Latest Posts

Can employers prevent sexual harassment?

May 13, 2024 4:09 pm Published by

From October 2024 there will be a new duty on employers to take ‘reasonable steps’ to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace and to make workplaces safer for all staff. In advance of this we thought it would be useful to give some examples of case law where employers have lost Tribunal cases due to claims of sexual harassment. KZ v The Nags Head Reading Limited In this case the employer was found to have failed to prevent a recurrence of sexual harassment by a third party towards one of its employees. The employee was working as a bartender on New Year’s Eve and was sexually harassed by a customer a number of times. A few days later the employee was grabbed by the same customer in front...

Changes to holiday pay for staff who work irregular hours and those who only work part of the year. 

February 6, 2024 2:44 pm Published by

You may recall that in July 2022 the Supreme Court issued its’ decision in the case of Harpur Trust v Brazel regarding the correct calculation for holiday pay for staff with irregular working patterns. The decision ruled that staff who are only contracted to work for part of the year e.g. seasonal or term-time workers should receive the same statutory holiday entitlement as employees who work the full year i.e. 5.6 weeks holiday paid at the rate of their average weekly earnings.  The Government has decided to reverse the decision in Harpur Trust v Brazel and will reintroduce the calculation of 12.07% of hours worked in a pay period as the way of calculating holiday for staff who work irregular hours e.g....

What to expect in Employment law in 2024

January 31, 2024 2:57 pm Published by

We wanted to alert you to a number of changes to Employment law which are planned for 2024. Flexible working From 6 April 2024 it will be a ‘day one right’ for employees to request flexible working. They will no longer need 26 weeks’ service to make a request and neither will they have to justify how their request will impact their employer. They will be able to make two requests in any 12-month period and employers will need to consider each request and respond within two months. However this is still only a ‘right to request’ flexible working and so employers will still be able to turn down requests they cannot accommodate for one of 8 business reasons.  Redundancy protection for staff from pregnancy and for 18...

What’s the difference between a protected conversation and a without prejudice conversation?

September 28, 2023 11:18 am Published by

We often get asked for help in finding a way to exit an employee from an organisation without following a formal performance management process. This is more common in the case of long-serving employees who have the right to claim unfair dismissal, as well as discrimination on the basis of their sex, race, age or other protected characteristics. As such these conversations need to be handled with care and we recommend discussing the approach you plan to take with us ahead of any contentious conversations with employees. What are the options and how does an employer go about it? Protected conversations Section 111A of the Employment Rights Act 1996 details the provision of ‘protected conversations’ aimed at facilitating candid conversations between employers and employees concerning the termination of employment on...

Are staff entitled to time off for the extra bank holiday?

April 20, 2023 10:04 am Published by

The government has announced that Monday 8 May 2023 will be a national bank holiday in all parts of the UK, following the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III, giving families and communities across the UK the opportunity to come together and celebrate. However this bank holiday will be treated the same as other additional bank holidays, which means there is no statutory right to time off. As such Employers will need to review their Contracts of Employment to determine whether their staff are entitled to time off on this additional bank holiday, for example: Employers should check their contracts carefully for any other flexibility in the wording such as “8 public/bank holidays as listed, or other days as determined by us” which...

When is a Dismissal fair?

April 12, 2023 9:08 am Published by

What is a dismissal? A dismissal takes place when an employer terminates an employee’s contract or fails to renew a fixed-term contract when it comes to an end. Employees should be given notice in writing when they are dismissed, ideally with reasons for the dismissal (especially if they have over two years service). Notice given to dismiss must be the greater of the contractual notice or the statutory minimum of one week per year of service up to a maximum of 12 weeks. Notice can be paid in lieu if the contract allows for it. Constructive dismissal Constructive dismissal is where an employee resigns due to a breach of contract by his or her employer and feels they have no option other than to resign.  Wrongful dismissal Wrongful dismissal is where an employer is in breach of contract e.g. by...

What to expect from Employment law in 2023?

February 15, 2023 5:03 pm Published by

Will flexible working request rights be extended to all employees from day one? The government launched a consultation on the right to request flexible working in September 2021. Currently only employees with 26 weeks service can make a flexible working request. This may change to apply from day one of employment. Employers may be required to consult with employees who request flexible working and to show they have considered all options prior to rejecting a request. |t may be that employees can submit up to two flexible working requests (currently they can only submit one) in a 12 month period and that employers must respond within two months (currently three). What about carers? The Carer’s bill will give carers the right to up to one week’s unpaid leave...

What can we learn from Employment law in 2022?

February 15, 2023 5:01 pm Published by

Can a self-employed worker claim holiday pay? In Smith v Pimlico Plumbers, Mr Smith established he had worker rights despite being self-employed. He successfully claimed backdated holiday pay over six years. This case reinforces the importance of providing Contracts for all staff whether they are Employees, Workers or Self-Employed.  Is long covid a disability? In Burke v Turning Point Mr Burke was dismissed having been off sick with long covid for nine months. This case confirms that long covid could be classed as a disability and each case should be assessed on its’ own facts and a medical or occupational health report should be considered prior to any decision regarding an employee’s absence. Should term-time workers benefit from a full 5.6 weeks holiday? In Brazil v Harpur Trust...

What can we learn from P&O, Meta and Twitter?

November 30, 2022 11:28 am Published by

You will have heard that P&O Ferries fired 800 staff with immediate effect in March. Similarly, technology company Meta and social media giant Twitter have laid of thousands of staff in an attempt to significantly reduce costs. It has been reported that Twitter offices were closed overnight and employees found out whether they were to be made redundant by email en masse – seemingly without any consultation – some having already been locked out of company systems in advance of the company email. This type of approach can open up a company extensive liability, as well as negatively impacting their image, reputation and employee relations. Staff with over two years service have the right to claim unfair dismissal in an Employment Tribunal. Considering all options prior to restructuring  Ideally all options should be considered prior to proposing redundancies. For example,...

Is long covid a disability?

August 9, 2022 11:19 am Published by

Sadly, many of us are aware of friends, family or employees who are or have been suffering from long covid. Symptoms include shortness of breath, cognitive dysfunction or brain fog and fatigue. Symptoms can last for up to nine months or longer and as at May 2022 there were estimated to be 1.8 million people in the UK (2.8% of the population) suffering from this. Recently, an employee with long covid won an Employment Tribunal claim for unfair dismissal, successfully claiming that the condition should be classed as a disability.  Under the Equality Act 2010 you are disabled if you have a physical or mental impairment which has a ‘substantial and long term’ (likely to last at least 12 months) negative...