New Legislation: Small Business Act – big ambitions

Legislation passed just before Parliament was dissolved ahead of the general election contains a number of important employment law provisions, reports Lauren Pullen-Stanley ‘These reforms will improve transparency and consistency in the way prescribed persons handle disclosures and reassure whistleblowers that action is being taken. The usefulness of these provisions will, however, largely depend on …
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Contracts Of Employment: Imposing changes without consent

Three recent cases have highlighted the difficulties employers face if they wish to make a unilateral variation to employees’ terms and conditions, writes Sarah Parkin ‘Many employers do include unilateral variation clauses in contracts of employment purporting to give them a general power to change terms and conditions unilaterally.’ Changing terms and conditions of employment …
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Disability Discrimination: All about that case

The EAT seems to be making it harder than ever to advise employers on what amounts to unlawful disability discrimination, argues Phil Allen ‘In deciding a number of recent claims, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has given judgments which may appear correct on the facts, but which highlight how increasingly difficult it is to advise …
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Unfair Dismissal: SOSR terminations require a proper procedure

Helen Cookson analyses a recent EAT case concerning dismissal for misuse of public funds ‘A lesson for employers and their advisers when dealing with a SOSR situation is that although they may not be obliged to follow their disciplinary procedure they should, at the very least, follow a procedure that that meets natural justice requirements.’With …
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Misconduct Dismissals: Steering clear of trouble

In light of the controversy surrounding Jeremy Clarkson’s sacking, Glenn Hayes explains how to ensure a dismissal for misconduct is fair ‘Properly investigating allegations before deciding on whether to instigate a disciplinary procedure is one of the tenets of acting fairly.’It is difficult to write about Jeremy Clarkson’s removal from Top Gear in anything approaching …
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Contractual Powers: How to reach a reasonable opinion

Charles Wynn-Evans examines a recent Supreme Court decision considering a challenge to an employer’s decision under provisions in an employment contract providing for the employer to determine a matter in its opinion ‘Braganza presents the possibility of trust and confidence arguments being mounted in relation to employers’ post-termination decisions.’Employment lawyers will be familiar with the …
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Human Rights: Do employees have the freedom to offend?

Makbool Javaid and Heather Hacking consider the conflict between employees’ right to express themselves and their responsibilities to their employer ‘Although it is a fundamental pillar of a civilised society, even freedom of expression has its limits, so that there is not, and never can be, an unbridled right to offend.’The battle for freedom of …
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