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Employment Blog articles

Employment Contract Reviews

Employment Contract Reviews

(Jointly written by Aleksandra Golat, Solicitor and Claire Merritt, Partner) 4 reasons you need an employment contract review Reason 1: To Recognise Legal Changes If new legislation is introduced by parliament or judges make decisions which change the way in which the law is applied, there could be an impact on employment contracts. If you… Read more »

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5 Top Tips for Employment Contracts (Part 2)

5 Top Tips for Employment Contracts (Part 2)

This is the second part of our blog series focused on 5 top tips for employment contracts. The first part of our blog looked at identifying whether an employment contract is the best document to govern the relationship. This second part will focus on what should be included in the employment contract itself. 4. The… Read more »

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5 top tips for Employment Contracts (Part 1)

5 top tips for Employment Contracts (Part 1)

This is part one of a two-part blog which looks at 5 important considerations when creating employment contracts. This blog will explore what type of document should be used for your specific purposes and the overall form the contract takes. Part two will focus on what should be included in the contract of employment. 1…. Read more »

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Have you paid your data protection fee?

Have you paid your data protection fee?

The ICO is cracking down on companies who have not paid their data protection fee The GDPR is now firmly embedded in UK law and since May 2018 there have been an increasing number of reports of investigations by the ICO into data breaches and inappropriate use of personal data by companies across the country…. Read more »

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New IR35 tax rules

New IR35 tax rules

Is your business ready for the changing IR35 tax rules? Background to IR35 Personal Services Companies (PSCs) became increasingly popular in the 1990s and allowed individuals to structure their working affairs in such a way that resulted in individuals paying less tax and national insurance. In 2000, the Government introduced the IR35 legislation to recover… Read more »

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What is ethical veganism?

What is ethical veganism?

Ethical veganism – the new “philosophical belief” in discrimination law. Just how far must someone go to prove they believe it? Back in early January, my colleague Aleksandra commented on the decision in the case of Mr Casamitjana Costa v The League Against Cruel Sports. The Tribunal dealt with the preliminary question of whether or… Read more »

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Parental bereavement leave

Parental bereavement leave

The final hurdle to support bereaved parents in the workplace as Jack’s Law goes before Parliament to be ratified The Government has announced in the last few days that it has laid before Parliament the draft legislation for the Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Regulations 2020. Due to come into force on 6 April 2020,… Read more »

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Use of non-disclosure agreements in sexual harassment claims

Use of non-disclosure agreements in sexual harassment claims

(Co-written by Aleksandra Golat Solicitor (admitted in Australia) and Claire Merritt (Partner) Are non-disclosure agreements or non-derogation clauses appropriate to use in the settlement of sexual harassment claims? In the wake of the allegations against high profile individuals such as Harvey Weinstein and Sir Philip Green, in addition to the recent Presidents Club dinner scandal,… Read more »

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Keeping in touch with your employee on maternity leave

Keeping in touch with your employee on maternity leave

Short Guide to keeping in touch with employees on maternity leave Flexibility in the workplace is a hot topic and employers are generally keen to look after their employees and encourage loyalty amongst the workforce. This will include ensuring that employees on maternity leave are treated lawfully and positively. I was surprised therefore in 2019… Read more »

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Employing EU Nationals after Brexit: 5 Tips for Immigration Planning in 2020

Employing EU Nationals after Brexit: 5 Tips for Immigration Planning in 2020

5 New Year resolutions to help you prepare for employing EU nationals after Brexit With the new year now upon us, if you run a business that employs EU nationals, it’s time to put your Brexit immigration plans into place.  As you will be aware, the UK is set to leave the EU on 31… Read more »

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Ethical veganism is a protected philosophical belief

Ethical veganism is a protected philosophical belief

Case Update on ethical veganism A short summary judgment in the Employment Tribunal has upheld ethical veganism as a philosophical belief that is capable of protection under the Equality Act.    Ethical vegans Dietary vegans eat a plant-based diet but ethical vegans will try to exclude all forms of animal exploitation as far as possible.  Dietary… Read more »

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What are Charities’ obligations in whistleblowing cases?

