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Employment

The Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) Order 2007, which details the annual inflation-linked increase in limits on the amounts which can be awarded by employment tribunals, was made on 18 December 2007 and applies where the appropriate date falls on or after 1 February 2008.


The main increases in compensation limits are:

In the recent case of Hussain v Acorn Independent College Limited, the teacher in question Mr Hussain had a temporary contract that was due to terminate on 8th July.
The teacher for whom he was covering for, resigned on that same day, and it was agreed that Mr Hussain would be kept on under a permanent contract from 5th September.

Correspondence over email or fax (and at a push, letter) are surely just products of our technological age. However, when it comes to informing work of your resignation, or even receiving a notice of dismissal, it seems the law has something very particular to say about the right method of communication.

Dismissal by reason of redundancy may be fair or unfair.
In particular, it will be unfair dismissal if the selection of a particular individual for redundancy was unfair or if there was a total failure to consider suitable alternative employment.

Prior to the repeal of the statutory dispute resolution procedures, a dismissal by reason of redundancy was automatically unfair if the statutory procedures required before an employee could be properly dismissed were not followed.

When it comes to equal pay at work, women are more likely to be paid less because they have fewer years’ service either because of career breaks to look after children or because they are relatively new entrants into traditionally male-dominated professions, and therefore are likely to be discriminated against at work.

In the case of Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust v Westwood [2009] UKEAT The Employment Appeal Tribunal, found against an employer, who summarily dismissed a nurse for leaving a patient on a trolley outside Accident and Emergency at night, on the basis that her actions did not amount to gross misconduct but rather only to a professional failure.

Unlike other forms of discrimination, such as race or sex discrimination, the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 do allow a defence of justification in cases of direct discrimination, where this is ‘a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim’.

In the first major case involving the Regulations, which were introduced in October 2006, the Employment Tribunal (ET) has dismissed a £4.5 million age discrimination claim brought against a City of London law firm (Bloxham v Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer).

The EU Working Time Directive requires member states to ensure that national rules make it unlawful for an employer to require workers to work more than an average of 48 hours a week. The Working Time Regulations 1998 implement the Directive in the UK. However, the UK Government negotiated an opt-out from the 48-hour weekly working limit where an individual employee gives his or her prior agreement to waive this right.

It is automatically unfair dismissal to dismiss an employee for making a ‘protected disclosure’, in good faith, to someone to whom they are entitled to make it, or to penalise them for doing so.

A case heard by the Court of Appeal (Klusova v London Borough of Hounslow) illustrates the difficulties that an employer can encounter when trying to avoid contravening the immigration legislation. Ms Klusova, a Russian national, had leave to remain and work in the UK until May 2004. In November 2000, she began working for Hounslow Council.

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