Right road back to the office

The Government’s roadmap out of the current lockdown has undoubtedly been welcome news for employers, who can now start planning to reopen their businesses and bring their employees back to work. However, when putting these plans in place, there are many issues to consider, some of which we’ve outlined below: Effective communication and good planning […]

Online applications on the line

In the case of Mallon v Aecom Ltd, the Employment Appeal Tribunal was required to delve into the Equality Act 2010 and rule on the case of a job applicant with dyspraxia who claimed there had been failure to make reasonable adjustments for his disability when completing his online application. He said he was at […]

When a “sleep-in” counts as work

In Royal Mencap Society v Tomlinson-Blake and Shannon v Rampersad (t/a Clifton House Residential Home), the Supreme Court held that workers on sleep-in shifts are only entitled to pay in respect of the hours in which they were required to be awake for the purposes of working. The first claimant sought wage arrears for each […]

Further furlough and more self-employment grants

As announced in the Budget, the furlough scheme will be extended until September, with the Government continuing to pay 80% of furloughed workers’ wages until June. Thereafter, employers will be expected to contribute towards furloughed workers’ pay. From July, employers will be expected to pay 10%, increasing to 20% in August and September, with the […]

Document retention period changes

If you are working in HR, it is important that you are familiar with the statutory retention periods for certain documents which have been updated over time and most recently on 6 April 2021. We have set out a summary of the retention periods for key documents below. Ensure that you stick to the legal […]

Looking forward to life after lockdown

In its ‘Roadmap Reviews’ paper on 5 April the Government clarified how it intends to manage the pandemic once we take (hopefully) the final step out of lockdown on 21 June – when all restrictions are expected to be lifted. Included is a COVID-Status Certification Review, which will explore how COVID-status certification might help in […]

Navigating the business visitor rules

With the free movement of people from Europe no longer possible following the end of the Brexit transition period, and with the sponsored worker routes expensive and time-consuming, European companies are looking at other routes to be able to send its employees to the UK to do business. One of those routes is the Standard […]

Employment news – Issue five

Welcome to our latest Employment Update which covers a variety of topics, including an important ruling by the Supreme Court and employment status, an update regarding the equal pay claims against Asda and key information for employers navigating the new immigration rules. We also give the latest on furlough, the fourth self-employed grant, and advise […]

Asda equal pay ruling

In the latest installment of the equal pay claims saga, the Supreme Court rejected Asda’s appeal that shop floor workers could not be compared to workers in the warehouse. The claim, which has been ongoing since 2016, involves some 35,000 claimants who work on the shop floor. The claimants are predominantly female and argue that […]

Uber accepts drivers as “workers”

In Uber BV and Others v Aslam and Others, the Supreme Court looked in detail at the relationship between the US lift hailing company Uber and its drivers and ruled unanimously that Uber drivers are workers and are not self-employed. Uber drivers Mr Aslam, Mr Farrar and others first submitted an employment status claim to […]

A change to the Vento bands

Claimants in cases of discrimination, whistleblowing detriment and trade union dismissal can seek an award for injury to feelings as well as compensation for financial loss. From April this year the three bands of awards for injury to feelings-known as the Vento bands – have increased to the following: Lower band – £900 – £9,100 […]

Webinar: Emerging from lockdown and how to manage the return to the workplace

As the UK continues to progress along the government’s roadmap towards the end of restrictions, many employers are turning their minds to the return to getting their staff back into the workplace. With policies in place covering the physical return to the workplace, employers must now start consulting their staff about their return to the […]

Webinar: Looking back going forward: an employment law update

At the beginning of 2020 the focus of Employment Lawyers and HR professionals was on the impact of Brexit on the workplace. Then, when the pandemic struck and the Coronavirus Act 2020 was introduced, focus switched to home workers, key workers (those not able to work from home), the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the […]

Race case out of time

In Adedeji v University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, the Court of Appeal upheld an employment judge’s refusal to grant extra time to a man whose constructive unfair dismissal and race discrimination claim was submitted three days late. Most claims in the Employment Tribunal carry a time limit of 3 months which can only be […]

Gender pay gap reporting

Last year, enforcement of gender pay gap reporting was suspended due to Covid and many firms chose not to submit their reports. The Woman and Equalities Committee has called on the government to confirm that reporting will go ahead this year but, at the time of writing, no confirmation has been given. Since 1997, the […]

Are you ready for wage rises?

This is the time of year when employment lawyers and HR professionals prepare for the changes to rates and limits in the employment sector, and we’re getting ready to distribute our annual Data Booklet containing brief employment law information. These booklets will primarily be available in e-format because of the pandemic and because many people […]

Indirect sex discrimination – childcare

In the case of Cumming v British Airways plc the EAT considered how to determine if a provision, criteria or practice (PCP) indirectly discriminated against women due to their greater childcare responsibilities. It held that the tribunal must consider whether the PCP put women at a particular disadvantage, rather than whether it applied equally to […]

Is grievance procedure proof of contract?

