Public sector: recovery of exit payments and payments cap

Public sector employees earning more than £100,000 a year will have to repay exit payments on a pro-rata basis if they return to the same part of the public sector within 12 months. And the government intends to cap the total amount of redundancy and other exit payments that can be made to individuals leaving the public sector to £95,000.

HR advice on discipline should be confined to matters of law and procedure

Although a dismissing or investigating officer is entitled to seek guidance from HR, such advice should be limited to matters of law and procedure and to ensuring that all necessary matters have been addressed and achieve clarity. 
Ramphal v Department of Transport

Employee on long-term sick leave was not ‘assigned’ for TUPE

An employee on long-term sick leave who was not expected ever to return to work was not ‘assigned’ to an organised grouping of employees that transferred under TUPE.
BT Managed Services Ltd v Edwards

Affirming contracts of employment– context is everything

When considering whether an employee has delayed too long following his or her employer’s fundamental breach of contract, i.e. whether he or she has ‘affirmed’ the contract, the reasons for and the context in which the delay occurred should not be overlooked.
Adjei-Frempong v Howard Frank Ltd

Commission’s take on improving work-life balance

The Commission has outlined its thinking on how it’ll address the challenges of work-life balance faced by working families.

Fair dismissal for derogatory comments made about employer on Facebook

An employee who posted Facebook comments boasting of getting drunk whilst on emergency standby and used offensive language about his managers was fairly dismissed even though the company was not actually named, the employee had eight years’ unblemished service and the comments were made two years before his dismissal.
The British Waterways Board v Smith

Agency workers don’t have preference over redeployed permanent employees

Employers are not legally obliged to recruit agency workers in preference to others, nor are they prevented from redeploying permanent staff into vacant positions in preference to recruiting agency workers.
Coles v Ministry of Defence

Indirect discrimination by association

An individual may claim indirect discrimination under the Race Equality Directive by means of association with a group that is disadvantaged - even if the individual is not of the same ethnic or racial group.
CHEZ Razpredelenie Bulgaria AD v Komisia za Zashtita ot Diskriminatsia

The band of reasonable responses is not infinitely wide

The dismissal of a long-serving employee for a health and safety rule breach was unfair where the employers had effectively condoned the employee’s previous breaches.
Newbound v Thames Water Utilities Ltd

Annual leave untaken because of sickness can be carried over for 18 months

A worker on sick leave can carry forward untaken leave into a new holiday year under the Working Time Regulations even if the worker was capable of taking annual leave. But this isn’t an unlimited right to carry over holiday into subsequent years indefinitely – the maximum period for which holiday could be carried over was 18 months from the end of the leave year in which the annual leave arose.
Plumb v Duncan Print Group Ltd

Holiday pay back claims: two-year limit from 1 July 2015

From 1 July 2015, any new holiday pay claims brought in tribunal can only cover a period stretching back two years from the date on which the claim is made.

Timing of collective consultation and the special circumstances defence

A strategic albeit provisional decision to close a workplace triggered to obligation to consult collectively. The complete failure to do so justified a full 90-day protective award and the fact that the staff hadn’t suffered any actual loss was irrelevant.
E Ivor Hughes Educational Foundation v Morris

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Thursday, 04 August 2016

Let’s not be colour blind but colour brave

The aftermath of the Brexit referendum gave rise to a chain of racist and xenophobic incidents. The 57% increase in reports of hate crime following the vote reminds us that we must not become complacent in our continued efforts to achieve equality, inclusion and acceptance for all. Ethnicity and colour are among the most uncomfortable subjects for anyone, including those working in diversity and inclusion, to confront. This discomfort, however, should not and cannot allow us to shy away from discussing big subjects that have a profound impact on society at large and our workplaces. 

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