Employment Library

A Brief Guide to TUPE

The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE) apply to any size of business and protect the employment rights of employees when their employer changes as a result of the relevant transfer of a business or a part of one....

A General Guide to Recruiting Staff

Getting the recruitment process right is vital to ensure that you not only select the most suitable candidate for the vacancy but also do so without falling foul of the applicable law. The Law The Equality Act 2010 is intended to eliminate...

A Guide to Equal Pay Audits

Under the Equality Act 2010 , it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate between men and women in terms of their pay and conditions where they are in the same employment and are doing the same or similar work, work rated as equivalent or work of equal...

A Guide to Garden Leave

‘Garden leave’ is the term used to describe the situation in which an employee who has resigned or been dismissed is required to serve out their notice period at home, rather than reporting for work. Normally, garden leave is used as a...

A Guide to Gender Pay Gap Reporting

In spite of the Equal Pay Act 1970 , which prohibited less favourable treatment between men and women in terms of pay and conditions, and subsequent equality laws, there is still a significant gap between the pay of men and women in the UK. To try to...

A Guide to Preventing Disability Discrimination in the Workplace

Under the Equality Act 2010 , which repeals all previous discrimination law and brings together the relevant legislation in one place, it is unlawful to discriminate against a worker on account of a physical or mental disability or to fail to make...

A Guide to Selecting Employees for Redundancy

When an employer faces having to dismiss employees by reason of redundancy, there are certain procedures that should be followed in order to comply with the relevant law. Redundancy is a potentially fair reason for dismissal, but it may be found to be...

A Guide to Shared Parental Leave

New regulations that came into force on 1 December 2014 made changes to the way in which eligible parents can take leave after the birth or adoption of a child. Shared parental leave (SPL) aims to introduce more flexible, more equal arrangements that will...

A Guide to Unfair Dismissal

Only employees have the right not to be unfairly dismissed. The right does not extend, for example, to people who are self-employed, independent contractors, members of the armed forces or workers employed under an illegal contract – e.g. a bar person...

A Guide to the Agency Workers Regulations

The Agency Workers Regulations 2010 (AWR) came into force on 1 October 2011. They apply to those workers who are supplied by a temporary work agency to work temporarily for and under the supervision and direction of a hirer. All temporary agency workers...

Advice on Workplace Dress Codes

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) has guidance for employers who wish to impose dress standards in the workplace. This emphasises that employers should have sound business reasons for applying a particular dress code, such as...

Age Discrimination - Life After the Abolition of the Default Retirement Age

Since the abolition of the Default Retirement Age (DRA), it is no longer permissible for an employer to dismiss an older worker on the ground of retirement unless this can be objectively justified under the Equality Act 2010 . This does not mean that...

Bullying at Work

At present, there is no legislation in the UK specifically to protect those who suffer bullying at work. Victims of bullying need to look to other legislation to gain protection or redress under the law. This may be employment law, health and safety law or...

Collective Redundancy Consultation - An Employer's Duties

Under Section 188 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 (TULRCA), employers have a duty to consult with appropriate representatives of employees concerning forthcoming redundancies if 20 or more employees are to be dismissed at...

Constructive Dismissal and Affirmation of Contract

Constructive dismissal occurs when an employee is forced to leave their job against their will because of a fundamental breach of contract by their employer. In order to succeed in a claim for constructive dismissal, the employee must show that they have not...

Dealing with Employee Absence

Employee absences can be both costly and disruptive for businesses. According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development's 2016 annual survey report on Absence Management , on average people were absent from work for 6.3 days in the year,...

Driving on Company Business

Research by the Health and Safety Executive shows that 20 people are killed and 250 are seriously injured each week in traffic accidents involving someone driving for business reasons. The threat of employers being prosecuted for road accidents involving...

Drug Policy - Recognising the Signs and What to Do

Substance abuse amongst staff can affect all areas of employment, whether it be a decrease in productivity, increased absenteeism or the increased likelihood of accidents and injuries. The failure to identify and deal with a problem is an unnecessary risk...

E-cigarettes in the Workplace

Legislation under the Health Act 2006 that prohibits smoking in enclosed public places and workplaces, on public transport and in vehicles used for work does not cover the use of e-cigarettes. The devices do not burn tobacco or create smoke but work by...