In Gordon v J & D Pierce (Contracts) Limited, a man’s claim for unfair dismissal was refused because an employment judge said that, by having used his employer’s grievance procedure, he was still technicallyemployed. Mr Gordon resigned from structural steelwork contractors J & D Pierce (Contracts) Limited, and brought a claim ofconstructive dismissal after his […]

Extension to off payroll working rules

Before words like ‘coronavirus’, ‘pandemic’ and ‘social-distancing’ became part of our daily vocabulary, a topic high on the agenda was IR35 and the off-payroll working rules. In the Autumn 2018 Budget, the Government confirmed that the off-payroll working rules would be extended to the private sector from 6 April 2020. In response to the pandemic, […]

Employment news – Issue four

Welcome to the first Employment News of 2021. We hope that you are continuing to keep safe during the third national lockdown of the last 12 months. It can be difficult to stay optimistic during these times but it is promising to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel with the […]

Using the “reasonable steps” defence

Many employers when faced with a discrimination or harassment claim by one employee in relation to conduct by one or more other employees will seek to use the “reasonable steps” defence under s109(4) of the Equality Act 2010. If the employer can show that it took all reasonable steps to prevent employees from committing either […]

Recruiting overseas workers in 2021

Recruiting workers from overseas, whether from the EU or further afield, requires employers to navigate the UK’s immigration rules. For employers who are used to relying on the free movement of workers from Europe, the points-based system (“PBS”) is more complex and expensive than they are used to. For employers who are experienced in recruiting […]

‘No jab, no job’ – why we don’t advise employers to have a mandatory vaccination policy

We hear in the news this week that Charlie Mullins, famously litigious founder and CEO of Pimlico Plumbers, has announced that he has instructed the company’s lawyers to draft new employment contracts making it mandatory for staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19. If that is the case, it is not an enviable position for those […]

Wages to rise up in spring

The Government has published the new National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage, which will take effect from 6 April 2021. The changes will include lowering the age of eligibility for the National Living Wage,from 25 years to 23 years. The new rates will be as follows: Age 23 or over (NLW rate): £8.91 (currently […]

A holiday fit for a queen

In November 2020, the Government announced an extra bank holiday for June 2022 in celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. As such, the late May Bank Holiday will be moved to Thursday 2 June 2022 and an additional bank holiday will be in place for Friday 3 June. This means we’ll all be able to […]

Employment news – Issue three

Read the final edition of the Employment News Update for 2020. It’s been an interesting year for employment law – having to get to grips fast with remote-working in the midst of a pandemic. In January, our main concern as employment lawyers was IR35 and the new clauses that had to be included in employment […]

Are anxious whistleblowers blowing into the wind?

Recent research by the whistleblowing charity Protect found that UK employers disregarded nearly half of all their employees’ coronavirus-related concerns. Not only that, but a fifth of whistleblowing employees lost their jobs as a result of raising issues related to the pandemic. According to the Protect report, 41% of all whistleblowers raising such concerns were […]

Health and Safety protections extended to Gig economy workers

The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain v The Secretary of State for Work & Pensions and others. A recent decision by the High Court to extend health-and-safety protections those engaged in the gig economy will have a huge impact on hundreds of thousands of workers. The Independent Workers Unions of Great Britain brought the […]

Webinar: Beware the automatic unfair dismissal

Many employers are having to make changes to their business, including restructuring and redundancy programmes. In doing so, it is important that they do not fall into the trap of assuming that it is safe to dismiss any employee who has less than two years’ service because they do not qualify for ordinary unfair dismissal. […]

Moore Barlow acts on MBO of the Serocor Group

Moore Barlow has advised the management team in their successful management buyout of the Serocor Group, the leading £100m+ turnover recruitment group headquartered in Portsmouth, Hampshire. The deal was supported by specialist asset based lender Breal-Zeta CF. Serocor is an award winning and well established recruitment group attracting, engaging and nurturing STEM talent in partnership with […]

I’m being offered a settlement agreement. Should I accept?

