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Employment

New Appointment for Brethertons Employment Team

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We are pleased to welcome Emma Fyson as a Senior Associate to our  Employment team. Emma joins Brethertons from Deloitte LLP where she held the position of Employment Legal Counsel. Prior to that, Emma was a Senior Solicitor within AXA...

Recovering Tribunal Costs

Emma Simmonds
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In the Employment Tribunal the general rule is that each party will bear their own costs. Unlike the Civil Courts, the successful party cannot normally reclaim their costs from the other side. There are exceptions to this rule, if a party has acted...

Changes to Payments in Lieu of Notice

Emma Simmonds
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When an employee’s employment is terminating, payments in lieu of notice (“PILONs”) allow employers to pay an employee their basic salary (often in a lump sum) for the notice period which they would otherwise be required to work. This is...

Gender Pay Gap update

Emma Simmonds
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The Gender Pay Gap has caused controversy among many and has been the topic of countless debates. It seems that the inequality in pay may be down to more than just direct discrimination, but due to a lack of salary increases for part time workers. Research...

The ET fee claims process

Kathryn Pickard
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Last Friday the employment team received remittance advice from HM Courts and Tribunals Service regarding our first application for Employment Tribunal (‘ET’) fee reimbursement.  The online reimbursement application process is quick and...

The Gender Pay Gap

Emma Simmonds
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Many of you will be familiar with the term the Gender Pay Gap. This is the difference in the average earnings of men and women. In order to reduce the size of the Gender Pay Gap the government has introduced the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap...

Sponsorship licences - what you need to know

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Employers are currently struggling to recruit, unemployment rates are low, and in certain industries and sectors the ‘battle for talent’ is a real problem. Employers need to recruit to fill skills gaps in their organisations and some are...

It's that time again... Welcome to 2018!

Amy Edwards
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The first week back at work is always tough, but at least by now, you are getting over the post-holiday blues! I hope that everyone’s New Year’s resolutions are going well, and you have not delved into the box of chocolates just yet. Lots...

Employee, Worker or Self-Employed?

Emma Simmonds
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The distinction between workers and the self employed has caused vast confusion to employers and employees in 2017 and is likely to continue to do so in 2018.  We have seen a number of recent cases brought to Tribunal to clarify the status of an...

Tribunal Fee Refunds

Emma Simmonds
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The day has come; the pilot scheme for Tribunal Fee Refunds has finished and has now been opened up to everyone. If you paid a Tribunal fee since the introduction in July 2013 then you can apply for a refund either online or by post. If you think you are...

Tribunal fees refund scheme commences

Kathryn Pickard
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Further to the Supreme Court’s decision in July 2017 that the Employment Tribunal (‘ET’) fees regime was unlawful, and the immediate abolition of the fees, the Government launched the opening stage of its ET fee refund scheme last week....

Workload wellbeing

Kathryn Pickard
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World Mental Health Day happens every year on the 10 October.  Its objective is to raise awareness of mental health issues and to mobilise efforts in support of mental health care around the world.  We work to live (or live to work), so it is...

Flexible Working

Emma Simmonds
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Flexible working is a term that strikes fear in many employers. June 2014 saw flexible working rights extended to all employees not just parents. This means that any employee (provided they are eligible) can make a formal or informal request to change their...

Latest gig economy decision - drivers are workers, not self-employed

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Unless you have managed to escape to an exotic destination for the last few months (without the use of a taxi) you will have, at the least, heard the name “Uber” in the news. Uber was first in the public eye just over a year ago in relation to a...

Tribunal Fees Update

Emma Simmonds
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The uncertainty regarding Tribunal Fees continues.  The President of the Employment Tribunals has said that all claims brought “in reliance upon the decision of the Supreme Court” in the Unison case are to be stayed. This means that claims...

What does the Employment Tribunal fees ruling mean for employees?

Emma Simmonds
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As you have probably already heard the Supreme Court has decided that the current Employment Tribunal fees are in fact unlawful. Unison brought proceedings to challenge the legality of  Employment Tribunal fees (the fees that an employee has to pay...

What does the Employment Tribunal Fee ruling mean?

Amy Edwards
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As you have probably already heard the Supreme Court has decided that the current Employment Tribunal fees (the fees that an employee has to pay when they want to bring a claim against their employer) are in fact unlawful. There has been huge...

Are you afraid of employment tribunals?

