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Interesting News & Articles

Employment News Update – April 2016

Non-competition clauses: Government to examine impact on innovation

Personnel Today

The Government is to examine whether or not non-competition clauses in employment contracts are stifling innovation and growth.

Restrictive covenants, also known as “non-compete clauses”, are clauses that are found in contacts that can prevent individuals from competing against their former employer or working for a competitor for a set period of time.

Read the article here

 

Ex-Newcastle footballer wins discrimination claim

The Guardian

The Employment Tribunal has ruled that Newcastle United discriminated against midfielder by stopping his selection to avoid extending contract.

The football club’s former midfielder Jonás Gutiérrez has won a disability discrimination claim against them after being dropped as a result of his battle with testicular cancer.

Read the article here

 

Zizzi reduces staff perks after the introduction of the national living wage

Independent

Pizza chain Zizzi’s has reportedly reduced staff perks and benefits ahead of the introduction of the UK’s higher minimum wage.

Employees at the Italian restaurant, are now limited on their choice of free meals and policy has changed on how much they can earn from tips. Zizzi said neither of the changes were connected to the living wage

Read the article here

 

John Lewis saves over £2 million with OH physiotherapy intervention

Personnel Today

An award-winning OH physiotherapy intervention at retailer John Lewis Partnership has achieved a return on investment of 5:1.

The John Lewis Partnership (JLP), which own the John Lewis and Waitrose stores, traditionally invests significantly in the health of its employees (partners) believing that, in order to provide first-class customer service, their partners need to be fit.

While others in the industry have reduced or pulled away from providing employee health services, JLP continued to believe it makes a real difference.

Read the article here

 


Interesting Articles:

4 March 2016

EU referendum: the workers’ rights at stake if Britain leaves the EU 

UK workers’ employment rights are at stake if Britain votes to leave the EU.

Many of the rights we take for granted at work are the result of the UK’s membership of the EU, from holiday pay to the right to work free from discrimination.

Maternity leave and sick pay have been absent in a referendum debate that has centered on welfare payments for migrants, child benefits for those living overseas and protection for the City of London.

Read the article here

 

EHRC receives scores of complaints about discriminatory job adverts 

The Equality and Human Rights Commission says it has received more than a hundred complaints about discriminatory adverts for jobs and services.

As well as releasing evidence on the types of adverts to breach equality legislation, the EHRC has published a series of short guides and checklists for those who place and publish adverts.

Read the article here

 

Religious dress at work: ECJ to hear Muslim headscarf cases 

What should an employer do if a third party objects to an employee wearing religious dress while working on the third party’s premises?

In March, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) is to consider this issue in two controversial cases on Muslim women wearing Islamic headscarves at work

Read the article here

 

900,000 UK retail jobs could be lost by 2025, warns BRC 

The retail sector, one of the UK’s largest employers, is facing a loss of up to 900,000 jobs and the closure of thousands of shops in the next decade.

A British Retail Consortium report says rising costs due to the National Living Wage and the new apprenticeship levy could speed up job cuts.

Read the article here

 


 

 

19th January 2016

Publishing group Penguin have removed the degree requirement for job applicants

Penguin wants to open up opportunities to a more varied pool of candidates. Neil Morrison HR Director, said that there is growing evidence showing that there is no correlation between having a degree and future success. Penguin follows accountancy giant EY who recently have announced that they will scrap degree and A-level requirements for job applicants.

Read the article here

 

Bribery Act 2010: worker fairly dismissed for taking bribe despite reporting it

In Blake v Home Office, an employment tribunal found the dismissal of an immigration officer, for taking and not immediately reporting a bribe, to be fair. Although the claimant returned the money – thought to be around £200 – and reported the bribe, it was found that she had not made a timely report of the incident.

Read the article here

 

A national gallery security guard has been sacked after subjecting a female colleague to years of verbal and physical harassment.

Allegations against the security guard included:

  • Made “sexually suggestive comments” and since 2010 regularly told her she was “f***ing gorgeous”
  • Told her he had been “watching her on the security camera” on two occasions in 2010 and 2011
  • Grabbed her hand on five occasions — including kissing it on New Year’s Eve.

