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13 February 2014
2013 has been a big year for change in Employment Law with the introduction of tribunal fees taking the headlines. Other key changes included the renaming of compromise agreements to settlement agreements, the cap of 52 weeks’ pay imposed on the unfair dismissal compensatory award, if that is lower than the statutory maximum of £74,200 and amendments to whistleblowing which included adding a ‘public interest’ element and the removal of the ‘good faith’ requirements. 2014 has some key changes heading our way as well. Below is a table of the main changes you can expect in 2014 to help you…

13 February 2014
The facts Croft Vets Ltd and others v Butcher UKEAT/0430/12 involved a woman (B), whose workload had increased substantially due to her employer’s expansion plans.Chrome Hearts Bangle B’s performance began to deteriorate and other employees reported that she was “sitting in her office staring out of the window in tears”.  In a meeting, her employer offered B the option of either continuing with her current job with support to improve her performance, or to take on a different role and receive a lower salary. Shortly afterwards, B went off sick and did not return to work. Her GP diagnosed her…

13 February 2014
In Bull & Bull v Hall & Preddy the Supreme Court decided that that the conduct of the hotel owners amounted to both direct and indirect discrimination. Due to the owners’ Christian beliefs, the hotel in Cornwall maintained a strict policy that only married couples could stay in rooms with double beds. This policy applied equally to unmarried homosexual and heterosexual couples. A long-running legal battle then followed. In 2011 a judge at Bristol County Court concluded that the hotel owners acted unlawfully and ordered them to pay a total of £3,600 damages. In 2012 the Court of Appeal dismissed…

17 October 2013
In Coppage and another v Safetynet Security Ltd, the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal of a former employee who had been ordered to pay at least £50,000 following a breach of his restrictive covenants. His contract of employment contained a restrictive covenant prohibiting the solicitation of any customers of his former employer for 6 months following termination of his employment. The Mercantile Court held that the restriction was reasonable, and that the employee, who was also a director had breached his fiduciary duties to the company. It ordered him to pay damages of at least £50,000. In his appeal…

17 July 2013
As part of the Government's drive to reduce claims in the Tribunal and the associated cost to the tax payer, it will now be a mandatory requirement for parties to attempt to settle the claim through ACAS conciliation. This change should come into force from 6th April 2014. A claim will not be allowed to be submitted without a certificate from ACAS. A new section 18A added to the ETA 1996 sets out the 640-864 mandatory steps which must be followed before a claim can be submitted to the Tribunal: Step 1. Before lodging a claim "relevant proceedings," a prospective claimant…

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