Amy Edwards
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The words ‘Employment Tribunal’ have always caused fear in employers, but why?   The main reason is that most people fear the unknown.  You will have heard horror stories about someone else’s experience (which you need to...

Worker or self-employed? A drive to determine status

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Uber , a company which allows users to book and pay for a cab through a smartphone app, is reportedly defending claims in the Employment Tribunal made by drivers who consider that they are workers for Uber. Uber considers these drivers are...

Gender pay reporting requirements

Amy Edwards
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As from 1st October 2016, employers with 250 employees or more will be expected to comply with new gender reporting requirements, with the first report being required by no later than 30th April 2018. The Equality Act (Gender Pay Gap Information)...

National Living Wage...Have you budgeted?

Amy Edwards
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As of 1st April 2016, the Government’s new National Living Wage (NLW) will become law. The NLW supports the Government’s vision of a higher wage, lower welfare and lower tax society and is in effect a political spin (albeit a significant jump) on...

Do you have a right to read your employees private emails?

Amy Edwards
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This is a question that somewhat surprisingly made its way to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in the recent case of Barbulescu v Romania. Mr Barbulescu was employed as an engineer in charge of sales. As part of his duties, Mr Barbulescu was asked...

Whistleblower paid £137,000 after being "bullied" out of his job

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Hot off the press! Just over a week ago – news spread in the construction industry of Balfour Beatty paying out a six figure sum to a whistleblower who accused the company of under-estimating potential profits. Nigel McArthur, from Devon, worked as a...

New Year, New Start, New Resolutions

Amy Edwards
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Let us start by first off wishing you a very Happy New Year! As with every New Year, it starts with the normal New Year resolutions of “ I must lose weight,” “ I must exercise more…etc.” …but what about New Years...

Right to rent checks - are you ready for 1st February 2016?

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From 1 February 2016 all private landlords in England, including those subletting or taking in lodgers, will need to check the immigration status of all of their tenants, before entering into a new tenancy. These new rules are set out in the Immigration Act...

Zero Hour Contracts...what next

Amy Edwards
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Zero hour contracts have been the talk of the town since the Conservatives came into power….but what’s the latest on them now? With effect from 11th January 2016, the Government introduced The Exclusivity Terms in Zero Hour Contracts...

'Tis the season to be jolly...the festive frolics of Christmas

Amy Edwards
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With the countdown to Christmas drawing near, most of us are busy worrying about critical matters such as who we can drop from the Christmas card list this year (have you seen the price of stamps?!).  However, for employers, this is also the time of...

Are employees on long term sick "assigned" for TUPE transfer?

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This question was discussed in the case of BT Managed Services v Edwards where it was held by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) that an employee on long term sick will not be assigned to the grouping given that their absence is permanent and there is no...

Can your Facebook status haunt you for years to come?

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We’ve all seen that time when you go to check your news feed on Facebook and see someone making a derogatory comment about their manager or fellow colleagues. The question is, can this have any affect on their future employment with the company? This...

Modern Slavery Act - are you compliant?

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The requirement to produce a “slavery and human trafficking statement” has, with effect from 29th October 2015, been introduced via section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. From this date, businesses in the UK are now required to disclose the...

How much will the Rugby World Cup cost you?

Amy Edwards
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Well apart from England’s very untimely exit, the RWC has been a huge success. There have been some thrilling encounters (who will ever forget Japan’s triumph over the Springboks). However you’d be forgiven if you think the All...

Disciplinary Proceedings - how much can your HR team be involved?

Amy Edwards
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This was a question posed in the Employment Appeal Tribunal in the case of Ramphal v Department for Transport [2015] UKEAT/0352/14/DA, where it was found that a dismissing or investigating officer could seek guidance and advice from HR, provided always that...

Abolition of £30,000 relief on Termination Payments?

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I recently wrote a blog on Settlement Agreements entitled “What should you be aware of?” In my blog, I discussed the common misconceptions we come across when we help a customer with a settlement agreement. One of those issues was the...

We owe you how much?!

Amy Edwards
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In my previous blogs I’ve looked at how much holiday an employee is entitled to and the rules on employees taking holiday, however recent case law has provided employers with an even bigger problem; how to calculate holiday pay. Until very recently...

Immigration Bill - Employers, Landlords, Letting Agents & Skilled Workers affected

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Against the current backdrop of the migration crisis of asylum seekers fleeing Syria and the Middle East, the Government yesterday published details of the Immigration Bill 2015 .  James Brokenshire, the Immigration Minister, explained that the...

