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Legislation

Legislation

Supreme Court rules employers liable for “hidden” reasons for dismissal

On Wednesday 27th November, the UK Supreme Court handed down its eagerly awaited judgement in Royal Mail Group Ltd v Jhuti – a case in which the Court determined that in a claim for unfair dismissal, the employer can be liable for the real reason for dismissal hidden by the employee’s line manager, regardless of the decision maker’s lack of knowledge of the real reason.  

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Burness admin

Whether it’s algebra or shipping law – always double check the little details

Waiting on our food at our Italian-American diner of choice, my son’s attention turned to the entertainment on his placemat. The dot-to-dot and spot the difference passing without incident, he enlisted my help with the maths challenge. The problem was as follows:

X + X + X = 30
X + Y + Y = 20
Y + X + X + Z + Z = 29
X + Y x Z = ?

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Burness admin

The Shame Game

Nobody wants to be shamed in public. Especially if the audience includes your client and peers. Yet, this is the risk we run every time we issue a “cease and desist” letter on behalf of a client. The problem seems to arise most commonly when enforcing trade marks but claims of patent and copyright infringement are not without their own risk.

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Burness admin

Another One Bytes the Dust: a commercial litigator’s view of Thomas Cook’s collapse

Journalists might have expected to enjoy a slow news day, increasingly rare in the Brexit era, while awaiting the Supreme Court’s judgement on the prorogation of Parliament. 

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Post-Termination Grievances: to hear, or not to hear?

An issue that commonly arises in practice for many employers is how to handle grievances raised by former employees. To date, the legal obligations on an employer in these circumstances have not been clear – especially since the abolition of the Statutory Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures. In particular, the Acas Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures is silent on this point. 

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Dilapidations – coffee sweetener as a measure of loss

Coffee sweetener as a measure of loss? Honestly? Well…

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Commercial Litigation Strategy: Lessons from BoJo vs Bercow and the Scottish Courts

There’s a well-known military saying about battle plans: “no plan survives contact with the enemy”. I prefer Mike Tyson’s glorious re-imagining of it for the boxing ring: “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face”. As I tweeted recently, Boris Johnson is discovering that this remains as true as it ever was. And from the outside it seems that he’s getting punched in the face a lot.

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Guaranteed Minimum Pension equalisation: on your marks, get set...

Go! It’s time for pension schemes to get out of the blocks in their preparation for Guaranteed Minimum Pensions (GMP) equalisation.

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Notices – getting them right and the costs of getting it wrong

Serving notice under a contract might seem pretty straightforward, but there have been plenty of cases where the receiving party successfully challenges the validity of a contractual notice in court.  Getting the notice right is crucial, and last month the court reminded us of the potentially drastic consequences of getting the notice wrong (which, in this case, was some £8 million for the party who had failed to serve the notice correctly).

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A casual calculation: holiday pay for irregular workers

Employers will be taking a sharp intake of breath at the recent decision of the Court of Appeal in the case Brazel v The Harpur Trust (UNISON intervening) which addresses how to calculate pay for workers and employees who work irregular hours throughout the year.

The decision

The case concludes that the current practice of paying 12.07% of annualised hours to discharge an employer’s holiday pay obligation, as set out in ACAS guidance, is no longer reliable.

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