Archives: Employment (UK)

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Protecting Whistleblowers in the UK – Is the Law Sufficient?

With instances of whistleblowing hitting the press on an ever-increasing basis, does UK law do enough to protect employees who blow the whistle on their employer’s wrongdoing? According to a new report published by the international NGO, Blueprint for Free Speech, and the Thomson Reuters Foundation (the “Report”), the answer to this question is a … Continue Reading

EAT Decision Sheds New Light on Scope of ACAS Code on Ill Health Dismissals

In the recent case of Holmes v Qinetiq Ltd, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) considered for the first time whether the power to increase or decrease an award of compensation for a failure to comply with the ACAS Code of Practice extends to dismissals on the grounds of ill health. The EAT concluded that the … Continue Reading

Do employers have the right to read employees’ private emails?

A recent European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) case (Barbulescu -v- Romania) has attracted much publicity in the UK press as giving employers the green light to read employees’ private emails. Is that correct and does this case really change things? Background Mr Barbulescu was employed as an engineer in charge of sales. His employer … Continue Reading

New Rights for Zero-Hours Workers

A quick reminder that new rules in place as of 11 January 2016 give greater protection to zero-hours workers, protecting them from dismissal and suffering from a detriment if they seek to work for another employer while engaged under a zero-hours contract. Background A great deal of debate took place at the time of the … Continue Reading

New rules on whistleblowing for UK financial institutions

The FCA and PRA have announced a new package of rules aimed at formalising whistleblowing procedures within certain financial institutions. The rules will be implemented on 7 September 2016; however firms covered by the new regime must comply with the requirement to appoint a ‘whistleblowers’ champion’ by the earlier date of 7 March 2016. Background … Continue Reading

Guidance on the Recruitment and Retention of Transgender Staff in the UK

The UK Government has published new guidance for employers regarding the recruitment and retention of transgender staff. Its stated aim is to make sure employers are equipped to create an inclusive culture for all of their staff and act as a practical guide for managers. The guidance emphasises that there is a strong business case … Continue Reading

Government publishes guidance on the reporting obligation in the Modern Slavery Act

Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act (MSA) requires certain businesses to publish an annual statement explaining what steps they are taking to ensure there is no modern slavery within their own business and their supply chains. During consultation on this measure, businesses repeatedly called for effective and practical guidance on what a modern slavery … Continue Reading

Government announces requirement for large employers to publish details of bonuses awarded to employees

This week, the Government announced a further measure aimed at eliminating gender pay inequality, requiring larger businesses with more than 250 employees to publish information regarding the bonuses awarded to their male and female employees. This announcement is part of the Government’s existing strategy aimed at eliminating pay inequalities between men and women. This strategy … Continue Reading

HR Influence in Disciplinary Proceedings Can Render Dismissals Unfair

In Ramphal v Department for Transport (EAT – 2015), the EAT has provided guidance on the appropriate level of HR involvement in disciplinary proceedings. The case concerns an employee who was dismissed for gross misconduct relating to his expenses and use of hire cars. It was clear from evidence given at the employment tribunal that … Continue Reading

Employment Appeal Tribunal confirms temporary agency workers’ right to information about permanent vacancies is limited

In Coles –v– Ministry of Defence, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) has confirmed that agency workers’ rights to be provided with information about permanent vacancies within the organisation in which they work is just that; there is no right to be considered for the vacancy, whether on equal terms with permanent staff or otherwise. The … Continue Reading

Indirect discrimination claim may be brought where Claimant does not have protected characteristic

In the case of CHEZ Razpredelenie Bulgaria, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) has extended the concept of indirect discrimination to cover those who do not have a protected characteristic, but who are associated with such people. In this case, a Bulgarian shop owner was protected from indirect discrimination affecting members of the Roma community, … Continue Reading

Just how wide is the band of reasonable responses for misconduct dismissals?

In Newbound v Thames Water Utilities Ltd, the Court of Appeal has restored an Employment Tribunal’s decision that the Claimant was unfairly dismissed for a breach of his employer’s health and safety procedures. The case is a reminder that, although an employer’s decision to dismiss must only be within a band of reasonable responses to … Continue Reading

Acas Early Conciliation – One Year On

In May 2014, in an attempt to simplify the Tribunal system and make it more efficient, the Government imposed a duty on claimants to attempt early conciliation through Acas before bringing a claim. A recent report provides information about the impact of Acas Early Conciliation in its first year. The Early Conciliation Process The Acas … Continue Reading

Prime Minister: Businesses with Turnover of £36 Million or More Must Publish Annual Statements on Slavery and Human Trafficking

This morning the Prime Minister made an important announcement regarding the new reporting requirement in the Modern Slavery Act. David Cameron confirmed that businesses with a turnover of £36 million or more will be caught by the Act and will therefore be required to produce an annual slavery and human trafficking statement from October 2015. … Continue Reading

Trade Union Bill Published

On 15 July 2015, the Government published a draft Trade Union Bill which sets out changes to tighten the law on industrial action. What is the current position? There is no general right to take industrial action under UK law. In most cases, employees taking industrial action will be acting unlawfully since by doing so, … Continue Reading

The legality of employee strike action

Welcome to Reed Smith’s Monthly Global Employment Law blog post. This month’s post covers the legality of employee strikes in five key jurisdictions: France, Germany, Hong Kong, the UK and the United States. France According to the French Supreme Court, a lawful strike action is defined as a collective cessation of work, the purpose of … Continue Reading

Closing the Gender Pay Gap

This week the Government confirmed it will issue regulations requiring employers who have 250 or more employees to publish gender pay information. This blog explores the impact for employers. The Government has now confirmed its intention to legislate under section 78 of the Equality Act 2010 which gives the Government power to issue regulations requiring … Continue Reading

Should voluntary overtime be included when calculating holiday pay?

Another decision has been handed down to clarify – or complicate – the position on which aspects of pay should be included when calculating an employee’s entitlement to holiday pay. The Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland (“CA”) has held that voluntary overtime is not necessarily excluded from the calculation of holiday pay for the … Continue Reading
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