What are Charities’ obligations in whistleblowing cases?

Whistleblowing in charities The scandals last year involving Oxfam raise issues for charities and their duty of care to employees. Employees often raise day to day issues but sometimes those issues can be unexpected, concerning and cause high reputational risk. What is whistleblowing? The Employment Rights Act 1996 protects employees who “blow the whistle”. This… Read more »

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Employment legislation changes from April 2020

Employment legislation changes from April 2020

What are the changes to employment legislation due on 6 April 2020? The Good Work Plan There will be a suite of changes in the employment arena that will be implemented by 6 April 2020 following the release of the Good Work Plan. Our previous blog entitled “Gig economy reform – The Good Work Plan”… Read more »

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Dealing with flexible working requests

Dealing with flexible working requests

5 top tips for dealing with flexible working requests With technology increasingly enabling flexible working practices, flexible working requests are becoming more common. Ranging from employees working from home on occasion to altering their start and finish times to reducing their hours, statistics suggest that employees increasingly expect and value flexible working. Enabling flexible working… Read more »

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Changes to employment contracts imminent

Changes to employment contracts imminent

Will your business be ready by April 2020? Following the Taylor Review, the government released the Good Work Plan which set out a number of changes to the way that labour relations in the UK are governed. From a practical perspective, employers should be aware that there are a number of regulatory changes being made… Read more »

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Employment Conference Presentation – 03.10.19

Employment Conference Presentation – 03.10.19

Please follow the link to download the presentations from last week’s conference. If you have any queries concerning anything discussed in the conference please contact one of the team. Employment conference slides Hockley October 2019 (04450350)

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Settlement Agreements: A guide for employees – Part 3

Settlement Agreements: A guide for employees – Part 3

This is the third and final part of our blog series on the topic of “Settlement Agreements”. Please see part one and part two. Each blog has answered some of the frequently asked questions raised by employees. We have also set out some practical guidance on what to do if you are presented with a settlement… Read more »

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How to avoid harassment and bias at work

How to avoid harassment and bias at work

In this blog we set out our answers to some of the frequently asked questions  regarding harassment and bias at work that will be covered in our next training session on 23 October 2019. A number of recent cases have highlighted the problem of harassment and bias in the workplace and the risk faced by… Read more »

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Employment Law Conference Autumn 2019

Employment Law Conference Autumn 2019

Watch our video from our Employment Law Conference on 25 September:    Over the past two weeks we have welcomed over 200 delegates to our Southampton and Winchester Employment Law conference. The conference aims to give HR professionals and business leaders across our region, expert, up to date advice around key topics that will… Read more »

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Employment Conference Presentation – 25.09.19

Employment Conference Presentation – 25.09.19

Please follow the link to download the presentations from yesterday’s conference.  If you have any queries concerning anything discussed in the conference please contact one of the team. Employment conference slides 25.9.19 for website (04413035)

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Settlement Agreements: A guide for employees – Part 2

Settlement Agreements: A guide for employees – Part 2

This blog forms the second part of a three part series on the topic of “Settlement Agreements”. If you haven’t already read it, part one can be found here. Each blog is answering some of the frequently asked questions raised by employees. We have also set out some practical guidance on what to do if… Read more »

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Managing absence – Top tips

Managing absence – Top tips

Our next training session on 26 September 2019 will look at best practice for managing sickness absence at work. We will look at both the issues involved in managing short term persistent absence and long term absence due to serious ill health. The practical session will go through examples of the key issues faced by… Read more »

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Settlement Agreements: A guide for employees – Part 1

Settlement Agreements: A guide for employees – Part 1

Over the next three weeks we will be publishing three blog posts on the topic of “Settlement Agreements”. Each blog will answer some of the frequently asked questions raised by employees. We will also set out some practical guidance on what to do if you are presented with a settlement agreement. As a starting point,… Read more »

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Can I go home from work if it’s too hot? What employers should do in the heatwave

Can I go home from work if it’s too hot? What employers should do in the heatwave

A couple of days ago, the Southern Daily Echo asked me to comment on the question above. I set out some key points and thought no more of it, too busy coping with the heat myself… however the article has had significant impact. Its gone into around 75 news publications over the last two days… Read more »

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Does a workplace suspension need to be necessary?

