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Updates

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Itemised Payslips

There is now a right for all workers to be provided with an itemised pay statement and the ability to enforce this right at an employment tribunal containing the number of hours paid for, where a worker is paid hourly.

 

Grandparental leave. Despite government announcements of plans to extend shared parental leave and pay to working grandparents by 2018, further development is still awaited.

 

Abolition of the “Swedish derogation”. The draft Agency Workers (Amendment) Regulations 2019, which are due to come into force on 6 April 2020, will remove the Swedish derogation from the Agency Workers Regulations 2010 to give agency workers a right to pay parity with direct employees after 12 weeks. These measures were introduced by the Good Work Plan

 

The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 is expected to come into effect in April 2020. Under the new legislation, which received Royal Assent on 13 September 2018, all employed parents will be entitled to a day-one right to two weeks’ leave if they lose a child under the age of 18 or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy.

 

Veganism

Later this month the employment tribunal is due to make a long-awaited preliminary hearing decision in Casamitjana v League Against Cruel Sports on whether ethical veganism is a protected belief under the Equality Act 2010 (EqA 2010).

 

Failure to give statement of particulars of employment

Under section 1 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA 1996), employers must provide employees whose employment is to continue for more than one month with a written statement of certain terms of their employment (contract).  At present this must be given within 8 weeks of start however may change to ‘immediately’.  Failure to do so may lead to a claim of 2-4 weeks pay!

Employment (Allocation of Tips) Bill

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During the Queen’s Speech on Monday 14thOctober 2019 the government announced plans to introduce a new law which will force employers to pass on all gratuities in full and to share fairly any pooled tips. Employment (Allocation of Tips) Bill, it also introduces a Code of Practice for restaurants, bars and cafes to make their systems transparent.  The Bill will enforce the requirement for employers to pass all tips to their employees.

Date TBC.

Claim for religious discrimination and harassment lost by Christian Dr.

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Dr David Mackereth, a contract worker at the DWP’s assessment centre refused to refer to transgender claimants by their preferred name, gender pronoun and title. He made comment “if you have a man six feet tall with a beard, who says he wants to be addressed as ‘she’ and ‘Mrs’; would you do that?”

 

Dr Mackereth claimed that doing what he was requested to do was at odds with his Christian faith and he would not be able to do so in good conscience.

 

The ET found his objection was “incompatible with human dignity” and any refusal to refer to a transgender person by their relevant pronouns would constitute unlawful discrimination or harassment under the Equality Act.

 

“What this case concerned is whether he was entitled to manifest those beliefs in the circumstances that applied here. He accepted that his beliefs meant that insofar as a service user was a transgender individual within the meaning of the Equality Act, that whilst he did not wish them to, his actions would cause offence and potentially breach the Equality Act.

 

“We find that if the service user also held a full gender recognition certificate Dr Mackereth’s position was that he would also potentially breach the Gender Recognition Act for the reasons we give above.”

 

Dr Mackereth intends to appeal the decision.

We are hiring!

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We are hiring!

 

Have you got excellent communication skills and a proven track record in telesales, and are you motivated by money? If so, Elcons are keen to speak with you.

 

We are currently recruiting for the position of a tele appointer to complement our existing team. This role is permanent part time Monday to Thursday 8.30am until 5.00pm as is based in our head office in Ripponden. Free parking available.

 

Salary is basic £20,000 per annum pro rata with uncapped commission.

 

Full benefits can be discussed on application.

 

For a copy of the job description and application form or even a chat, please contact Johanna McMillan Peel (HR and Operations Director) on 01422 822842 or johannam@elcons.co.uk

 

Strictly no agencies. Please note, we are an Equal Opportunities employer.

 

Closing date for all applications is 18th October 2019.

An interesting case: Unfair dismissal – disability discrimination

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Mr Gordon Fleming, former employee of East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust has been awarded £92,000.

Mr Fleming suffered a heart attack and was subsequently diagnosed with an anxiety-depression disorder. After attending “a hostile welfare meeting” in which the employer expressed concern for Mr Fleming returning to work, symptoms of anxiety were heightened and the Claimant was readmitted to hospital.  He wrote to his employer expressing concern over his perceived lack of support and expressing that his inability to return to work had led him to consider suicide. After a prolonged period of absence, the Claimant was dismissed for failing to attend an Occupational Health appointment and failing to attend a disciplinary without good reason.  However, evidence was presented at the Tribunal that when attending a prior meeting during the period of absence, a panel member had made a comment about the Claimant regarding the panel member “pummelling it into him with my fists”.  This had been a factor in Mr Flemings failure to attend a further disciplinary and had impacted his health condition and anger towards his employer.

The case judgement makes an interesting read…

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5d765264e5274a27cefd499d/Mr_G_Fleming_v_East_of_England_Ambulance_Service_NHS_Trust_-__3400184-2016_FMH_Judgment.pdf

Do you take action to prevent racial harassment in your workplace?

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A failure to act when reasonably aware of discrimination could leave you open to a claim of being vicariously liable for discrimination as a company.  Such is the case as found at a recent Tribunal in which the MoD was found not to have taken reasonable steps to protect two former paratroopers.  The Tribunal found that a “degrading, humiliating and offensive environment” had manifested and was not dealt with.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5d7a43e640f0b61c790a9a03/Mr_N_Zulu_and_Mr_Gue_vs_MOD_-Res_Judgment.pdf

Have your say…

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Government Consultations are currently open in respect of the following:

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-sexual-harassment-in-the-workplace

Summary

This consultation aims to gather evidence about whether the current laws on protecting people from sexual harassment in the workplace are effective.

This consultation closes at 11:59pm on 2 October 2019

 

Health is everyone’s business: proposals to reduce ill health-related job loss

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/health-is-everyones-business-proposals-to-reduce-ill-health-related-job-loss

 

Summary

This consultation seeks views on different ways in which government and employers can take action to reduce ill health-related job loss.
This consultation closes at 11:45pm on 7 October 2019

Council employee unfairly dismissed after video of potentially offensive remarks went viral

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A council worker who was filmed making potentially offensive comments about Jews during a political rally was unfairly dismissed, an ET has ruled.

Stan Keable, who worked for Hammersmith and Fulham Council, was dismissed after complaints were lodged when a video of him arguing that the Zionist movement collaborated with the Nazis went viral on Twitter after it was posted by a BBC journalist.

However, the London Central ET ruled that Keable’s comments – which may have been offensive to some – were not discriminatory or unlawful and were made outside the workplace, not in breach of the council’s workplace policies.

Landmark Supreme Court ruling finds non-compete clause was not too wide to be enforced

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The Supreme Court ruled that restrictive covenants preventing an employee from being “concerned or interested” in a competitor for six months after she left the business were not too wide to be enforceable.

In a decision that experts said would come as a relief to employers, judges overturned a previous Court of Appeal decision and formally reinstated an injunction against a former employee of recruitment firm Egon Zehnder, Mary-Caroline Tillman, which would have prevented her from taking up employment with a competitor had the contractual period of restraint not since expired.

The case set the precedent that restrictive covenants can be broadly enforceable even if there are elements of the contract a court might deem to have gone ‘too far’, and that offending words can be removed from a contract if it does not substantially change the overall effect of the restraint.