Let's all go on holiday

Amy Edwards
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In my earlier blog we looked at holiday entitlement, but that’s only the first potential headache for HR Managers! Next up, we deal with the employee taking time off – or believe it or not, not taking any holiday at all. As a general principle...

The Rugby World Cup - a HR headache waiting to happen?

Amy Edwards
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In a word, yes!  My family life pretty much revolves around rugby: my husband manages to fit in his day job of building surveying around his rugby, and our whole weekends are governed by where he is playing and dinner time depends on what time he gets...

Getting over the post holiday blues

Amy Edwards
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My commute into work this morning took ages rather than the leisurely jam free drive I have had for the last 2 months. That can only mean one thing…everyone is back at their desks, children are back at school and normal service has been resumed. You...

Settlement Agreements... what should you be aware of?

Amy Edwards
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You’ve employed Joe Bloggs for 4 years as a Sales Executive. A year ago you noticed a change in his work, failure to meet targets and a lack of commitment to the role. You’ve tried to call him into a meeting to try and discuss matters in...

A dog's for life. A restrictive covenant isn't.

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Giving advice on the enforceability of restrictive covenants involves careful analysis of the precise wording and consideration of their effect (intended or otherwise.) Contrary to popular belief, the courts regularly enforce restrictive covenants, provided...

Who's afraid of the Home Office?

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Immigration issues seem to be constantly in the news at the moment. A new Immigration Bill announced on 21 May indicates that immigration regulations will be tightened still further. Whether or not these rules will actually help businesses remains to be...

Severing remote access for the long term sick - a word of caution

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The Equality Act 2010 protects individuals against direct and indirect discrimination.  Indirect discrimination occurs where a condition is applied which disadvantages a ‘protected’ group.  So what of cutting off email access to a...

Getting the best out of your employees

Amy Edwards
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We all know that last year Virgin introduced unlimited leave for all Virgin Management Staff which, is reported to be working well. Now, Virgin have gone one step further and introduced a full year’s shared parental leave for all employees with four...

TUPE: A change of emphasis

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Isn’t it always the way with employment law? Just when you think you’ve got to grips with some of the more complex issues, the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) goes and moves the goalposts and the game changes!   The Transfer of...

Settlement Agreements... what's the deal?

Amy Edwards
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You’ve been employed by Company X for 4 years. A year ago, a new manager came in and took the ropes and since then, you don’t see eye to eye. You’ve tried to meet with the manager to try and resolve matters but it’s got to the stage...

Increases in National Minimum Wage

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The announcement in this week’s Budget of increases in the National Minimum Wage comes at a time when small businesses are already facing increased costs as a result of pensions auto-enrolment.  Businesses have already seen the withdrawal of...

Contracts of Employment

Amy Edwards
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There are many different types of contracts of employment, the most controversial being zero hours contracts.  The Conservatives have been true to their word and have now  made exclusivity in zero hours contracts illegal.  If you use casual...

New Government, new era...

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...But what’s changed in the world of employment law? With the General Election hype now over and the Conservative Party winning an overall majority, we take a look at some of the key manifesto pledges of the new Government that are likely to have an...

Fit For Work Scheme - Could this resolve all your sickness problems?

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Fit for Work Scheme (FFW)  The Government has launched an occupational heath service whose sole purpose is to reduce the number of employees on long-term sickness absence. It was intended for this to be rolled out in May 2015…although this...

Soothing summer headaches

Amy Edwards
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As the sun is finally beginning to shine, many people are beginning to make plans for the Summer months.  Likewise, businesses need to start preparing too – the Summer often throws up a number of headaches for employers, and the better prepared...

The countdown is on

Amy Edwards
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In a little under 3 weeks, on 5 April 2015, Shared Parental Leave (SPL) comes into force. The idea behind Shared Parental Leave is that both parents can share up to 50 weeks of the mother’s maternity leave after the child is born. You should start...

Exclusivity in zero-hour contracts? Not anymore!

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Zero-hour contracts have been in the news again recently, this time because they are included in the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill which has started its long passage through Parliament. The Bill addresses the specific issue relating to...

Flexible working rights extended to all

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On 30 June 2014 the law relating to flexible working changed. The right to request flexible working is no longer restricted to those with children or carers of vulnerable adults. Now, all employees with at least 26 weeks’ (6 months) service can request...