Employment Library

  • A General Guide to Recruiting Staff

    Getting the recruitment process right is vital to ensure that you not only select the most suitable candidate for the vacancy but also do so without falling foul of the applicable law. The Law The Equality Act 2010 is intended to eliminate...
  • A Guide to Dealing with Requests for Flexible Working Arrangements

    The statutory right to request flexible working arrangements is currently available to parents of children aged 16 and under (under 18 where the child is disabled) and employees who care for, or expect to care for, certain adults. From 30 June 2014, however,...
  • A Guide to Garden Leave

    ‘Garden leave’ is the term used to describe the situation in which an employee who has resigned or been dismissed is required to serve out their notice period at home, rather than reporting for work. Normally, garden leave is used as a...
  • A Guide to Preventing Disability Discrimination in the Workplace

    Under the Equality Act 2010 , which repeals all previous discrimination law and brings together the relevant legislation in one place, it is unlawful to discriminate against a worker on account of a physical or mental disability or to fail to make...
  • A Guide to Selecting Employees for Redundancy

    In the current economic climate, businesses may face having to dismiss employees by reason of redundancy. Redundancy is a potentially fair reason for dismissal, but it may be found to be unfair – for example if a particular employee is unfairly...
  • A Guide to Third Party Harassment

    With effect from 1 October 2013, the third party harassment provisions contained in Section 40 of the Equality Act 2010 have been repealed. The provisions made employers liable for harassment of their employees by third parties, such as customers or...
  • A Guide to the Agency Workers Regulations

    The Agency Workers Regulations 2010 (AWR) came into force on 1 October 2011. They apply to those workers who are supplied by a temporary work agency to work temporarily for and under the supervision and direction of a hirer. All temporary agency workers...
  • Age Discrimination - Life After the Abolition of the Default Retirement Age

    The Default Retirement Age (DRA) has now been abolished and it is no longer permissible for an employer to dismiss an older worker on the ground of retirement unless this can be objectively justified under the Equality Act 2010 . This does not mean that...
  • Changes to Employment Law - 2014

    Changes to employment law and practice are normally implemented in either April or October in order to make life easier for employers, who must ensure that their policies and procedures comply by the implementation dates. The Collective Redundancies and...
  • Collective Redundancy Consultation - Acas Guidance

    The Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 (Amendment) Order 2013 made changes to the rules relating to collective redundancy consultation. From 6 April 2013, where an employer is proposing to dismiss as redundant 100 or more employees...
  • Compensation for Illness in Unfair Dismissal Cases

    In Adey-Jones v O’Dowd , the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) considered the extent to which an employee could claim compensation from her former employer for illness she suffered after she had been unfairly dismissed. Mrs O’Dowd was...
  • Damages for Wrongful Dismissal

    The Supreme Court has ruled ( Edwards v Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust ) that a consultant surgeon who suffered a loss as a result of findings of personal and professional misconduct made against him in disciplinary proceedings that were...
  • Dealing with Employee Absence

    Employee absences can be both costly and disruptive. It is advisable to have systems in place to measure and analyse these costs so that you can identify problem areas. Are there patterns of absence? Does a particular department have a below average...
  • Driving on Company Business

    Research by the Health and Safety Executive shows that 20 people are killed and 250 are seriously injured each week in traffic accidents involving someone driving for business reasons. The threat of employers being prosecuted for road accidents involving...
  • Drug Policy - Recognising the Signs and What to Do

    Substance abuse amongst staff can affect all areas of employment, whether it be a decrease in productivity, increased absenteeism or the increased likelihood of accidents and injuries. The failure to identify and deal with a problem is an unnecessary risk...
  • ECHR Rules in Religious Discrimination Claims

    The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has handed down its rulings in four UK cases in which Christian employees claimed to have suffered discrimination at work on account of their religious beliefs. Two of the cases concerned women who were prevented...
  • Employment Rights - Ministers of Religion

    The Supreme Court has ruled that a Methodist minister was not an employee of the Church and so cannot pursue her claim for unfair dismissal ( President of the Methodist Conference v Preston ). For many years, it was accepted law that ministers of religion...
  • Employment Tribunal Fees

    In July 2013, the Employment Tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal Fees Order 2013 introduced a fee structure for single claims to the Employment Tribunal as follows: For level 1 claims (e.g. claims for sums due on termination of employment,...
  • Failing to Prevent Bribery - Are You at Risk?

