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Archive for January 30, 2019

Employment Law: Tribunal fees

The Ministry of Justice has suggested that employment tribunal fees may be reintroduced. The Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Justice said that a balance could be reached between increasing tribunal funding (via fees) and ensuring employees still had access to justice. He said the Unison Supreme Court case which resulted in fees being abolished did not rule out fees completely. What is important is getting the fees right and ensuring that people who cannot afford to pay can still bring a claim.

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Employment Law: ACAS advice on performance management systems

ACAS has published new guidance on performance management. It sets out what performance management is and why it is good for both the business and its employees. It sets out the benefits of good performance management systems. These include having motivated staff, getting the best out of employees, delivering projects effectively, and weeding out poor performance.

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Employment Law: Happy new year for vegans

It looks like it might be a happy new year for vegans. The employment tribunal will decide in March 2019 whether ethical veganism is protected by the Equality Act 2010 as a ‘philosophical belief’, akin to a religion. Jordi Casamitjana will have to show that his ethical veganism meets the legal test: his belief is genuinely held; it is a belief rather than an opinion; it relates to a weighty and substantial aspect of human life; it attains a certain level of seriousness and cogency; and it deserves respect in a democratic society. He claims that he was dismissed by the League Against Cruel Sports because of his philosophical belief in veganism.

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Employment Law: Holiday pay

Do workers lose the right to a payment in lieu of holiday at the end of their employment if they did not try to take it? No, said the Court of Justice of the European Union in Kreuziger v Berlin.

The employee worked for a German public sector employer. His employment ended but the employer would not pay him in lieu for untaken holiday. The employee brought a claim. The German court agreed with the employer. It relied on national rules saying payment in lieu was only necessary if the employee had been prevented from taking the holiday by matters beyond his control. The appeal court doubted this were true and referred the matter to the CJEU.

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Employment Law: Whistleblowing

Can co-workers be liable for whistleblowing dismissals along with the employer? Yes, the Court of Appeal has said in Timis v Osipov. Mr Osipov was the employer’s CEO. Two directors decided to dismiss him after he made protected disclosures. The employee brought claims against the company for whistleblower dismissal under section 103A of the Employment Rights Act 1996. He also brought claims against the directors (as well as the employer) under section 47B of the same Act for detriments which led to his dismissal.

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Employment Law: Redundancy trial periods

Is it unfair not to offer a trial period for a more junior role even if the employee did not complain at the time? Yes, if it is a contractual right, said the employment appeal tribunal in George v London Borough of Brent. Trial periods allow an employee to try out a new role whilst being able to fall back on the redundancy package if the new role does not work out.

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