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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
It is always important to have the right contract in place for any transaction so that both parties are clear about expectations and obligations. However, no matter how good the relationship between the parties, sometimes disputes occassionally arise if any of the terms of the contract are broken. If you are involved in a contract and the other party fails to live up to their end of the contract, what can you do? One option is to sue them for breach of contract.
What Is A Contract?
A contract is a promise or an agreement between two or more parties that is legally binding. This promise can either be made expressly in writing or implied, which means it was communicated orally or by conduct. A contract arises when an offer is made to one party, which is then accepted by another. … more
Is it fair to dismiss an employee in the transport industry who fails a drugs test? Not always, said the employment tribunal ('ET') recently in Ball v First Essex Buses.
A bus driver was dismissed for failing a drugs test. He had been employed for 20 years with an unblemished disciplinary record. He was diabetic. He did finger prick blood tests throughout the day and would lick his fingers to stop the bleeding. His bus route took in lots of students and he handled lots of cash. He argued that his drug test had been contaminated by cocaine on bank notes. He also argued that the test was conducted without gloves or prior handwashing and so was open to contamination. He provided his own drug tests which tested negative for cocaine.
The ET ound that the employer’ … more
What position should an employer take regarding an employee who has committed a criminal offence outside of work?
We are all aware that, when someone is charged with a criminal offence, they are innocent until proven guilty. Any dismissal will be unfair unless it is for one of the statutory fair reasons and as employer you act reasonably in all the circumstances.
If an employee is convicted of a criminal offence occurring outside work, a dismissal is only likely to be fair if that criminal offence has some material impact on the employee’s ability or suitability to do their job or affects their acceptability to other employees to a material extent.
ACAS has made it quite clear that just because an employee has been charged or convicted with an offence, … more
UK Government Annouces New Code Of Practice To Tackle Workplace Sexual Harassment
A new statutory Code of Practice will be developed by the Equality and Human Rights Commission in order to guide employers on their legal responsibilities regarding sexual harassment in the workplace. This was one of 12 actions recently announced by the UK government as it makes confronting workplace harassment a priority.
The announcements are in response to the July 2018 recommendations of the UK Women and Equalities Committee, which called for (1) putting sexual harassment at the top of the UK government’s agenda; (2) requiring regulators to take a more active role in tackling harassment; (3) making enforcement processes work better for employees by setting them out in the Code; (4) … more
Does an Employee Have a Right to a Statement of Employment Particulars When Employed for Less Than 2 Months?
Yes, if they have worked continuously for at least 1 month, held the EAT in Stefanko and others v Maritime Hotel Ltd.
The Claimants were all employed as waiting staff by the Maritime Hotel. They all had relatively short periods of employment of a few months. One Claimant, Ms Woronowicz, was only employed for 6 weeks. She succeeded in a claim for automatically unfair dismissal. She had complained of a failure to provide either a payslip or statement of employment particulars.
The ET declined to increase that award under Section 38 Employment Act 2002, as Ms Woronowicz did not have 2 months' continuous employment; 2 months being the amount of time given by section 1(2) Employment … more
Eviction is a 3-step process; giving notice, seeking possession from the court, and then enforcement. You must ensure that your notices are correct, otherwise when you seek a possession order from the court, it will be denied. There are two types of notices, a Section 8 Notice, and a Section 21 Notice. There are advantages to each, and it is important to seek legal advice as to which would be the most appropriate in your current situation.
Section 21 Notice
A Section 21 Notice can be used to evict your tenant after the fixed term of the tenancy ends, or at any point during a periodic tenancy (where there is no end date). You have to give 2 months’ notice to evict, and if your tenant does not leave, you will be able to seek a possession order from the court. Unfortunately, Section 2 … more
2018 has been a landmark year for employment law with gender pay gap reporting and widespread claims of workplace sexual harassment dominating the headlines. It looks like 2019 will be just as busy with a number of legal changes on their way. Below we list just ten changes that employers will need to look out for.
Increase in NMW Rates
Both the National Living Wage (NLW) and National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates will increase in April 2019. Under the new NLW, the minimum hourly rate that workers aged 25 and over are entitled to will increase from £7.83 to £8.21. The NMW rate for workers aged between 21-24 will increase from £7.38 to £7.70 an hour; the rate for 18-20 year olds will increase from £5.90 to £6.15 an hour and those over compulsory school … more
Olympic Cyclist Jess Varnish Claims Sex Discrimination Against UK Sport and British Cycling
Jess Varnish is suing UK Sport and British Cycling for unfair dismissal and sex discrimination in a case which could transform the entire funding landscape of Olympic and Paralympic sport.
Varnish, who cycled alongside Victoria Pendleton at London 2012, was dropped from the British Cycling programme before the Rio Olympics in 2016.
She alleged bullying and discrimination, specifically that then technical director Shane Sutton said her bottom was "too big" to ride certain roles on the team and that she should go off and "have a baby".
Varnish will challenge the employment status of athletes who are supported by grants from UK Sport, the national funding body.
The 29-year-old will argue … more
It is very easy to set up a partnership and even just an oral agreement can be sufficient to form a partnership arrangement. The law says that a partnership is quite simply the relationship which subsists between persons carrying on a business with a common view of profit. So even you and your friend gardening together and dividing the profits could mean that a partnership has been formed. A partnership is governed by a partnership agreement and would regulate the powers and duties of the partners in relation to the business. It could also dictate the way assets or liabilities are divided upon dissolution of a partnership. However, if a partnership agreement has not been drawn up, then the powers and duties of the partners is regulated by the Partnership Act 1980. This legislation does … more
Is veganism a “philosophical belief” that should be protected by law?
An employment tribunal is being asked to decide whether veganism is a “philosophical belief” and therefore, should be protected by law.
The landmark case, which is listed for March 2019, will help determine whether veganism is a “philosophical belief” and therefore, should be legally protected.
The case concerns Mr Jordi Casamitjana, who says he was sacked by the League Against Cruel Sports, after disclosing it invested pension funds in firms involved in animal testing.
The BBC reports that the League Against Cruel Sports says Mr Casamitjana was dismissed for gross misconduct. However, Mr Casamitjana claims he was discriminated against because of his veganism.
If the … more