The Modern Slavery Act 2015 was introduced to increase the transparency of big businesses with turnover of £36m per year and adds additional reporting obligations on these businesses. The Act applies to commercial organisations and aims to encourage transparency in relation to slavery and human trafficking. The reporting element of the Modern Slavery Act applies to both UK and non UK businesses.
25th May is fast approaching and GDPR will then really be here!
Employers have been losing sleep over this new legislation but maybe they have been overreacting. Yes, the law is changing but in an evolutionary rather than revolutionary way. The key principles of the current Data Protection Act 1998 will remain. Employers will need to deal with data “lawfully, fairly and transparently”; they must not hold excessive data and should only use it for the intended purpose. They also need to check accuracy and not hold the information for longer than needed. As has always been the case, information must be kept safe and secure.
A question which is often asked by a lot of employees and employers is whether or not an employee with less than 2 years' service can be dismissed without following any process and without the risk of the employee bringing any claims against the company. Whilst it is true that to qualify for an unfair dismissal claim an employee will need to have 2 years' continuous service, there are other claims which can be sought without this length of service.
Settlement agreements (previously known as “compromise agreements”) are common place but not always fully understood. So, exactly what are they? Put simply, they are a contract between an employer and employee which is usually used to resolve any disputes which have arisen within the employment relationship. Under this type of agreement, an employee will agree not to pursue specific legal claims against their employer, as set out within the agreement, usually in return for a sum of money from the employer. Typically, a settlement agreement will be proposed at the end of the employment relationship, but this is not always the case.
Employment Tribunal fees were abolished on 26 July 2017 and a significant increase in claims is already being observed, just as there was a major depression of claims when the fees were introduced in 2013. Employers will also need to contend with late claims being brought by former employees if they can show that it was the payment of fees that stopped them bringing claims in the first place.
The right to request flexible working has been with us since 6 April 2003 and from 30 June 2014 was extended so that employees could effectively make requests for any reason (rather than just for childcare reasons as was the position previously). Clients often call me concerned as to the damage flexible working might do to their business.
The long awaited Taylor review on working practices in the UK was published on Monday 11 July. It looked closely at the much talked about "gig economy" comprised of some 1.1 million workers such as Amazon and Hermes couriers and Uber taxi drivers. Such workers are currently classified as self employed and therefore do not enjoy the employment rights of employees and workers and have no guarantee of any work.
The hung parliament result we have all been talking about means that it is difficult to assess the extent to which the Conservatives' plans for employment law reform will come to fruition. However, the manifesto was full of promises, some of which would have left employers a little concerned.
This week is National Apprenticeship Week. What many employers don’t realise is that the term ‘apprenticeship’ can mean many things and, in legal terms, the contractual arrangements can be quite complex.
Family businesses are so important to commerce but without sensible protective steps they can easily implode and in the process destroy the family relationships on which they were founded. So how can you pre-empt these issues if they arise, and manage them effectively to avoid nuclear fallout?
The much-publicised employment tribunal claim brought against taxi firm, Uber, concluded last week and the ruling could have major implications for many businesses operating in the so-called gig economy.
With the right to wear religious dress having dominated the news lately, it is an issue which is also occupying employers. Increasingly, employers are facing dilemmas over religious dress when enforcing dress codes, and they are having to tread carefully.
With the summer finally upon us and the Euro 2016 football tournament well under way, employers across the UK are likely to encounter an increasing number of staff ‘pulling a sickie’. Unpredictable and irregular time off can have a serious impact on an organisation’s wellbeing – particularly when repeat offenders are involved.
Everyone knows that having company policies in the workplace is a healthy thing all round. But do you know what the legal status of your policies is? You may have thought they were there for guidance purposes, but did you know they could contain serious contractual obligations?
A new survey has found that a startling number of UK employees are struggling with stress in the workplace – and that just over half of the UK workforce are happy at work.
An employment tribunal has found that Footballer Jonas Gutierrez was scrapped by Newcastle United due to a testicular cancer diagnosis.The 32-year-old midfielder said that the management ensured that he failed to make enough appearances on the pitch on purpose to avoid triggering a £2 million one-year contract extension.
Each year, sickness absence costs employers billions in lost days and associated work costs. In an effort to tackle our so-called “sick note culture”, the government has introduced the Fit For Work (‘FFW’) scheme. FFW is a voluntary, government-funded service which aims to help employees return to work as quickly as possible.
There has been a raft of cases in recent years on the question of how time spent on-call should be treated for the purposes of paying workers. If you have a worker who is on-call (and potentially asleep if they are on-call during the night) do you have to pay them for all of this time? Do you have to pay them for time spent in between call-outs? Do you have to pay workers when they are actually asleep?
A recent decision of the European Court has caused a stir in relation to whether peripatetic workers should be paid for time spent travelling to and from home. The Court looked at the Working Time Directive (implemented in the UK through the Working Time Regulations 1998) which provides for workers to have sufficient rest, breaks and holidays. The issue was: what constituted “working time” for the purposes of calculating rest?