Read the article here

 


 

15th January 2016

Penalties for zero hours contract exclusivity clauses come into force.

Workers now have the right to make an employment tribunal claim where their employer punishes them for breaching an exclusivity clause in a zero hours contract. An exclusivity clause is one where an employer restricts an employee for working somewhere else.

Read the article here

 

Employers can monitor private messages, ECHR rules.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) said a firm that read a worker’s Yahoo Messenger chats sent while he was at work was within its rights. Judges said he had breached the company’s rules and that his employer had a right to check on his activities.

Read the article here

 

5 job trends to look out for in 2016

Half of UK workers will look for a new job in 2016, numbers show, while one in five are already looking. That means 15 million people entering the job market over the course of the year. With that sort of competition, it pays to be aware of job trends that can affect applications.

Read the article here


 

13th January 2016

Think tank The Resolution Foundation says that firms must work towards increasing productivity to mitigate the costs of implementing the new living wage.

The national living wage is set at £7.20 and will be paid to all workers aged 25 and over. It will be introduced in April 2016. Many companies are concerned at the speed of the change and may struggle to successfully increase productivity in time.

Read the article here

 

The Court of Appeal is to consider the role of HR in disciplinary proceedings.

In the case of Ramphal v Department for Transport a claim was made for dismissal. A manager was tasked with leading the disciplinary process. It was found that HR had advised the manager. The tribunal felt that HR had gone beyond discussing and advising on issues of procedure and law, and that they had gone beyond the proper limit of HR involvement. The case is now going to the Court of Appeal.

Read the article here

 

Junior doctors begin strike action today over pay and working hours.

Junior doctors have begun strike action. They are only providing emergency care for the 24 hour period of the strike which begun today. The NHS has postponed 4,000 routine treatments.

Read the article here

 

Strikes – A junior doctor’s opinion

Read the article here


 

26th November 2015

Bank worker who licked then punched a colleague at party was fairly dismissed – Personnel Today

The EAT has held that a bank worker who licked the face of a colleague and punched him at a work party was fairly dismissed. In MBNA v Jones, the EAT found a dismissal was fair despite the other employee involved in the misconduct receiving a more lenient sanction.

Read the article here

 

Producer to sue BBC and Jeremy Clarkson for race discrimination – Personnel Today

Oisin Tymon, the producer who was punched by Jeremy Clarkson, is suing the presenter and the BBC for race discrimination. Tymon’s legal team and the BBC attended the central London employment tribunal on Friday for a preliminary, closed hearing about the case.

Read the article here

 

NHS bosses pressure Hunt to agree to arbitration with junior doctors – The Guardian

Jeremy Hunt has come under growing pressure to let independent arbitrators try to settle the junior doctors dispute before their series of strikes starts next month. Leading members of the medical establishment and the NHS want the health secretary to drop his insistence that the British Medical Association reopen talks with him before asking the Arbitration, Conciliation and Advisory Service (Acas) to mediate between the two sides.

Read the Guardian Article here

 

Spotify to offer staff six months’ parental leave on full pay – The Guardian

Spotify is to offer staff up to six months’ parental leave with 100% pay as part of a global policy it says recognises the importance of “a healthy work-family balance”. This is a huge step up from the legal requirement on UK companies.

Read the Guardian article here

 


 

25th June 2014

Zero-hours contracts

Vince Cable is to announce a ban on ‘exclusivity clauses’ in zero-hours contracts. These clauses preclude an individual on a zero-hours contract from working for another employer. Read the Guardian’s article here.

 

Flexible working

Research has found that 2 in every 5 full time workers want to work fewer hours or remotely, on top of the 1 in 4 workers already in part time jobs. Read about it here.

 

Google gives employee time off after request from his daughter

Google have given an employee a week off work after his daughter wrote to his boss with her crayons. Read the full story here.

 

12th June 2014

E-Cigarettes at work

E-cigarettes have become a cause of concern for some employees in the workplace. The Guardian writes about it here.

  

Employer’s paying less than the minimum wage

The government has ‘named and shamed’ employer’s paying less than the minimum wage. You can see this here.