    The Bribery Act 2010 came into force on 1 July 2011. It created a new offence which can be committed by a commercial organisation if it fails to prevent persons associated with it from committing bribery on its behalf. A business can provide a defence by...
  • Faulty Work Boots - Employer Not Liable for Employee's Frostbite

    The House of Lords ruled, in the case of Fytche v Wincanton Logistics , that an employer’s absolute obligation to maintain or repair protective equipment, under the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992, does not extend to a situation...
  • Graduate Recruitment

    Most businesses would like to benefit from an influx of talent, enthusiasm and fresh ideas. The challenge is to achieve it at an acceptable cost. One option is to employ a recent graduate. In the past, most graduate recruitment was undertaken by large...
  • In Brief: ACAS E-learning Modules

    The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) offers useful electronic learning modules on a variety of topics . These include discipline and grievance; equality and diversity; bullying and harassment; contracts of...
  • In Brief: ACAS Guidance on Holiday and Holiday Pay

    The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) has useful guidance for employers puzzling over staff holiday pay entitlements. The guidance leaflet gives a summary of holiday entitlements, setting out: the right to annual leave; when a...
  • In Brief: Advice on Occupational Asthma

    The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has a website dedicated to advice on how to reduce occupational asthma . This is aimed at employers and is part of the HSE’s ongoing campaign to reduce significantly the number of occupational asthma sufferers. ...
  • In Brief: Assessment of Repetitive Tasks Tool

    Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are the most common occupational illness in Britain. They include problems such as low back pain, joint injuries and repetitive strain injuries of various sorts, and affect more than 500,000 people every year. They are often...
  • In Brief: Data Protection Guidance for Employers

    The Employment Practices Data Protection Code contains guidance on the impact of data protection laws on the employment relationship. It is intended to provide employers with a complete manual on data protection in the workplace and covers such issues as the...
  • In Brief: Guidance on Preventing Illegal Working

    The Government has useful guidance for employers aimed at preventing illegal working in the UK . This explains: the law on illegal working; your role and duty as an employer; the document checks you should carry out; images of the...
  • In Brief: Working at Height Regulations

    Falls from height are the single biggest cause of workplace deaths and one of the main causes of serious injury. A place is ‘at height’ if there is a risk of a fall liable to cause personal injury. The Work at Height Regulations 2005 were...
  • Informing and Consulting Employees

    The EU Information and Consultation Directive 2002 establishes minimum requirements for consulting and informing employees on a wide variety of subjects. The Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 2004 implement the Directive in the UK. ...
  • Lost ET1 Claim by Fax Presented in Time

    An employee wishing to bring an unfair dismissal claim must do so within three months of their effective date of termination (EDT). Time limits for presenting claims to the Employment Tribunal (ET) are normally strictly enforced. Rule 1 of the ET Rules of...
  • New Minimum Wage Rates

    The Government has accepted the recommendations of the Low Pay Commission (LPC) for the National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates for 2014/2015. The following changes will come into effect on 1 October 2014: the adult NMW rate will increase from £6.31...
  • New Type of Employment Status - The Employee Shareholder

    On 1 September 2013, a new type of employment status – the employee shareholder – was introduced by the Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013 . Under this new type of contract, employee shareholders will agree to surrender certain employment law...
  • Protecting Business Interests

    When an employee leaves to go to work for another organisation, their employer may wish to have in place safeguards to protect sensitive information relating to the business, to prevent it from falling into the hands of a competitor. One possible way of...
  • Redundancy - Refusal of Suitable Alternative Employment - The Correct Test

