Illegality: Mistake or misrepresentation?

Sarah Young analyses a recent case on whether a worker knew he was not entitled to claim self-employed status ‘As a general rule, an illegal contract is unenforceable and most statutory employment rights, such as the right to bring an unfair dismissal claim, cannot be enforced under it.’ The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has recently …
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Grievance Hearings: Beware of apparent bias

The presence of a person on an employer’s grievance hearing panel who was perceived to be biased could amount to a fundamental breach of contract and give rise to a constructive unfair dismissal, explains David Ludlow ‘The principles of natural justice require that the hearing afforded to the employee is, in all the circumstances, a …
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Industrial Relations: Autumn of discontent

Andrew Burns asks whether the courts will be able to stop public sector workers going on a general strike in protest at government cuts ‘The statutory provisions governing a ballot are complex and detailed, and have been amended over the years so that Part V of TULRCA could be described as a minefield for the …
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Industrial Action: How employers can strike back

As the unions gear up for a fight over changes to public sector pensions, David Gallagher and Peter Holt suggest a new strategy for employers to challenge the legality of planned strike action ‘The normal retirement age, at which a full pension is payable without an actuarial reduction, varies across the different schemes.’ One of …
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Disciplinary Procedures: Dismissing for criminal behaviour

Matthew Ramsey and Jenny Steer consider how employers should respond if an employee is arrested or charged with an offence by the police ‘The statutory ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures sets out the essentials of a reasonable investigation. The precise requirements of the process will vary from case to case, but …
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Employment Status: Are contract terms worth the paper they’re written on?

Stephen Ratcliffe and Colin Leckey examine the impact of a recent Supreme Court decision about when courts and tribunals should disregard express written contractual terms ‘The Supreme Court’s decision provides welcome clarification of the circumstances in which an employment relationship may arise even where this contradicts express written terms.’ The Supreme Court in Autoclenz Ltd …
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Gender Equality: Achieving diversity across the board

Anne Sammon looks at the latest moves aimed at increasing the number of women in senior positions in UK and European companies ‘No longer is board diversity being seen as just an equality issue. It is now also being seen as crucial for corporate governance, with increasing amounts of research suggesting that gender diversity on …
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Retirement Notices: Moving the goalposts

A recent EAT ruling means that the repealed statutory retirement procedures could come back to bite employers, warn Michael Cole and Charlotte Stafford ‘Under the Regulations, employers needed to serve employees with notice of retirement six to 12 months before the intended date of retirement.’In the diary of most employers, 5 April 2011 was a …
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