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Legal news: Employment update

Jo Broadbent rounds up recent developments affecting employers and their advisers The presidents of the employment tribunals expect greater use of in-person hearings in cases that involve detailed or contested evidence, such as complex preliminary points and final hearings of short-track claims. Guidance on reducing the spread of Covid-19 in the workplace On 1 April, …
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Fire and rehire: P&O Ferries affair prompts promise of a code of practice

Richard Kenyon comments on the government’s proposals for a new statutory code of practice to clamp down on employers who force through mass dismissals without carrying out meaningful staff consultation The P&O case has been seized on as an extreme example of the concept of ‘fire and rehire’. St Patrick’s Day 2022 began like any …
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Dismissal: Settlement agreements – what can the P&O scandal tell us?

Joseph Lappin reviews how to use confidential settlement agreements correctly after accusations that P&O ‘blackmailed’ staff into signing away their employment rights Settlement agreements should never be used to prevent proper disclosure about the agreement or the circumstances surrounding the agreement to professional advisers, who are bound by a duty of confidentiality. In March this …
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Trade unions: Courts come full circle on detrimental treatment against strikers

The Court of Appeal has overturned the EAT and decided that workers are not protected against detriment for participating in industrial action. Philip Cameron and Chris Coombes report Employers have considered it lawful to subject employees who go on strike to detrimental treatment. For many years, legal practitioners have been aligned in their interpretation of …
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Public holidays: The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – when are workers entitled to paid time off?

With the long weekend for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee approaching in June, Katie Spearman explains whether workers will be entitled to an extra day off and considers some of the tricky issues when it comes to public holidays Whether workers will be entitled to an extra day off this year will be determined by the …
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Misconduct: Can employers dismiss for committing a criminal offence?

In light of the police fines issued to those who attended Downing Street events during lockdown, Sungjin Park examines how to deal with employees who break the law A misconduct dismissal will be considered unfair if the employer has not formed a genuine belief on reasonable grounds that the offence in question has been committed. …
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Demystifying employment contracts: Flexibility and mobility clauses

In the second part of this series, Amy Leech discusses the key legal principles and case law behind contractual flexibility clauses, including those concerned with mobility Drafting a flexibility or mobility clause too widely is likely to be considered unreasonable, rendering the clause unenforceable. Flexibility clauses are intended to do what they say on the …
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Legal news: Employment update

Leah Aschettino rounds up recent developments affecting employers and their advisers Non-compete clauses must be no wider than reasonably necessary to protect the employer’s legitimate business interests. Tribunal wrongly considered discrimination which occurred after dismissal decision Citizens Advice Merton and Lambeth Ltd v Mefful [2022] is a long-running piece of employment litigation involving allegations of …
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Employment status: Who is a worker, when and why?

Ed Livingstone and Kimberly Dennis give a summary of recent cases on worker status An ability for the individual to substitute another person to carry out their duties under the contract will be highly persuasive when arguing that they are not a worker, so long as it is a genuine right and not merely theoretical. …
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Confidential information: Possession is not nine tenths of the law

A recent case has highlighted the effectiveness of express provisions in protecting confidential documents retained by departing employees to use in subsequent litigation. Innes Clark reports It is essential that employers include a confidential information clause in their contracts, which should be properly drafted to meet the particular needs of the business. The change from …
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