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What happens with planned holiday leave if a person falls sick and cannot go or, alternatively, what happens to a person’s holiday leave entitlement when they are off sick for a long period? There appears to be a fair amount of confusion over these, sometimes competing entitlements. Misunderstandings have not been assisted by certain contradictions between European and UK case law - which have made this a bit of a legal minefield so if you are in any doubt, it...

Slee Blackwell’s Roger Cheves looks at how the TUPE Regulations apply One of the most pivotal questions when a small to medium sized business is sold is what will happen to the employees when the business changes ownership. It is often the case that many small businesses will operate with relatively small margins. As such, the issue of the number of employees, their rights and their remuneration becomes key when a potential buyer weighs up whether the purchase of the business is...

Roderick Moore, Slee Blackwell’s employment law specialist takes a seasonal look at holiday entitlement and the traditional Christmas party. We all look forward to enjoying some time off at Christmas. Employees (or “workers” as they are referred to in the Working Time Regulations) are entitled to 28 days statutory leave. This is fairly well known, and derives in part from European Law. What is perhaps less well know is how the 28 days relates to the eight bank and public holidays...

Slee Blackwell’s employment solicitor, Roger Cheves, reports on the Court of Appeal’s latest decision on self employed status Last year an employment appeal tribunal (EAT) overturned the decision of an employment tribunal and held that Lap Dancer, Nadine Quashie, was employed by Stringfellows nightclub and as a result could claim unfair dismissal. That decision has now been reversed once again with the Court of Appeal finding that the dancer was in fact self employed. As a result the club is under...

Employment lawyer, Roger Cheves, provides an update on the proposed changes to the law The latest news from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) will still the fluttering of some hearts. BIS has finally confirmed that the increase in the qualifying period for unfair dismissal claims to two years will only apply to those starting a new job on or after 6 April 2012. Employees whose employment started before 6 April will therefore remain subject to the one-year qualifying...

The employment tribunal case of Hashman v Milton Park (Dorset) Ltd concerned a Dorset man who was unfairly dismissed from his job at a garden centre because of his anti-hunting principles. The case dealt with the legal assessment about what can amount to a ‘belief’ under the Equality Act 2010. The provisions make any discrimination in the workplace on grounds of religion or belief unlawful. The definition of ‘belief’ includes any ‘religious or philosophical belief’. Joe Hashman, from Shaftesbury was fired after...

After all the leaking and counter-leaking between the different factions of the Government, Business Secretary Vince Cable has announced the Government's proposals for what he says is the biggest shake up of employment law for decades. At the same time, the government has also published its Response to the Consultation on Resolving Workplace Disputes. The main items are:- compulsory lodging of all employment claims through ACAS, for an attempt at mediation, before they can be issued in the Employment Tribunal unfair...

Employment solicitor, Roger Cheves looks at the legal issues that social media raises for employers Love it or hate it, social media appears to be here to stay. The increasingly widespread use of social media, such as Facebook and Twitter by employees, both in and out of the workplace, continues to raise issues for employers. Whilst some organisations may embrace its use, care needs to be taken in order to protect business interests such as reputation and confidentiality. The most recent case...

The government has announced various changes to the employment tribunal system, allegedly “to boost the economy”. The qualifying period for bringing a claim for unfair dismissal (as has been trailed for some time) will increase from 1 year to two on 1 April 2012; Fees for bringing a claim will be introduced for the first time, apparently these will be: £250 for lodging an ET1 Claim Form at the Employment Tribunal A further fee of £1,000 when the case is...

Employment law solicitor, Roger Cheves on the Court of Appeal’s latest decision According to the Court of Appeal in the recently reported case of Jackson v Liverpool City Council the answer to the question ‘can a reference be allowable, even though its unfair’, is a resounding, “yes”. The Claimant worked for the council in its youth offending team. He left to join another Council with good references. He then applied for a post with the new council in its youth offending service....