The Practical Lawyer


Holiday – summary dismissal

Many employment contracts say that an employee will not be entitled to accrued holiday pay if he or she is summarily dismissed (eg for gross misconduct).

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Notice period – holiday

Can an employer insist that an employee takes holidays as part of the notice period (which means that the employer will not have to pay him for the holiday in addition to the notice period)?

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Time off – parental leave

The EAT has held that the entitlement to parental leave because of unexpected disruption or termination of care arrangements for dependants is not limited to last-minute unavailability or emergencies.

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DDPs – ‘informal’ complaint

A Polish farm worker wrote to his employer saying that he was being treated less favourably on grounds of his race. But, he wrote that the complaint should be dealt with on an ‘informal’ base, but if the complaint was not properly dealt with he would then lodge a step 1 (formal) grievance notice.

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DDPs – constructive dismissal

The general rule is that an employee must raise a grievance with the employer under the statutory procedures (and, indeed, will not be able to pursue an unfair dismissal claim until such notice has been given, and then 28 days has lapsed).

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DDPs – redundancy

Redundancy is a potentially fair reason for dismissal. But, it should not be forgotten that the statutory dismissal and disciplinary procedures also apply. In summary, the DDPs require a step 1 letter to the employee; there must then be a step 2 meeting; that might then be followed by a step 3 appeal.

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Enhanced redundancy – discrimination

Employers who offer enhanced (ie above the statutory limits) redundancy schemes should always consider the age discrimination legislation.

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Redundancy – internal vacancies

We all know that an employee at risk of redundancy must be offered any ‘suitable alternative employment’. The point to watch here is that if there is an internal vacancy within the company, then it will normally be wrong to require the at-risk employee to compete with other employees (who are not at risk of redundancy) for that job.

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Redundancy – LIFO

Many years ago, the standard way of selecting for redundancy was ‘last in, first out’ (LIFO). Since then, matters have become more complicated and most employers use a matrix approach. But, the length of service will often be an important part of that matrix.

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TUPE – new standard contracts?

If employees transfer to a new employer under TUPE, then the new employer inherits all rights, liabilities and obligations (other than a few pension liabilities).

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