Does a workplace suspension need to be necessary?

Most employers are reluctant to suspend an employee from duty when investigating their conduct as there is a risk that suspension could breach the implied term of mutual trust and confidence. Employers are correct to exercise caution given the consequences that could flow from making the wrong decision. However suspension will, in certain circumstances, be… Read more »

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Dress Code : Can my employer make me wear heels to work?

Dress Code : Can my employer make me wear heels to work?

In this blog we have considered whether employees can be required under a dress code to wear heels in the workplace within the UK. We have also outlined the current guidance for UK employers. You may have seen the recent media coverage surrounding the dress code requirements for women in Japan. More specifically, scrutiny has… Read more »

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Managing redundancy situations – Training

Managing redundancy situations – Training

Whilst employers aim to avoid redundancy situations wherever possible, unfortunately most businesses face making redundancies at some point, whether in relation to a workplace closure or to restructure roles to suit the changing needs of the business going forward. It is important that employers manage redundancy situations effectively to avoid the risk of claims for… Read more »

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Can employees enforce payment of discretionary bonuses?

Can employees enforce payment of discretionary bonuses?

Employees may establish this entitlement in circumstances where the contract has been varied through custom and practice, however must clearly demonstrate that this is the case by reference to relevant indicia. The decision of Bluestones Medical Recruitment Ltd v Swinnerton (UKEAT/0197/18/BA) highlights that in certain circumstances an employee can be found entitled to a bonus… Read more »

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In house employment law training : The benefits

In house employment law training : The benefits

In house training has several key benefits. Paris Smith’s in house training offers a broad range of employment law training topics. Paris Smith deliver employment law training sessions for clients at their offices in Southampton but are also able to offer training sessions for businesses from the convenience of their own premises as part of… Read more »

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Applications open for Non-Legal Employment Tribunal Members

Applications open for Non-Legal Employment Tribunal Members

For the first time since 2009, recruitment into non-legal Employment Tribunal member roles is being undertaken. This could be an exciting opportunity for some of our contacts in the community. Approximately 340 people will be accepted for either employer or employee non-legal panels. Candidates choose which panel they would prefer to be a part of… Read more »

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The benefits of a positive workplace culture on mental health issues

The benefits of a positive workplace culture on mental health issues

Business leaders should have confidence to display personal vulnerability Business leaders who pay due regard to the mental and physical wellbeing of their staff will undoubtedly see the benefits for their teams and their organisation as a whole. If one sees a colleague limping or bearing evidence of a physical injury one would naturally ask… Read more »

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How do you settle commercial disputes without going to court?

How do you settle commercial disputes without going to court?

Mediation can hold the key What is mediation and how does it apply to commercial disputes? Mediation is a forum for settlement of disputes in which an entirely independent specially trained third party (the mediator) meets the parties who are in dispute to help them negotiate a settlement of their dispute. Other common forums for… Read more »

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Preliminary Hearings – What employers need to know

Preliminary Hearings – What employers need to know

Preliminary hearings are commonly now listed as a matter of course for more complex claims that are brought in the Employment Tribunal, for example claims including a whistleblowing or discrimination element. Many employers are unfamiliar with the purpose of preliminary hearings or what to expect. We’ve set out below a guide to the preliminary hearing… Read more »

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Practical Equality & Diversity Training

Practical Equality & Diversity Training

Following the removal of employment tribunal fees, discrimination claims bought by employees continue to rise. Employers have a number of legal obligations to prevent discrimination at work. Ensuring fairness in the workplace is also a vital part of any successful business, helping to increase staff recruitment and retention and ensure a productive workforce. Our training… Read more »

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Why aren’t we mediating more employment disputes?