A major consequence of the pandemic is that our economy is suffering. This is having an impact on everyone with companies and businesses of all sizes and across different sectors finding themselves in financial difficulty. The government has put financial support in place to try and keep businesses afloat during this period. This includes the Coronavirus Job […]

Government support for jobs and the self-employed is extended into 2021

The government has just announced further extensions to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), also known as the furlough scheme, and Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). For further details on how the CJRS operates, see some guidance Job retention scheme. The CJRS was recently extended to the end of November to cover the second lockdown […]

Covid-19: Extension of furlough

The Prime Minister has announced that England will be entering into a national lockdown from Thursday 5 November until at least 2 December 2020. During the lockdown pubs, restaurants, gyms, non-essential shops and places of worship will close but schools and universities will stay open. People should work from home where possible but those industries where working […]

Covid-19: Three tier lockdown and extension to the Job Support Scheme

The Prime Minister has formally unveiled plans for a new three tier system for implementing local lockdowns restrictions across England. The system uses three levels which are ‘Medium’, ‘High’ and ‘Very High’ to determine the measures to be imposed in certain areas. Most areas are at medium level and those who are currently facing local […]

Personality clash dismissal permitted

In most cases, dismissal of an employee without following any sort of formal procedure would lead to the conclusion that the dismissal was unfair. However, in the unusual case of Gallacher v Abellio Scotrail Ltd the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) agreed with the Employment Tribunal’s (ET) decision that dismissal without following a procedure was within […]

Dismissal unfair despite no chance of compensation

An employee was entitled to bring a claim for unfair dismissal even where there was no reasonable prospect of recovering any compensation, according to an Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) ruling in the case of Evans v London Borough of Brent. Dr Evans was– a deputy head teacher involved in financial mismanagement which resulted in himself […]

Foster carers held to be Council employees

In the case of Glasgow City Council v Johnstone UKEATS/0011/18 the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT upheld a decision by the Employment Tribunal (ET) that two foster carers are employees of Glasgow City Council. In 2011, Mr and Mrs Johnstone were accepted as foster carers by Glasgow City Council. They subsequently brought claims in the Scottish […]

Week’s pay for a week’s furlough

With many companies starting to make redundancies as the furlough scheme begins to wind down, there has been much discussion of how to calculate notice pay and statutory redundancy payments, in particular whether these should be based on the employee’s usual salary or the reduced rate that they have been receiving on furlough. On 31 […]

Employment news – Issue two

Read our second issue of our employment newsletter, this month comes at a busy time for our employer clients. With the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme due to end on 31 October, the Chancellor unveiled plans on 24 September for the Job Support Scheme which is intended to follow from 1 November. We anticipate an increase […]

Furlough fraud of £3.5bn

In early September the Government revealed that an estimated £3.5 billion of Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme payments may have been claimed fraudulently or paid out in error. The scheme, which has been in operation since March, has so far cost the Government approximately £35.4 billion and the fraudulent and mistaken payments are thought to make […]

Covid-19: New Coronavirus Regulations now in force

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Isolation) (England) Regulations 2020 came into force in England at midnight. The Regulations confirm and set out the rules regarding mandatory periods of self-isolation following the rollout of the NHS contact tracing app. The Regulations also increase the level of fines for failing to comply with the self-isolation rules to as much […]

Webinar: As the furlough scheme draws to an end, what are your workplace options?

As the furlough scheme draws to an end, what are your workplace options? With only a few weeks to go, it is certainly something on a lot of employers mind. Date: Wednesday 7 October 2020Presenters: Katherine Maxwell, Partner at Moore Barlow Emma Edis, Partner at Moore Barlow Stephanie Clark, Associate solicitor at Moore Barlow This […]

Over two years on: ensuring you are still GDPR compliant as an employer

The 25 May 2020 marked two years since the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) came into force. Within the UK GDPR is implemented through the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA). Before the implementation of the DPA, businesses were busy making the necessary preparations to ensure that they would be compliant under the new regulations. This […]

Webinar: The ongoing challenge of bringing staff back to the workplace

Since 1 August, the government has given employers the green light to bring their employees back to the workplace (provided it is safe to do so), but it has been a slow trickle effect. Many people are opting to continue to work from home for a number of reasons, including health & safety, family commitments […]

Covid-19: New legislation for redundancy and notice pay of furloughed employees

The government has announced new legislation to ensure that furloughed employees who are made redundant will receive a statutory redundancy payment based on their normal rate of pay and not their reduced furlough pay. The same will apply in respect of notice payments for furloughed employees.  The new legislation is to come into force today (31 […]

Covid-19: Travel abroad and compulsory quarantine – how do employers manage this?

