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Employment Blog articles

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 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 untaken holidays?

Are workers entitled to be paid for years of 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

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… 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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Employment Publications / Press

Employment Factsheets

Employment Newsletter

September 2019

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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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Employment Podcasts

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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