March 25, 2014

Do employees have to speak English at work?

An employer recently warned its foreign employees that if they did not speak English in the workplace they would be dismissed. On the face of it this may seem a relatively straight-forward issue and not at all unreasonable…but is it? There are many employers around the country that employ foreign workers which inevitably leads to…

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February 28, 2014

Confused about new Early Conciliation laws?

Workers with employment disputes will soon be required to fill out an ‘Early conciliation form’ – with basic details of the claimant and the company – before they can submit an employment claim to an Employment Tribunal. The mandatory early conciliation form, proposed to come into force on 6th April 2014,  will not require details…

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February 27, 2014

Employment Tribunal Fees to stay…for now

Employments Tribunal fees were introduced last year, requiring claimants to pay fees up front. In reaction, UNISON challenged the validity of the imposition of fees, but was eventually unsuccessful. UNISON said that the fees are “unjust and discriminatory” and had been widely criticised as having denied people access to justice. Given that the majority of people who…

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Extending the right to request flexible working

The right to request flexible working is soon to be extended to all employees with 26 weeks’ service – not just those caring for a child or dependant adult. Although the extension was expected to come into force this April, the changes have been delayed until 30th June 2014. What will change? The current “right…

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January 30, 2014

TUPE changes are now in force

The latest shake up to employment law has now come into force. ‘TUPE’ is an acronym for the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006. There are currently between 25,000 and 50,000 TUPE transfers in the UK each year. The Government believes that the provisions set out in the 2006 Regulations “gold plate” the…

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Shared parental leave is on the horizon

Parents can soon share the responsibility of raising newborns when a new law comes into force that allows ‘shared parental leave’. ‘Shared Parental Leave’ is a new system which will replace the current schemes for maternity, adoption, paternity and additional paternity leave from April 2015.  The government has recently released more details about how the…

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Looking into unfair dismissals

Unfair dismissals happen all the time – but do you know your employees’ rights? It is a requirement laid down by both the ACAS Code of Practice and the so called “Burchall Tests” that part of a fair disciplinary process is a fair investigation, which is reasonable in the circumstances, of the disciplinary issue. The…

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December 23, 2013

Can workers be accompanied at hearings?

It’s absolutely fine for employees to be accompanied to a disciplinary or grievance hearing by a colleague or an accredited trade union representative – according to examples from recent cases. In Toal and another v GB Oils Ltd a request by two employees to be accompanied by a specific individual at a grievance meeting was…

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Could you get paid for sleeping?

It seems that it’s OK to sleep on the job in certain situations, according to the outcome of a recent Employment Appeal Tribunal. The Tribunal (EAT) decided that employees required to “sleepover” at a specified location in the course of their work are entitled to be paid the National Minimum Wage for such hours, regardless…

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December 20, 2013

Hot tub anyone?

Hot tubing…it may sound like a ridiculous concept but it’s something that Civil Courts use all the time. A Judge gets two or more experts that are involved in a case round a table – or in front of the bench – to put their opinions forward. That way, the Judge is aware of the…

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December 19, 2013

How the new TUPE Regulations will affect YOU

Are you prepared for the important TUPE Regulations coming into force next month? The Government believes the existing Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (TUPE) Regulations are too complex and are changing them. It has now published what will be changing – which could be an unwelcome surprise to businesses  not aware of the new legalisation.…

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Who should stay…and who should go?

Redundancy is never pleasant – but it’s just one of the things that businesses sometimes need to do to survive and remain competitive. Handling the redundancy process can be time consuming and of course costly if a business gets it wrong. There are many key steps to follow, which include: Proper consultation Applying your mind…

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