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Author Archive

Pleadings

adrian_fryer

The EAT has issued some guidance on written pleadings which will make employers breathe a sigh of relief. All too often, employment tribunal claims run to several pages, documenting several years of alleged ill treatment, often without stipulating a single legal claim.

The EAT has provided its wisdom in a case called C v D, where the employee had brought a claim for discrimination which ran to 37 paragraphs over 6 pages.

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Trust and Confidence

adrian_fryer

Sometimes working relationships just break down and can’t be repaired. The employer may feel that it is left with no alternative but to dismiss an employee who simply cannot work effectively with a manager or key colleagues.

A dismissal on these grounds can fall within the potentially fair category of ‘some other substantial reason’ and the question will then be whether the employer has behaved reasonably.

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Surveillance Software

adrian_fryer

Are you worried about your homeworkers kicking back during the pandemic? Shibu Philips, founder of London-based beauty business Transcend, has told the BBC he has been using Hubstaff software in order to monitor what his employees are doing. He says he knows only too well what its like to waste time at work. The software allows him to track his workers’ hours, keystrokes, mouse movements and websites. He can look at screenshots and see how much time workers are taking on tasks. Employees are fully aware of the software and can delete websites visited during breaks.

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Costs

adrian_fryer

Unlike the civil courts, costs (including legal fees) are not usually paid by the losing party in employment tribunal cases. Costs can be awarded by a tribunal if one of the parties has behaved vexatiously, disruptively, abusively or otherwise unreasonably in bringing proceedings or the way they have conducted themselves during those proceedings. A costs order might also be made if a claim is pursued (or defended) despite the claim/defence having no reasonable prospect of success. They are rare, so are big news when they happen, especially when the sums involved are large.

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Covid as a Catalyst for Transformation

Andy Nicol

Andy Nicol is MD of Sputnik Digital, an innovation and digital engineering agency helping companies identify, build and maintain transformation programmes using technology.

He has helped optimise both customer facing and internal processes for clients incliuding GoCompare, Swinton Insurance, Fluent Money and Acino Pharma.

Having worked in the industry since 1998, Andy has built up experience in areas including design, development, UX and cloud services, and is able to share his view on how he has seen this deployed across a wide range of sectors.

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Business interruption claims and COVID-19: Good news for SME’s

Andrew Koffman

The High Court judgment, on Tuesday 15th September 2020, in the test case between the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), on behalf of a number of policyholders, and various insurance companies over business interruption and COVID-19 has been hailed as a lifeline for SMEs.

Many SMEs will be very relieved at the result.  The FCA estimated that 370,000 businesses could be affected by the test case; however not all will have been successful. Two out of 8 insurers successfully defended the claims against them.

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A helping hand to resolve shareholder disputes

Barney Leaf

It was sadly inevitable that the Covid pandemic would push the UK economy into a recession. Unfortunately, the money worries that result from a recession can and often do affect relationships, whether they be personal or business relations.

Even the strongest of relationships have been known to breakdown when finances are tight and the current situation may well have caused the most severe financial pressures that some business owners have ever experienced.

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Welcome news for commercial tenants but not for landlords

Michael Smeaton

The moratorium on evictions for tenants who are behind on their rent has been extended until the end of 2020. The restriction was set to be lifted on 30th September 2020 but the secretary of state for housing, Robert Jenrick, announced an extension to give struggling retailers and other businesses a chance to “focus on rebuilding their business over the autumn and Christmas period”.

The June quarter day saw less than 20% rental payments made and with the next rent quarter day having just passed (29th September 2020) landlords will be bracing themselves for more of the same.

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Is it time for some much needed business housekeeping?

Jon Davage

The last six months have presented significant challenges to business owners who have grappled with continuing their businesses in the face of restrictive lockdown rules imposed to combat the spread of Covid 19. Many business owners are now operating with a workforce of home workers and their typical working day differs significantly from their life pre-March 2020.

As face to face meetings, corporate events and travel have been stripped from the schedules, business owners may finally find some free time during their day to review the nuts and bolts of their business. That long-awaited review of the shareholding structure, the employee share scheme that has been in the offing for years, the review of key commercial contracts, for some there is now enough time in the working week to get around to these projects.

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