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Case law: Changing passwords to employee’s personal internet accounts on company devices ruled unlawful

Employers entitled to access an employee’s personal internet accounts on a company phone or other device should avoid changing the security details on those accounts as this may breach their duty of care towards the employee, a ruling makes clear.

Allegations were made against a sales director.… Read more

Posted on 1 April 2019 | 10:16 am

Case law: Employer unlawfully discriminated against white, straight, male job candidate

Employers must ensure their recruitment policies do not systemically favour job candidates with protected characteristics, such as a particular gender, sexual orientation, race or disability. However, they can operate a ‘positive action plan’ provided the relevant candidates are genuinely as well qualified as other candidates to do the job – or risk a discrimination claim.Read more

Posted on 1 April 2019 | 10:15 am

Case law: Prior final written warning was valid, despite failure to fully investigate when it was given

Employers must follow fair procedures, including carrying out a proper investigation, when deciding whether to issue a disciplinary sanction such as a final written warning. However, a tribunal will not generally re-open the validity of past written warnings when deciding whether a subsequent dismissal is fair, a recent case shows.Read more

Posted on 1 April 2019 | 10:15 am

Case law: Suspension of employee pending investigation does not breach implied term of trust and confidence if there is reasonable and proper cause

Employers may suspend employees as a first response to a potential disciplinary matter without it being a breach of the implied term of trust and confidence between them, provided there is reasonable and proper cause, the Court of Appeal has ruled.Read more

Posted on 1 April 2019 | 10:14 am

Case law: Scheme used by landlords to avoid business rates on empty commercial properties is valid

Landlords with unlet, unoccupied commercial properties will welcome a Court of Appeal ruling that a scheme allowing them to avoid paying business rates on them is valid and lawful.

Business rates are payable by the individual or entity ‘entitled to possession’ of a non-domestic property.… Read more

Posted on 1 April 2019 | 10:13 am

Case law: Employers do not need to provide ‘special case’ workers with a continuous 20-minute break every six hours, says the Court of Appeal

Employers can legally provide ‘special case’ workers – whose jobs may prevent them taking a continuous 20-minute break for every six hours worked as required under working time laws – with frequent, shorter breaks, the Court of Appeal has confirmed.

Working time rules give workers the right to a continuous 20-minute break for every six hours they work.… Read more

Posted on 1 April 2019 | 10:12 am

Case law: Tribunal gives guidance on definition of ‘disability’ for discrimination purposes

Employers will welcome guidance from the court on how to determine whether a worker is ‘disabled’ within the legal definition.

A teacher resigned with effect from 31 August 2016 and alleged disability discrimination, claiming she suffered from fibromyalgia and mental distress.… Read more

Posted on 1 April 2019 | 10:11 am

New guidance: Government issues new guidance on calculating holiday pay for workers without fixed hours or pay

Employers will welcome new government guidance to help them work out statutory holiday pay for workers on zero hours, short contracts or working irregular hours.

The free guidance, Calculating holiday pay for workers without fixed hours or pay, deals with common probIems such as:

  • not having 12 weeks of pay data to use to work out average pay
  • when a holiday ‘pay reference period’ should start
  • working out holiday pay for leavers

Operative date

  • Now

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Posted on 1 April 2019 | 10:09 am

Case law: Employers can justify indirect discrimination even if issues raised by employee’s complaint are unresolved

Employers trying to justify an apparently discriminatory provision, criteria or practice can do so by justifying it in general – balancing its impact against employees sharing a protected characteristic that affects when they can work – and not its impact on the particular employee complaining about it.Read more

Posted on 1 April 2019 | 10:04 am

Case law: Will-makers should think twice before disinheriting partners because of issues with their partner’s children

Will-makers with financial responsibility for a partner should note that a wish to prevent their partner’s children from previous relationships inheriting when the partner dies may not be an adequate reason for cutting the partner out of their will, a recent ruling illustrates.Read more

Posted on 1 April 2019 | 10:03 am

Case law: Court clarifies responsibilities of dissenting directors in boardroom disputes

Dissenting directors in a boardroom dispute should not ‘go public’ with the dispute or with confidential company information, and confine these to debate and discussion within the boardroom – or risk breaching their statutory duty to exercise independence in their role, a ruling makes clear.Read more

Posted on 1 April 2019 | 10:02 am

Case law: Family and dependents claiming from a deceased’s estate cannot rely on ‘standstill’ agreements to excuse late filing of claim

Family members and dependents seeking to claim ‘reasonable financial provision’ from a deceased’s estate must file their claim with the court within the statutory six-month time limit, and should not rely on a ‘standstill’ agreement to justify their delay, a recent case makes clear.Read more

Posted on 1 April 2019 | 10:02 am

Case law: Court ruling highlights dangers of dismissing an employee close to TUPE transfer

Employers should not dismiss employees close to a TUPE transfer without taking specialist legal advice, or risk the dismissal being found automatically unfair.

An employee was dismissed on the same day that the business she worked for was transferred to a new owner, in circumstances where the TUPE rules applied.… Read more

Posted on 1 April 2019 | 10:01 am