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Employment

Right to work – new guidance

The Home Office has issued updated guidance on employers’ right to work checks. The changes are too detailed to list here but they reflect the increasing scrutiny being put on immigration status in the employment context.

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Suspension – repudiatory act?

An experienced teacher was suspended pending an investigation into allegations of rough behaviour against young school children. She had only been at the school for a few weeks and had no previous experience of dealing with disruptive youngsters; she had previously asked for help but no meaningful help had been supplied. She argued that the suspension was repudiatory conduct and she therefore regarded herself as dismissed, and able to bring a constructive dismissal claim.  

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Whistleblowing – manager’s liability?

A chief executive made whistleblowing disclosures in relation to corporate governance. Some months later, two directors agreed that he should be dismissed. The whistleblower then sued those two directors personally (as well as the company) for the losses flowing from the ‘unlawful detriments’ suffered as a result of the whistleblowing. The EAT held that those claims could proceed.  

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Restrictive covenant – ‘competing business’

It is very common to have a restrictive covenant preventing an employee from being ‘concerned or interested in’ any competing business for a period of six months from termination.  

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Employee monitoring – ECTHR

Considerable publicity was given to the ECTHR decision in which it was held that a Romanian employee’s Article 8 rights (ie the right to a private life) had been breached by employer monitoring of e-mails.  

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Whistleblower – public interest?

The whistleblowing legislation was amended in 2013 so the disclosure must now be ‘in the public interest’. This change was designed to reverse an EAT decision which had allowed a personal contractual dispute to come within the scope of the legislation. But, since that change in the law there has been much debate about how to interpret the ‘public interest’ requirement.

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TUPE – pre-packs

The ECJ has confirmed that TUPE will usually apply to a pre-pack insolvency arrangement. 

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Garden leave – TUPE ploy

A senior employee who has resigned, or been dismissed, may be faced with garden leave provisions. This is a clause in the employment contract which allows the employer to insist that the employee remains at home, and so does not take any part in the business.

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Discrimination – 10% uplift

In Simmons [2012] the CA applied a 10% uplift to existing personal injury awards.

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Holiday pay – voluntary overtime

The EAT has held that ‘entirely voluntary overtime’ should be treated as part of the normal remuneration when calculating holiday pay (on the basis that holiday pay should ‘correspond to the normal remuneration received by worker’).

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