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Constructive dismissal: Resignations and the ‘last straw’ doctrine

Mark Stevens reviews a recent EAT case in which a series of errors by an employer amounted to a fundamental breach of contract The tribunal should have considered whether, from Mr Craig’s perspective, the failure to pay was part of a pattern of mistreatment. To bring a successful claim for constructive dismissal, an employee must …
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Immigration: In with the old

The government’s 2022 immigration changes offer little assistance to employers struggling with labour shortages, warns Samar Shams The global business mobility rules bring a number of existing routes under one umbrella, with modifications. In 2022, the government is introducing the last pieces of its post-Brexit immigration system. A new high-potential individual visa has just come …
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Working from home: Are pay cuts lawful?

Martin Williams examines the legal and practical risks of cutting pay for staff who work remotely Taking money away from an employee who has proven that they can work remotely is not conducive to a positive employment relationship. The continuing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is hard to underestimate. The numbers of those infected and …
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Discrimination: ‘Bald’ insult was sex-related harassment, rules tribunal

Calling an employee ‘bald’ tipped his case from mere bullying to unlawful conduct under the Equality Act, reports Justin Tarka Although there is a requirement in harassment cases for there to be a connection to a protected characteristic, the ‘related to’ requirement is very broad. A recent employment tribunal case involving an unusual allegation of …
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Covid-19: How to manage anxious returners following recent EAT ruling

Brigitte Weaver considers the lessons for employers from the first appellate-level decision on whether it was automatically unfair to dismiss an employee for refusing to work due to concerns about Covid-19 It is not enough that an employee has genuine concerns about the pandemic and the risks to their family’s health in general. The employee …
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Demystifying employment contracts: Key considerations for drafting effective post-termination restrictions

In the third part of our series, Nick Hawkins looks at different types of restrictive covenant and how to ensure they are enforceable One difficulty for employers is that the courts will consider the reasonableness of the restriction as at the date the employee entered into it, which will usually be when they started employment. …
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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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