red tape and gold plate

The government is pushing forward with its plans to reduce red-tape, recently inviting businesses and individuals to become more involved in its “Red Tape Challenge” by completing a series of questions about the enforcement of rules and regulations. A “Red Tape Challenge Enforcement” website has been set up at www.redtapechallenge.cabinetoffice.gov.uk until 31 August 2011. The…

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Harrods: female employees must wear “full makeup” and even visitors must observe the “dress code”

In 2011 the extraordinary and surely outdated dress codes operated by Harrods department store have been highlighted by a complaint brought by former employee Melanie Stark. As reported in The Guardian Ms Stark, who worked not in the makeup department but in the HMV franchise, was told that she must wear “full makeup” including lipliner,…

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News of the World: stigma damages and TUPE protection?

An interesting discussion has emerged on the web about employment issues arising from the sudden closure by News International of the News of the World. It is a central tenet of employment law that contract terms can be both express (i.e. written in to a contract) and implied. Some key duties, such as a duty…

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400,000 pounds award for disability discrimination

Jonathan Jones was dismissed by his employer, Jewson, five months after he suffered a stroke. He was the branch manager of their Cardigan branch and had worked for the company for 22 years. His employer relied on incapacity as a potentially fair reason for dismissal. Unfair dismissal law provides that employment may be terminated on…

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termination payments: a trap for employers

A Ms. O’Farrell worked for Publicis Consultants UK Ltd. Her contract provided for three months’ notice.  She was made redundant in May 2009 and was provided with statutory redundancy pay and holiday pay. Her dismissal letter also said that she would receive an ex-gratia payment equivalent to three months’ salary (£20,625) free of Tax and NI…

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minimum wage update

The annual National Minimum Wage (Amendment) Regulations which increase the National Minimum Wage from the 1 October each year have now been laid before Parliament in draft form. Following the recommendations of the Low Pay Commission, they will provide for increases in the National Minimum Wage from 1st October 2011 as follows: