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Employment Matters – November 2012

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.

Thinking of dismissing an employee? Do not overlook relevant previous warnings!

When assessing the reasonableness of a dismissal, Tribunals must not take into account previous warnings issued by the employer if they were not taken into consideration by the employer when making its decision to dismiss.

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Have you ever been under pressure from a client to remove a member of your staff?

It is not uncommon for businesses to come under pressure from a client or customer to remove an employee from their particular project or matter. This can be very difficult for employers to address, the employee may not have done anything substantively wrong, however, losing clients is simply not viable in the current ultra-competitive climate. What can employers do in these circumstances?
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Managing employee’s extreme political views – balancing the risks

BNP Member’s dismissal breached right to freedom of association

In 2006 the Court of Appeal confirmed that Arthur Redfearn, formerly a bus driver with Serco Limited, was not entitled to rely on UK race discrimination legislation after he was dismissed when a href=it became public knowledge he was a member of the BNP and had been elected as a BNP councillor.
Mr Redfearn had less that one year’s service with Serco and so unable to pursue a claim for unfair dismissal he had sought to rely on UK race discrimination legislation.

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Exemption from TUPE – single specific event or task of short term duration?

In the case of Liddell’s Coaches v Cook the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) addressed the interpretation of a contract for a ‘single specific event or task of short term duration’ in relation to whether there had been a service provision change attracting the protection of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE). As you may be aware, TUPE protects employees when the contract/business they work under transfers.

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Short-term working and lay-off – refresher

For periods of lay-off or short-time working an employee could be entitled to a statutory guarantee payment. This is only the case where, throughout a day in which the employee would normally be required to work in accordance with their contract, the employee is not provided with work due to one for the following reasons: There is a reduction in the requirements of the employer’s business for work of a kind which the employee is employed to do; or there is any other occurrence which affects the normal working of the business in relation to this type of work.

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Bringing parental leave into the 21st Century?

Nick Clegg announced a proposal for reforms to the system of parental leave, with the current system being labelled as ‘1950s-esque’. The Government plan to legislate on the proposals in 2013 to introduce the changes in 2014-2015.

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Covering all bases – TUPE settlements

The recent case of Tamang v Act Security Limited has highlighted the importance of ensuring both the transferor and transferee employers must be a party to any settlement with an employee in order to both benefit from the protection of the compromise agreement.

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Our thought for the month

“Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses,
and some don’t turn up at all”.
– Sam Ewing.