Schools have broken up for summer holidays and more employees are now venturing out and going abroad. Already we are seeing signs of further coronavirus related issues for employers. The first big challenge has been triggered by the government’s sudden decision to impose 14-day quarantine on those returning from Spain.This has implications for employees who […]

Webinar: To return to work – or not

The challenges of coronavirus and how employers manage returning to work We are facing a time of uncertainty as employees are encouraged to return to the workplace for economic and well being reasons, whilst at the same time being asked to work from home where possible. With the potential for conflict between offices re-opening versus […]

Case Law: WM Morrison Supermarkets plc v Various Claimants

When is an employer vicariously liable (i.e. responsible) for the conduct of its employee? This came up in the case WM Morrison Supermarkets plc v Various Claimants, involving supermarket chainMorrisons and a disgruntled employee. The employee was a senior internal auditor who, acting on a grudge after having been disciplined previously, published personal information about […]

The variations enigma – TUPE and pre-transfer changes

In the case of Ferguson and others v Astrea Asset Management Ltd, four directors and shareholders of an estate management company fell foul of the TUPE – Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) – Regulations and were dismissed for gross misconduct. The four claimants were directors and senior employees of Lancer Property Asset Management. The […]

The straw that breaks the contract’s back

The concept of the ‘last straw’ in relation to constructive dismissal claims featured in the case of Williams v Governing Body of Alderman Davies Church in Wales Primary School, where a decision by an Employment Tribunal (ET) was subsequently overturned by an Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT). The case centred on a primary school teacher, Mr […]

Leaving annual leave too late

We are receiving a lot of enquiries regarding staff holiday and holiday-pay during coronavirus.As we ease our way out of lockdown restrictions, it is important to be aware of the rules for the remainder of 2020, as workforces need to be managed for the next six months. A lot of employers hoping for an upturn […]

Employment news – Issue one

Read our first issue of Employment News as a new firm, Moore Barlow showcasing articles and information related to HR and employment law for employers. In these times of uncertainty, our employment law team are on hand to assist you with any issues you might be facing at the moment. Whether that be dealing with […]

Making your workplace Covid-19 secure

As the stay at home rule relaxes and businesses get the green light to re-open, employers are making plans to bring their staff back into the workplace. All employers have a statutory duty to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees as far as reasonably practicable. The government’s message remains that employees should […]

Flexible furlough scheme

Over the weekend, the government released guidance about upcoming changes to the coronavirus job retention scheme (also known as the furlough scheme). The changes relate to new flexible furlough arrangements that will be available for employers to operate as they ease out of lock down and before the scheme closes as the end of October. […]

Dean Outten

I am a trainee solicitor currently in the employment team based in our Southampton office. I primarily support other solicitors, working within a team for six months at a time. I gain valuable experience working within a range of different teams at Moore Barlow, supporting them in providing the high level of service that our […]

Seasonal worker scheme multiplies by four

Following concerns over a lack of migrant labour as a consequence of Brexit, the government is significantly expanding its Seasonal Workers Pilot, which was first announced in 2018, in order to boost the UK horticulture sector for the 2020 harvest. The scheme, which permits agricultural businesses to take on seasonal migrant workers from outside the […]

Extension to the furlough scheme

The Chancellor has today announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (“Scheme”) will be extended for four months, until the end of October 2020. There will be no changes in relation to how the Scheme is run between now and the end of July 2020. Between August and October 2020 the Scheme will be continue […]

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – Tronc and tips

We know that many of our clients have been eagerly awaiting further guidance from HMRC about whether tronc payments should be included in the calculation of wages for the purpose of the retention scheme. The guidance has been updated to confirm that “any tips, including those distributed through troncs” are not to be included when calculating wages. […]

Michelle Tudor

Employment Business immigration I am an employment and business immigration lawyer. I act for both employers and employees on a wide range of employment and immigration issues that arise during the employment relationship. I work with employers to ensure that they are managing their staff fairly and lawfully, as a happy workforce not only helps […]

David Ludlow

Boardroom and shareholder disputes Employee competition litigation I head up the employment law team businesses and individuals. I enjoy advising and representing a wide range of businesses, charities, schools and private individuals on the full range of employment law and related legal issues. I thrive in helping businesses resolve general issues in relation to Employment […]

Esmat Faiz

Employment litigation I help businesses manage the relationship with their employees to maintain a happy and productive workforce. I assist them on a wide range of contentious and non-contentious employment matters. I have experience of drafting contracts of employment and secondment agreements, drafting and negotiating settlement agreements, and reviewing and drafting employment policies, procedures and […]

Emily Calfe

Employment law I am a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives and specialise in Employment Law having completed exams in Criminal Law, Employment Law and Family Law. I advise employees and employers on general employment issues. For individuals this can include advice on their employment rights, family rights, redundancy, reviewing their contract of […]

The job retention scheme: further guidance

Following on from our previous updates on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, both the government and the Treasury have provided further guidance, details of which are set out below. The most significant change is that employees must have been on the employer’s payroll and included on the employer’s Real Time Information submission to HMRC on or […]

Changes to written statements of terms

Section 1 of the Employment Rights Act sets out the right for an employee to be given a statement of terms of their employment. Such a statement contains key information such as holiday, salary, job roles etc. New legislation comes into force on 6 April 2020 relating to the rules around written statement of terms. […]

