February 7, 2014

Employment Tribunal fees – Judicial review fails

UNISON has failed to overturn the introduction of fees for Claimants in the Employment Tribunal system. The High Court in The Queen on the Application of Unison v Lord Chancellor has turned down UNISON’s judicial review application against the Employment Tribunals and Employment Appeal Tribunal Fees Order 2013 (the ‘2013 Order’). On the surface this…

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February 6, 2014

Could auto enrolment spell trouble for SMEs?

It’s all change for UK pensions with the introduction of the Government’s latest shake up to employment law – auto enrolment. The new legislation, a bid to ensure all UK workers have a retirement fund by the end of their careers, means all business must automatically enrol qualifying workers into a company pension scheme. This…

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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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HSE clamps down on risks from harmful substances

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Construction Division is cracking down on poor management of risks from harmful substances. Heather Bryant, the HSE’s Chief Construction Inspector has said that employers in the construction industry have lost their way when it comes to protecting employees and others from the effects of harmful substances. There is a…

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Devastating fire could have been avoided

A devastating fire in an elderly residential home in Quebec, Canada has left at least 5 residents dead and 31 unaccounted for. Investigators are currently searching for the cause of the fire, which occured  on Thursday 23rd January 2014. Recent health department documentation suggests that only part of the building, which was constructed completely of…

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January 20, 2014

Can you cope with rapid employment law changes in 2014?

Employment law has seen dramatic changes recently – and could be moving too fast for many businesses to keep up with. This trend is unlikely to slow down anytime soon either. This year, and well into 2015, employers can expect more and more complex changes that affects their businesses. Some legislation is more impactful than…

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January 2, 2014

False fire alarms now lead to fines for London businesses

London businesses will now be charged if they call the fire service more than 10 times a year for a false alarm. In the last financial year, London Fire Brigade (LFB) was called out to 403 locations over 10 times, which cost it around £800,000. If it had charged for this, nearly £500,000 would have…

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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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