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The clocks may have gone back but this month we have some cases that we hope will shed some light on tricky issues for employers. We bring you two cases on age discrimination: one regarding benefits and the other on voluntary redundancy payments. There are two disability discrimination cases, the first an interesting decision regarding the frustration of an employee's contract of employment, the other on whether providing counselling to a disabled employee is a reasonable adjustment. We also bring you a case regarding the enforcement of a post employment non-solicitation clause. Finally, we look at a decision regarding a redundancy situation that reinforces the importance of ensuring up-to-date job descriptions are provided to all candidates for a new post following a reorganisation.
We pick up several important developments in this alert. We also consider a couple of cases which look at the importance of adhering to your internal procedures, as well as a case which looks at what will count as a reasonable refusal of alternative employment in a redundancy situation, and yet another case on holiday pay.
Welcome to the October edition of the International Employment Newsletter. This month’s issue has a European flavour, with articles from our partner firms in France and Germany, as well as contributions from the DAC Beachcroft offices in Spain and Ireland. Mary-Daphné Fishelsen of La Garandarie & Associes provides an update on important new employment legislation in France, and Dr Julia Burkard-Pötter of Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH summarises the immigration isssues around working in Germany. Barry Reynolds and Thomas O’Rourke from our Dublin office outline important new legislation on the equal pay rights of Agency Workers in Ireland, while Carmen Torres in our Spain office provides an update on collective bargaining developments in Spain.
It's back to school this week, but the tribunals and courts have had a busy August, and there's plenty to cover in this month's update. The cases have covered a diverse range of issues including how to approach sickness absence management for disabled employees, the importance of making any offer "subject to contract" until all negotiations are finalised and guidance on when enhanced redundancy terms become contractual through custom and practice. We have also covered the key points from the new Code of Practice for dealing with subject access requests under the Data Protection Act.
A number of important employment law developments have hit the press this month. As we reported last week, various changes to employment law and practice went live on 29 July 2013, including the controversial introduction of fees to the employment tribunal system. As an update, UNISON has been granted permission to proceed with its judicial review application against the introduction of fees. A full hearing will take place in October; the new fee regime will continue in the meantime.
We have also reported on two other landmark cases this month. The first was the EAT decision in USDAW v Ethel Austin Ltd (in administration) and another which confirmed that the words “at one establishment” are to be disregarded for the purposes of any collective redundancy involving 20 or more employees. The Secretary of State, having refused to be involved in the proceedings to date, has now applied for permission to appeal this decision. The second was the welcome decision for employers in Alemo-Herron and ors v Parkwood Leisure Ltd in which the European Court of Justice decided that it is contrary to European law for collective agreements negotiated and adopted after a TUPE transfer to bind a transferee.
The European Court of Justice ("ECJ") has decided that it is contrary to European law for collective agreements negotiated and adopted after a TUPE transfer to bind a transferee, where the transferee does not have the possibility of participating in the negotiation process.
For many years this issue has caused considerable uncertainly for employers involved with staff transfers out of the public sector. The ECJ's decision provides welcome confirmation of what, for many private sector employers, appeared to be the only workable position. The ECJ's decision is of particular surprise as it goes against the Advocate General's view (which is usually followed by the ECJ) given in February this year. The situation for transfers within the public sector remains more complex.
This month, we discuss the “Woolworths” case, which rewrites the law on collective redundancy consultation, is probably the most surprising of the year so far, and has huge ramifications for multi-site employers embarking on redundancy exercises. We also look at new case law on victimisation, the use of surveillance evidence in disciplinary hearings, and the Court of Session’s view of what constitutes an “organised grouping” when it comes to TUPE. We've summed up the recent changes to whistleblowing laws and done a quick round-up of other recent and imminent changes, including the new pre-termination settlement discussion regime which, it has just been announced, is to come into force on 29 July.
Welcome to the July edition of the International Alerter. This month Barry Reynolds of our Dublin office outlines the approach of the Irish courts to employee rights on a business transfer, Pradeep Kumar Singh of Colin Ng & Partners LLP explains changes in Singapore that are expected to come into effect in the first half of 2014, Paula Cole highlights a very recent decision of the UK courts that has far reaching implications for employers consulting about collective redundancies in the UK and Maria Guzmán of our Spanish office provides an update on how joining insurers as co-defendants in litigation in the labour courts will affect proceedings. Finally, an article from PG Legal outlines the basic immigration options for foreigners wishing to work, or set up a company, in Italy.
Welcome to the June edition of the international alerter. This month Barry Reynolds from our Dublin office reviews a recent decision on dismissal procedures in 'open and shut' cases of misconduct, Carmen Torres from our Spanish office considers which factors that the courts are permitted to consider in cases of constructive dismissal, Italian firm PG Legal outlines how the courts have reacted to the introduction of new judicial procedures for certain claims, McCague Borlack LLP review entitlements to notice on terminations in Canada and Deacons provide an update on data privacy in direct marketing in China. Finally, in our immigration section, we have an overview of the immigration requirements for companies operating in Spain.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal has recently made a significant ruling affecting collective redundancy consultation, which means that employers will need to consult with appropriate representatives in many more situations than they do currently.