2020/2021 Rates

Quick and easy access to employment law data booklet. Following the announcement of our merger with Barlow Robbins, our data booklet which includes easily accessible brief employment law information, will this year be distributed a month later, in May. The data booklet includes the and limits for the upcoming tax year. As we know many […]

Employment law factsheet 2020

Whilst businesses are busy organising their workforces during the current Covid-19, there are a number of changes effective from 6 April 2020 of which employers need to be aware. Statutory rates of pay As usual in April 2020, a number of statutory rates of pay have changed. These are as follows:- Statutory Sick Pay has […]

Data privacy implications of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Data privacy law has always tried to strike a balance between individual rights and overwhelming social needs. With the COVID-19 pandemic now sweeping the world, Governments are taking extreme measures to save lives by encouraging social distancing and tracking infected persons. People in democratic countries are simply not used to some of the measures being […]

Job retention scheme – new guidance

The government has updated its guidance on the Job Retention Scheme which we have summarised below. Two additional requirements for employers are that they must have enrolled for PAYE online, which can take up to ten days, and have a UK bank account. The employer must notify the employee in writing that they will be […]

Assistance if you are self-employed

Following on from our articles on the Job Retention Scheme, we address here the support available from the government for the self-employed in response to COVID-19. Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) SEISS provides a similar level of support to the job retention scheme (80% of trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month […]

Immigration for schools update: sponsored students affected by Coronavirus

The Home Office has released updated guidance to deal with individuals affected by travel restrictions associated with coronavirus (COVID-19). Tier 4 students affected by the coronavirus restrictions Tier 4 students are not normally permitted to undertake distance learning, however if they are forced to due to the current exceptional circumstances, this will not be considered […]

Josie Beales

Advertising and media Manufacturing Travel and leisure Telecommunications Care sector I am an employment solicitor in our Southampton office. I provide support to the senior members of the team on a broad variety of employment law issues as well as running my own caseload. My clients are corporate businesses of all sizes as well as […]

Naomi Greenwood

Advertising and media Banking and finance Hospitality and leisure Technology and telecommunications I advise both businesses and individuals on employment law matters  including: performing a general advisory role to HR and in house counsel advising on termination agreements involving complex remuneration and reward packages bonus and profit share disputes relocations and redundancies employment tribunal litigation […]

Stephanie Clark

Retail Travel and leisure Telecommunications Care sector I advise employees and employers on a broad range of employment issues. My clients are corporate businesses of all sizes, and employees. I most commonly support them with: Drafting and updating employment contracts and handbooks GDPR from an employer/employee perspective Settlement agreements (drafting on behalf of the employer […]

Emma Edis

Retail Travel and leisure Telecommunications Education Care sector As an experienced solicitor, I advise employers and employees on all aspects of employment law. My clients are large corporate businesses and SMEs based throughout the South of England.  I also act for senior executives and directors. I specialise in supporting clients by: Drafting and updating senior […]

Katherine Maxwell

I am a partner and head of the firm’s employment law team and work from our Richmond and Southampton offices. I advise clients on all aspects of employment law. My clients range from large corporates to small companies. I also advise individuals including senior executives, directors and senior managers. Whatever problem they are facing, my […]

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – employment issues update

Further to our Coronavirus Employment Law Issues article issued recently, we now have the latest information and guidance concerning the employment law issues with Coronavirus (COVID-19). Self-isolation for coronavirus and Statutory Sick Pay The government have announced this morning that an employee who self-isolates will be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). Whilst this is correct if […]

Immigration update: Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance

The Home Office has updated it’s guidance for individuals affected by travel restrictions associated with Coronavirus (COVID-19). Due to travel restrictions because of coronavirus some individuals may be facing uncertainty in relation to the expiry date of their current visa or leave to remain in the United Kingdom. As this is because of circumstances beyond […]

Employment law update – February 2020

In this issue we look at one of the largest surveys on sexual harassment in the workplace, and cover the rise in employers failing to pay minimum wage. We also update you on several discrimination cases: that of Samira Ahmed who won her equal pay case against the BBC, a transgender job applicant and her […]

Firms failing to pay minimum wage

According to the Resolution Foundation think tank, one in four people over the age of 25 are beingpaid less than the minimum wage. The research also shows that the number of workers over the age of 25 has increased since the introduction of the National Living Wage in 2016 – from one in five prior […]

£9,000 settlement for transgender woman

A transgender woman who claimed she was rejected for a job as a temporary sales assistant withDebenhams has received a £9k settlement. Ava Moore was invited for interview which was said to have gone very well. She was thought to have all the skills and experience needed for the job as well as being able […]

Government sexual harassment survey

In one of the largest ever surveys of its kind to be carried out, the Government EqualitiesOffice is surveying thousands of victims of sexual harassment as the government continues to address the issue of harassment in the workplace. Wanting to strengthen protection for workers, the government has issued a survey to 12,000 workers, inviting them […]