    In a case on whether or not it was reasonable for an employee at risk of redundancy to refuse an offer of suitable alternative employment ( Readman v Devon Primary Care Trust ), the Court of Appeal has reaffirmed that the test is a subjective one. In such...
  • Religion or Belief Discrimination - The Correct Comparator

    A practising Christian who was dismissed from his job as a paediatric consultant after he refused to accept recommendations that he refrain from using religious references in his workplace communications has lost his appeal against the decision of the...
  • Resolving Workplace Disputes

    As of 6 April 2009, the Employment Act 2008 repealed the Statutory Dispute Resolution Procedures in their entirety. In their place is a voluntary Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) Code of Practice , which sets out the basic principles...
  • Rest Breaks - Appropriate Alternative Arrangements

    Under the Working Time Regulations 1998 (WTR), workers are entitled to an uninterrupted 20-minute rest break if their daily working time exceeds six hours. However, there are exceptions to this general rule to take account of unusual or particular working...
  • Settlement Agreements

    Following changes made by the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 , compromise agreements have been renamed ‘settlement agreements’ and new provisions (Section 111A) have been inserted into the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA) making...
  • Shared Parental Leave Reforms

    Changes to the way parents can share maternity leave form part of the Children and Families Act 2014 . Details as to how the proposed new system will work in practice are set out in draft legislation on which the Government is currently seeking views. ...
  • Staff Handbooks and Contractual Rights

    It is not uncommon for employees’ contracts of employment to expressly incorporate the staff handbook, although much of its contents will refer to policy matters rather than having contractual status. The decision of the Court of Appeal in Keeley v...
  • Supreme Court Rules in Equal Pay Case

    The Supreme Court has ruled, by a majority of three judges to two, that 174 former employees of Birmingham City Council who left their jobs between 2004 and 2008 do have the right to pursue their equal pay claims in the civil courts as breach of contract...
  • TUPE - As Amended

    The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE) apply to any size of business and protect the employment rights of employees when their employer changes as a result of the relevant transfer of a business or a part of one....
  • TUPE - What Constitutes an 'Organised Grouping of Employees'?

    A service provision change under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE) takes place when, immediately before the transfer, there is an ‘organised grouping of employees’ situated in Great Britain which...
  • The Corporate Manslaughter Act

    The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 established a new statutory offence of corporate manslaughter (corporate culpable homicide in Scotland). An organisation is guilty of the offence if the way in which it manages or organises its...
  • The Equality Act 2010 - A Guide for Employers

    The Equality Act 2010 replaced nine major pieces of discrimination legislation and other ancillary measures introduced over the last forty years. The core provisions of the Act came into force on 1 October 2010. As well as harmonising existing...
  • Unfair Dismissal - Reasonable Investigation into Alleged Misconduct

    In a case that concerned an employee who was dismissed for dishonesty, the Court of Appeal has given guidance on what constitutes a reasonable investigation into an employee’s conduct in such circumstances ( Stuart v London City Airport Limited ). ...
  • Unfair Dismissal - Reasonable Responses

    In Sarkar v West London Mental Health NHS Trust , the Court of Appeal has ruled that the Employment Tribunal (ET) was entitled to find that the decision to dismiss Dr Sameer Sarkar from his post as a Consultant Psychiatrist at Broadmoor Hospital was...
  • Unsuccessful Job Applicants - Access to Recruitment Information

    In Meister v Speech Design Carrier Systems GmbH , the European Court of Justice (ECJ) was asked by the German Labour Court to give a preliminary ruling on whether an unsuccessful job applicant who can show that he or she meets the requirements for a post...
  • Varying Employees' Contracts of Employment

    If an employer is seeking to make changes to employees' contracts of employment, it is important to remember that where this will necessitate adverse changes to their existing terms of employment, the contracts can only be varied with the agreement of both...
  • Whistleblowing Laws - Amendments

    The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA) – often referred to as the ‘Whistleblowing’ Act – was introduced in the wake of various workplace scandals and disasters after official enquiries revealed that workers had known of the...