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Employment Law: Dismissal of pregnant employee

nicky_benson

Do you have to reconsider a decision to dismiss an employee if you later find out she is pregnant? Ms Thompson was employed by Really Easy Car Credit, to do online telesales. She had worked there for a short time before discovering she was pregnant. During that time her performance was described as “average at best” and her employer raised various conduct issues with her. Ms Thompson took a day off sick. Unknown to her employer she went to hospital for a scan to find out whether she had miscarried.

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Employment Law: Duty to disclose relationships

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The Supreme Court has decided that a head teacher, Ms Reilly was fairly dismissed for gross misconduct, for failing to disclose to her school’s governing authority the fact that she had a close relationship with a sex offender. The teacher argued that she was under no duty to disclose the relationship. There was no clear clause in her contract requiring her to report such a relationship. She did not live with the offender, although they owned a house together as an investment. They went on holiday together. She was a named driver on his car insurance. They were not partners, but their relationship was thought to be more than a financial one.

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Employment Law: Redundancy bumping

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A redundancy arises when there is a reduction in the employer’s requirements for employees to carry out work of a particular kind. Sometimes an employee whose role is redundant can be redeployed into another role in the organisation. The occupier of that second role can be fairly dismissed instead – even though their role is not redundant. This process is known as ‘bumping.’

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Employment Law: Expectation to work long hours

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As an employer you may require your employees to work longer hours from time to time to meet business needs. If you have a disabled employee who cannot work these hours, you may have to make reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act 2010 and allow the employee to work a shorter shift. However, do you still have that duty if there is no contractual requirement to work the longer hours and only an expectation that the employee does so?

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Employment Law: Disability discrimination – definition of cancer

nicky_benson

Cancer is listed as a disability under the Equality Act 2010, providing sufferers from protection from discrimination. Employers must also make reasonable adjustments to a cancer sufferer’s job to remove any disadvantage they suffer as a result of their cancer. The Employment Appeal Tribunal has now held that pre-cancerous lesions will also amount to a disability.

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Employment Law: Ignorance of employment rights

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A woman who was paid 33 pence per hour as a domestic worker and was unaware of her right to the national minimum wage has been successful in her claim for constructive unfair dismissal under the Employment Rights Act 1996. Ms Mruke was uneducated and illiterate. She was from Tanzania and spoke no English. Ms Mruke argued that her employer Ms Khan had breached her contract of employment by failing to pay her the national minimum wage.

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New data protection regime

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Are you ready for the new data protection regime? The Government has published research saying that fewer than 50% of businesses are aware of what they need to do to get ready for the new regime which comes into force on 25 May this year. The EU General Data Protection Regulation and the new Data Protection Act 2018 create a new set of data privacy rules which all businesses and employers must follow. Potential fines for a breach of the new rules are enormous and could in extreme cases amount to the higher of 4% of annual turnover or 20 million Euros.

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Settlement discussions

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Sometimes things don’t go well with an employee. They may not perform well, their behaviour may not be up to scratch or they may just not be a ‘fit’ for your business. If this happens, you may want to have a confidential discussion with the employee with a view to them leaving the business, without having to go through a formal performance management or disciplinary procedure. In exchange for them signing a settlement agreement waiving their rights to bring a claim against you, you may choose to offer them a sum of money.

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Detriment for blowing the whistle

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Employees who are whistleblowers have protection from dismissal and detriment (being treated badly) because they blew that whistle on their employers. These so called ‘protected disclosures’ could be disclosures of information about a criminal offence, or breach of health and safety, or other legal obligations. An example of a detriment is refusing to promote someone because they blew the whistle on you.

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