Why aren’t we mediating more employment disputes?

Employment disputes are rarely settled by mediation. I think employment lawyers need to consider mediation as a useful option for resolving cases in the employment tribunal. I had a meeting recently with an employment solicitor at another firm in the region. She had qualified recently as a mediator and we talked about employment mediations and… Read more »

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4 top tips for employers to help manage mental ill health in the workplace

4 top tips for employers to help manage mental ill health in the workplace

Reducing work-related stress can be hugely beneficial for employers – reducing absence levels and improving overall performance. Employers also have a legal obligation to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees and to ensure they do not discriminate against disabled employees. Our training session on 20 March 2019 will go through the legal… Read more »

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Can an employer make decisions based on the organisation’s religious beliefs?

Can an employer make decisions based on the organisation’s religious beliefs?

A recent Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decision decided that the dismissal of a nursery employee for cohabiting with her boyfriend in contravention of the nursery’s religious beliefs was not direct religious belief discrimination. The Law The Equality Act 2010 (the “Act”) prohibits an employer from treating an employee less favourably as a result of a… Read more »

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5 practical tips to effectively manage disciplinary and grievance issues

5 practical tips to effectively manage disciplinary and grievance issues

Our next line manager training session will provide a guide to dealing with disciplinary and grievance issues, looking at the key issues employers need to be aware of via practical examples. Ahead of the training session, here are our top five practical tips to ensure effective management of disciplinary and grievance issues. Don’t ignore minor… Read more »

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Office banter or harassment?

Office banter or harassment?

Most employers accept that some element of banter and humour in the workplace is normal, and a friendly working environment is to be encouraged. However, there is a fine line between office banter and harassment. This issue has recently made headlines after being the focus of several recent discrimination claims. Compensation varies depending on the… Read more »

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Equal pay comparison scope in the retail sector

Equal pay comparison scope in the retail sector

(Co-written with Jonathan White, Trainee Solicitor) In respect of an equal pay claim against a major supermarket, a group of in-store employees have been permitted to compare themselves with other types of employees – specifically those at the supermarket’s distribution depots. The recent Court of Appeal decision in Asda Stores Ltd v Brierley & others… Read more »

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Employers face ban on keeping tips from staff

Employers face ban on keeping tips from staff

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has recently announced that plans to ensure that tips left for workers in the service industry go directly to them, in full. The announcement followed public outcry when it was discovered many restaurants took up to 10% of tips left for staff via card payments. Currently,… Read more »

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Mock Employment Tribunal – 13 February 2019

Mock Employment Tribunal – 13 February 2019

Back by popular demand, the Paris Smith Employment team is all set to demonstrate a mock tribunal case in action on 13 February 2019. Places for this event are limited so please do book in advance to secure a space. Due to the rise in the number of employment tribunal claims being brought, we understand… Read more »

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Gig economy reform – The Good Work Plan

Gig economy reform – The Good Work Plan

In our recent articles entitled “The problems with the gig economy” and “The gig economy – Why are Uber drivers workers and Deliveroo riders not?, we have looked at the problems caused by the gig economy and the conflicting case law in this area. We have been waiting for some time for the Government to… Read more »

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The gig economy – Why are Uber drivers workers and Deliveroo riders not?

The gig economy – Why are Uber drivers workers and Deliveroo riders not?

In our last article we looked at the problems caused by the rapidly growing gig economy. The Employment Tribunal has spent the last few years dealing with a wealth of Employment Tribunal claims from the gig economy, arguing that individuals are workers and entitled to benefits like holiday pay and rest breaks. This article looks… Read more »

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Five practical tips for effective performance management

Five practical tips for effective performance management

In the spirit of New Year resolutions and the introduction of our 2019 legal training programme here are our top five practical tips for managers to ensure effective performance management throughout the year. 1. Set the goal posts It is really important to ensure that employees understand the standard that is expected of them and… Read more »

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The problems with the gig economy

The problems with the gig economy

The recent announcement that the Court of Appeal has decided that Uber drivers are workers, and not genuinely self employed, has again put the gig economy back in the spotlight. In this first in a series of three articles we look at the problems caused by the gig economy, the state of the current case… Read more »

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New obligations for employers – mental health at work

New obligations for employers – mental health at work

The mental health charity Mind has recently published the alarming finding that poor mental health affects half of all employees. Fear of failure, mounting pressure and job insecurity have been found as some of the biggest contributors to stress in the workplace. This is something that some may argue will continue to rise in the… Read more »

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Are you at risk of an equal pay claim?