Although the decision has not yet been released, it is being reported in the media that USDAW (the Shopworker’s Union) acted successfully on behalf of former staff at Woolworths and Ethel Austin. The decision overturns a previous ruling that saw shopworkers employed in stores with fewer than 20 staff denied compensation when the Administrator failed to consult with the staff representatives. The staff from the smaller stores did not benefit from collective redundancy consultation in the same way as their colleagues in larger stores.
In this edition we look at a breach of contract case worth £44m; as well as cases regarding reinstatement after appeals and the application of the Acas code – with much less financial impact but equally important learning points. We also have some further cases on victimisation to keep us on our toes – after finding that post employment victimisation was not covered by the Equality Act a couple of months ago, the EAT has now decided that it is! The age discrimination case of Seldon v Clarkson Wright & Jakes (the long running saga of whether a law firm could justify requiring an equity partner to retire at the age of 65) has also finally reached a conclusion this month.
The long running saga of whether a law firm could justify requiring an equity partner to retire at the age of 65 has finally reached a conclusion. Applying the principles in the judgments of the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court, the Employment Tribunal in Seldon v Clarkson Wright & Jakes has rejected the claim that Mr Seldon was directly discriminated against because of his age.
Welcome to the May edition of the international newsletter. This month two of our European offices- Ireland and Spain- focus on the issue of the ageing population with articles related to compulsory retirement and pensions reforms. Our Chile office outlines the newly introduced concept of ‘labour harassment’ and our Malyasian partner firm the Gan Partnership provide an update on the current position in relation to workplace harassment in that jursidiction. Finally, we have the second half of our two part immigration feature for those wishing to do business in India from our partner firm Khaitan Sud & Partners.
After what feels like a long wait the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill has finally become law and we can give you some firm dates of when the key reforms will come into force. We also bring you two new cases on redundancy which re-affirm that so long as a genuine redundancy situation has occurred, complicating factors relating to conduct and/or capability will not make a dismissal unfair. In addition we bring you another redundancy case on using existing employee representative bodies for the purposes of collective consultation. Finally the Government is consulting on how the fees remissions system will work when fees in the employment tribunal come in during the summer and the new Acas guide to collective consultations has also been published.
Welcome to the April edition of our international alerter, we hope those of you that were celebrating had an enjoyable Easter break. This month we lead with a joint article from our UK and Spanish offices examining the right to strike in these jurisdictions and from an international perspective, our German partner firm Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft highlights a significant change for organisations preparing for 2014 works council elections and Barry Reynolds from our Dublin office highlights additional ways to protect proprietary interests. We also provide a summary of the changes to UK immigration law that came into effect on 6 April 2013 and feature the first of a two part article outlining the immigration rules applicable to businesses wishing to enter the burgeoning Indian market.
This month we report on a number of cases which bring home the importance of following appropriate dismissal procedures, including a redundancy case which highlights the dangers of over reliance on competency assessments when carrying out selection. We also look at a disability case which confirms that obesity is not, alone and of itself, a disability and the latest TUPE case on dismissals preparatory to a sale of a business.
Welcome to DAC Beachcroft's Budget 2013 Alert. Our analysis as to how today's budget affects the business community is below. The main game changer will be the introduction of the overarching general anti-tax abuse rule. The Annual Residential Property Tax will prove unpopular but brand new home owners will enjoy the boost of 20% free loans. There is quite a bit for SMEs, from the further SEIS and EMI advantages to the proposed abolition of stamp duty on AIM.
Welcome to the packed March edition of our international employment law newsletter. This month we feature a very topical Spanish case on IT monitoring and employee privacy, which has been brought to our attention by Carmen Torres. We have an update from our French "best friend" La Garanderie & Associés concerning the risks to group companies making redundancies and, with the help of Deacons, we outline the anticipated changes to paternity leave in Hong Kong. Our Chris Syder of our London office highlights the difficulties associated with balancing the employee’s right to freedom of expression with the employer’s restriction on the disclosure of confidential information and Barry Reynolds of our Dublin office highlights a recent decision on disciplinary proceedings and suspension. We also feature a recent case concerning the enforcement of restrictive covenants in employment contracts via our Canadian associated firm, McCague Borlack LLP. Finally, Jose Luis Arce Fernandez of our Mexico office outlines what you need to know, from an immigration perspective, to do business in Mexico.
We have had a number of interesting developments this month, particularly in relation to TUPE (including the first tribunal case to look at the issue of providing information about agency workers during collective consultation exercises for mass redundancies and TUPE transfers). The Equality and Human Rights Commission has also published guidelines on dealing with requests related to a person’s religion or belief, following on from the recent European Court of Human Rights decisions which we reported in January.
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