Legal news: Employment update

Jackie Thomas rounds up the latest developments affecting employers and their advisers The Autoclenz approach only applied in situations where individuals were being deprived of statutory rights and where the bargaining power between the parties was uneven. EAT gives harsh lesson on following the tribunal rules An unrepresented claimant was not entitled to bring her …
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Working patterns: Shifting priorities

Joanne Moseley explores how employers can avoid the legal pitfalls when managing shift workers and gives some practical tips for successful shift-working arrangements One important issue that can be overlooked is the difficulty some people have working certain shift patterns and the legal risks that follow if employers fail to take a flexible approach. Many …
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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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Sex discrimination: Going beyond the rhetoric

In light of recent bad publicity engulfing Channel 4 and BNP Paribas, Michelle Chance, Mark Rose and Alfie Bright give their tips for dealing with sex discrimination and pay inequality Employers should regularly review whether disparate outcomes occur at various stages of the HR process which may be due to employees’ or candidates’ protected characteristics. …
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Best practice: Developing fertility-friendly workplaces

Helen Burgess looks at why it’s important for employers to support employees having fertility treatment and what actions they can take to help them Going through fertility treatment is a really stressful and difficult time for anyone; anything an employer can do to minimise that is going to help the employee and foster goodwill. Infertility …
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Discrimination: Avoiding claims from pregnant workers and new mothers – lessons from recent case law

Beth Hale and Naomi Latham explore six cases which highlight the potential pitfalls for employers when managing workers who are pregnant or who have returned from maternity leave Efforts made to reach a compromise position and to consider individual circumstances will help employers demonstrate that they have acted proportionately and will help to justify the …
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Hybrid working: How to manage the risks of proximity bias

Favouring those employees who spend the most time in the office could result in legal claims from hybrid workers, warns Helen Corden Due to proximity bias, a manager may develop a practice of allocating work to individuals who are physically present in the office as opposed to those working at home. Companies around the world …
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Discrimination: Should the menopause be a specific protected characteristic?

Jenny Arrowsmith and Joanne Moseley examine the business case for supporting employees going through the menopause and discuss whether greater legal protection is required for those experiencing symptoms The menopause is not specifically protected under the Equality Act 2010 and most complaints are characterised as a form of disability, sex or occasionally age discrimination. The …
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Equality Act: Choosing a suitable comparator – two recent cases

The tricky issue of comparators has hit the headlines recently. Crowley Woodford and Sarah-Jane Gemmell take a closer look Employment tribunals should not weigh themselves down with extensive fact-finding exercises on the issue of whether the comparators would be employed on the same terms at the claimants’ establishment as at their own establishment. There have …
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