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Monthly Archives

August 2016

Is a contract of employment enforceable if it is not signed?

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This will depend on the circumstances of the case. A contract of employment is an agreement made between an employer and an employee, rather than a piece of paper. Where there is written confirmation of this agreement, the terms within it may still be enforceable even if it is unsigned, if in practice the employer and employee have both been working to it.

It is important therefore that employees do not assume that not signing a written confirmation of the contract means that they have not agreed to it or that it is not enforceable.

Sports Direct warehouse workers to receive back pay

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Sports Direct warehouse workers are to receive back pay totalling £1 million after the retailer admitted breaking the law by not paying the national minimum wage.
The retailer will also be fined up to £2 million by BEIS. Notices informing the company of the extent of the staff underpayment and the level of fine are expected to be sent by BEIS this week.

The Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 – In force 6th May

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Employers may wish to review their drug and alcohol polices to ensure they cover Psychoactive Substances (substances which act on the central nervous system to affect mental functioning or emotional state – commonly known as ‘legal highs’).  The Act sets out a number of offences including to intentionally or recklessly produce or supply a psychoactive substance and provides that supply within the vicinity of a school will be an aggravating factor, (that is treated as a more serious offence).

Women’s pay and maternity discrimination:

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In the past few days’ media spot light has turned to a “60% rise in maternity discrimination” and today “IFS research shows average difference in pay is 18% and widens markedly after women have children.” Have you checked how you fair as an organisation? Do you use data to analyse your workforce trends? Are you an employer of over 250 employees that is required to publish data on pay in 2018? Even if you’re a smaller organisation, we encourage you to check your position.

Sex Discrimination in the Workplace

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Last month, research from the TUC and the Everyday Sexism Project revealed that 63% of women in the UK aged 18-24 have been sexually harassed at work! 52% of all women said they had experienced sexual harassment and in 88% of cases the perpetrator was male.
Most common forms of harassment were unwanted touching and uninvited verbal sexual advances.

The Employer needs to have the processes in place to deal with this effectively and quickly to prevent claims and provide a safe and happy workplace.