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News & Blog

Employment Newsletter – September 2011

Welcome to September’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.

Agency Workers Regulations 2010

The Agency Workers (Amendment) Regulations 2011 have been laid before Parliament, which correct drafting errors contained in the Agency Workers Regulations 2010.  The revised Regulations are due to come into force on 1st October 2011.

In addition, the Department for Education has published guidance on the implications of the Regulations on the use of agency supply teachers within the profession.

Equality Act 2010 (Work on Ships and Hovercraft) Regulations 2011

These Regulations came into force on 1st August 2011 and set out the circumstances in which the work provisions in the Equality Act 2010 apply to seafarers working on UK ships and hovercraft.  In accordance with these Regulations, differential treatment in pay by reason of nationality is now lawful only where a person applied for or was recruited to work as a seafarer outside the UK, and is not a UK citizen or a national of another EEA State.

CASE LAW DEVELOPMENTS IN AUGUST

Sleeping on the Job

In Wray v JW Lees & Co, the EAT considered whether a requirement for a pub manager to sleep on the premises overnight meant that they should receive the national minimum wage for this period.  It was held that as the claimant was not working during these periods, they could not be taken into account for the purposes of a national minimum wage claim, as she was not required to do any work during this time, and did not have responsibilities throughout the night.

Self dismissal?

The EAT has held that an employee who failed to respond to a letter from his employer saying that he would be taken to have resigned unless he contacted his employer was not ‘self-dismissed’.  The Court held that a repudiation by an employee must be accepted by the employer if it is to be relied upon as terminating the contract, and the wording used by the employer in their letter to the employee did not reflect this. (Zulhayir v JJ Food Services Limited).

Unfairly dismissed for claiming unfair dismissal?

In M-Choice UK Limited – v – Alders, the EAT has held that where an employee is dismissed with notice expiring after a year’s service, but is then summarily dismissed before having attained a year’s service, their right to claim unfair dismissal is removed, as the second dismissal replaces the first.  The employee’s complaint of automatic unfair dismissal (on the grounds that her summary dismissal was as a result of her issuing a tribunal claim, and therefore was as a result of her asserting a statutory right) is yet to be determined by the Tribunal.

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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