Legal news: Employment update

Peter Summerfield rounds up recent developments affecting employers and their advisers Employers should act with caution if they are contemplating dismissing an employee who has recently raised a health and safety matter. Vet’s assistant who raised Covid safety concerns was unfairly dismissed An employment tribunal has found that a veterinary assistant who raised concerns with …
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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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Furlough scheme: Recent cases highlight importance of considering alternatives to redundancy

Sarah Evans examines two decisions on whether it was fair to make employees redundant instead of furloughing them and the wider lessons for employers making redundancies as the CJRS closes The distinguishing feature of these two cases, and a clear reminder to employers, is that a failure to consider an alternative to redundancy, whatever that …
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Contract variations: Can you pay staff less for working remotely?

David Jepps explores whether UK employers can cut the pay of employees who continue to work from home A pay cut is treated as a deduction and if employers unilaterally reduce pay, employees can make unlawful deductions claims to an employment tribunal. As Covid-19 restrictions continue to be reduced and the effects of the pandemic …
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Coronavirus: Recent Covid cases – lessons for employers

Ed Livingstone and Grace Waterhouse report on two recent employment tribunal cases arising from the pandemic and examine the lessons for employers It seems inevitable that, as in Montanaro, tribunals will consider Covid-19 to present circumstances of danger under the Employment Rights Act. This means that employees are likely to be protected from dismissal if …
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Misconduct: Employees behaving badly – can employers dismiss for bad behaviour outside the workplace?

In light of high-profile incidents over the summer, Michelle Clarke investigates employers’ ability to discipline employees whose conduct outside work has caused public outrage Employers should give careful thought to the facts that are known, or the details that they need to uncover, and decide whether there is a link between the employee’s misbehaviour and …
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Unfair dismissal: Terminations for behaviour outside work

Two EAT decisions have examined whether it can be fair to dismiss an employee for alleged conduct in their private life that could bring their employer into disrepute. Suresh Patel reports ‘When deciding whether a dismissal is fair, an employment tribunal is required to assess whether the sanction of dismissal involves a disproportionate and unjustified …
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