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Category: Employment

Online and e-mail risks at work

Posted on 03/08/13 by Conybeare Solicitors
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This Business Briefing highlights the risks all employees should be aware of when using e-mail and the internet at work, sending work related e-mails or discussing the workplace on the internet.

 

TUPE Transfers

Posted on 02/09/13 by Conybeare Solicitors

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TUPE is an acronym for the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006.

Where TUPE applies, employees automatically transfer from one employer to another with their terms of employment and continuity of service intact.

This checklist provides a useful summary of the key issues for businesses.  

Enforceable Employee Restrictive Covenants

Posted on 11/09/12 by Conybeare Solicitors
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This checklist explains what restrictive covenants are, when they are likely to be enforceable and how they can be used in employment contracts to protect your business’ interests.

Sickness Related Dismissals

Posted on 10/09/12 by Conybeare Solicitors
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This checklist sets out the steps your business should take if you are contemplating dismissing an employee for a sickness absence-related reason. Although this can be a fair reason to dismiss an employee, it is important to follow the correct procedure

 

Automatic Pension Enrolment

Posted on 09/09/12 by Conybeare Solicitors
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The staging timetable for when employers in the UK must automatically enrol eligible jobholders in a pension scheme has been finalised. The new regulations, which comes into force on 1 October 2012, revise the current implementation timetable so that small employers will not be subject to auto-enrolment until June 2015 at the earliest. The revised timetable will benefit approximately 1.3 million small employers (covering around 4.75 million eligible individuals) whose staging dates will be delayed by at least 14 months.

Your business will be required to automatically enrol eligible “jobholders” in a pension scheme. A “jobholder” will include permanent, fixed-term and temporary employees, as well as agency workers.

This checklist highlights key issues for businesses.

Employment Issues – Buying a Business in Administration

Posted on 07/02/12 by Conybeare Solicitors
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Often, the most effective way of realising value from the assets of a company in administration is to sell its business as a going concern. The High Court has recently held that a clause in a sale contract that provided for any liabilities of the seller or the administrator to rank as an unsecured claim against the seller (rather than, for example, as an expense of the administration) was valid and effective. It is the first time that the court has considered the effectiveness of such a clause (which is a common feature of administration sale contracts). The effectiveness of the clause means that a buyer will typically have limited recourse should the administrator or seller breach their obligations under a sale contract. This underlines the need for thorough due diligence and for the buyer to take responsibility for as much of the process of perfecting the sale as possible.

This checklist sets out the key employment issues a buyer should consider before buying a business that is in administration.

Employee vs. Self-Employed: How to Check?

Posted on 05/10/12 by Conybeare Solicitors
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It is not uncommon for a business to sponsor students to advance their training, particularly where there is an expectation (or commitment) that the student will work for the company at the end of the course. An Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decision has confirmed that these type of arrangements are unlikely to be considered to be contracts of employment if the primary purpose of the arrangement is training and education.

In this case, the EAT had to consider whether a contract to sponsor a former apprentice during a university degree was a contract of employment entitling him to claim unfair dismissal, or a contract which would not give him statutory employment rights. The EAT held that there was no dismissal when the sponsor refused him full-time employment following his withdrawal from the degree.

This checklist explains the significance of the distinction between an employee, a worker and a self-employed contractor. It also sets out the factors that will be considered by an employment tribunal when deciding whether an individual is an employee or self-employed.

Discrimination in the work place

Posted on 04/15/12 by Conybeare Solicitors
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An NHS Trust and three senior employees have been ordered to pay £4.5 million in compensation to a female obstetrician.

The obstetrician was subjected to harassment, criticism, false allegations and “a lengthy and wholly unauthorised period of suspension” before disciplinary proceedings began, culminating in her dismissal.

The award was made up of £1.1 million for loss of past and future earnings, £600,000 for loss of pension, damages for injury to feelings and exemplary damages against the Trust. It is thought to be the largest award in a UK discrimination case.

This checklist sets out the different types of discrimination that can occur within the workplace and highlights practical steps businesses can take to help avoid breaching discrimination and harassment law.

Employment: Working Time Regulations

Posted on 03/15/12 by Conybeare Solicitors
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Employers with employees who regularly work overtime, should be aware of a recent Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decision on the 48-hour working week opt-out. The EAT held that a requirement by an employer for an employee to sign an opt-out agreement to work overtime was reasonable and necessary to ensure the employer complied with its duty under the Working Time Regulations 1998 (SI 1998/1833) to take reasonable steps to ensure compliance with the 48-hour week.

This checklist summarises your business’ obligations under the Working Time Regulations.

Effective Restrictive Covenants in Employment Contracts

Posted on 03/15/12 by Conybeare Solicitors
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A High Court decision illustrates the importance to employers of having effective restrictive covenants, appropriately drafted to an employee’s role, to protect their business. The restrictive covenant in this case stated:

During your employment with Customer Systems (CS) and for a period of one year afterwards you undertake not to be employed directly or indirectly by any present or past customer of CS with which you have been personally involved in the course of your employment by CS.”

This checklist explains what restrictive covenants are, when they are likely to be enforceable and how they can be used in employment contracts to protect your business’ interests. 

Compromise Agreements for Employers

Posted on 02/24/12 by Conybeare Solicitors
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Businesses will welcome the decision of the High Court in a case concerning an indemnity in a compromise agreement provided by an employer to a former employee. The court held that the words “any administrative, regulatory, judicial or quasi-judicial proceedings” did not cover investigations by the police into alleged criminal behaviour by the employee. 

This checklist sets out the key issues your business should consider before entering into a compromise agreement with an employee.  

Dismissing an Employee

Posted on 01/09/12 by Conybeare Solicitors
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The Court of Appeal has confirmed that an employer’s unambiguous notice of
termination can rarely be withdrawn. An employee will be able to take the
notice at face value, unless the employer can show that it did not intend to
terminate the contract. The decision highlights the serious consequences for
employers of proceeding on the basis of a misunderstanding with employees.

This briefing provides a timely reminder for employers wishing to dismiss an employee.

Whistleblowing

Posted on 01/09/12 by Conybeare Solicitors
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The Court of Appeal has confirmed that it is easier for claimants to succeed with detriment claims than automatically unfair dismissal claims under whistleblowing legislation. A “detriment” is a disadvantage an employee has suffered because they have “blown the whistle” (for example, being over looked for a promotion or disciplined). This case highlights the importance of having a whistleblowing policy in place and of providing information and training to managers on how to recognise, and properly deal with, a whistleblowing situation.

This checklist outlines the protection given to whistleblowers at work under English law.

Salary Sacrifice Arrangements

Posted on 12/03/11 by Conybeare Solicitors
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This legal update highlights the various salary sacrifice arrangements that can be used by a business and the impact of the new VAT rules
on themas HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has confirmed that, from 1 January 2012, businesses must account for VAT on the supply of VATable benefits provided to employees under salary sacrifice arrangements.

Providing Access to Information in Complaint Files

Posted on 12/03/11 by Conybeare Solicitors
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This checklist will help your business understand how to respond to a request for access to personal information held in a complaint file.