplinary Hearings, Companion, Accompanied

    A common topic that is consistently put to employment lawyers, both by employers and employees, is who can attend a disciplinary or grievance hearing as an employee companion?

    This question is generally then followed by a description of an unusual request for an employee’s neighbour, mother, long-lost cousin or dog-walker to accompany them to their hearing. An employer is free to concede to such requests if they are ‘reasonable’ and most commonly where it is likely to aid in the smooth running of the hearing.

    The specific legislation (section 10 of the Employment Relations Act 1999 “ERA 1999”) does of course provide only for a trade union official or co-worker to accompany an employee in such hearings.

    What then is the position when an employee is refused … more

  • Zero Hour Contracts: Menace of the worker or just practical?

    Tags: Employment Contracts, Employment Tribunal, Employment, Zero Hour Contracts

    The wider media has been abuzz recently over a survey conducted by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development, which indicated that the number of individuals working under zero hours contracts is roughly four times the official estimates previously calculated by the Office of National Statistics.

    The wildly differing figures have lit a fire under the government which has called for a review of the contracts, while union lobbies are seeking for them to be banned outright. So why then are these divisive contracts so prevalent in our society?

    As their name suggests, those working under a zero hours contract are not guaranteed any set amount of hours by their employer. The general operation of them in practice then is that an employer calls upon workers to carry out work as and when … more

  • Covert Surveillance at Work: Should Big Brother be Watching?

    Tags: Employment Tribunal, Employment, Sickness Absence, Covert Surveillance, Civil Liberties, Fraud, Sick

    I have had a busy week this week so John Dickens has kindly stepped in and produced this article about the topical issue 'covert surveillance' (as some of you may have read about poor Anthea Orchard). 

    Most of the time, in a public environment, most of us are aware (or should be aware) that we are being watched; this is now a generally accepted fact of modern life. However being watched in the course of one’s employment can raise a number of cutting issues and cause disagreement as to whether such surveillance infringes too much on the civil liberties of the relevant employees.

    Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights provides for the right to respect for private and family life. In the recent case of City and County of Swansea v Gayle the question was raised 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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