Wide scope of the extended definition of ‘worker’

A consultant providing services on a construction project was a ‘worker’ for the purposes of bringing a whistleblowing claim even though he had no contractual relationship with either the end-user or the agency which supplied his services. 
Keppel Seghers UK Ltd v Hinds
 
 

Pay data: July 2014

Various research organisations have published data on average pay settlements for the three months to June 2014 and stability seems to be the name of the game, with little sign of any significant upturn in pay deals.
 
 

Limited memory loss qualified as a disability

An employee with dissociative amnesia, the only symptom of which was that she forgot she had received a police caution for theft, was held to be disabled.
Sobhi v Commissioner of Police
 
 

Consolidation on NMW regulations

It’s over 15 years since the regulations on the National Minimum Wage came into force and they’ve been amended many times since. The government thinks it’s time they were tidied up.
 
 

HR consultant’s letter could bind employer to higher pay

An HR consultant’s letter to staff informing them of the outcome of their grievance about pay was capable of creating a contractual right to higher pay – and there was no need for formal acceptance; the employees continuing to work sufficed.
Hershaw v Sheffield City Council
 
 

Obesity and disability discrimination

Whilst there’s no general stand-alone prohibition on discrimination on grounds of obesity in EU law, morbid obesity may come within the meaning of ‘disability’ if it is of such a degree as to hinder full participation in professional life on an equal footing with other employees.
Kalthof v Municipality of Billund
 
 

June 2014 inflation data

UK Consumer Prices Index inflation rose in the year to June 2014 to 1.9%. The detailed figures are as follows:
 
 

Employer prevented from giving full reference

An employer was not obliged to provide further information to the recipient of a standard reference that did not refer to outstanding disciplinary action against the employee or his long period of sickness absence.
AB v A Chief Constable
 
 

Exempting the self-employed from health and safety law

Unless they are undertaking activities on a prescribed high-risk list, the self-employed will be excluded from the protection of the Health and Safety at Work Act.
 
 

Handling exit discussions

Overview


  • Maria Hoeritzauer of Crossland Employment Solicitors looks at how employers can discuss with an employee their exit from the business on a without prejudice or protected discussion basis. We have referred to these as ‘exit discussions’ for the purposes of this checklist.
  • If successful, the mutually agreed exit is normally recorded via a settlement agreement. These agreements benefit both parties because they typically include wording which ensures that neither party will disparage the other or disclose the details of the arrangement (other than to HMRC, for example), provide for an agreed reference and/or leaving announcement and in return the individual waives all claims they might have against the employer regarding their employment and termination. 
  • Exit discussions can be instigated by either party, although it is more normally driven by the employer. There is no obligation on either party to agree to have or to continue the discussions.
  • If the exit discussion fails for whatever reason, the employee should continue in employment without suffering any detriment. 
 
 

Downgrading as a form of harassment?

The gradual diminution over a period of years in the responsibilities of a long-serving and senior employee’s role was capable of being harassment related to her disability.
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board v Hughes
 
 

Enforcement of tribunal awards: new penalty regime

Employers who fail to pay tribunal awards (including costs/expenses awarded against them to cover a worker’s tribunal fee) or sums owed under an ACAS-conciliated settlement will be subject to a financial penalty of up to £5,000.
 
 
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Monday, 21 July 2014

Caught on camera –top tips on monitoring staff

The award of £15,920 against Michele Mone’s lingerie firm MJM International for ‘bugging’ an employee raises questions about how far employers can go to check on their workforce using covert cameras and listening devices. 
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