Are you at risk of an equal pay claim?

The big four supermarkets: Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons are all currently facing equal pay cases. The firm Leigh Day is representing thousands of employees seeking back pay for predominantly female retail workers who believe that they are receiving less pay then predominantly male workers in distribution centres. It is estimated that if all four… Read more »

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As an employer are you liable for deliberate data breaches by employees?

As an employer are you liable for deliberate data breaches by employees?

Summary The Court of Appeal has this month upheld the decision of the High Court, agreeing that Morrisons are vicariously liable for the actions of one of their employees who disclosed payroll details of other employees, affecting around 100,000 colleagues. The case is the first data leak class action in the UK. Worryingly for employers,… Read more »

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Bonuses – getting the balance right

Bonuses – getting the balance right

Having not written an article for a while, I find inspiration for this after reading that Jeff Fairburn is to leave Persimmon Plc. Jeff Fairburn (let’s just call him Jeff) is the Chief Executive of Persimmon Plc and the reason for him leaving is stated to be the distraction caused by the news of his… Read more »

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Taxing Termination Payments- New Regime from 6 April 2018

Taxing Termination Payments- New Regime from 6 April 2018

From 6 April 2018, a new regime will apply to payments in lieu of notice (PILON) paid on termination of employment. Current position The current position is that the tax treatment of a PILON depends on whether there is a contractual PILON clause in the contract of employment. If there is, the PILON will be… Read more »

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Employment Publications / Press

Employment Factsheets

Employment Newsletter

February 2020

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Employment Newsletter

January 2020

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Employment Newsletter

December 2019

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Employment Newsletter

November 2019

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Employment Newsletter

October 2019

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Employment Newsletter

September 2019

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Employment Newsletter

November 2018

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October 2018

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Employment Newsletter

September 2018

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Employment Newsletter

August 2018

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Employment Newsletter

July 2018

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The Mencap decision

the end of National Minimum Wage arguments for sleep-in shifts

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Employment Newsletter

June 2018

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Employment Newsletter

May 2018

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GDPR

10 Steps to Compliance

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Employment Newsletter

April 2018

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Employment Newsletter

March 2018

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Employment Newsletter

February 2018

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Employment Newsletter

January 2018

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Employment Newsletter

December 2017

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Employment Law Newsletter

November 2017

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Employment Law Newsletter

October 2017

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Employment Newsletter

September 2017

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Employment Newsletter

August 2017

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Immigration Newsletter

Summer 2017

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Employment Newsletter

July 2017

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Employment Newsletter

June 2017

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Essential Line Manager Training 2017

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Employment Newsletter May 2017

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Employment Newsletter

April 2017

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Employment Newsletter

March 2017

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Immigration Newsletter

Spring 2017

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Employment Newsletter

February 2017

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Employment Newsletter

January 2017

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Employment Law Training

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Flexible fee arrangements

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Employment newsletter December 2016

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Employment newsletter November 2016

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Employment newsletter October 2016

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Employment newsletter September 2016

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Employment newsletter August 2016

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Employment newsletter July 2016

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Employment newsletter June 2016

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Employment newsletter April 2016

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Employment newsletter March 2016

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Employment newsletter February 2016

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Employment newsletter January 2016

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Employment Newsletter March 2015

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Holiday Pay Audit

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Employment Podcasts

Is Your Solicitor Playing to Win?

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Settlement Agreements: A Guide

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Can an employee enforce a discretionary bonus?

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Dress code : Can employees be forced to wear heels at work?

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