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Latest employment law developments

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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Employer failed to make reasonable adjustments to redeploy disabled employee being made redundant

Posted on 26 September 2014
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The Employment Appeal Tribunal has held that an employer failed to make reasonable adjustments to redeploy one of its disabled employees who was at risk of redundancy and could not attend interviews. The EAT held that the employer should have made reasonable adjustments and offered an alternative way of assessing the employee’s suitability for redeployment roles, even though the employee had been unresponsive when HR suggested alternative roles.

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Government launches consultation on loopholes in ban on exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts

Posted on 26 September 2014
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After the controversy surrounding zero hours contracts, the Government is proposing to ban employers from using exclusivity clauses in them. On 25 August 2014, the Government launched a consultation to examine the potential loopholes employers could use to get around its proposed changes to the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill.

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Employment tribunal holds that an employee was not liable for PAYE under-deductions

Posted on 26 September 2014
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The employment tribunal has held that an employee was not liable for PAYE under-deductions because their employer had not taken reasonable care in complying with the PAYE Regulations. Instead the employer had delegated the matter to a payroll agent without liaising with them or making enquiries of them.

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High Court finds that assessment of bonus pool does involve contractual discretion

Posted on 26 September 2014
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The High Court has held that the calculation of a bonus pool by an employer bank involved an exercise of discretion and therefore the bank was under a duty, by virtue of an implied contractual term, to exercise its discretion honestly and in good faith and not arbitrarily, capriciously or irrationally.

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Employee's previous breaches did not bar a constructive dismissal claim

Posted on 26 September 2014
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The Employment Appeal Tribunal has held that an employee’s previous breach of contract did not prevent him from bringing a claim for constructive dismissal against his former employer. However, the EAT noted that if the employer established that it could have fairly dismissed the employee had it known about his previous breach of contract, the employee’s compensation could be reduced by up to 100%.

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HR Consultant’s letter could bind employer to higher pay

Posted on 15 August 2014
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The Employment Appeal Tribunal held that Sheffield City Council was bound by the rates of pay erroneously set out in a letter from an HR consultant to its employees. It was held that the letter was binding on the employer because the HR consultant was held out as being authorised to make this communication.

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Employee resigning in breach of contract held to notice period without pay

Posted on 15 August 2014
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The High Court granted an injunction against an employee trying to walk away from a long notice period and non-compete restrictions. It held that the employment relationship was still in existence even though the employee had not been paid.

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The Courts cannot re-write badly drafted contracts

Posted on 15 August 2014
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An employment contract had been poorly thought through so that on a literal interpretation of the post termination non-compete restrictions within it, no protection was given to the employer. The Court of Appeal held that words could not be added to protect the employer’s interests in a badly struck deal.

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Sanctions in disciplinary procedure could not be increased on appeal

Posted on 15 August 2014
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The Court of Appeal has held that the sanction in a contractual disciplinary procedure could not be increased on appeal from a written warning to a dismissal. It held that interpreting the procedure to allow the employer to do this would be inconsistent with the contract and had the employer wanted this right, it should have been made explicit.

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