Whistleblowing

An employee does not need two years’ service to claim unfair dismissal if the reason for the dismissal is that he or she has made a public interest disclosure. One of the difficulties for employers is that an employee who makes disclosures of alleged wrongdoing may also be a difficult colleague to work with  –…

Direct Disability Discrimination

Direct discrimination involves treating an employee less favourably ‘because of a protected characteristic’. The word ‘a’ is doing a lot of work in that definition because it makes it clear that the protected characteristic need not actually apply to the employee. An employer who rejects a job application, in the mistaken belief that the applicant…

TUPE

The transfer of employment as a result of a TUPE transfer is an automatic process. When a TUPE transfer takes place, all of the employees assigned to the relevant part of the undertaking automatically transfer to the new employer. This can cause difficulties if the parties wrongly believe that an individual is not covered by…

Sickness absence dismissals

Where an employer gives an employee a contractual right to long-term sickness absence benefits, it will generally be an implied term of the contract that he or she will not be dismissed before those benefits are exhausted. Does that mean, however, that it will also be unfair to dismiss an employee in that period and…

Equal Pay

Perhaps the most complicated and difficult issue in the whole of employment law is working out whether an employee, in one part of the employer’s business, can claim equal pay by comparing herself with a man working in a completely different location. Gaining a Foothold In Asda Stores Ltd v Brierly & ors, a large…

Pregnant workers and redundancy

Employers should be aware that dismissing an employee because she is pregnant is automatically unfair – and also amounts to unlawful discrimination. But in the UK at least, the rule is that the dismissal of a woman who just happens to be pregnant is treated in the same way as any other dismissal, provided the…

Brexit and the aftermath

The UK will leave the EU at the end of March 2019, but any EU law that comes into force before we leave will continue to apply, even when the Brexit process is complete. The General Data Protection Regulation, for example, comes into force in May next year and will certainly apply in the UK.…

Suspension

When an employee is accused of serious misconduct, it may be appropriate for him or her to be suspended while an investigation takes place. This may be necessary to protect the business, or the integrity of the investigation. However, while an employer may be at pains to stress that the suspension does not indicate any…

Holiday Pay

The entitlement to paid annual leave under the Working Time Regulations 1998 must be interpreted in accordance with the EU Working Time Directive. This has caused particular problems for the UK courts when it comes to the calculation of holiday pay. The European Court of Justice has repeatedly ruled that holiday pay must reflect a…