Early Conciliation - How Does it Work?

For Employment Tribunal (ET) claims lodged on or after 6 May 2014, it is a legal requirement, unless an exemption applies, for the claimant to first notify the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) by completing an Early Conciliation...

Employee Rest Breaks

Employers Must Be Proactive to Ensure Workers Get Proper Breaks Except in certain circumstances, an adult worker whose daily working time is more than six hours is entitled to a 20-minute uninterrupted rest break as laid down by Regulation 12(1) of the ...

Employees' Right to Request Flexible Working Arrangements

Since 30 June 2014, all employees have had the right to ask their employer for a change to their contractual terms and conditions of employment so that they can work flexibly, provided they have worked for their employer for 26 weeks continuously by the date...

Employment Rights - Ministers of Religion

In President of the Methodist Conference v Preston , the Supreme Court ruled that a Methodist minister was not an employee of the Church and so could not pursue her claim for unfair dismissal. For many years, it was accepted law that ministers of...

Failing to Prevent Bribery - Are You at Risk?

The Bribery Act 2010 came into force on 1 July 2011. It created a new offence which can be committed by a commercial organisation if it fails to prevent persons associated with it from committing bribery on its behalf. A business can provide a defence by...

Graduate Recruitment

Most businesses would like to benefit from an influx of talent, enthusiasm and fresh ideas. The challenge is to achieve it at an acceptable cost. One option is to employ a recent graduate. In the past, most graduate recruitment was undertaken by large...

Homeworking and an Employer's Duties

Since 30 June 2014, all employees who have worked for their employer continuously for 26 weeks have the right to ask their employer if they can work flexibly. For many people, more flexible working arrangements could include carrying out some or all of their...

In Brief: Acas E-learning Modules

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) offers useful electronic learning modules on a variety of topics . These include: starting work; discipline and grievance; equality and diversity; bullying and harassment; ...

In Brief: Acas Guidance on Holiday and Holiday Pay

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) has useful guidance for employers puzzling over staff holiday pay entitlements. The guidance leaflet gives a summary of holiday entitlements, setting out: the right to annual leave; when a...

In Brief: Advice on Occupational Asthma

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has a website dedicated to advice on how to reduce occupational asthma . This is aimed at employers and is part of the HSE’s ongoing campaign to reduce significantly the number of occupational asthma sufferers. ...

In Brief: Assessment of Repetitive Tasks Tool

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are the most common occupational illness in Britain. They include problems such as low back pain, joint injuries and repetitive strain injuries of various sorts, and affect more than 500,000 people every year. They are often...

In Brief: Data Protection Guidance for Employers

Employers have a legal responsibility to ensure that employees' personal details are respected and properly protected. The Employment Practices Data Protection Code contains guidance on the impact of data protection laws on the employment relationship. It...

In Brief: Employing Reservists

The Ministry of Justice has published a toolkit for employers containing guidance and support on all aspects of employing reservists. This includes: details of rights and responsibilities, and financial assistance for employers and reservists; ...

In Brief: Guidance on Recruiting and Retaining Transgender Employees

In partnership with Inclusive Employers – a membership organisation for employers looking to build inclusive workplaces – the Government has produced guidance designed to provide employers with practical advice , suggestions and ideas on the...

In Brief: Working at Height Regulations

Falls from height are the single biggest cause of workplace deaths and one of the main causes of serious injury. A place is ‘at height’ if there is a risk of a fall liable to cause personal injury. The Work at Height Regulations 2005 were...

Informing and Consulting Employees

The EU Information and Consultation Directive 2002 established minimum requirements for companies with more than 50 employees for consulting and informing them on a wide variety of subjects. The Directive does not apply to those businesses with fewer than 50...

Mobile Workers - Daily Travel To and From Work is 'Working Time'

The EU Working Time Directive, which is implemented into UK law by the Working Time Regulations 1998 , defines working time as 'any period during which the worker is working, at the employer's disposal and carrying out his activity or duties, in accordance...