 

2nd June 2014

Early Conciliation Explained

ACAS has produced a helpful leaflet with information on how early conciliation works. Read about it HERE.

 

Where’s the worst place to be a worker? Most of the world

David Wearing writes in the Guardian about a new global index of employment rights which makes for shocking reading. Read the article HERE.

 

World Cup 2014: six winning tactics for employers

With the World Cup 2014 kicking off on 12 June in Brazil, Personnel Today provides practical advice for employers who may be concerned on the impact it will have on their workforce during business hours. You can find it HERE.

 

Useful Links:

ACAS – http://www.acas.org.uk/
Department for Work and Pensions – http://www.dwp.gov.uk/
Employment Lawyers Association – http://www.elaweb.org.uk/
Equality and Human Rights Commission – http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/
Law Society – http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/
Law Society Gazette – http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/

Great Employment law update – Thank you.

Raffelina Huber, Associate Director, Central Eastern CSU

“I would like to say that Partners were very helpful in sorting out a case in my previous workforce that could have been a potentially awkward situation.

They dealt with the case really well and made me feel calm in a difficult time for me.

They were able to sort out the case quickly and were able to offer me some good advice along the way.”

Individual Client

I have been using Hina’s Penguin Guide and it’s fantastic

Danish Ahmad – (Chamber of Commerce)

The Employment Law Seminar on the 18th June 2014 was professional, informative, practically interactive and enjoyable. Lovely venue – calm & helped the acoustics. Thank you.

Suzanne Prince, HR Consultant, Osram

Employment Law Seminar 6th March 2014 – The two lady speakers were great. It was really helpful having questions from the floor and they both provided really helpful case studies of the recent cases they worked on. Overall to cram all that information in just two hours, it was a good event and would like to attend more!

Chetna Kerai, NatCen Social Research

“A well though out and delivered employment law seminar that covered important and critical areas of employment law and issues facing employers”

Fran Ryba, HR Consultant, Fran Ryba Consultancy Ltd

A special thanks to Hina Belitz for her interesting talk on what we must take into account before employing someone at any level. She carried us through what could be a “heavy weight” topic with such ease that we could have listened to her for hours!

Marilena Narbona – The Athena Network

‘Hina, you’re a superstar!!!’

Rory Kindlon

Thank you for all your great work on the tribunal. I am pleased with the outcome and continue to hold my breath and hope that XXX can move on.

Chief Executive of City Company

10th September 2014 Discrimination From the Inside Out Event – “I’ll take this opportunity to say what a great seminar it was and that the passion and knowledge of professor Livingstone was truly inspiring.”

Florentina Pascaru, HR Coordinator, Central & Cecil

‘Made me laugh when I should have been crying’

D Rudich

“I was extremely pleased with how Remziye handled my case, a difficult and delicate dispute with my employers. I found her to be professional, courteous and understanding of my situation. My case got resolved very quickly with the end-result exceeding my expectations.

I am very grateful to Remziye for all her help and would not hesitate to recommend Remziye to my friends and family.”

Individual Client

Employment Law Seminar 18th June 2014 – A very interesting session with good speakers covering a range of topics

Julie Fisher-Jones, Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman

“I would like to acknowledge and appreciate the role that Partners Employment Lawyers and in particular Remziye Ozcan, played in securing a Settlement Agreement with my former employer.

Remziye was very helpful in clarifying my legal position in the debate with my employer over redeployment vs. retirement vs.  redundancy.  Even though we work on opposite sides of the world and in different time zones, she always responded to my queries, quickly absorbed the volumes of data on company policy and procedures which I sent her and promptly provided me sound practical advice to help achieve my objective.  The whole tone of the conversation changed when my employer recognized that I had engaged professional outside help and there is no doubt in my mind that without the intervention of Partners Employment Lawyers, the debate would have been more protracted and likely more contentious.

Their charges were very reasonable and in any event the cost is more than covered by the outcome. I would have no hesitation in recommending Partners Employment Lawyers to any employee who found him or herself in a similar position.”

Individual Client

Thank you so much for all your help and advice. It was nice dealing with someone who honestly cared

Kylea Jarrold

I could not have hoped for better assistance and expertise in resolving the recent issue around my employment than I received from Partners Employment Lawyers.

