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Employment Law: Disability discrimination

Is it disability discrimination if an employer deals with an ill health retirement procedure badly? Not necessarily, the Court of Appeal has said. Mr Dunn was employed by the Ministry of Justice. He had depression and a serious heart condition. He applied for ill health early retirement. The process was handled badly and was unnecessarily bureaucratic. But was this poor treatment because of his disability (direct discrimination) or something arising in consequence of it (discrimination arising from disability)? The employment tribunal said yes, but the Employment Appeal Tribunal disagreed.

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Employment Law: National minimum wage and ‘sleeping in’

Are care workers who ‘sleep in’ at work entitled to the national minimum wage for the whole of their shift? In Mencap v Tomlinson-Blake, care workers had to spend the night at or near their place of work. They were expected to sleep for most of that period. They might be woken if their assistance was needed. Were they entitled to the minimum wage even when they were sleeping?

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What protection do I have as a shareholder?

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All shareholders in UK companies have certain rights in relation to their shares and in relation to the company. Whilst the precise rights that a shareholder enjoys will vary depending on the size of their shareholding (the larger the shareholding, the greater the number of rights enjoyed by the shareholder), certain basic rights and protections apply regardless of the number of shares held.

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Employment Law: Limiting Discrimination claims

Can a tribunal make an employee choose their ‘best ten’ allegations in a discrimination claim?

Not usually, said the Employment Appeal Tribunal in Tarn v Hughes. Dr Tarn was a GP. She brought claims for sex and pregnancy discrimination. She had agreed a list of issues with the employer, which contained 21 acts of alleged direct discrimination, 19 of harassment and 6 of victimisation.

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The Player

gareth-farrelly-3Football at an elite level is fast moving – image rights, agent & transfer fees, player wages, sponsorship monies, ticket prices and so on increasing exponentially year on year. It shows no sign of slowing, nor will it as the increased cost of the global broadcasting rights counters the reduced price paid domestically.

With increased wealth in the game, not surprisingly, there are a far greater number of purported ‘professionals’ seeking access – Players, managers and agents take care!!

As a former professional footballer myself (and qualified lawyer) who suffered (and is still affected) at the hands of immoral and exploitative advisers, I speak from a position of personal experience and authority. I have a mission to root out negligent, bad advice in the sector.

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Employment Law: Establishing disability

Is every medical condition a disability? And if an employee mentions a medical condition, does that mean the employer knew that the employee was disabled? Not necessarily, said the Employment Appeal Tribunal in Mutombo-Mpania v Angard Staffing Solutions. The employer supplied agency staff to Royal Mail. The employee had essential hypertension (high blood pressure) for which he took medication. However, in recruitment paperwork, the employee said that he did not have a disability and did not need adjustments. He worked late shifts at Royal Mail and had done some night shifts. When he was moved to night shifts, the employee wrote saying his ‘health condition’ prevented him working nights. After that, the employee failed to show up on four occasions in less than a month. He was then told he would not be given more work.

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Employment Law: When is notice not notice?

When is notice not notice? When it is ambiguous, said the Employment Appeal Tribunal in East Kent Hospitals v Levy. The employee worked in the records department. She had a poor sickness absence record. She applied for a role in the hospital’s radiology department, which she was offered subject to pre-employment checks. She wrote to her manager giving one month’s notice, which her manager accepted in writing.

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Share Buybacks – When Are They Void?

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A share buyback (a process whereby shares in a company are bought by the company itself and cancelled) is a popular and relatively less-complex way for companies to provide an exit route for, or return surplus cash to, its shareholders. Whilst the law and procedure for carrying out a share buyback is quite clear and straightforward, we have dealt with a number of instances where the validity of a share buyback has been questioned and further action required to be taken in order to ratify the validity of a buyback transaction.

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