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12 Jan 2016

How much influence can HR departments have on sanctions and dismissals?

In the recent case of Ramphal v Department for Transport, the EAT looked at a HR department’s influence over the decision to summarily dismiss an employee for gross misconduct. Although in the case at hand, the investigating officer found that there was misconduct, he did not himself believe that it warranted a dismissal, but a […]

8 Dec 2015

BIS publishes guidance on zero hour contracts

The Government appear to be reacting to the controversy surrounding zero hour contracts and exclusivity clauses, with the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) publishing guidance for employers and draft regulations. BIS guidance now suggests that: Zero hour contracts are only appropriate in situations where an employee is engaged in seasonal work or a […]

3 Dec 2015

City Link: red tape requirement serves as a warning to directors

It’s bad enough that your business is having to make redundancies, which means you are probably in a tricky place commercially to say the least. But what if you overlook submitting the HR1 to the Secretary of State? Recently the Secretary of State prosecuted three former directors of City Link for failure to do just […]

24 Nov 2015

Sometimes it’s no party after the Christmas party. Unfair dismissal claims: when is it ok to sack one employee but not another?

With it almost being Christmas party season, I thought I would cover something perhaps a bit topical. I was asked last week whether we get lots of calls from clients after Christmas parties. Truth be told, I am disappointed to say that the answer is “not so much any more”. However, the EAT recently ruled […]

12 Nov 2015

The tricky question of dismissing long term sick employees….

We are often asked how far employers need to go before dismissing an employee who is off sick long-term. This is frankly a tricky one which is why we thought we’d flag the recent case of Monmouthshire County Council v Harris in which the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) gave us some useful reminders. The facts […]

5 Nov 2015

Whistleblowing: can the public interest test be satisfied more easily than first anticipated?

The recent case of Underwood v Wincanton saw the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) give further consideration of how to interpret the words “in the public interest” for the purposes of protected disclosure. In June 2013 the public interest test was introduced to prevent workers from relying on breaches of their own employment contracts as protected […]

7 Sep 2015

Are we facing the end of the £30k tax exemption on termination payments?

Under the banner of “we want to simplify the tax regime” the Government has issued a consultation paper on the tax treatment of termination payments. They believe that the current system is “fraught with confusion and uncertainty”. Well, that might on occasion be true, but really is this just a chance for HMRC to get […]

26 May 2015

Clamp down on zero hours contracts in force today

One of the big issues debated in the lead up to the election was the use of zero hours contracts.  They seem to be like Marmite – some people love them, some hate them. New regulations came into force today to ban any term in a zero hours contract that prevents a worker on such a […]

26 May 2015

What is “in the public interest” for whistleblowing cases?

Employers breathed a bit of a sigh of relief when the whistleblowing legislation was tightened up in 2013 so that there had to be a “public interest” element to a complaint.  Until this point, employees were able to complain about a breach of a legal obligation in relation to their own employment relationships with their […]

19 Mar 2015

Revised ACAS Code of Practice in force from 11 March 2015

The new ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures came into force on 11 March 2015.  The changes are only minor and address the matter of who can be a companion. In practice the changes are unlikely to make any real difference, but as we sometimes get questions about whether an employer can […]