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Employment Matters – February 2013

Welcome to the February 2013 edition

Hello again from Clarke Willmott LLP’s Employment team and welcome to another edition of Employment Matters.

In this issue we explore recent case law developments and a selection of employment law questions commonly asked by our clients.

For further information on any of the topics in this month’s Employment Matters, please contact a member of the Employment team.

As ever, we welcome your feedback and if you would like to see a particular area or topic featured in future issues, please let us know by emailing helen.brooker@clarkewillmott.com.


Internal disciplinary hearings and right to legal representation

Ministry of Justice v Parry [2012]

Mrs Parry, a District Probate Registrar, was dismissed for gross misconduct in November 2009 namely for the bullying and harassment of junior employees. Mrs Parry appealed the decision and requested that she be accompanied at the appeal by a legal representative. Mrs Parry’s Employer declined this request and subsequently dismissed the appeal.


More unenforceable Restrictive Covenants

CEF Holdings Ltd v Mundey [2012]

In this case a number of employees from CEF holdings Ltd (CEF) left the company and joined Yesss, a business set up to compete with CEF. The High Court, in a lengthy and detailed judgment, held that in this case six-month covenants restraining solicitation of employees and competition were too wide to be enforceable. Of note was the fact that the employees were not restricted in relation to solicitation or acting for customers of CEF.


Make better informed recruitment decisions this year

With the average cost of replacing a senior manager now being estimated at £10,000 you cannot afford to make a wrong decision when recruiting. You need to ensure that you have as much information as possible on your candidates in order for you to make the best informed decisions on whom to employ in your business. Why not introduce the use of psychometric tests as part of your recruitment process to reduce the risk of getting it wrong?


Checking your prospective employees…

A recent appeal court ruling on 31 January 2012 centred on a 21-year-old man who had received warnings from the police when he was 11 years old in connection with two stolen bikes. The information was disclosed on two occasions; when he applied for a part-time job at a local football club at the age of 17 and later when he applied for a university course in sports studies. This was in spite of the fact that the cautions were spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. The court, including Lord Dyson, one of Britain’s most senior judges, ruled that…


“Work for your benefits”?

The Government’s back to work schemes have been deemed to be unlawful in a case brought before the Court of Appeal. The Claimants, one of whom (Miss Reilly) is a 24 year old woman who had been obliged to complete unpaid work experience at Poundland, were appealing the previous court’s decision to reject their claims that the schemes breached laws on forced labour. Although the Government are appealing the decision, the decision could essentially prevent the scheme from continuing in its current form and force the Government to carry out an overhaul.


Update: Amendments to Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill

The Government has introduced further amendments to the bill which is currently before the House of Lords.


And finally…

Our thought for the month

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.”