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Author Archive: Rory Wakeling

When Legal Advice Privilege is Removed

Posted by on September 4th 2018 in Blog Posts

Legal advice privilege applies to communications between a client and their lawyer, and communications which have come about for the purpose of giving or receiving legal advice. If legal advice privilege applies, then this information cannot be disclosed during the course of legal proceedings and is confidential.

The rule is not absolute though. Legal advice privilege is lost if the purpose of the communication is to further criminal or fraudulent activity. This is referred to as the “iniquity principle” or the “fraud exception” both of which are based on public policy.

A recent Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) case considered whether legal advice...

Do you need to pay the Data Protection Fee to the ICO?

Posted by on August 31st 2018 in Employment

We are increasingly being asked this by Clients following the introduction of the GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018. The general position is that if you are processing personal information as a data controller then you need to pay the data protection fee to the ICO.

The amount that you are required to pay will depend on a number of factors such as your number of staff and annual turnover. For most organisations the fee is either £40 or £60. The highest level of fee is £2,900.

The ICO have produced a self assessment tool which will assist you in establishing whether...

Dismissal of teacher for showing an 18 rated film to 15 and 16 year old students was discriminatory

Posted by on May 31st 2018 in Blog Posts, Employment

Dismissal of teacher for showing an 18 rated film to 15 and 16 year old students was discriminatory

The Court of Appeal has held that a school was in breach of the Equality Act 2010 for dismissing a teacher who showed an inappropriate film (Halloween) to students as they believed that the error of judgment was unconnected to his disability. The teacher had cystic fibrosis, which did not affect his abilities as a teacher, but did require a significant exercise regime to help manage the condition. This was very time consuming for the teacher and meant he was less able to adapt to unforeseen increases in workload compared to others without the condition.

The case concerned a claim of...

Flexible Working Hours

Posted by on September 28th 2017 in Blog Posts, Employment

Flexible Working Hours

A survey of 1000 parents has suggested that those who request flexible working to enable them to look after their children are punished for doing so by being given fewer hours, worse shifts and in some cases have lost their jobs.  

The survey focused on mums and dads in “low paid” jobs particularly in the retail, hospitality and social care sectors and identified that part of the problem is that many employees are unaware of their rights to flexible working.

Every employee who has been employed for 26 weeks has the statutory right to apply for flexible working – as long...

£1,000,000 Paid to Employees after Adminstration

Posted by on September 25th 2017 in Employment

£1,000,000 Paid to Employees after Adminstration

A recent Employment Tribunal has ordered the payment of approximately £1,000,000 to nearly 300 former staff of the European Division law firm who’s employment was terminated when it went into administration. The Tribunal held that the firm had failed to carry out a proper redundancy consultation with the staff. It is essential that when over 100 redundancies are proposed, or considered a possibility, a formal consultation process is entered into. When over 100 staff are effected, the employer must carry out as a minimum, a formal 45 day consultation process before making staff redundant. The law firm had started the...

Supreme Court Ruling - Employment Tribunal Fees Quashed

Posted by on August 2nd 2017 in Blog Posts, Employment

Supreme Court Ruling - Employment Tribunal Fees Quashed

A Supreme Court decision in the case of R (on the application of Unison) v Lord Chancellor has declared that the Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal Fees Order 2013 (Fees Order), which imposes fees for employment tribunals, to be unlawful and prohibitive as it prevents access to justice. The Fees Order was found to be unlawful under both domestic and EU law. It has been called a landmark ruling and is perhaps one of the most important judgements in employment law in the last 50 years.

As a result of the ruling, from 26th July 2017 tribunal fees cease to...

Whistleblowing is belief whether a disclosure protected important?

Posted by on June 1st 2017 in Blog Posts, Employment

Whistleblowing is belief whether a disclosure protected important?

Case Report - Beatt v Croydon Health Services NHS Trust [2017] EWCA Civ 401

Background:

In this case the Court of Appeal held that in a case concerning a whistleblowing dismissal, it does not matter if the employer genuinely believed that a disclosure was not protected. If the disclosure satisfies the objective test set out in Part IVA of the Employment Rights Act 1996, then it is a protected disclosure. To recap, the test relating to a protected disclosure (in brief) is as follows:

  1. It must be a qualifying disclosure. In order to be qualifying, the employee must have the reasonable...

ACAS Early Conciliation and Limitation - How Is Early Conciliation Treated Before the Limitation Period Commences

Posted by on April 4th 2017 in Blog Posts, Employment

In order for a Claimant to “institute relevant proceedings” (i.e a claim to the employment tribunal), the prospective claimant must comply with the duty to commence Acas Early Conciliation. In such cases, the limitation date is extended to take into account the period of conciliation. The primary limitation time period in order to bring a claim in a tribunal is three months less one day from the date of dismissal.

Normally, the period is extended by the time between the day the prospective claimant contacts Acas, (or when their EC form is received by ACAS), and the day in which the...

When Does Notice of Termination Take Effect?

Posted by on April 4th 2017 in Blog Posts, Employment

This case concerned the timing of contractual notice. An employment contract may contain an express clause which stipulates when notice under a contract is deemed to have been served and specifying when such notice is deemed effective. The case in question was Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust v Haywood [2017].

In this case, the notification of notice being served was important as it will have effected the pension payments Ms Haywood received after having been made redundant. Ms Haywood was out of the country on holiday when the employer sent notice of termination for redundancy via post.  The letter was...

Review of Fees in the Employment Tribunal

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

Following the introduction of fees for Employment Tribunal claims, there has been a greater fall in the amount of claims being issued than was ever predicted. In an ongoing consultation, which will end on the 14th March 2017, the Ministry of Justice are proposing to raise the income threshold to £1250 per month, with anyone earning less being entitled to fee remission and potentially being exempt from fees. The proposal is to introduce types of proceedings which will be exempt from fees such as complaints relating to payment from an insolvent employer’s National Insurance Fund. A rise in the amount...

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