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Rogue debt collectors face tough new rules in a Government bid to improve consumer protection in this contentious area. This is because of changes to the Consumer Credit Act 2006 (CCA) which have recently come into effect.

Chief among the new powers given to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is the ability to fine debt collectors up to £50,000 for infractions and to impose limitations on the licences under which they operate.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has held (Department for Work and Pensions v Sutcliffe) that a woman who was certified as sick during her ordinary maternity leave was not entitled to be paid contractual sick pay during that period.

The Employment Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) Regulations 2004 set out the normal rules for Tribunal proceedings.

Employment Judges have the power, under Rule 18(7)(c), to strike out any claim or response on the grounds that ‘the manner in which the proceedings have been conducted by or on behalf of the claimant or the respondent…has been scandalous, unreasonable or vexatious’.

The Employment Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) Regulations 2004 set out the normal rules for Tribunal proceedings.

Employment Judges have the power, under Rule 18(7)(c), to strike out any claim or response on the grounds that ‘the manner in which the proceedings have been conducted by or on behalf of the claimant or the respondent…has been scandalous, unreasonable or vexatious’.

A recent case serves as a reminder of the importance of circulating and abiding by your internal policies and procedures. The Employment Appeal Tribunal ruled that the dismissal of a council employee who had consumed alcohol whilst on duty was unfair because the council had failed to make known its published alcohol policy and had not followed it when dismissing him (Sinclair v Wandsworth Council).

The purpose of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations (TUPE) is to safeguard the employment rights of employees when a business is sold. If a person employed immediately before the relevant transfer of a business is dismissed for a reason connected with the transfer, the dismissal is automatically unfair unless the employer can show that it was for ‘economic, technical or organisational reasons entailing changes in the work-force’.

In December 2006, the House of Lords remitted to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) certain questions concerning the European Working Time Directive, regarding paid annual leave for employees on long-term sick leave. The Working Time Regulations 1998 (WTR) implement the Working Time Directive in the UK.

Under the Employment Rights Act 1996, protection against unfair dismissal is only afforded to employees. For this reason, the exact employment status of an agency worker is often at issue in the courts.

For the purposes of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA), someone has a disability if they have a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. If an impairment ceases to have such an effect, it is to be treated as having that effect if it is likely to recur.

Director Given Community Service After Construction Worker Dies

A company director has been given 100 hours’ Community Service and ordered to pay £6,000 costs, following the death of a construction worker.

Norman Ellis, director of Q Homes (Yorkshire) Ltd., pleaded guilty to a charge under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 that the company had failed to discharge its duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of an employee, Andrew Bridges.

Equal pay claims have been much in the news lately with many councils facing the threat of legal action by trade unions on behalf of low-paid female workers not being paid the same rates as men performing similar jobs. The Equal Pay Act 1970 makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate between men and women in terms of their pay and conditions where they are doing the same or similar work, work rated as equivalent or work of equal value.

The Court of Appeal has overturned the decision of the Employment Tribunal (ET), upheld by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT), that an employee was unfairly dismissed because his employer had taken account of an expired disciplinary warning when deciding to dismiss him (Airbus UK Ltd. v Webb).

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