Welcome to the Canter Levin & Berg Employment Solutions Blog

Slave labour? Fashion brand reported for offering unpaid internships

Samantha Cameron’s popular fashion brand Cefinn, has recently been reported to minimum wage officials following the publication of an advertisement for an unpaid internship. The advertisement stated that Cefinn was searching for a PR and marketing intern to carry out market research, sample management and production assistance over a 3 month period.  Although the advertisement…

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Christian doctor David Mackereth loses trans beliefs case

You may recall my post back in July of this year, detailing the case of Christian doctor David Mackereth, and his claims that his contract had been terminated due to his refusal to use transgender pronouns. By way of a very brief summary, when starting a new role as a contract worker at the DWP…

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The risks of writing honestly – a Karl Ove Knausgard-based perspective

I’ve recently started re-reading one of my all-time favourite books, A Man in Love (My Struggle Book 2) by Karl Ove Knausgard. It may sound like a romantic book but, in fact, it is brutal. No other word can reflect and sum up this book in its lengthy entirety: brutal. Basically, the book acts as…

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UK announces 2-year post-study work visa for international students

In the years 2017 – 2018 the number of international students studying here in the UK was 458,490 and the UK is at present the second most popular study destination worldwide. A report completed for the Government by the Migration Advisory Committee in September last year however, indicated that the UK runs the risk of being overtaken for second spot by Southern Hemisphere rival Australia. With course costs for international students being significantly higher than those for ‘home’ students educational institutions from all over the UK benefit from the revenue that international students bring.

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Employment Law Snippet – No.4 – Honeymoons

Hello and welcome to our fourth Employment Law Snippet article. This week, we’ll be looking at honeymoons and how they affect employees and employers alike. So, honeymoons. A slightly wonderful and unique concept within employment law and a (usually) once-in-a-lifetime experience for the couple. As with everything, everyone’s mileage will vary – some will go to a 5-star island hideaway and spend 3 weeks by the beach whilst others, who won’t be named, may road-trip across Canada gaining an unstable addiction to maple syrup, falling in love with the Toronto Maple Leafs ice hockey team and failing, despite maximum efforts, to see any of the rather elusive native moose (ahem!)

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Would the Labour Party’s employment reforms work?

On 10 September, the Labour Party put forward plans to create a Ministry for Employment Rights and a Workers’ Protection Agency to enforce those rights. The proposals which, obviously, would only see if the light of day if Labour won a General Election, whenever such an election may occur, are ambitious and, naturally, rather scant on detail at the moment. But, despite this, let’s have a look at a few of their proposals for changes to employment law to see if they are realistic and workable!

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Sacked for using a plastic cup?!

Intelligent Hand Dryers, a Company based in Sheffield specialising in, well, Hand Dryers, has recently introduced a ban on its employees using single use plastic including plastic water bottles, sandwich wrappers with plastic ‘windows’, and disposable coffee cups with plastic linings, in order to reduce its environmental impact. The owner of the Company, Andrew Cameron, has made the above a disciplinary offence and stated that if employees receive three warnings and continue to ignore this policy, they could be dismissed.  The environmental benefits, if more businesses were to impose such policies, are obvious however is it fair to effectively make this a condition of employment?  Surely the choice of an employee to buy a sandwich from a well-known supermarket at lunch time does not hinder their ability to perform their role?

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Employment Law Snippet – No. 3 – How magical is Disneyland?

Hello and welcome to our third Employment Law Snippet article. As usual, this article aims to discuss a chosen topic in an interesting, non-jargon filled way and identify how it might affect employees and employers alike. This week’s topic is a wonderful one: Disneyland! Yes, (almost) everyone loves Disneyland!! I put the ‘almost’ in brackets because, otherwise, it guarantees at least one person will respond: “I don’t like Disneyland”…

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Employment Law Snippet – No.2 – Is being Jedi a religion or belief?

Hello and welcome to our second Employment Law Snippet article. As usual, this article aims to focus on one general topic and engage in an interesting, non-jargon filled discussion on how that subject matter may affect employees and employers alike. Naturally, the below involves (quite a bit of) simplification of the law and isn’t set out out as any form of actual legal advice! This week’s topic is a quirky one: Jedi! Yes, this is inspired by 0.8% of the 2001 UK census forms having ‘Jedi’ entered under ‘religion’. You may well be thinking ‘what on earth does the Jedi faith from Star Wars have to do with employment law?’ Well, as usual, an interesting question usually leads to an interesting answer… Firstly, before tackling the big question, why is the definition of a “religion or belief” within the Equality Act 2010 important for employers? Simply put, it is important because it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an employee because of their ‘religion and/or beliefs or lack of religion or beliefs’.

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A blog on blogging based on a blogging blog

Right, so I like a good blog on employment law-related topics and, in this blog, I’m looking to blog about employee blogging, even if those blogs are about blogs (or not blogs at all). Clear? Of course not, the only near guaranteed thing is that, by now, the word ‘blog’ has probably started to lose meaning in that way that words do when constantly repeated. On a slightly more serious side, this article is about what happens when an employee publishes content (whether on social media, within physical media (including a local or national newspaper) or within personal blogs) that potentially harms the reputation of their employer. Where is the line drawn between innocent, harmless blog and, on the other hand, an online article or post that seriously harms the business of an employer? As per the above title, I briefly covered this topic around 4 years ago in a past blog post. That article mentioned the rather quirky case of Walters v Asda Stores, heard in 2008, in which a manager jokingly (I hope!) posted a message stating that, whilst she was supposed to love her customers, hitting them with a pickaxe would make her much happier… The Employment Tribunal found…

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Employment Law Snippet – No.1 – Tattoos

Hello and welcome to our first Employment Law Snippet article. These conversational articles aim to focus on one general topic and then have an interesting, non-jargon filled discussion on how that subject affects employees and employers alike. The first topic is an interesting one: tattoos! You may be thinking “what on earth do tattoos have to do with employment law?” Well, not that much at present but that may start to change in the future. Are tattoos that important a consideration within employment law? Well, to start, I regularly hear employment-related tales of friends of friends and, recently, I heard about a young woman in her twenties going to a job interview and all, initially at least, going very well with the interviewer. That is, until the interviewer noticed the small floral tattoo on her wrist (which barely poked out from underneath her small watch) and, from that moment, the interviewer appeared to ‘go off’ her, cut the interview short and, lo and behold, she didn’t get the job (which, for the record, wasn’t in a customer facing position).

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Competing interests lead to more confusion concerning NDAs

On 21 July (oddly given that it was a Sunday) the Government announced what it described as “measures to prevent misuse of confidentiality clauses in situations of workplace harassment or discrimination. Frankly the press releases are light on detail. However, the four main changes are as follows: Employers will have to make clear the limitations of a confidentiality clause, in plain English, within the settlement agreement and in the form of a written statement for the employee. In other words there will have to be a notice to the employee within the agreement which clearly explains what the clause does not cover.Current legislation will be extended so that it will be a requirement for all individuals signing an NDA (whether or not contained within a settlement agreement) to obtain what is described as enhanced independent legal advice, presumably at the employer’s expense. This is potentially interesting because it raises the possibility that employees may need to obtain such advice at the commencement of or during employment, perhaps even before the commencement of employment. Much will depend on the definition of what constitutes a regulated NDA and that information, perhaps unsurprisingly, has not been published.All NDAs must make clear that the…

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