Christmas is here! Why do I say that? Well, partly because I watched Elf last night (and if you’re a big Elf fan, I recommend my blog on Buddy the Elf here) and, also, because I’ve got tickets to visit Friends Fest in London and Love Actually at the cinema within the next week –…
It’s fair to say that Ryanair aren’t strangers to controversy. Whether it be their pricing strategy, public statements or otherwise, they seem to attract publicity for many reasons, whether good or bad.
Given their nature for publicity, it was perhaps predictable that the media (and social media) would seemingly target Ryanair for dismissing six staff members photographed sleeping on the floor of a crewroom in a Spanish airport. Indeed, on the face of it, it seems bizarre to punish staff who were ‘forced’ to sleep on the floor.
However, as with most situations, there is more to the story than the headline would suggest and, dig a bit deeper, and it seems that Ryanair may actually have had legal grounds for dismissing the six staff members for Gross Misconduct based on the publicised facts.
Now, as a starting point, naturally, you can’t dismiss staff for sleeping on a floor. That would be ludicrous and completely unfair. But, in this case, that isn’t why Ryanair dismissed their staff members.
So, why did Ryanair sack them? What’s the big difference? Well, put simply, Ryanair believe that the staff members ‘staged’ the photograph and did so with a view to damaging their reputation. And, whilst people are perhaps inclined to automatically distrust the public statements of big companies in situations like this (and, instead, support the ‘underdog’), it appears that Ryanair has a point.
How can anyone judge this? Well, put simply, because Ryanair published a CCTV video online showing the staff standing or sitting around and then appearing to agree to the taking of a photograph. All the staff members then move over and arrange themselves in a close formation on the floor before an individual takes a photograph of them lying on the floor (which they weren’t doing before).
As I mentioned to readers of our monthly newsletter, like many organisations, we have been preparing for the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation on 25 May 2018. As you may know, there is no transition period so the new rules concerning data protection will be in full force and effect from day one.
At Canter Levin & Berg we introduced our new data protection policy last week and we have recently published our template GDPR compliant data protection policy, with associated documents and guidance notes, in the subscription section of this website. The policy is intended to be straightforward and easy for all readers and users to understand.
As usual we have accompanied the policy with detailed background and guidance notes which are intended to demystify the compliance process for SMEs. We have explained the background to GDPR, provided a commentary on what the Information Commissioner says about preparing for GDPR and summarised the main areas that need to be considered.
We have provided a clause by clause summary of the policy so that our users have all that they need to adapt the policy for implementation in their organisations.
Of course, subscribers who have access to our employment lawyers can have them prepare a suitably adapted policy, as well as receiving advice about how to implement the changes.
Protecting employees’ “stories” – Avoiding fines of up to €20m under the incoming General Data Protection Regulations
Last night, I visited a local community café for a fascinating talk about ‘story’. The gist of the evening centred around how humans think and dream in script form rather than in bullet points. A case in point? You dream in vivid, moving events, not static images.
Every part of our lives involves in story. Music is the story of events in lyrical form, whilst books and films introduce characters with backstories which shape their character going forwards. An example? In the Harry Potter books, Harry and Voldemort have the same backstory (magical orphans with horrible childhoods who are ‘saved’ by Hogwarts School) but both deal with that in different ways – i.e. one becomes good and one becomes evil.
Everybody has an individual story, whether in their social lives or during their employment. So, why am I going on about ‘story’?
Yes, you read that correctly. Microchipping employees. And, no, that’s a real headline. A technology company in the USA has been widely reported as microchipping employees in place of their security and identity cards.
The first thing to get out of the way here is that they aren’t implanting an actual, square computer chip. Rather, they insert a tiny implant (the same size as a grain of rice) between an employee’s thumb and forefinger with a syringe. Apparently, removing it is akin to taking out a splinter (ouch?)
Now, apparently, the ‘younger generation’ are most likely to get onboard with this in the future. Well, I’m in my twenties and I’m not tempted in the slightest. Saying that, I hate needles, so that’s a poor starting point…
Looking at the wider picture, we live in a world of fingerprint ID on phones and being able to unlock the latest phone handsets with your own face. So why is an implant so controversial?
It never ceases to surprise me that employees can be so horrified when action is taken against them following the misappropriation and/or misuse of information belonging to an employer. All employment contracts incorporate an implied duty to keep confidential information belonging to the employer and not in the public domain. Confidential information in the nature…
Employers necessarily gather, store and use personal data about applicants and employees and so must comply with the Data Protection Act 1998. Halliday v Creation Consumer Finance Ltd considers what sort of compensation should be awarded if that information is misused. It arose in the context of consumer credit finance. After Mr Halliday bought a…
It seems that the anomalies which can be found in modern life are expanding exponentially. Last weekend it was reported that “crime maps” on Government websites which identify the locations of local villains are going to be enhanced so that details of crimes, criminals and even photographs will be made available. Meanwhile, the Information Commissioner…