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Latest employment law developments

Employee who changed his status to subcontractor for £200 was a worker and was entitled to holiday pay

Posted on 27 October 2014
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The Employment Appeal Tribunal has found that a claimant who changed his status from general labourer to a labour-only subcontractor in exchange for £200 was still a “worker” under the Employment Rights Act and the Working Time Regulations and was therefore entitled to holiday pay.

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Employer should have set out deduction to employee’s wages in payslip

Posted on 27 October 2014
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An employee whose employer had clawed back overpaid wages claimed that his employers had not complied with the Employment Rights Act, which requires employers to give written and itemised pay statements. The Employment Appeal Tribunal has held that deductions of an employee’s wages should have been properly itemised and explained on the employee’s payslip.

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A dismissal for taking time off for a dependant was not automatically unfair

Posted on 27 October 2014
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The Employment Appeal Tribunal has held that the dismissal of a man who took time off for his dependant, in this case his pregnant partner, was not automatically unfair because he failed to inform his employer of the reason for his absence as soon as reasonably practicable.

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Failure to pay male employee enhanced additional paternity pay was not discriminatory

Posted on 27 October 2014
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A male employee who argued that his employer’s failure to pay him enhanced additional paternity pay was directly and indirectly discriminatory was unsuccessful in his claim. The Tribunal held that the appropriate comparator for direct discrimination is a female applicant for additional paternity leave who is the female spouse or civil partner of someone on maternity leave and, therefore, the claimant could not establish that he had been treated less favourably because he was a man. In any event, it held that the disparity in treatment was a proportionate means of keeping more women at Ford.

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Employment Appeal Tribunal holds that project manager should not have been assigned to a new contractor on a TUPE transfer

Posted on 27 October 2014
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The EAT has held that an employee, who was a project manager, did not transfer under TUPE. The EAT cautioned against placing too much emphasis on how much time an employee spends on each project and said that careful consideration should be given to the group transferring and whether the employee belongs to it.

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An award for injury to feelings for discrimination in connection with termination was taxable as a termination payment

Posted on 24 October 2014
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A Tribunal has held that a payment made to a claimant on the termination of his employment which related to discrimination and injury to feelings was taxable as a termination payment because it was connected with termination.

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Employment Appeal Tribunal holds that pay progression clause did not allow automatic pay increments

Posted on 24 October 2014
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The Employment Appeal Tribunal has ruled that an employee’s employment contract did not entitle her to annual pay increments subject to satisfactory performance, regardless of HR’s assurance during the recruitment process that the employee’s pay would increase in this way. On review of the clause, this was not its meaning and there was also an entire agreement clause in the contract, which meant that the employee could not rely on the prior discussions with HR.

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Court of Appeal finds that bringing disciplinary proceedings was not a breach of the employer’s duty of care

Posted on 24 October 2014
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The Court of Appeal has held that an employer did not breach its duty of care when it brought disciplinary proceedings against an employee suspected of giving a falsely positive reference about a former colleague. Whilst the allegations were not ultimately upheld, the decision to suspend was within the employer’s range of reasonable decisions.

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Buy-out payment for healthcare benefits was fully taxable

Posted on 24 October 2014
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The First Tier Tribunal has held that a payment to a retired employee to buy-out his right to participate in his former employer’s healthcare scheme did not qualify as either a payment for termination of employment (which would qualify for a £30,000 income tax exemption) or a capital gain. The payment was deemed to be a payment under an employer funded retirement benefit scheme and therefore was subject to income tax and national insurance contributions as employment income.

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The pitfalls of recovering stolen confidential documents disclosed in litigation

Posted on 26 September 2014
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The Court of Appeal has allowed a party’s disclosure in Tribunal proceedings to be used in subsequent proceedings even though the party seeking to rely on these documents erroneously forgot to ask the permission of the Tribunal to do so.

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