National Minimum Wage and Statutory Pay Rates

The following changes to the National Living Wage (NLW) and the National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates will come into effect on 1 April 2017: The NLW for those aged 25 and over will increase from £7.20 per hour to £7.50 per hour; The NMW...

Offensive Tweets and Unfair Dismissal

In a case which dealt with the issue of misuse of Twitter by an employee in the context of an unfair dismissal claim ( Game Retail Limited v Laws ), the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) declined to give general guidance to assist with future decisions on...

Pension Rights for Civil Partners

As the law currently stands, employers and pension funds are permitted to exclude civil partners from spousal benefits under a pension scheme the rights to which accrued prior to 5 December 2005, which is when Section 1 of the Civil Partnership Act 2004 ...

Religion or Belief Discrimination - What Constitutes a Philosophical Belief?

When the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003 were first introduced, employees were protected from discrimination by reason of any 'religion, religious belief or similar philosophical belief'. The wording was changed in 2007, with the...

Religious Discrimination Claims

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) was asked to rule in four UK cases in which Christian employees claimed to have suffered discrimination at work on account of their religious beliefs. Two of the cases concerned women who were prevented from wearing...

Resolving Workplace Disputes

As of 6 April 2009, the Employment Act 2008 repealed the Statutory Dispute Resolution Procedures in their entirety. In their place is a voluntary Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) Code of Practice , which sets out the basic principles...

Settlement Agreements

Following changes made by the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 , compromise agreements were renamed ‘settlement agreements’ and new provisions (Section 111A) were inserted into the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA) making settlement...

Sleeping Time and the National Minimum Wage

Over the years, there have been several employment law cases dealing with the question of whether 'sleep-in' hours constitute 'time work' for the purposes of the National Minimum Wage (NMW) Regulations 1999 . The authorities on this issue are fact sensitive...

Staff Handbooks and Contractual Rights

It is not uncommon for employees’ contracts of employment to expressly incorporate the staff handbook, although much of its contents will refer to policy matters rather than having contractual status. The decision of the Court of Appeal in Keeley v...

The Corporate Manslaughter Act

The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 established a new statutory offence of corporate manslaughter (corporate culpable homicide in Scotland). An organisation is guilty of the offence if the way in which it manages or organises its...

The Equality Act 2010 - A Guide for Employers

The Equality Act 2010 replaced nine major pieces of discrimination legislation and other ancillary measures introduced over the last forty years. The core provisions of the Act came into force on 1 October 2010. As well as harmonising existing...

The Smoking Ban - Do You Comply?

The legislation banning all smoking at work comes into force on 1 July 2007. It applies to all enclosed public spaces and workplaces, with only a very few limited exceptions. The ban also extends to work vehicles not used exclusively by one person. Employers...

Tougher Rules on Illegal Working Now In Force

The Immigration Act 2016 contains a wide range of measures, including new rules intended to crack down on businesses that employ those who do not have permission to work in the UK and to prevent employers from exploiting vulnerable migrants. The provisions...

Varying Employees' Contracts of Employment

If an employer is seeking to make changes to employees' contracts of employment, it is important to remember that where this will necessitate adverse changes to their existing terms of employment, the contracts can only be varied with the agreement of both...

Vicarious Liability in the Workplace

The Supreme Court has ruled in two cases that dealt with the vicarious liability of employers for incidents that took place at work. Employee's Extreme Acts In the first case ( Mohamud v Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc ) the Supreme Court upheld a damages...

What Constitutes 'Work Equipment'?

A case in the Scottish Court of Session ( Coia v Portavadie Estates Limited ) examined the question of what is and what is not work equipment for the purposes of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and also what constitutes an...

Whistleblowing

The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA) – often referred to as the ‘Whistleblowing’ Act – was introduced in the wake of various workplace scandals and disasters after official enquiries revealed that workers had known of the...

Workplace Stress - An Employer's Duties

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has published the findings of its sixteenth absence management survey, carried out in partnership with Simplyhealth. This provides useful benchmarking data for organisations on absence levels and...

Written Statement of Employment Particulars

A contract of employment may be verbal but all employees, whether part-time or full-time, are entitled by law to be given a written statement setting out the main particulars of their employment, provided their employment lasts for one month or more. All the...