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Employment

Whistleblowing – self-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.

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Morrisons’ data – vicarious liability

What is one to make of the decision that Morrisons is vicariously liable for an unauthorised data dump by a rogue employee (in which the personal data, including salaries, of 100,000 colleagues was posted online)?

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Protected conversations – termination date

ERA 1996 was amended in 2013 to give increased protection to pre-termination negotiations between employers and employees. Thus we now have the concept of the ‘protected conversation’, which means that negotiations can be carried out on a without prejudice basis (and therefore not disclosable at a later date).

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Workers – holiday arrears

The ECJ has confirmed the Advocate General’s opinion that ‘workers’ can claim arrears of holiday pay (even if they did not ask to take the holiday at the time).

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Dismissal – expired warnings

ACAS recommends that an employee should be told how long a written warning will remain live, and the consequences of further misconduct during that period of time. Moreover, a decision to dismiss ‘should not be based on an expired warning, but the fact that there is an expired warning may explain why an employer does not substitute a lesser sanction’.

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Contract – probationary period

Apparently, almost one in five new employees fail to get past their probationary period. Hence, probationary period clauses in employment contracts can help manage expectations, focus the mind on performance, and facilitate a swift exit.

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Wages – NMW, NLW, RLW!

An explanation of these abbreviations:

NMW = National Minimum Wage. For those of 21 or more it is currently £7.05 (increasing in April 2018 as a result of the Budget.

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‘Worker’ – Uber/Deliveroo

There is no doubt that the definition of ‘worker’ is the key employment law issue of our time. The Pimlico Plumbers case is due to be heard by the Supreme Court, and there is a fair chance that the Uber dispute will leap-frog the CA and be heard at the same time by the Supreme Court.

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Restrictions – SPAs

There is a distinction to be made between restrictive covenants in an employment contract, as opposed to restrictive covenants in a shareholders agreement (often called an investment agreement) when a business is sold under a sale and purchase agreement (SPA).

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Collective consultation – overseas

If an overseas employee has a ‘sufficiently strong connection’ with GB (and British employment law) then that employee may be able to bring an ET claim in this country.

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