The Practical Lawyer


Director – unfair dismissal

A company director can only expect PAYE earnings (not dividends) to be taken into account when assessing unfair dismissal compensation. This is because it would only be payments contractually due under the contract of employment that can be taken into account. Sheridan v GTECH [2015] noted in [2015] NLJ 30 January 5.


Dress code – discrimination?

An employer has the right to implement a dress code in the workplace (eg to communicate a corporate image; ensure that customers can identify staff; satisfy health and safety requirements).

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Working time – no injury to feelings

The power to award compensation for breach of the Working Time Regs 1998 is silent as to whether it includes a power to award compensation for injury to feelings. The EAT has confirmed that it does not. Santos Gomes v Higher Level [2016] UKEAT 0017/16/1805.

Illegal working – offence

A reminder that there is now a new offence of employing an illegal worker. This applies if the employer ‘knows or has reasonable cause to believe’ that the employee has no right to do the work – a wider test than the previous ‘actual knowledge’ requirement. In effect, we now have a stricter test.

CV – false?

What happens if an employer discovers that an employee’s CV contains false claims? In theory, if the misrepresentation is sufficiently serious, this could amount to a breach of the implied duty of trust and confidence, thus entitling the employer to dismiss without notice.
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ACAS Code – 25% uplift?

Failure to comply with the ACAS Code of Practice can result in an uplift of as much as 25% to unfair dismissal compensation. However, it has now been made clear that this does not apply to ill health or SOSR (‘some other substantial reason’) dismissals:
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Employment – jurisdiction?

Neither ERA 1996 or EA 2010 has any provisions about territorial, or jurisdictional, scope. Thus, one has to rely on judicial guidance. There are three House of Lords or Supreme Court decisions on this:
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Disability – wide scope

The breadth of ‘disability’ is well illustrated by two recent cases:

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Industrial action – leverage campaigns?

Trade Union Act 2016 is not yet in force. It will make important changes to the rules on strike ballots, and require that employers be given 14 days’ (not seven days) notice of industrial action (see our June 2016 issue, p6).

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Director – employment status?

There can often be arguments about the employment status of a company director who holds shares in the company and thus receives dividend income. Normally, this is in the context of insolvency, with such directors arguing they are entitled to the usual employees’ rights.

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