£17,000 for sacked pregnant worker

Liz Earle beauty company has admitted to falling “short of our standards” after they were ordered to pay £17k to a pregnant employee who was made redundant. Helen Larkin, who had worked for Liz Earle for five years, was eight months pregnant when she was given two weeks’ notice of her redundancy. After unsuccessfully applying […]

Samira Ahmed wins equal pay tribunal

One of the BBC’s most high-profile presenters, Samira Ahmed, has won the equal pay tribunal shebrought against the broadcaster. Ahmed, as presenter of BBC’s Newswatch, was paid £440 per episode. Yet Vine, as presenter of Points of View, was paid £3,000 per episode. Claiming that these were like-for like roles, Ahmed claimed to have been […]

Employment law update – December 2019

In this edition we cover some unusual employment law cases; that of an employee who mistakenlyhanded over £200,000 to a fraudster and a head teacher awarded £700,000 after winning hisdiscrimination claim at an employment tribunal.

Employees living on site

Many roles in the UK require employees to live close to their place of work. Sometimes, employees are required to live on site. In these circumstances, it is not uncommon for an employee to be offered accommodation as part of their overall work package. If you are considering providing accommodation for your employees, it is […]

Employment law update – October 2019

In this issue we cover the latest proposed protections for zero hours workers, how junior doctors could find themselves owed £250,000, and an important ruling on how holiday pay should be calculated for part year workers.

Vegetarianism not a philosophical belief

Conisbee v Crossley Farms Ltd and others In an intriguing case, the Tribunal considered whether vegetarianism is a belief, and therefore a protected characteristic, or a ‘lifestyle choice’. Mr Conisbee, the claimant, resigned after being told off for not ironing his shirt. As he’d only been employed for five months, he didn’t have the requisite […]

Supervisor ordered to pay compensation

In an “unusual” move, a tribunal has ruled that a supervisor (as opposed to the employer) should pay a Claimant compensation. During a car journey, the supervisor made several racist remarks to the Claimant. The Claimant then told his manager what had happened, saying that as he considered the supervisor a racist, he didn’t feel […]

Employment law update – August 2019

Welcome to this month’s update with topics as scorching hot as we would hope for weather in August! This issue covers a change in the law for employment competition for the first time in 100 years, the biggest data breach penalty yet and an employee secretly recording a meeting with HR. With changes to divorce […]

BA fined £183 million

In the biggest fine to date from the Information Commissioner’s Office, British Airways (BA) has been fined £183 million for a widely publicised customer data breach, whereby users of their website were diverted to a fraudulent site and their details were harvested by hackers.

Employment law update – June 2019

This month’s update covers the possible extended redundancy protection for new parents, how a training session resulted in a successful racial harassment claim and the COA’s ruling that men onshared parental leave need not be paid as much as women who are on enhanced maternity pay. Our June issue also features a guest article from […]

10 firm-wide promotions at Moore Blatch

With the firm’s continued growth and success, Moore Blatch, a top 100 law firm focused on supporting people, families and growth businesses for the long term, is delighted to announce 10 key promotions firm wide.

Make your employees beam with a share scheme

Employee share schemes are increasingly common and increasingly seen as a cost-effective incentive for rapidly growing businesses in a range of sectors. We have recently seen some of the early schemes we helped to implement now come to fruition, which has been hugely satisfying. So why have employee share schemes become so common? We believe […]

Not all workers get 20 uninterrupted minutes off

In the recent case of Network Rail Infrastructure v Crawford, for workers deemed “special workers”, compensatory rest need not be an uninterrupted break for 20 minutes. This case concerned a railway signal controller, who had more than 20 minutes’ break available to him in an eight-hour shift but his breaks weren’t for a continuous 20 […]

When sacking isn’t religious discrimination

In the case of De Groen v Gan Menachem Hendon, a teacher was sacked from an ‘ultra-orthodox’ Jewish nursery in London because she was living unmarried with her boyfriend. The nursery, Gan Menachem Hendon, dismissed Zelda De Groen for acting contrary to her employer’s “culture, ethos and religious beliefs”.

No more staff parties?

Following a recent compensation claim for £300,000 against Cancer Research UK by one of its employees during a staff party, employers may need to review the potential health and safety risks at social events, and think twice before throwing office parties.

Employment law update – March 2019

 In this edition we therefore look at what companies should do to prepare for any further cold episodes we may experience this winter. We also bring you another case looking at employment status; and our feature article this month is from our immigration team who consider how you can protect your business after Brexit.

What is unfavourable treatment in discrimination?

