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Employment Blog articles

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 which can be found here and here, 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 address these issues which were acknowledged in the Government commissioned Taylor Review which was… 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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Illegality in the context of employment contracts – breach of immigration law

Illegality in the context of employment contracts – breach of immigration law

In the recent Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) case of Okedina v Chikale, an employer who had brought a domestic worker over from Malawi sought to argue that the worker could not bring employment claims because her employment contract was illegal (i.e. in breach of immigration law). Ms Chikale was brought to the UK under a… Read more »

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Whistleblowing detriment clarified

Whistleblowing detriment clarified

A person subjecting a whistleblower to detriment must be personally motivated by the protected disclosure The recent Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) case of Malik v Cenkos Securities Plc has clarified a technical and litigious point in relation to personal knowledge and motivation in whistleblowing claims. Back in 2013, in the case of Western Union Payment… Read more »

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Perceived disability discrimination

Perceived disability discrimination

In the recent case of Chief Constable of Norfolk v Coffey, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has considered a claim for direct disability discrimination based on the employer’s perception that an employee’s condition would become a disability in the future. Background Under the Equality Act 2010 (EqA 2010), disability is one of the protected characteristics…. Read more »

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If an employee is subjected to a discriminatory demotion, can they refuse to work?

If an employee is subjected to a discriminatory demotion, can they refuse to work?

An interesting question and one that the Court of Appeal has answered with a responding no in the recent case of Rochford v WNS Global Services. The facts of the case are as follows: The Claimant in this case, Mr Rochford, had suffered from a serious back condition and was off work for almost a… Read more »

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Employer responsibility for employee data breach

Employer responsibility for employee data breach

Further to my colleague’s recent blogs regarding the looming GDPR, a significant and ground-breaking case, Various Claimants v WM Morrison Supermarkets plc has come through the High Court which makes an employer vicariously liable for a rogue employee’s data breach. The law surrounding vicarious liability was confirmed last year in the case of Mohamud v… Read more »

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Are workers entitled to be paid for years of past untaken holidays?

Are workers entitled to be paid for years of past untaken holidays?

Further to my colleague’s recent blogs regarding the ‘gig’ economy, a recent European Court of Justice (ECJ) decision has shed light on employers holiday pay liabilities where they have self-employed staff who are determined to be workers. The Case In the case of The Sash Window Workshop and another v King, the ECJ held that… Read more »

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Uber lose their appeal – you can’t call someone self-employed unless they genuinely are!

Uber lose their appeal – you can’t call someone self-employed unless they genuinely are!

The long awaited outcome of the appeal of the Uber case was released last week and whilst it may have been a shock to the powers that be at Uber that they lost, it hasn’t really come as a shock to those in the legal world who have been following the case with interest. The… Read more »

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Paris Smith – Legal Excellence

Paris Smith – Legal Excellence

I am delighted to announce that we passed a rigorous Lexcel assessment in October with ‘flying colours’ and therefore have retained our Lexcel accreditation for another year. During her visit the Assessor, Kate Baker, was particularly impressed with the firm’s high standards and the level of commitment of everyone in the firm. Lexcel stands for… Read more »

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Deliveroo defeats claim that riders are workers by issuing new contracts

Deliveroo defeats claim that riders are workers by issuing new contracts

It’s been an interesting week for the gig economy. On Monday Uber faced a defeat in the Employment Appeal Tribunal, which found that its taxi drivers were workers. Demonstrating the uncertainty in this area, in contrast, Deliveroo have now successfully demonstrated that its delivery riders are not workers. The key difference in the decisions is… Read more »

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The death of employment tribunal fees – how we can help

The death of employment tribunal fees – how we can help

The dust is starting to settle on the recent Supreme Court decision relating to employment tribunal fees. Talking to employment lawyers in the region, all are expecting a steady increase in tribunal claims. Tribunal fees were introduced in 2013 and the number of cases brought declined sharply. The evidence of this was clear and was… Read more »

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Workers’ Uprising

Workers’ Uprising

The old adage is that you wait for a bus and then 2 come along at the same time. A similar thing has happened recently with cases relating to worker status. We have had numerous cases coming before the employment tribunals on the issue of whether a person is a worker and thus entitled to… Read more »

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Voluntary Overtime and Holiday Pay

Voluntary Overtime and Holiday Pay

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has ruled in the recent case of Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council v Willetts and ors that payments for purely voluntary overtime should be included in holiday pay if they are regular enough to constitute “normal pay”. This is a significant judgment with regards to the treatment of holiday pay and… Read more »

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The Supreme Court rules employment tribunal fees are unlawful

The Supreme Court rules employment tribunal fees are unlawful

In a landmark judicial intervention, the Supreme Court has allowed the appeal by Trade Union UNISON against the legality of the current system of employment tribunal fees, holding that the fees regime introduced in 2013 is unlawful. Prior to the introduction of the Employment Tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal Fees Order 2013 (Fees Order),… Read more »

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Can an employee be dismissed during long term ill health absence?

Can an employee be dismissed during long term ill health absence?

Co-authored by Sarah Hayes, Trainee Solicitor and Clive Dobbin, Head of Employment Team. If an employee is absent on long term sickness and during this time, the employer realises that the organisation is managing without them, are they entitled to make the employee redundant? Furthermore, if the employee is disabled, does this constitute discrimination? These… Read more »

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Are job applicants protected against disability discrimination?

Are job applicants protected against disability discrimination?

Are job applicants protected against disability discrimination? Yes. The Equality Act 2010 protects job applicants from being discriminated against and treated less favourably on the grounds of disability. Employers are becoming increasingly aware of this protection in light of recent case law. In the recent case of The Government Legal Service v Ms Brookes UKEAT/0302/16/RN,… Read more »

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Leading guidance on indirect discrimination claims

Leading guidance on indirect discrimination claims

Co-authored by Sarah Hayes, Trainee Solicitor and Claire Merritt, Associate. In the conjoined cases of Essop and others v Home Office (UK Border Agency); Naeem v Secretary of State for Justice [2017] UKSC 27, the Supreme Court recently gave a leading unanimous judgment that: There is no requirement for a claimant to show the reason… Read more »

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Employment Publications / Press

Employment Factsheets

Employment Newsletter

November 2018

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Employment Newsletter

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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