Tag Archives: Employment (UK)

European Court confirms obesity can be a disability under EU law

In our previous blog, “Are obese workers protected from discrimination” , we confirmed the advocate general’s opinion in the case of Kaltoft v Municipality of Billund (case C-354/13) that while obese workers were not automatically covered by EU disability discrimination law, the worker may be considered to be disabled where he or she is “severely, … Continue Reading

Holiday Pay – What Are Your Minimum Legal Requirements?

Welcome to the first in a series of blogs covering global employment law issues. Each month we will be sending you information about key employment law topics from our offices across the globe. The first of our topics is: Holiday Pay – What Are Your Minimum Legal Requirements? United Kingdom In the United Kingdom, all … Continue Reading

Gender equality and pay

This summer, 30 female managers, backed by the Transport Salaried Staff Association, launched an equal pay claim against Network Rail. The managers allege that they are being paid between £3,000 and £4,000 less a year than male colleagues doing the same job. The TSSA claims that if these 30 claimants are successful, 3,000 female employees … Continue Reading

Shared Parental Leave Regulations come into force

The Shared Parental Leave Regulations are now in force. Parents of children who are due to be born or adopted on or after 5 April 2015 will be entitled to 50 weeks of shared leave, and have the opportunity to request leave either simultaneously or consecutively, in continuous or discontinuous blocks. Background The UK Government … Continue Reading

How much should employers be paying workers for holidays? Part 2

Summary Yesterday’s decision by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) in Bear Scotland Ltd v Fulton and ors (and conjoined cases) on holiday pay has the potential to affect any employer that requires its workers to work overtime. The EAT held that both guaranteed and non-guaranteed compulsory overtime worked by a worker should be included when … Continue Reading

What Ebola means for employers worldwide

As more terrible news of the on-going Ebola epidemic continues to reach us each day, and with the disease showing no sign of slowing, employers around the world are asking what steps they should be taking regarding their employees, both now and in the future, if the disease spreads closer to home. We take a … Continue Reading

The end of the “percentage argument” in TUPE negotiations?

Time after time, businesses are faced with (and use themselves) the classic argument in TUPE negotiations: “Of course the employee must transfer under TUPE – he spends more than 50% of his time on the transferring service”. It is a very convenient and much rolled-out line of reasoning, which can work in both directions (“Of … Continue Reading

Are obese workers protected from discrimination?

Summary An opinion on whether an obese worker is protected under discrimination law has been issued by Advocate General Jääskinen. It was found that while obese workers are not automatically covered, where a worker is "severely, extremely or morbidly obese", the worker may be considered to be disabled and therefore protected under discrimination law. We … Continue Reading

Planning for an independent Scotland – Employment & Pensions Issues

This post was also written by William Sutton. It is less than two months now until the referendum on Scottish independence. So far as lawyers are concerned, Scotland is already a separate legal jurisdiction.  However, subject to some very minor differences, Scotland’s employment law is sufficiently similar to the law in England & Wales that the … Continue Reading

How much should employers be paying employees on holiday?

With school holidays under way, thoughts of UK employees are now turning to their summer holidays. Given the far-reaching implications of the recent case of Lock v British Gas, employers with employees on commission arrangements need to take special care when paying employees during annual leave. Summary The recent European Court of Justice decision in … Continue Reading

Restrictive Covenants – Little way out for employers when the drafting goes wrong

In the recent case of Prophet  Plc – v- Huggett, the Court of Appeal reminded employers how vitally important it is to ensure that the drafting of restrictive covenants is accurate and well thought through.  Overturning an earlier High Court judgment, the Court of Appeal refused to re-write an unambiguous, but commercially meaningless, restrictive covenant … Continue Reading

Selecting a Retirement Age: Is 65 just a number?

Summary The EAT has issued a decision in the well-known and long-running retirement case of Seldon v Clarkson Wright and Jakes, which dealt with the question: Was the retirement age of 65 PROPORTIONATE to achieve the firm’s stated aims of retention of staff and workforce planning? Following the removal of the default retirement age, employers … Continue Reading

Early Conciliation

As part of the government’s aim to reduce employment litigation, a mandatory Tribunal pre-claim conciliation process is about to be introduced. This early conciliation process was introduced on a voluntary basis on the 6th April 2014, and will be mandatory for most Employment Tribunal claims from the 6th May 2014. What is early conciliation? Early … Continue Reading

Victimisation under the Equality Act 2010 – ex-employees are now protected (again!)

The Equality Act 2010 makes it unlawful to subject an employee to detriment because they have raised (or are threatening to raise) a complaint about discrimination – so-called “victimisation.” Over the last year or so there have been conflicting judgments from the Employment Appeal Tribunal on the issue of ex-employees and whether they are protected … Continue Reading

Costs in Tribunals – what employers should know

Costs awards in Employment Tribunals do not ‘follow the event’: a losing party will not automatically find themselves having to pay the other party’s costs of the litigation. However, the Tribunal has discretion to order costs where a party, or their representative, has acted “vexatiously, abusively, disruptively, or otherwise unreasonably” in the bringing or conducting … Continue Reading

Settlement discussions – when can employers safely use the ‘without prejudice’ rule?

For employers wanting to bring an employment relationship to an end, whether for disciplinary or performance related reasons or simply because it is not working out, it is often difficult to judge the right time to have a ‘without prejudice’ conversation with an employee. Get it wrong and the contents of that discussion may be used … Continue Reading

Three ‘golden rules’ when considering whether an employee is disabled

Last month, we looked at when employer might be deemed to have knowledge of an employee’s disability, discussing (among other cases) the EAT’s decision Gallop v Newport County Council. At that time we noted that the appeal had already been heard in the Court of Appeal but judgment had been reserved.  The Court of Appeal has … Continue Reading

Reed Smith successfully defends Channel 4 and IMG Media in discrimination case

A Reed Smith team, led by employment partner Graham Green and including associates Tom Remington and Amy Ferrington, acted for Channel 4 and IMG Media in successfully defending the age discrimination claim brought by John McCririck in the London Central Employment Tribunal. Mr McCririck had claimed that the decision not to select him for a … Continue Reading

Faced with an employee unlikely to ever return to work? What can you do?

Most employers recognise the need to treat employees who are on long-term sick leave fairly and with compassion. But this has to be balanced with the needs of the business, and sometimes it becomes clear that unfortunately an employee will never be able come back to work, and the employment relationship simply has to be brought … Continue Reading

TUPE service provision change – look at what is going on ‘on the ground’, as well as the contract

In the recent case of Lorne Stewart plc v Hyde and others, the EAT made clear that it is important not to get side-tracked by the details of formal written contracts which are in place between the parties before and after a potential TUPE transfer, if such details do not reflect reality. Rather, it is essential … Continue Reading
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