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Blog

November 27, 2014

Who do you employ?

The status of workers and whether or not they should be categorised as employees is one of the most difficult questions in employment law. This is underlined by the recent case of Quashie v Stringfellows Restaurants Ltd.  In this case the Employment Tribunal found that Ms Quashie was not an employee, the Employment Appeal Tribunal decided that she was and finally the Court of Appeal decided that she was not. The situation is not helped by parliament providing broadly similar definitions of a “worker” in…

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November 24, 2014

Ho! Ho! Ho! Santa Claus has a message for you…

Santa has a safety message to make sure you, your co-workers and your family stay safe over the festive season... Fairy Lights Check the fuses - ensure they are the are the right  rating  (see the box for the maximum size of fuse you should use) If bulbs blow, replace them Don’t leave fairy lights on when you go out or when you go to bed / sleep Don’t let the bulbs touch anything that can burn easily, like paper. decorations Don’t overload socket outlets…

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November 24, 2014

Snow is falling on the slopes – Polish the skis and boards let the snow fun begin…

If you've been working hard growing your business all year, you are entitled to some winter fun. But remember trips away have their hazards too... Skiing has been very popular for many years and the numbers of those participating in the newer snow sports such as snowboarding short boarding has seen dramatic increases, since the winter Olympics. Novices and experts alike will be out there on and off pistes practicing their skills at one of the many ski slopes in the UK and abroad.  For…

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November 24, 2014

Christmas parties – it’s not all fun and games

As Christmas draws closer, it’s time to unwind and have fun with your colleagues at the end of the year. Companies are likely to have more or less the same legal responsibilities at the Christmas Party as during office hours. But with great planning and communication, you can completely avoid any potential problems. Health & Safety Safety is obviously one of the main considerations, which is why risk assessment before the event is crucial. This will reduce accident risks and help defend a claim if…

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October 30, 2014

Ebola – Does it affect you?

Ebola - it's all over the news at the moment...But it won't affect us will it? There's a lot of technical and medical information on Ebola virus from all over the world and it is hard to know what is fact or just gossip. All you really need to know is how it can affect you, your family, your friends and your employees. Do I need to be concerned about it spreading in UK? In short, if you do not live in one of the higher…

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October 30, 2014

Flexible Working – now everyone has the right

The right to request flexible working has now extended to all employees - not just those caring for a child or dependant adult. Under the provision of the Children and Families Act 2014 from 30th June 2014 an extension of the right to the existing request flexible working process was introduced. The statutory right to request procedure has now been replaced by an ACAS Code of Practice. These changes are intended to make it easier for employees to apply to change their hours, the days…

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October 29, 2014

Parents can now share their paid leave

Now fathers and partners as well as mothers can take time off with their new baby. Shared Parental Leave is being introduced to enable both parents to be able to take paid time off to look after their child within the 52 weeks following the birth. Due to come into force on 1st December 2014, the new regulations will apply for any baby born on or after 5th April 2015.  The regulations also apply to Adoption, so will apply to any child adopted on or…

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October 24, 2014

New equal pay powers for Tribunals

Employment Tribunals now have the power to order equal pay audits for employers who have lost equal pay claims. Equal pay audits have previously been championed by the Equality and Human Rights Commission as good practice. An Equal Pay audit is a comparison of the pay of different groups of staff who perform “equal” work.  It is supposed to help employers identify and limit the risks of potentially being  found to have committed sex discrimination in relation to pay. If the EPA finds that there…

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September 30, 2014

TUPE Reforms Update – The Never Ending Story

The Transfer of Undertakings for the Protection of Employment (TUPE), which became UK law over 30 years ago, is tinkered with nearly every year - and 2014 is no different. There are several major changes this year. The first change is that work that is to be transferred must be; “fundamentally the same” for TUPE to apply. What does; ”fundamentally the same” mean? We have a very good understanding but until case law is to be set by Judges in Upper Courts there is no…

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statue holding scales
September 29, 2014

Don’t give safety the cold shoulder this winter

Dark days and dark nights are almost upon us as the clocks go back. So - while we have a little daylight left - you may need to review your Health & Safety at work to prepare for the winter period. Maybe your staff won't be able to get to work, ro maybe, closed schools will mean parents need to remain at home. You may already have experience of staff members being off due to unforeseen circumstances but when it may be a majority of staff what…

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