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Is it appropriate to rely on advice from HR when deciding to dismiss?

The complexity of employment law and the fear of getting things wrong have the effect that many managers feel almost paralysed when dealing with disciplinary matters. They rigidly and unquestioningly follow advice from HR to the letter, asking for detailed guidance at every stage. While obtaining advice from an HR manager is nearly always a…

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Victim of caste discrimination awarded £184,000

The Equality Act 2010 does not include specific protection for individuals who are victims of discrimination as a result or associated with their caste. However, it does include provisions for protection from caste discrimination to be added at some time in the future. Nonetheless a claim based on such discrimination has been brought successfully by…

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Is a person on long term sick leave assigned in the event of a TUPE transfer?

Since the TUPE regulations were revised in 2006 there has been an obligation for transferors to disclose details of the workforce to transferees. This normally takes the form of a schedule detailing the employees, their job titles and main duties and any specific contractual rights. Disclosure also extends to detailing those on sick leave and…

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Can a limited company be a victim of discrimination?

An important but potentially confusing aspect of English law is the concept of the “legal person”. As well as individuals a limited company is a legal person in the sense that it has its own legal status. It can be a claimant or defendant in proceedings and can enter into contracts, whereas the position with…

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More issues concerning employee rights and social media

As we all know social media is an increasingly pervasive aspect of many of our daily lives. As I have previously reported the interaction between the publication of information by individuals on their personal social media platforms and rights at work can create significant problems. This issue returned for judicial scrutiny once again this month…

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Government announces consultation on devolving Sunday trading rules

On 5 August the Government commenced a consultation on allowing local areas to set their own Sunday trading rules. Larger shops (over 3000 square feet) have been restricted to a maximum six hours and it is felt that this is out of keeping with on-demand shopping available elsewhere, particularly online. The options under consideration are…

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Is the denial of a choice of representative a breach of contract?

In 2004 Professor Martin Stevens was appointed to the Chair of Medicine (Diabetes and Metabolism) at Birmingham University. His duties included leading and co-ordinating a programme of research into the aetiology and management of diabetic neuropathy, foot complications and heart disease complicating diabetes. In addition he led the multidisciplinary diabetic foot service and diabetic neuropathy…

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Government launches consultation on simplification of tax treatment of termination payments

One of the most contentious areas in the field of employment law concerns the tax treatment of settlement payments on the termination of employment. In the 20 years plus that I have been dealing with employment law matters the law in this area has never been entirely settled and there has been a long series…

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Team poaching and springboard injunctions

Springboard injunctions are often granted in circumstances in which senior or key sales employees leave to work for a competitor. The name derives from the case of Bullivant v Ellis (1987) in which Mr Justice Falconer stated that the purpose of the injunction was “to prevent the defendants from taking unfair advantage of the springboard which…they…

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Qatar Airways under pressure to scrap policy that allows it to sack pregnant cabin crew

Although our blog is primarily concerned with cases that fall within the jurisdiction of England and Wales there are occasionally international cases which warrant comment. One such is the recent ruling of the International Labour Organisation, part of the United Nations, that Qatar Airways has discriminated against its female employees. Qatar Airways describes itself as…

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Christian who told lesbian work colleague that homosexuality is a sin was victim of discrimination

It seems that barely a month passes without religion and law conflicting in the area of protection from discrimination. I have written recently about the obvious dilemma when seeking to provide protection in respect of conflicting protected rights and by far the most obvious conflict is between religion or philosophical belief and the others. This…

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Holiday pay doesn’t include voluntary overtime, does it?

I rarely report decisions of the Northern Ireland courts because they are not binding in England and Wales. However, this is the second consecutive month in which a Northern Irish decision is worthy of comment, this time from the Court of Appeal in Patterson v Castlereagh Borough Council. Mr Patterson, a lead claimant for the…

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