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Employment

Employment

Health and Safety Law and Mental Health and Wellbeing – Continuing the Conversation

Mental health issues have been at the forefront of news and social media headlines in recent months, with many high profile celebrities involved in raising awareness and getting people talking about a topic which is still surrounded by stigma.

One in four of us will be affected by a mental illness, such as depression or anxiety, at some point in our lives. That may be down to work related stress, or it may be as a result of something going on at home or elsewhere in our personal lives.

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Burness admin

Pimlico Plumbers v Gary Smith – Spanner in the Works for Contractor Status

Yesterday’s Supreme Court judgment in Pimlico Plumbers v Gary Smith is the latest in a line of cases addressing the increasingly complex issue of employment status. Whilst largely limited to its facts, it does serve as a further reminder to employers that simply labelling individuals “self-employed” or “independent contractors” does not make them so.

Gary Smith was engaged as a plumbing and heating engineer by Pimlico Plumbers. His contract described him as “self-employed”.

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Burness admin

Collaboration of Scottish courts and employment tribunals to protect employment awards before they are made – a ‘new’ way of obtaining interim security in employment disputes

The most recent study of awards from employment tribunals stated that 46% go unpaid in Scotland. That statistic might start to change after a significant new ruling, but could also put many small businesses at financial risk.

In the case of AA v BEIS, a complaint was made by AA, whose tribunal award of £75,000 plus interest was worthless, because, AA argued, there were no mechanisms to protect prospective tribunal awards. 

In an opini

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Burness admin

'If You Take A Sabbatical For Two Years, How Is That Different From Someone Who’s Off For Mental Health Reasons For Six Months? Or A Year For Maternity Leave?'

As team we pride ourselves on proactively identifying forthcoming trends and issues for our clients. But recently we turned the tables and asked our network of HR professionals to guide us on what they saw coming down the track as the critical issues facing their organisations, and how they could ensure they were able to attract and retain a future-ready workforce.

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Burness admin

Another Important Landmark In The Development of Disability Discrimination

The recent Court of Appeal decision in City of York Council v Grosset has been described as “another important landmark in the development of disability discrimination” – although perhaps not a welcome one for employers.

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Burness admin

New Laws on Shared Parental Leave “Needed to Close Gender Pay Gap”

Legislation to make shared parental leave compulsory will be needed to help close the gender pay gap, according to a report on the workforce of the future by legal firm Burness Paull.

The Future Chemistry report says the UK Government will need to legislate because businesses are unlikely to act voluntarily to tackle the issue – and without new laws, the so-called ‘pregnancy penalty’ will remain.
 
Morag Hutchison, a partner in the Employment team at Burness Paull, said: “The root cause of the gender pay gap is biology – women take time off work to have children.

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Burness admin

Mum's the word: The fight for shared parental leave

Despite recent calls to encourage fathers to take up shared parental leave, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has delivered a devastating blow to their fight to have equal rights with mothers to care for their new born child.  In the case of Capita Customer Management Ltd v Ali, the EAT concluded that failing to enhance shared parental leave, when employers offer enhanced maternity pay, is not direct sex discrimination against men.

By way of background, Mr Ali requested time off work to care for his child.

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Burness admin

Your EU workers: Status settled?

With Brexit now less than a year away, the UK government has been updating its guidance on the rights of EU citizens to live and work in the UK. This follows on from the agreement reached last month on the “implementation” period, which is to run between Brexit day on 29 March 2019 and 31 December 2020.

The guidance gives employers a little more certainty on when EU citizens will be able to legally work in the UK.

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Burness admin

Taxation of Termination Payments From April 2018

Employment Chemistry

From 6 April 2018, the way that termination payments are to be taxed is changing.

The change will apply where both the employment ended, and the termination payment was made, on or after 6 April 2018.

In short, from that date onwards, if a payment is made to an employee upon the termination of their employment and the employee has not worked their full notice period, a “slice” of the amount paid will be regarded as payment in lieu of notice (PILON) and be subject to tax and NICs.

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LChalmers

Confessions of an Employee: How to Recover Them by Tribunal Order

In Employment Tribunal litigation, employers probably do not know that they can obtain orders requiring employees to disclose admissions made by them to their trade union representatives.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) judgment of Dhanda v TSB Bank Plc has recently thrown light on an underdeveloped defence strategy: seeking disclosure of employee admissions to their non-legally qualified representatives (e.g.

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Burness admin