In a very stressful and unfamiliar situation for me, I was extremely grateful that Partners Employment Lawyers understood my situation quickly and perceptively, and then worked hard to secure for me the outcome that I desired.

The firm displayed a level of professionalism and sensitivity to my personal situation that I appreciated and will not forget.

At all times the lawyers were mindful of the result I desired. As the matter progressed they explained to me clearly and in balanced terms the likelihood of achieving that outcome.

I appreciated Partners Employment Lawyers also giving me thoughtful advice on other, broader points relevant to my future employment, which I now understand it was important to make clear as part of a successful outcome. Without reminding me of these, my longer-term interests, I could easily have thought about only the immediate problem at hand, which I now see would have been ultimately to my detriment.

Partners Employment Lawyers spoke with me from a more holistic perspective on my employment future than I was able to take, which this was an immense benefit to me. Giving me a calm and encompassing perspective at such moments was, itself, an immense relief to me, as was simply having someone on my side.

Individual Client

Very useful, thank you – more time needed

HR Administrator attendee

“I would like to thank you for the way in which you handled my employment matters.  The whole team at Partners were at all times professional, compassionate and kept me fully informed at every stage in particular Remziye helped me through a situation that I found very difficult and stressful and I cannot thank her enough, I would highly recommend Partners Services.”

Individual Client

The Employment Law Seminar on the 18th June 2014 was very informative and relaxing, thank you.

Kerrie Smith, HR & Office Manager, John Brown Media

The Penguin Guide to Employment Rights will help management and workers alike to navigate this increasingly complex and important area of law

Cherie Booth

Thank you. The service I got from you it was excellent.

Akin Akinyemi

‘A highly talented and resourceful lawyer’

Richard Rodelli, President and CEO, Thermo Electric Inc’

You have been affable and extremely efficient from the minute I met you. I cannot thank you enough for everything you have done for me. A million thanks once again.

Saleh Abdulrahim

“Partners came on site to deliver a session on managing redundancies…their delivery was clear and was easily understood – there was certainly no confusing legal speak or jargon that we had to get our heads around. Partners are highly recommended”

Company Training Client

Since Hina’s training day we have reduced absences by 60%

Mark Jackson, Seebord

“Thank you for your hard work, persistent and diligent efforts over the last few months in bringing this case to resolution.

I do not believe that we would have been able to resolve this matter without your involvement as legal advisor.

Great work and successful outcome.”

 

Tom Dyson

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Remziye and Partners Employment Lawyers for the support and professional service. You were extremely knowledgeable and efficient and I would have no hesitation in using the service again.”

Eileen Flatley

A short note to say I found you and all my dealings with the company highly professional; it was a pleasure ( under the circumstances) doing business with you. You took care to listen to the detail of the case,  take it on board, build a relationship with me and the aggressor , and come to a final and acceptable agreement swiftly.

Individual client

Hina and Remziye recently delivered employment law sessions to our London management team which focused on a range of key employment law issues. Feedback was that the sessions were excellent, informative and well presented. They discussed not only actual case law but also advised on company-relevant scenarios, based on their knowledge of our internal policies and procedures.

 

 

 

HR Department, Euromonitor International Ltd.

“Hina, thank you very much for yesterday’s employment law seminar, it was extremely informative, skilfully presented in a professional and ‘HR friendly’ manner.

 I was particularly impressed by you and your team as all of you communicated your respective knowledgeable and experience in a pragmatic way, which, in my personal experience is not always the case. I have attended other legal firm’s seminars and although the content is usually good it is frequently presented using too much ‘lawyer speak’, often assuming the very worst outcome including extreme escalated litigation, which for the majority of cases is not the most likely outcome. I realise that we as HR practitioners, need to be aware of worst case scenarios but sometimes there is too much emphasis on this. “

Suzanne Prince, HR Contractor

I have worked with Hina Belitz on numerous complex employment issues within our business. We have an open and consultative relationship which ensures risks are addressed in a consistent manner. This has led to the honesty and openness I rely on to make key strategic decisions for the business.

Di Milliard, Head of Human Resources & Recruitment Business Monitor International