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Bear Scotland: EAT confirms that a series of deductions is broken by gaps of three months or more

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The EAT has confirmed that a three-month gap between underpayments of wages breaks a “series of deductions”, limiting the scope to make retrospective claims for underpaid holiday pay under the unlawful deduction from wages jurisdiction. In doing so, the EAT has affirmed the 2014 decision of Mr Justice Langstaff in Bear Scotland Ltd v Fulton and another [2015] IRLR 15.

Further guidance issued by EAT on whether to pay National Minimum Wage for sleeps…..

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No doubt employers will find it frustrating that so many grey areas remain, but they should pay attention to the four potentially relevant factors the EAT highlighted in this case:

1.    The reason for engaging the worker – if an employer needs someone to be onsite at all times to comply with a regulatory or contractual obligation, it is more likely the individual will be classed as working throughout their whole shift, even if they are asleep or have nothing to do.

2.    Restrictions on the worker’s activities – a worker who is required to remain on the premises throughout their shift and who would be disciplined for slipping away to do something else is more likely to be working for NMW purposes just by being present than someone who is able to come and go as they please.

3.    The degree of responsibility – a care worker who must keep a listening ear throughout their shift and act if required is more likely to be working for their whole shift than someone who is on-call from their own home and is only required to respond to an alarm pager for emergency call-outs.

4.    The immediacy of the requirement to provide services – this is not just about the speed with which a worker is required to act; it is also connected to the level of responsibility they have. The EAT compared a worker who must decide whether to intervene and then deal with the issues with a worker who is woken by another member of staff who has immediate responsibility for intervening.

Presenteeism is a major concern within UK companies

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Employees are three times more likely to go to work unwell than ‘pull a sickie’; experts warn presenteeism is a false economy

Seven in 10 (69 per cent) UK private sector employees – the equivalent of 18 million nationally – have gone to work unwell when they should have taken the day off, a report out today has revealed.  This can cause colleagues to catch illnesses or even worse, stress due to not feeling they are able to take time off!

Tribunal win for man whose former employer provided discriminatory references

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Employers are being urged to take extra care with their references, after a tribunal ruled that a man had been discriminated against after his ex-employer made comments linked to his sickness absence in a reference.

Mr P Mefful claimed he suffered victimisation and disability discrimination after his former employer, Citizens Advice Merton & Lambeth, where he worked from from 2004 until he was made redundant in 2012, gave him a reference that lost him a job offer.

Look out for Elcons Employment Law Consultants advertising live on Sky Sports this week……

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Look out for Elcons Employment Law Consultants advertising live on Sky Sports this week……

As partners of Halifax Rugby League, look out for the team wearing their Elcons away kit on Thursday 11th May 2017. Halifax meet Featherstone Rovers in the 6th round of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup and are live on Sky Sports at 20.00pm.

Tune in, not to be missed…Come on Halifax!

Employment law is necessary!

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In a survey of 508 employers carried out by the CIPD and law firm Lewis Silkin, the majority of respondents rated 28 aspects of employment law as necessary.

Proving that Employers do not believe a ‘bonfire’ of employment legislation is necessary post-Brexit. We are yet to see!

Uber are set to appeal the landmark case

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Uber are set to appeal the landmark case which they lost at Tribunal in January 2017. The appeal is scheduled to be heard in September 2017.

A number of landmark cases have taken place recently and determined situations where individuals are deemed to be workers rather than self-employed. So it comes as a surprise that a new report from an influential committee of MPs, states businesses are duping workers into believing the only way to maintain a flexible working life is to be self-employed! And that the MPs urge the Government to clamp down on gig economy firms!!

Significant changes to salary sacrifice schemes

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Significant changes to salary sacrifice schemes were announced in the 2016 Autumn Statement which will require companies of all sizes to give careful consideration to the way workplace benefits schemes are delivered. Increased costs are making it impossible for benefit schemes to continue in their current form, to mitigate any employee tensions arising from these changes organisations need to adopt an innovative and proactive approach to implementing new frameworks.