The Practical Lawyer


Age – retirement at 65

Are the UK’s age discrimination laws wrong to allow dismissals at age 65? The ECJ has ruled that such a provision can, in principle, be justified as not being against EU law.

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Unfair dismissal – final salary pension

Being part of a final salary pension scheme is a valuable benefit, and can be a source of compensation in an unfair dismissal award. That will be so even if the employee gets a new job, at a higher rate of pay.

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Discrimination – ‘harassment’

’Harassment’ has a different meaning under the discrimination laws than it does under Protection from Harassment Act 1997. As far as discrimination is concerned, we now have a unified definition from the EAT that applies across all areas of discrimination law.

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Termination – effective date

When working out the three-month time limit for unfair dismissal claims, it is important to remember that time runs from the effective date of termination (EDT).

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Sickness – cosmetic surgery

Cosmetic surgery is often described as ‘elective surgery’, in that it is a voluntary act. But, is an employee entitled to take time off for such voluntary surgery as ‘sickness’?

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Pay cuts – tactics

If a pay cut is unilaterally imposed on employees, then they will almost certainly have the right to resign and claim constructive, unfair and wrongful dismissal.

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Flexible working – update

The right to request flexible working arrangements previously applied to parents of children under six years old (or 18 if the child is disabled), and to employees with caring responsibilities for qualifying adults over age 18. Since 6 April, this now extends to parents of children up to age 16.

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Redundancy – maternity leave

Can a woman on maternity leave be included in a redundancy scheme, just like the other staff? The answer is ‘yes’.

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Paid holiday – entitlement

All workers are now entitled to 5.6 weeks annual leave (was 4.8 weeks).

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ACAS – new Code

The new ACAS Code on discipline and grievance is a very important document. It has been introduced following the abolition of the statutory procedures.

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