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Case law: An unenforceable restriction in an ex-employee’s contract can be ‘severable’ so other restrictions still apply

Employers will welcome a ruling that a restriction in a clause in an ex-employee’s employment contract, stopping her from being ‘interested in’ any competitor business and which was too wide to be enforceable, could be ‘severed’ from the other restrictions in the clause, so those other restrictions remained enforceable against her.Read more

Posted on 29 July 2019 | 3:26 pm

Case law: Northern Ireland ruling throws ‘three-month rule’ in underpaid holiday claims into doubt

Employers in Great Britain (GB) should be alert to the prospect of employees (and their unions) claiming for unpaid holiday pay on grounds that the ‘three-month rule’ should not apply, following a ruling in Northern Ireland (NI), allowing them to claim backdated holiday pay that they would not otherwise be entitled to.Read more

Posted on 29 July 2019 | 3:25 pm

Case law: Employer’s assumption that employee may be disabled in the future can be unlawful ‘perceived disability discrimination’

Employers dealing with an employee who has a potentially progressive impairment which has no substantial adverse effect on their ability to carry out day-to-day activities, should ensure they do not discriminate against them by assuming the impairment is likely to develop in the future so that it does have such an effect, as this may amount to disability discrimination by perception.Read more

Posted on 29 July 2019 | 3:24 pm

Case law: Court clarifies when employers can access employees’ emails to family and/or personal email accounts

Employers may be able to access an employee’s work emails, even to family and/or to their personal email accounts, if they include appropriate authority in their work policies, act in a reasonable and proportionate way and comply with any conditions in those policies, according to a recent ruling.Read more

Posted on 29 July 2019 | 3:23 pm

Case law: Tribunal clarifies issues around secret recording of meetings by employees

Employers and employees will welcome clarification of factors to take into account when considering whether secret recordings of meetings, conversations, etc by employees amount to gross misconduct, and breach the implied duty of mutual trust and confidence between employers and employees.Read more

Posted on 29 July 2019 | 3:22 pm

Case law: Employers should beware treating employees less favourably if English is their second language

Employers should avoid treating employees for whom English is a second language less favourably on the basis they inevitably have a lesser command of English than those for whom it is their first language; otherwise they risk a race discrimination claim as a recent ruling makes clear.Read more

Posted on 29 July 2019 | 3:21 pm

Case law: Private company shareholder ‘written resolutions’ invalid unless circulated on the authority of the board

Companies proposing to use written resolutions to make shareholder decisions – ie. agreeing to a decision in writing rather than holding a formal meeting – should ensure every such resolution is approved and circulated by the board and sent on its behalf to all shareholders entitled to vote on the decision, otherwise it will be invalid – as a recent ruling makes clear.Read more

Posted on 29 July 2019 | 3:20 pm

New law: Owners of let residential property need to reassess as government proposes reductions in tax reliefs

Owners of let residential property that was once their main residence should assess the impact of government proposals to reduce tax reliefs available to them from 2020.

Firstly, from 6 April 2020 the current exemption from capital gains tax (CGT) for gains related to the final period of ownership of such properties is to be reduced from 18 months to nine months.… Read more

Posted on 29 July 2019 | 3:19 pm

New guidance: Information Commissioner’s Office publishes significant new guidance on cookies

Businesses, organisations and individuals with websites who are providing other online services, such as mobile apps, will welcome new online guidance on the use of cookies recently published by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

The new Guidance on the use of cookies and similar technologies aims to align the UK’s e-privacy laws in relation to cookies (small data files stored on your computer by websites, etc while you are browsing online which enable third parties to track what you look at and click on so that the online adverts, offers or other information can be tailored to your apparent preferences as indicated by your online behaviour) with the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).… Read more

Posted on 29 July 2019 | 3:14 pm

Consultation: Wide-ranging government consultation launched on statutory sick pay and workplace health

Employers may want to consider a new government consultation, Health is everyone’s business: proposals to reduce ill health-related job loss, setting out a wide range of proposals which could significantly affect employers’ liabilities and obligations.

The proposals include the following:

  • Paying statutory sick pay (SSP) to workers who are not currently eligible because they earn too little – but with safeguards to ensure they do not receive more by way of SSP than they earn by working, such as limiting SSP to 80% of their earnings
  • Allowing phased returns to work (if agreed with the employee) for employees who have been off sick for two weeks or more, with employees earning a mixture of wages and SSP during a phased return
  • Allowing employees to ask for reasonable modifications to their work – such as changes to their hours, work pattern, job spec and/or workplace – on health grounds if they have been off sick for a specified period (such as four weeks), and not just if they are disabled
  • Improving access to occupational health (OH) services, including treatments, information and training – for example, by offering OH subsidies or vouchers to SMEs so they can more easily access OH services

The latest date for responding is 7 October 2019.… Read more

Posted on 29 July 2019 | 3:11 pm

Case law: Court of Appeal clarifies landlords’ duties to inspect, identify and remedy defects at let properties

Landlords will welcome clarification of their duties to inspect let properties, the scope of such inspections and the extent of remedial action which may be required, following a recent ruling.

A council tenant trod on an inspection cover in her garden while mowing the lawn.… Read more

Posted on 29 July 2019 | 3:10 pm

Case law: Company tenant named in lease did not exist, allowing landlord to take back possession

A party entering into a legally binding agreement should check the other party named in the agreement actually exists, a recent ruling makes clear.

Where the other party is a company, a limited liability partnership or a community interest company, you can check the name given in the agreement is registered at Companies House or, for a foreign entity, obtain a letter of opinion from a foreign notary that it exists.… Read more

Posted on 29 July 2019 | 3:08 pm

Case law: Demolition contractor fined after debris falling into neighbouring property injured visitor

Contractors working on building sites should ensure they are aware of and comply with their duties to carry out their work in a way that prevents danger, particularly where there is a risk of debris falling into neighbouring properties, otherwise they risk prosecution.Read more

Posted on 29 July 2019 | 3:06 pm