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Author Archive: Jodele McConnachie

Rise in Voluntary Living Wage Rate

Posted by on November 8th 2017 in Blog Posts, Employment

Rise in Voluntary Living Wage Rate

It has been announced that Voluntary Living Wage (VLW) is set to rise by 30p per hour across the UK to a rate of £8.75 per hour. Within London, it is set to rise further by 45p, taking the rate of pay to over £10.00 for the first time, at £10.20 per hour. This represents a 3.6% and 4.6% rise respectively.

This will be a positive change for some 150,000 workers who are employed by the 3,500 firms who have signed up to the VLW Scheme. Employers who have signed up include large companies such as Heathrow Airport, IKEA, Google and...

Failure to Conduct Breastfeeding Risk Assessment Constitutes Employee Sex Discrimination, CJEU decides

Posted by on November 6th 2017 in Blog Posts, Employment

Failure to Conduct Breastfeeding Risk Assessment Constitutes Employee Sex Discrimination, CJEU decides

In Ramos v Servicio Galego de Saúde the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) held that a failure by an employer to conduct an appropriate risk assessment for a breastfeeding female worker constituted direct discrimination.

The case involved an A&E nurse, who went to her employer with concerns that her working conditions (ie. long hours, stress, exposure to ionising radiation etc.) were having an affect on her ability to breastfeed her child. The employee then requested a change to her working patterns to accommodate breastfeeding her child and for preventative measures to be put in place, this was rejected on the...

Proposals to Ban Gazumping and Gazundering

Posted by on October 30th 2017 in Blog Posts, Property

More Certainty for Home Buyers and Sellers: Proposals to Ban Gazumping and Gazundering

Gazumping: where sellers accept a higher offer, having already accepted another buyer’s offer.

Gazundering: where homebuyers threaten not to complete a sale unless money is knocked off the price at the last minute.

Currently, buyers and sellers alike can do nothing to stop either Gazumping or Gazundering hindering a property sale, which causes uncertainty and leads to wasted costs on both sides of the transaction.  

Paula Higgins, chief executive of the Homeowners Alliance said:

“Gazundering, gazumping, collapsing chains, and one in three sales falling through. It takes too...

Barbulescu v Romania: Case Update - Can Employers Monitor Employees Emails?

Posted by on October 2nd 2017 in Employment

Barbulescu v Romania: Case Update - Can Employers Monitor Employees Emails?

Can Employers Monitor Employees Emails?

In the case of Barbulescu v Romania the Romanian Court ruled that an employer had acted lawfully when it monitored an employee’s Yahoo Account. The account in question was a Yahoo Messenger account, which the employee was encouraged to use to speak to customers. The employer found, however, that the account was also being used for personal purposes – namely messaging his brother and partner. Mr Barbulescu was subsequently dismissed from his role.  The Court upheld the decision of the employer to dismiss him,...

Released Today: Entitlement for Free Childcare

Posted by on September 1st 2017 in Blog Posts, Family

UPDATE: Childcare Act 2016 – Entitlement to Free Childcare from Today

The Childcare Act 2016 (Commencement No 2) Regulations 2017 (the “Regulations”) were made on 19 July 2017. The Regulations bring into force sections 1(1) and section 6 of the Childcare Act 2016 (the “Act”) on 1 September 2017, which increase free childcare entitlement for parents. 

Currently, parents of three or four year old children in England get 15 hours per week of free childcare. The Act and Regulations effectively double eligible parents’ entitlement to free childcare for their child, meaning they will be entitled...

EAT: Voluntary Overtime, Standby Allowances and call-out Payments should be Included in Holiday Pay Calculations if Sufficiently Regular

Posted by on August 7th 2017 in Employment

EAT: Voluntary Overtime, Standby Allowances and call-out Payments should be Included in Holiday Pay Calculations if Sufficiently Regular

In the landmark case of Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council v Willetts and others, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) gave the first binding decision to confirm voluntary overtime should be included in holiday pay.

The case involved 56 council workers employed as tradesmen, who worked their day jobs and also carried out voluntary overtime and other additional duties such as standby shifts and out-of-hours call outs. The regularity of these voluntary duties was decided wholly by the employees, and they were paid additional wages in respect of them, as well as receiving travel and mileage allowances. The workers brought claims in the...

Daughter Wins Inheritance Dispute

Posted by on August 7th 2017 in Contentious Probate, Private Client

Nahajec v Fowle: A Successful Claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 

The recent County Court decision of Nahajec v Fowle has seen an estranged daughter awarded £30,000 under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (the Act) after successfully claiming her father’s Will did not make reasonable provision for her.

The facts were as follows:

  • The Claimant was one of three children of the deceased. One sibling had already settled an earlier claim for a sum of £22,000.

  • The Claimant and the deceased had limited contact over the years, though...

Gender Pay Gap Reporting: What Companies Need to Know

Posted by on July 21st 2017 in Blog Posts, Employment

Gender Pay Gap Reporting: What Companies Need to Know

In recent news; Emma Stone shone a light on the difference in pay between actors and actresses, and the BBC released a list of their highest paid male and female earners.

Because of this large companies will be considering the reputational impact the release of such information will have on their businesses.

The Gender Pay Gap Regulations 2017, mean employers in the private, public and voluntary sector with 250 or more employees will be required to publish their “gender pay gap” by April 2018. 

Companies will have to publish a number of calculations to both their website and a government website, which...

Dismissal fair despite being decided by reference to a history of expired warnings and future expectations (EAT)

Posted by on January 20th 2017 in Blog Posts, Employment

Dismissal fair despite being decided by reference to a history of expired warnings and future expectations (EAT)

It has been a generally accepted principle that once a warning for misconduct has expired, the employee’s slate should be wiped clean, and it would be unfair for an employer to take expired warnings into account when deciding to dismiss the employee.

However, in the recent case of Stratford v Auto Trail VR Ltd the Employment Appeal Tribunal, upholding the earlier decision of the Employment Tribunal, deemed it fair that the employer took into account prior expired warnings in deciding whether to dismiss the employee for misconduct. In this case the employee had 18 prior cases of misconduct, and although the...

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