The Practical Lawyer


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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Direct pay offer - not 'unlawful inducement'

S145B Trade Union and Labour Relations Consolidation Act 1992 prohibits employers from making offers directly to workers who are members of a recognised union if:

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Redundancy - managing difficult decisions

A redundancy situation arises when there is a business closure, a workplace closure or a diminished requirement for employees to do work of a particular kind. If an employer is proposing to dismiss 20 or more employees, a more cryptic definition of redundancy is used, which is a dismissal not for a reason related to the individual concerned. A useful article considers some of the problems employers may have to face when dismissing employees for reasons of redundancy.

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Unfair Contract Terms Directive - scope

The Unfair Contract Terms Directive (93/13/EEC) protects consumers against unfair standard contract terms imposed by traders. EU countries must make sure that effective means exist under national law to enforce these rights and to prevent the continued use of unfair contract terms.

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Disability and treatment – causal link

A common issue in employment cases is how close a connection there must be between disability and unfavourable treatment for a claim of discrimination arising from a disability to succeed. 
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Compulsory retirement – permitted if ‘legitimate’

The hallowed hallways of Oxford University might not be an obvious place for age discrimination law to develop – but a recent ET decision has come to an important decision in this area. 
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Page 5 of 66

Most-read articles

Intestacy – statutory legacy
Wednesday, 12 February 2020
The statutory legacy under the intestacy rules has increased to £270,000 with effect from 6 February 2020. It’s the first increase since October 2014. Read more...
Unsolicited publicity – SRA guidance
Wednesday, 12 February 2020
Some practitioners were somewhat aghast to read para 8.9 in the new Code of Conduct for solicitors as follows: Read more...
Part 36 offer – includes interest
Wednesday, 12 February 2020
Part 36 is a provision of the CPR which is intended to encourage parties to settle disputes without going to trial. A Part 36 offer made by either the claimant or defendant is a tactical step... Read more...
Slipping claims – burden of proof
Wednesday, 12 February 2020
In general, the law on slipping cases is reasonably settled and straightforward. An interesting article considers a question which often arises in practice, namely whether the defendant bears an... Read more...
MEES – domestic rentals reminder
Wednesday, 12 February 2020
We last reported on the MEES Regulations in our May 2019 edition (p24). The Domestic Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) Regulations set a minimum energy efficiency level for domestic private... Read more...
Lease to family – not a relevant disposal
Wednesday, 12 February 2020
Under s1(1) LTA 1987 L shall not make a ‘relevant disposal affecting any premises to which at the time of the disposal this Part applies’ unless it has previously served notice in accordance with... Read more...
Oral trust for third party – not binding
Wednesday, 12 February 2020
A recent CC decision is an important reminder to property practitioners to advise clients to ensure that any declaration of trust is in writing. Section 53(1)(b) LPA 1925 states that: Read more...
Civil partnerships – opposite sex
Wednesday, 12 February 2020
The Civil Partnership (Opposite-sex Couples) Regulations came into force on 2 December 2019 enabling mixed-sex couples to enter into a civil partnership, as an alternative to marriage or cohabitation. Read more...
Ethical veganism – a philosophical belief
Wednesday, 12 February 2020
A vegan is someone who does not eat or use animal products. 'Ethical' veganism is more than just not eating or using animal products – it goes beyond this in that ethical vegans try to exclude all... Read more...
Stalking – orders
Wednesday, 12 February 2020
The perpetrators of stalking can now be banned from approaching and/or contacting their victims under police powers that came into force on 20 January 2020. Under the Stalking Protection Act 2019,... Read more...


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