In the recent case of Ranson v Customer Systems Plc, the Court of Appeal considers whether behaviour of a senior employee during his notice period in taking steps to compete with his employer was in breach of his duty of fidelity and whether there existed a fiduciary duty which would have placed stricter obligations on the employee. The case highlights the importance of the employment contract and reminds employers of the need to update job descriptions, job duty clauses and post termination restrictions as employees are promoted, so as to ensure they are appropriate and relevant to employees’ roles at all times.Continue Reading Preparing to compete – employee duties
In Seawell Ltd v Ceva Freight (UK) Ltd and another UKEATS/0034/11, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) held that an employee who spent 100% of his time working for a single client was not an “organised grouping of employees” for the purposes of regulation 3(3)(a)(i) of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employees) Regulations 2006 (“TUPE”). Therefore when the client brought in-house work previously carried out by the Claimant’s employer, there was no service provision change.
Continue Reading Service provision changes: Is an employee who works only for one client an “organised grouping of employees”?
Following abolition of the national default retirement age of 65 last year, the Government left open the possibility for employers to introduce their own “employer justified retirement age” provided the age set was capable of being objectively justified in order to meet the employer’s legitimate aims for introducing this policy. A recent decision of the Supreme Court in Seldon v Clarkson Wright and Jakes (A Partnership) indicates that although it may be technically possible to justify a retirement age, an employer will be taking a big risk in attempting to do so (the Seldon case concerned a partnership but the same principles will apply in an employment case). In another decision heard at the same time, Homer v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, the Supreme Court considered whether an employer’s policy of restricting promotion to employees with a law degree was justified indirect age discrimination against an employee who didn’t have a law degree and didn’t have the time to obtain one before retirement.
Continue Reading UK Supreme Court rules on two important age discrimination cases
The London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics Games are just around the corner! The Olympic Games take place from 27 July to 12 August 2012 and the Paralympic Games from 29 August to 9 September 2012.
This briefing contains guidance on the issues employers are likely to face as a result of employees who have volunteered at the Games, and those wishing to attend events as spectators or follow the Games at work. Due to the unique circumstances of the event it is important for employers to have clear policies in place well before the Games, and for the policies to be communicated effectively to all staff.Continue Reading London Olympic and Paralympic Games 2012: Employee Considerations
This post was also written by Fiona McFarlane.
It is that time of year again when the UK Government brings into force legislative changes relating to employment law. In this update we highlight the changes taking place in April 2012 and consider the impact these might have for employers.Continue Reading What’s Coming Up in UK Employment Law in April?
The Government has recently issued a new “Call for Evidence”, Dealing with dismissal and “Compensated no fault dismissal” for micro businesses. The main aim of the paper is to gather evidence from businesses to establish what can be done to encourage small employers to recruit more employees, whilst at the same time ensuring some protection for employee rights. The paper also aims to gather evidence regarding the dismissal process, and in particular how well the 2009 Acas Code works in the case of dismissals for underperformance. Continue Reading Dealing with dismissal and compensated no fault dismissal for micro businesses
This post was also written by Fiona McFarlane.
In Caterpillar Logistics Services (UK) Ltd v Huesca de Crean, an employee who had no restrictive covenant in her contract of employment prohibiting her working for a third party, could not be prevented from taking up employment with a client of her former employer on the grounds that she might breach a confidentiality agreement she had entered into with her former employer. Nor would the Court grant a “barring order” which would prohibit the employee from being involved in a commercial relationship between the employee’s former employer and its client.Continue Reading UK Court of Appeal refuses to uphold a barring order against a former employee
In the case of Eddie Stobart v Moreman & Others the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has provided welcome guidance on the meaning of “organised grouping of employees” for the purposes of a “service provision change” under regulation 3(3)(a)(i) of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employees) Regulations 2006 (“TUPE”). A group of employees who happened to work mainly for a particular client because they worked the day shift were found not to comprise an “organised grouping of employees” for “service provision change” purposes under TUPE. The EAT held that, when assessing whether employees will transfer to a new contractor following a service provision change, it is necessary to identify the existence of an “organised grouping of employees” the principal purpose of which is to carry out the relevant activities on behalf of the client, before analysing whether employees are assigned to that group. There will only be an “organised grouping” where the employees in question are “organised” for the purposes of the provision of services to the relevant client.
Continue Reading Service provision changes: UK EAT gives guidance on the meaning of an “organised grouping of employees”
The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has provided guidance on when the expiry of a fixed term contract will count toward the number of dismissals proposed by an employer that triggers collective redundancy consultation obligations.
The EAT held that employees who were dismissed by virtue of the expiry of their fixed term contracts were not dismissed for “redundancy” under the wider definition of that concept contained in s.195 Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 (TULCRA) and therefore their dismissals did not count toward the number of dismissals required to trigger collective redundancy consultation obligations under s.188 TULCRA minimum 20 employee threshold. (University of Stirling v University and College Union). This decision should be treated with caution since not all dismissals on expiry of fixed term contracts will fall outside s.188 obligations. Such dismissals may ‘count’ when the dismissals are part of a wider exercise involving job losses and in other circumstances where the dismissal does not relate to the employee’s performance or conduct.Continue Reading Expiry of fixed term contracts and UK collective redundancy consultation
UK employment lawyers and HR professionals need to be on the alert this year to keep up with the numerous consultations and proposals which have been or are expected to be initiated by the Government. The key developments this year will be the increase in April in the qualifying period for unfair dismissal rights from one to two years and, in October, the introduction of the new pensions auto-enrolment rules but more is in the pipeline. Continue Reading What’s coming up in UK employment law in 2012?