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Case law: EU court confirms UK employers must record workers’ daily hours

UK employers who do not already do so should start recording workers’ actual daily hours to ensure they comply with the EU Directive on working time, following a ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).

A bank in Spain kept records of when workers were off work for a full working day, for example, when they were on holiday or off sick.… Read more

Posted on 31 May 2019 | 3:30 pm

Case law: MD asking gay employee to keep it secret at work was direct discrimination

Employers should ensure, through appropriate policies, procedures and staff training, that employees are not treated differently because of their sexual orientation (or any other characteristic protected by discrimination law), particularly if it prevents them discussing their private lives with colleagues.

During her first week in a new job, an employee’s managing director asked her to keep secret the fact that she was gay because the owner of the business was ‘old school’.… Read more

Posted on 31 May 2019 | 3:29 pm

New law: Government proposes to take away landlords’ rights to end shorthold tenancies simply by giving notice

Landlords of residential property let on shorthold tenancies should start to plan for changes removing their right to terminate such tenancies simply by serving notice on the tenants, without having to give a reason.

Existing law allows landlords of shorthold tenancies to terminate them once the initial term (often six months) has ended – the tenancies then rolling over on a month-by-month basis – by giving a ‘s21 notice’.… Read more

Posted on 31 May 2019 | 3:28 pm

Case law: Tribunal clarifies when employees on call are entitled to the minimum wage

Employers with employees on call should review what they are required to actually do at different times while on call, as this can affect whether or not they are treated as working in whole or in part during those periods and, therefore, affect their entitlement to the minimum wage, according to a recent ruling.Read more

Posted on 31 May 2019 | 3:28 pm

Case law: Court clarifies duty to respond to subject access requests under UK data protection law

Organisations considering how to respond to a ‘subject access request’ will benefit from court guidance given in a recent ruling.

UK data protection law gives an individual (a ‘data subject’) a right to ask an organisation to disclose personal data it holds on them – although there are circumstances in which the organisation can refuse to comply.… Read more

Posted on 31 May 2019 | 3:27 pm

Case law: Contracts requiring service of a series of notices should specify if intervals are required between them

Parties negotiating a contract should consider whether imposing a requirement to serve a series of notices in certain circumstances makes commercial sense and is required at all; or if one is to be included, whether the contract should expressly specify a minimum period between service of each notice – because such a period will not be implied.Read more

Posted on 31 May 2019 | 3:26 pm

Case law: Fixed-rate, compounded, preference shares can count as ‘ordinary shares’ for purposes of Entrepreneurs’ Relief

Shareholders with shares carrying a right to a fixed-rate, cumulative dividend, where the right is framed such that the amount to which the fixed rate is applied to calculate the dividend can vary, should review whether those shares count as ‘ordinary shares’ for the purposes of Entrepreneurs’ Relief, following a recent ruling.Read more

Posted on 31 May 2019 | 3:25 pm

Case law: Data protection exemption for ‘journalistic activities’ is wider than just professional journalists’ activities

Individuals who secretly film and post videos on YouTube and similar sites may be able to rely on an exemption for ‘journalistic activities’ to justify what would otherwise be a breach of data protection rules. This follows a new, wider definition of the exemption put forward in a recent Court of Justice of the European Union ruling.Read more

Posted on 31 May 2019 | 3:24 pm

Case law: Parties using powers of attorney in commercial transactions must observe the formalities and draft the powers carefully to avoid disputes

Parties to a transaction should ensure that any power of attorney they give to facilitate it is properly drafted and executed by a specialist professional, and that its terms are considered very carefully to ensure the attorney is not authorised to do anything the giver does not intend, a ruling makes clear.Read more

Posted on 31 May 2019 | 3:22 pm

Case law: Mere registration of a trade mark does not entitle owner to bring a ‘passing off’ claim against someone using a similar mark

Owners of unused trade marks should consider how they can use their marks, or risk being unable to bring a passing off action against anyone who uses a similar mark, a recent ruling makes clear.

A business had registered a trade mark to be used in relation to a new product it was developing.… Read more

Posted on 31 May 2019 | 3:21 pm

Case law: Landowner liable to remove waste on site left by trespasser without consent

Landowners should secure their properties and regularly inspect them to ensure no illegal waste has been deposited there without their consent, or risk being responsible for moving it – even if it was deposited by trespassers – a recent determination makes clear.Read more

Posted on 31 May 2019 | 3:19 pm

Case law: Ruling clarifies when employers must pay employees for extra work performed out of hours

Employers should check their employees do not have to put in unpaid extra time outside their contractual hours to do their job, otherwise they may be able to make a claim for unpaid wages, a recent ruling has clarified.

An employee who worked under a series of fixed hours contracts was promoted.… Read more

Posted on 2 May 2019 | 12:14 pm

Case law: Employer’s failure to offer employee an appeal following disciplinary hearing makes dismissal unfair

Employers should ensure that where a disciplinary hearing leads to a finding against an employee, an appeal is always offered – otherwise they risk a legal claim, a ruling has clarified.

A managing director employed by a financial services company brought two claims against his employer in the Employment Tribunal (ET).… Read more

Posted on 2 May 2019 | 12:14 pm