The Practical Lawyer


Internal investigation - copy to police?

If there are allegations of misconduct, what happens if an employer hands over its own internal investigation notes to the police? Will that be a breach of the implied duty of trust and confidence?

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Philosophical belief - scope extended?

The Equality Act 2010 provides protection against discrimination based on nine characteristics, one of which is any religious or philosophical belief. Not all religions or beliefs are covered by the Act. Whether a particular religion or belief attracts protection will generally be determined by the courts.

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Employment law changes - April 2020

A number of important changes in relation to employment law are due to come into force on 6 April 2020 as part of the government's 'Good Work Plan'.

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Agency workers - changes to rights

In addition to the changes mentioned above, we have reported in recent editions on changes to employment rights and practices including:

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IR35 - preparing for the changes

We reported in our February 2019 edition (p18) on the phased abolition of IR35 which applies when:

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Special leave policy - suggested content

The table above summarises the various rights that employees have to statutory leave. However, employers are increasingly faced with requests for special leave which covers a wide range of events such as time off for gender reassignment and to grieve following the death of a pet. As a result, many employers are now introducing special leave policies to deal with these unusual requests. Unless an employee has a statutory right to take leave, or has a contractual right, the employee will generally require consent to take time off for other reasons. Employers should consider these requests carefully and not dismiss a request outright.

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Proportionality - must consider workforce as a whole

Employers who need employees to work at the weekends may have to consider whether this indirectly discriminates because of religion and belief. The answer often depends on whether the requirement is justified.

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Covert recording - at work

The EAT has recently considered a case in which the employee made secret recordings of conversations during a disciplinary process. The employee was dismissed, resulting in an unfair dismissal claim. The employer was unaware of the recordings at the time - this fact only became clear during the ET proceedings. The employer argued that, had it known of the recordings, it would have dismissed the claimant for gross misconduct and argued that her basic award should be reduced to nil as it was not just and equitable to make any award.

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Social media post - employer not liable

Social media and extreme personal views can be a toxic mix for employers and employees alike. In a recent EAT case, an employer was held not to be liable for an image which someone found offensive being posted on their Facebook page.

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Philosophical belief - scope extended?
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