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News & Blog

August 2011 Employment Newsletter

Welcome to August’s edition of our employment law newsletter, keeping you up to date with changes in employment law, and informing you of recent case law developments.

National Minimum Wage and accommodation offset

Draft regulations were published by the Government in July which will disapply the accommodation offset rule under the National Minimum Wage Regulations 1999 in institutions where an employee is undertaking a higher education or full-time further education course.  The new regulations are likely to come into force on 1st October 2011.

Corporate Manslaughter

Lion Steel Limited has become the second company to be charged with corporate manslaughter under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 following the death of an employee who fell through a roof.  Three of the company directors have also been charged with gross negligence manslaughter and failing to ensure the safety at work of their employees.

Bribery Act consultation

Guidance has been published by Transparency International UK which is designed to provide a practical tool for companies who wish to undertake anti-bribery due diligence in the course of mergers and acquisitions.

 

CASE DEVELOPMENTS IN JULY

 

Entitlement to statutory holiday (and pay) when on sick leave

In NHS Leeds v Larner, the EAT has upheld the decision of a tribunal that an employee who had been on sick leave for an entire leave year and had not taken any annual holiday in that period, was entitled to receive a payment in respect of her unused holiday entitlement upon termination of her employment.  Her failure to request leave in the leave year did not mean that she lost the right to the payment.  The EAT indicated that the case may be different for fit employees who fail to request leave for the whole of the leave period.

Consideration of request to work beyond retirement

This case related to an employee’s request to work beyond retirement, and the employer’s “duty to consider” procedure under the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006.  The EAT held that managers should not conduct the process with a closed mind, but should give genuine consideration to any request.  The employer’s failure to do so in this case resulted in a finding of unfair dismissal. (Compass Group plc v Ayodele).

 

Openly gay worker and discrimination

In Grant and Laycock Limited v Booth, the Court of Appeal has held that an employee who had “come out” at work had not been directly discriminated against or harassed on the grounds of sexual orientation.  The employee’s line manager made reference to his sexuality, but the employee had put his sexuality into the public domain and therefore risked that information being discussed.

Strike out of unfair dismissal claims

The EAT has held in Reilly v Tayside Public Transport that an employment judge should not strike out claims for unfair dismissal on the basis that they have no reasonable prospects of success where the main issue to be determined is whether the decision fell within the band of reasonable responses of the employer.

 

If you require any further clarification in relation to the above developments, or if you need any other assistance then please do not hesitate to contact our team of specialist employment solicitors on 0161 832 3304:

Shiva Shadi                      Partner

Anna Bunting                   Partner

Claire Smith                      Associate

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