The Supreme Court (“SC”) has clarified what amounts to “unfavourable treatment” for the purposes of a claim for discrimination arising from disability under section 15 of the Equality Act 2010 (“EA”). In Williams v Trustees of Swansea University Pension and Assurance Scheme the SC held that a disabled employee who was entitled to a pension because of […]

Employment law update – December 2018

With the holiday season fast approaching we hope you enjoy reading through our last update of 2018.  In this edition we look at a dramatic rise in Employment Tribunal claims since fees for bringing an employment claim were abolished in July 2017.  We comment on the ruling of one of the most highly anticipated court […]

Working parents to get bereavement leave

Employed parents will have a statutory right to two weeks’ paid leave if they lose a child under the age of 18 or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy. The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018, which received Royal Assent on 13 September and is due to come into force in 2020, […]

Morrisons loses at High Court

The supermarket Morrisons has failed in its challenge to the High Court that it be held liable for a security breach that saw the personal information of thousands of its staff posted online. The case, the first data-leak class action in the UK, follows the events of 2014 when Andrew Skelton, then a senior internal […]

Christmas party bust-up: boss to blame. The case of Bellman v Northampton Recruitment Ltd

An employer can be held liable for the unlawful actions of one of its employees if it takes place during the course of their employment. This is known as ‘vicarious liability’.  ‘Employment’ is provided with a very wide meaning and can extend to social events that take place off-site and outside normal working hours.

Drug and alcohol tests: what employers need to know

Barratt Developments recently announced it would introduce randomised drug and alcohol testing for staff to combat increased risks on building sites. But introducing such a policy is not without its challenges, as Katherine Maxwell from Moore Blatch explains.

Employment law update – October 2018

As autumn arrives, we provide you with this month’s edition where we take a look at the new Government LGBT action plan to help you as employers and employees deal with LGBT discrimination. Also in this month’s issue, we dig deeper into a recent case about holiday pay and whether voluntary overtime should be included. […]

Confused about holiday pay?

‘Flowers V East of England Ambulance Trust’This case centres around a group of claimants who worked for East of England Ambulance Trust.   Occasionally, they were required to work extra time at the end of their shift in order to complete a job such as caring for a patient or dealing with a call made to […]

Should you pay national minimum wage for sleep-in/on-call workers?

‘Royal Mencap Society v Tomlinson-Blake’This case considered whether two care workers (Mrs Tomlinson-Blake and Mr Shannon) were entitled to national minimum wage for the whole time they were ‘on-call’ during the night, or just when their services were called upon.Finding in favour of the employer, the Court of Appeal decided that only the time spent […]

Employment law update – July 2018

In this month’s newsletter we unravel the government’s new guidance on what not to wear in the workplace. Also in a month when employment issues seem to be dominating the news, we go behind the headlines to explain how these landmark cases will potentially impact on your business. Should you be worried about the aftermath […]

Employment law update – May 2018

This month we will be discussing the gender pay gap and those that failed to report before the deadline of the 4th April. We also look at Facebook’s data processing scandal and how it has brought the GDPR to light in the press. We also detail the most significant change to the taxation of termination […]

The high street suffers despite falling unemployment – ensure redundancy policy is fair

We have just seen the lowest unemployment figures since May 1975, but despite this positive outlook, in many parts of the country the High Street is suffering. Already in 2018, according to the Press Association, 21,413 staff have been made redundant or had their role threatened – the bulk of these losses being at established […]

Employment law update – Mar 2018

There are a number of hot topics in the press at the moment for us to update you on, not least the upcoming implementation of the GDPR and the looming deadline for gender pay gap reporting.

Are you ready for gender pay reporting?

While gender pay reporting currently only applies to organisations employing over 250 people, it’s advisable that any organisation employing over 100 people take a keen interest in the legislation as the rules could be rolled out more broadly over time. Although organisations employing less than 250 people aren’t obliged to report, they can do so […]

Employment law update – Jan 2018

Before the Christmas break there were a lot of employment-law related news and cases hitting the headlines, and here we bring you what we see as some of the most important, including a full update on Uber, and the Government’s proposal for a bereaved parental leave allowance.

Employee dismissal – being aware matters

In a complex and ongoing case, the Court of Appeal reversed a ruling by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) which had found that an employee could succeed in a claim for automatically unfair dismissal for whistleblowing even if the person making the decision to dismiss was unaware of the employee having blown the whistle.

Uber loses a battle but the war continues

In our previous update, we advised you that the Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) had held that Uber’s drivers are to be classed as workers. This means that they are afforded employment rights, including protection from unlawful deduction of wages, entitlement to the national minimum wage and paid annual leave.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

Christmas can be a notoriously tricky time for employers, with numerous social events and of course the inevitable office Christmas party. How can you deal with these situations if something gets out of hand? What do you do about calculating employees’ holiday allowance for the festive period? Our mini guide below will help you overcome […]

Employment law update – Nov 2017

This month, we will be discussing the parameters of the new Vento bands and bringing you a summary of the recent Acas guidance on how employers can support employees with seriously ill, premature or stillborn babies and the development of the apprenticeship levy since its introduction in April 2017.

