Employment Law Reform: The Employer’s Charter and beyond

Jonathan Exten-Wright examines the current state of play with the government’s wide-ranging changes to employment law, including its controversial proposals for compensated no-fault dismissals ‘An individual who started employment with a new employer on or after 6 April 2012 must now have two years’ continuous service to be eligible to bring a complaint of unfair …
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Justification Defence: Revisiting the ‘cost plus’ rule

Katharine McPherson reviews the decision in Woodcock v Cumbria PCT and considers what role cost may play in justifying treatment that would otherwise amount to discrimination ‘In accordance with previous case law, the court agreed that an employer cannot justify discrimination simply because not discriminating would involve increased costs.’ For some time now, case law …
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Collective Redundancy: Restructuring the consultation rules

Dan Aherne and Libby Payne contemplate the courts’ and the government’s attempts to address difficulties with the law on consulting employees about collective redundancies ‘In this article, we consider how four recent decisions have sought to address ambiguities in the existing collective consultation legislation and the potential for reform following the call for evidence.’ In …
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Disability Discrimination: A step too far

The EAT has tightened up its approach to the duty to make reasonable adjustments, write Nick Thorpe and Gemma Rusling ‘The duty to make reasonable adjustments requires an employer to take reasonable steps to avoid a disabled person being put at a substantial disadvantage in the workplace when compared to a person who is not …
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Aggravated Damages: Compensation for making a bad situation worse

A recent EAT case has highlighted the difficulties involved in awarding damages for aggravating conduct separately from compensation for injury to feelings, explains Sarah Gregory ‘The EAT observed that aggravated damages are an aspect of injury to feelings and reiterated that their purpose is essentially compensatory, not punitive.’In a recent case, the Employment Appeal Tribunal …
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Board-Level Diversity: Skirting the issue

Jemima Coleman and Katie Russell weigh up the steps companies can take to improve female representation at board level without committing unlawful positive discrimination ‘There is no obligation on an employer to take positive action measures. However, if it does, its actions must be proportionate.’Gender diversity at board level is an important issue politically, socially …
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TUPE: Outsourcing: back to square one?

A number of recent decisions suggest that the EAT is taking a more restrictive approach to when TUPE applies to a service-provision change, report Kate Barker and Rob Collier-Wright ‘The government decided to clarify the position under UK law by introducing new provisions in reg 3(1)(b) TUPE, which made it clear that employees will transfer …
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