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Employment

PILONs – restrictive covenants

A PILON clause is a ‘payment in lieu of notice’ clause. Traditionally, many employers have deliberately not included such clauses in their standard contracts, because of the tax benefits on termination payments.

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Gross misconduct – omission

Failing to do something (ie an omission) can amount to gross misconduct.

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Protected conversations – termination date

ERA 1996 was amended in 2013 to give increased protection to pre-termination negotiations between employers and employees. Thus we now have the concept of the ‘protected conversation’, which means that negotiations can be carried out on a without prejudice basis (and therefore not disclosable at a later date).

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Gender pay gap – EHRC

Employers with 250 or more ‘employees’ should be reporting on their gender pay gap; this should be based on a pay data snapshot as at 5 April 2017, with the deadline for publication being 4 April 2018.

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Minimum wage – dress code

Under the Minimum Wage Regs, if a worker is obliged to incur expenditure to do their job, then they cannot be expected to cover those costs out of the minimum wage. Instead, the employer has to reimburse the expenses on top of paying the minimum wage.

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Disability – constructive knowledge?

An employer can be held to have had constructive knowledge of an employee’s disability.

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Workers – holiday arrears

The ECJ has confirmed the Advocate General’s opinion that ‘workers’ can claim arrears of holiday pay (even if they did not ask to take the holiday at the time).

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Dismissal – expired warnings

ACAS recommends that an employee should be told how long a written warning will remain live, and the consequences of further misconduct during that period of time. Moreover, a decision to dismiss ‘should not be based on an expired warning, but the fact that there is an expired warning may explain why an employer does not substitute a lesser sanction’.

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Contract – probationary period

Apparently, almost one in five new employees fail to get past their probationary period. Hence, probationary period clauses in employment contracts can help manage expectations, focus the mind on performance, and facilitate a swift exit.

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Wages – NMW, NLW, RLW!

An explanation of these abbreviations:

NMW = National Minimum Wage. For those of 21 or more it is currently £7.05 (increasing in April 2018 as a result of the Budget.

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