Employment law update – Sep 2017

We know many of you have concerns in relation to the upcoming changes to data protection legislation. On 25 May 2018 the largest ever overhaul of data protection laws will take effect. Businesses must comply with the charges or face hefty fines of up to £20 million. Dorothy Agnew, a partner in our commercial department […]

Changes to employment law proposed by review of modern working practices (the ‘gig economy’)

The gig economy is often defined as “a labour market characterised by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work, as opposed to permanent jobs.” Prior to going mainstream, the term ‘gigging’ was most commonly used in the musical world, for those musicians who are only paid per concert, or ‘gig’ they do. Now the […]

Don’t forget about gender pay gap reporting!

The BBC has, once again, found itself amongst a media storm after publishing the salaries of its highest paid stars. It transpired that Gary Lineker was paid ten times more than Clare Balding and the BBC’s highest paid woman, Claudia Winkleman, was paid just a fifth of what its best paid male star, Chris Evans, […]

An update on the gig economy

The term ‘gig economy’ is a fairly new term which you are likely to have heard in the media. Some have defined the gig economy as “a labour market characterised by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work, as opposed to permanent jobs”. It is thought that approximately 5 million people work in this […]

Are your contracts clear on when notice to terminate employment is deemed to be given?

If an employment contract is silent on when notice is deemed to be given, notice of termination doesn’t take effect until the notice has been actually received. This may potentially have immense consequences for your company if it means the employee has completed an extra year service by the time they receive the notice, and […]

Update on holiday pay cases

The Supreme Court has refused permission to appeal to British Gas in the holiday pay case Lock v British Gas. This provides some much needed clarity. We now know that results-based commission (i.e. commission based on sales received) and non-guaranteed overtime (i.e. overtime which employers are not obliged to offer but workers are contractually obligated to perform) must […]

Adekosan v Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Limited – can gross negligence justify dismissal without notice?

Usually when an employee’s employment is terminated, the appropriate amount of notice must be given by the employer. The Employment Rights Act 1996 sets out the minimum amount of notice that must be given while an employee’s contract could also stipulate that a greater amount of notice must be provided. If the employer dismisses the […]

Pimlico Plumbers & Anor v Smith: when is a plumber a worker?

Determining ‘worker’ status has been a major focus in the world of employment law recently, with several high-profile cases considering the issue. Aslam, Farrar and Others v Uber contemplated whether Uber’s taxi drivers were workers or self-employed contractors, while the employment status of CitySprint’s couriers was deliberated in Dewhurst v CitySprint UK Ltd. The issue […]

Apprenticeship levy- Are you prepared?

As you may have seen in the media recently, despite Brexit, the new apprenticeship levy (“Levy”) is still expected to come into force on 6 April 2017. It is hoped the introduction of the Levy will give employers more influence over how apprenticeships are designed and paid for. This article considers what the Levy is, […]

Tribunal fees report: the introduction of Employment Tribunal fees has “broadly met its objectives” the government concludes

Employment tribunal fees were introduced by the government in July 2013. They range from £390 for a claim for unpaid wages, to £1,200 for unfair dismissal. Official statistics show that in the year after their introduction, the number of claims brought had fallen by approximately 70%. There has therefore been much debate about whether the […]

Do you operate a holiday year from 1st April – 31st March? If so watch out!

Attention employers! Due to the way that the Easter bank holidays fall this year and next year, it is anticipated that some employees’ holiday rights may be breached next year. Depending on the amount of holiday entitlement afforded to employees, together with the wording of their contract, employers may find themselves liable for an unanticipated […]

The National Minimum Wage – make sure your business doesn’t end up on the government’s name and shame list!

On 15 February 2017, the government ‘named and shamed’ more than 350 employers who had underpaid their workers the national minimum or ‘living’ wage. Department store Debenhams topped the list of offending employers, having failed to pay £134,894.83 to nearly £12,000 workers. Under the government’s ‘name and shame’ scheme, the names of all employers who […]

The Trade Union Act 2016: an update

Last year we reported on the Trade Union Act 2016 (the “Act”) which received royal assent on 4 May 2016. The Act contains key provisions which apply to unionised work forces and have an increased effect on public services. In the words of the government, the aim of the Act is to ‘ensure strikes can […]

The Law Society calls for employment law reform in the wake of the ‘gig economy.’

There has been much debate in recent months over the legal employment status of workers within the ‘gig economy’ – a growing trend whereby corporations provide their services through a number of ‘self-employed’ contractors who (in theory) choose to work as and when they please. Because of their supposed employment status, those ‘contractors’ would not […]