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Author Archive

Indirect discrimination

adrian_fryer

One of the key differences between direct and indirect discrimination is that a claim for indirect discrimination can be defeated if the employer can show that the provision criterion or practice under challenge is a ‘proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim’. The circumstances in which this defence of justification will succeed have been the subject of many years of case law. One principle that has emerged is that an employer cannot simply rely on cost savings as a legitimate aim – although it has generally been accepted that cost can be counted as one among several factors – a so called ‘costs plus’ approach.

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Dismissals for Redundancy

adrian_fryer

A redundancy is a dismissal as a result of a workplace closing down or the employer needing fewer employees to do work of a particular kind. In Berkeley Catering Ltd v Jackson the question was whether the reason that an employer needed fewer employees made a difference to whether or not there was a redundancy situation.

 

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Whistleblowing

adrian_fryer

An employee who is dismissed for making a public interest disclosure – whistleblowing – can claim unfair dismissal even without the two years’ continuous service that is normally required. What is more, there is no cap placed on the amount of compensation that can be awarded, so successful claims can be very expensive for employers.

 

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Unfair dismissal and redundancy

adrian_fryer

An employer making an employee redundant will not normally be acting reasonably unless it considers whether there is any alternative work that may be offered. In Aramark (UK) Ltd v Fernandes however, the employee argued that the employer should also have considered placing him in a bank of casual workers after his redundancy had taken effect.

 

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National minimum wage

adrian_fryer

The government has accepted the recommendations of the Low Pay Commission and announced the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates which will come into force from April 2021. Recognising the formidable task of recommending minimum wage rates in the middle of a global pandemic, the Low Pay Commission has sought to balance the needs of low paid workers – many of whom are doing critically important work – and the real solvency risks which small businesses are currently exposed to.

 

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Covid Self Isolation

adrian_fryer

Employers across the country are being encouraged to accommodate the need for employees to self-isolate when required to do so because of Covid. According to widespread reports over Christmas, however, this message did not reach a newsagent in Lincolnshire who sacked a 15 year old paperboy for missing work after being told to self-isolate by his school. The boy’s father is reported to be considering legal action, but may face some difficulty.

 

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Constructive dismissal and maternity leave

adrian_fryer

A constructive dismissal involves the employee resigning in response to fundamental breach of contract on the part of the employer. Normally the employee will need to make it clear both that they are resigning and that the reason for their resignation is the employer’s conduct. In Chemcem Scotland Ltd v Ure however the EAT held that these requirements were met by implication when an employee simply failed to return from maternity leave.

 

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Breach of contract

adrian_fryer

Repudiatory – or very serious – breaches of contract entitle the other party to the contract to consider that the contractual terms have been metaphorically ripped up. What happens in a case where one party contemplates breaching a contract, but the other party beats them to it? In Palmeri v Charles Stanley, Mr Palmeri was a self-employed stockbroker who had worked for Charles Stanley for more than 20 years. He had a three-month notice period, but his contract did not contain a payment in lieu of notice (PILON) clause.

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Contractual Considerations on Brexit

It is never too late to sort things out.  First published in 2018, this note, now updated, addresses how you may protect your business through your contracts, where border issues cause delays or prices need to be adjusted, and explains the new UKCA Mark.

Some questions you may ask yourself:

  • What happens if the borders are clogged up and I cannot deliver or receive goods
  • Who will be liable for tariffs in the event of a hard Brexit
  • Should I look at amending existing contracts or terminating contracts with a view to issuing new contracts
  • Will you have to register with a UK authority in place of an EU one?
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Don’t Let Your Debtors Lock You Down! November 2020 Update

Andrew Koffman

10 tips for reviewing and implementing your credit control procedures: Revisited

The impact of COVID-19 on businesses continues to be severe, as recent statistics show.

In the UK as a whole the most recent ONS statistics show that nearly 30% of businesses, which have not closed permanently, continue to regard themselves as at moderate or severe risk of insolvency.

 

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