The Practical Lawyer


Actual working hours – must be recorded

The ECJ has held that employers must keep a record of the actual number of hours worked each day under the Working Time Directive (WTD). 
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Marketing – check it is not discriminatory!

What seemed like a positive marketing idea has backfired for brewery Brewdog. The intention was sound in that Brewdog wanted to highlight the gender pay gap – but the execution was lacking. 
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Holiday pay – must include overtime

The CA has considered a claim by various ambulance staff in relation to what the employees claimed was an unlawful deduction from their holiday pay. 
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Disability – when did the employer know?

The duty to make reasonable adjustments only applies when an employer has actual or constructive knowledge of disability. One requirement needed to satisfy the definition of disability is that the condition is long-term, which means that it has lasted or is likely to last for at least 12 months. In a recent case the EAT considered when the duty to make reasonable adjustments had been triggered.

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ET fees – £16m still owing

In 2017 the SC ruled that ET fees, introduced by the government in 2013, were unlawful. This was on the basis that they were a barrier to access to the ET, particularly for employees on low incomes.
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Law firms – employment failures

Two law firms have recently failed to carry out required procedures when making employees redundant. The ET heard that one firm did not give proper warning or notice to staff that they were due to lose their jobs. Section 188 TULRCA 1992 requires that employers are under a duty to consult when they propose to make 20 or more employees redundant within 90 days or less. There had been no such consultation and the employees heard via text message that they should come into the office for a meeting.

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April 2019 – statutory compensation rate changes

On 6 April 2019 the annual increase to the compensation limit in the ET took effect as follows:

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National minimum wage – increases

From 1 April 2019 the NMW increased to:

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Sickness absence policy – suggested content

A useful article outlines how to create and maintain a sickness absence policy. It should start with an initial purpose statement telling employees why it is in place, what it hopes to achieve and which parts are contractual. The policy should differentiate between genuine sickness absence and instances where absence will be a disciplinary matter, eg when employees are repeatedly late for work for reasons not linked to illness. The policy should cover the following topics:

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Suspending an employee – practical considerations

Before suspending an employee, employers and their advisers should bear in mind the following:

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