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Injury to feelings

Adrian Fryer

Adrian Fryer

If an employee wins their claim for discrimination they will be entitled to compensation. That compensation may include a payment for injury to feelings. A case called Vento v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police set guidelines for how injury to feelings awards should be calculated.

Cases will fall into three bands: the lower band is for less serious cases of discrimination including one off or isolated acts; the middle band is for serious cases which don’t merit a top band award and the top band for the most serious cases of discrimination including lengthy campaigns.

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Holiday pay

Adrian Fryer

Adrian Fryer

Regulation 14 of the Working Time Regulations 1998 (WTR) sets out a worker’s right to a minimum of 4 weeks’ paid holiday per year which derives originally from the Working Time Directive (WTD). In a case called Bear Scotland v Fulton, the EAT said that a three-month gap between related deductions in a series will break the chain, meaning anything before the three-month gap cannot be claimed. The Court of Appeal has recently confirmed in Smith v Pimlico Plumbers that a worker’s right to paid annual leave is a single composite right – to leave and to pay for that leave – and strongly challenged the principle set out in the Bear Scotland case.

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Victimisation

Adrian Fryer

Adrian Fryer

Victimisation is a word which is often used incorrectly. Victimisation is a particular kind of discrimination which occurs when an employer treats an employee badly (a detriment) because they have done a ‘protected act’ or the employer believes that they have done, or may do, a protected act. That protected act can include bringing a discrimination claim, raising allegations of discrimination, or being a witness in a discrimination claim. The EAT has looked at a case recently where the employment tribunal got things wrong in terms of what could constitute a ‘detriment’.

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Confidential information

Adrian Fryer

Adrian Fryer

Case law has shown that an employee’s right to privacy is not reduced to zero at work. Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights provides that everyone has the right to respect for their private and family life and correspondence. Any breach of that right can result in a misuse of confidential information claim. In Barbulescu v Romania, the employee was dismissed for personal internet use which was banned at work. The employer accessed private emails which the employee had sent to his fiancé and brother as well as his private Yahoo messages from his work computer. The ECtHR said the employee’s right to privacy had been infringed. It is a balance though. In the recent case of Brake v Guy, the Court of Appeal decided that an employer did not breach any privacy rights when accessing an employee’s personal emails.

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PILONs

Adrian Fryer

Adrian Fryer

Notice is normally needed in order to lawfully end an employment contract. A failure to give notice – by either party – will usually be a breach of contract. Many employers include PILON – payment in lieu of notice – clauses in employment contracts to enable them to end employment early provided they pay the correct notice pay. If an employee resigns, there will be no dismissal. However, s95 Employment Rights Act 1996 says that an employee is dismissed if the employment contract is terminated by the employer, with or without notice. The EAT has looked at a case where the employee resigned but the employer ended the contract before the notice period had ended by making a payment in lieu of notice. The employee said he had been dismissed and was therefore entitled to bring an unfair dismissal claim.

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P&O Ferries redundancies

Adrian Fryer

Even for seasoned employment law practitioners, the decision of P&O to sack its entire workforce with no notice and by pre-recorded video came as a shock. No warnings, no consultation, no in-person discussions. Such was the shock and speed of the dismissals that some employees were unable to gather all their belongings in time. P&O’s plan is to reduce costs by replacing the entire 800-strong workforce with much cheaper agency workers to whom they believe the UK’s national minimum wage rules will not apply.

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Post-Covid World: Debt Recovery (Webinar Event)

This 60 minute webinar will take place at 10am on Tuesday 26th April 2022.

The session will focus on tips to ensure that your invoices are paid and some steps you can take to protect yourself and to recover outstanding debts.

The main topics that we plan to cover are:

  • Impact of Covid-19
  • Debt collection checklist
  • Pre-Court procedures – What you can do
  • Going legal – what are your options
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Palma web

Palma Percze

Palma webParalegal

Palma joined Bermans in March 2022 as a Paralegal based in our Manchester Litigation team.

She works in areas such as breaches of contract, partnership disputes, probate, acquisition and tenancy issues.

She studied Law at the University of South Wales and obtained her LPC at the Manchester Metropolitan University.

She is also currently undertaking an online course  in Intellectual Property and Policy provided by the University of Pennsylvania.

Outside of work, Palma enjoys going to the gym, hiking, yoga, cooking, reading and discovering restaurants and coffee shops.


E: palma.percze@bermans.co.uk

T: 0161 393 7116

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Asset Finance: Courts and Lawyers embracing Technology

As we are moving towards the second anniversary of the pandemic it is worth pausing to reflect that, after some initial reluctance, technology has been quite successfully embraced both by lawyers and also by the courts to keep the system running.

Obviously meetings between lawyers and clients have largely been replaced by virtual contact through Microsoft Teams and Zoom, but virtual contact has now taken a firm foothold in relation to the litigation process.

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