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News Category: Employment

  • 28 January 2016

    Sickness Absence Policies: Making Reasonable Adjustments

    In Griffiths v The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2015] EWCA Civ 1265, the Court of Appeal has held that the threshold for sanctions under a sickness absence policy can be subject to the duty to make reasonable adjustments, but considered what adjustments would be seen as "reasonable" in the circumstances. Read more

  • 28 January 2016

    What Now For Workplace Privacy?

    Recently there has been a lot of press attention about the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in Barbulescu v Romania. Some sensationalist commentators have been quick to decry the death of privacy for employees. Others have said that the judgment does little to change the current law. But what does this judgment actually mean? Read more

  • 28 January 2016

    Legislation update

    In this month's legislation update, we review two important pieces of legislation affecting employers and which will come into force in early 2016. Read more

  • 29 May 2015

    Criminal test for dishonesty does not apply in alleged misconduct cases

    Mrs Gondalia had been a cashier at Tesco for 16 years. Tesco operates a policy whereby if a customer is charged full price for a product that is marked at a discount, they will refund double the amount that has been overcharged. Gondalia noticed that customers were being charged full price for Easter eggs that were marked at a discount. She finished her shift and on two occasions purchased a number of Easter eggs at full price and then took them to Customer Services to claim double the difference. She did not hide what she was doing and made it clear that she knew the eggs were wrongly marked but was still given the double the difference refund of £18. Following an investigation and disciplinary proceedings, Mrs Gondalia was dismissed for gross misconduct. Read more

  • 29 May 2015

    Costs can be awarded even if an employee cannot afford to pay

    An employment tribunal can decide whether to make a costs order. The recent case of Chadburn v Doncaster & Bassetlaw Hospital NHS Foundation Trust makes it clear that, in making its decision, the tribunal will not only consider what the claimant can afford to pay at the time the costs award is made but may take future income into account. Read more

  • 29 May 2015

    Woolworths Case: ECJ judgment

    The ECJ has given its judgment in the Woolworths case, concerning collective redundancy consultation. It has ruled that, when deciding if collective redundancy consultation is required, each "establishment" should be treated separately and the EU Directive does not require the number of dismissals in all of an employer's different sites to be aggregated. Read more

  • 29 May 2015

    Holiday pay: British Gas to appeal decision in Lock

    In a recent article, we discussed the case of Lock v British Gas, in which an employment tribunal held that commission payments should be taken into account when calculating holiday pay. Read more

  • 29 May 2015

    Employee fairly dismissed for disobeying instruction not to contact ICO

    Mr Barton was employed by the Royal Borough of Greenwich (Greenwich) as a tenancy relations officer. He was an elected union shop steward and a health and safety representative. In 2011 a colleague, Mr Oree, contacted Mr Barton, expressing concern that his manager, Ms Thomas, had emailed "hundreds of documents and emails" to her home computer. Mr Oree believed that these documents contained confidential personal data about himself. Read more

  • 18 May 2015

    Using confidential information in a new job

    The law provides protection for a business’ confidential information. This protection is often strengthened through formal confidentiality provisions in contracts or specific non-disclosure agreements. However, there can often be considerable uncertainty as to whether knowledge that an employee develops is confidential information protected in law, or whether it is the employee's own knowledge that he is free to exploit elsewhere after his employment. Read more

  • 28 April 2015

    Zero hours worker: Significant award for injury to feelings

    Under section 26(1) of the Equality Act 2010 (EqA 2010), harassment is defined as unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic that has the purpose or effect of violating a person's dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that person. Gender is one of the protected characteristics. An employer has a statutory defence to discrimination where it can show that it took all reasonable steps to prevent the individual who discriminated from doing that thing, or from doing anything of that description. Read more