Pragmatic & proactive
We provide proactive pragmatic general day to day advice on all employment issues.
Practical & responsive
Our solicitors have all gained considerable experience working for major UK law firms. The fact that we are a niche practice allows us to respond flexibly, sympathetically and in a more cost effective way.
We are experienced in advising both partners and partnerships particularly in relation to retirement of partners or members. We seek to deal with such matters in a practical and sensitive way.
We advise our employer clients on all aspects of business related immigration to assist them with hiring, relocating and retaining staff who are subject to UK immigration control.
Compensation limits and minimum awards will increase where a claim arises on or after 6 April 2021. The changes include: ... read more
In Smith v Pimlico Plumbers Ltd, the EAT held that the right to payment for annual leave does not carry over from year to year where the leave itself has been taken, albeit unpaid.
Mr. Smith was engaged as a plumber by Pimlico from August 2005 until May 2011. He subsequently brought several employment related claims. Pimlico considered Mr. Smith to be a self-employed contractor with no entitlement to holiday and challenged his alleged status as a worker. The SC held in 2018 that he satisfied the definition of worker under the ERA 1996. Following this decision, his holiday pay claims under the WTR and for unauthorised deductions were considered by the ET.
To the extent that Mr. Smith had unlawfully been refused holiday pay, the ET held that his claims were out of time having not been brought within three months of the most recent refusal. The ET then considered whether Mr. Smith could rely on the CJEU decision in King v Sash Window Workshop Ltd and carry over from year to year a right to claim payment for unpaid leave which would then be payable on termination.
King established that a worker who does not exercise the right to paid annual leave because their employer refuses to pay for it, must be permitted to carry over and accumulate such leave until termination, and then receive a payment in respect of all untaken leave.
Although Mr. Smith had been permitted to take annual leave and had done so on numerous occasions, his leave had been unpaid. Mr. Smith relying on King, argued that on termination of his contract, he should have received payment in respect of his unpaid annual leave, the right to payment having accumulated, carrying over from one leave year to the next.
The ET held that King did not apply to Mr. Smith’s situation because unlike Mr. King, he had taken annual leave despite Pimlico’s refusal to make payment.
The EAT agreed and also considered whether given King, those who take unpaid leave should be considered to have taken leave at all. Holding that the CJEU’s decision in King did not go this far, the EAT highlighted that the focus was on a worker who declines to take leave because of uncertainties regarding pay.
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The CJRS has been extended again until the end of September 2021. ... read more
The EAT in Allay (UK) Ltd v Gehlen, has held that having provided diversity training was not sufficient to establish that the employer had taken reasonable steps to prevent racial harassment, where such training was stale and clearly ineffective.
Following his dismissal in October 2017, Mr Gehlen complained that he had been subjected to racial harassment by another employee, Mr Pearson. An investigation established that Mr Pearson had made racist comments and he was told to participate in further equality and diversity training. Additionally, three other employees (including 2 managers) were aware of the harassment, but had failed to take any action.
Mr Gehlen brought several claims before the ET including for harassment. AUL argued that it had a statutory defence, having taken all reasonable steps to prevent such harassment, as employees received training that covered harassment and anti-bullying, along with equality and diversity training.
The ET found that AUL had not met the threshold to establish the “reasonable steps” defence. The training delivered in 2015, was “clearly stale” and a reasonable step would have been to provide refresher training which, given the failure of other individuals to follow the guidance given in that training, was clearly necessary. AUL appealed.
The EAT dismissed the appeal, holding that the effectiveness of any steps taken is relevant to determining what constitutes a “reasonable step”. Simply providing training is not sufficient, “consideration must be given to the nature of the training and the extent to which it is likely to be effective”. The EAT noted that the training and AUL’s policies did not appear to be of a high standard.
The ET’s conclusion that training was stale was not only based on Mr Pearson having made racist comments, but also on the fact he thought he was engaging in harmless banter. In addition, managers failing to act when becoming aware of or observing harassment was further evidence that the training was stale. Through their managers AUL was aware of the harassment and should have appreciated that more needed to be done. The EAT considered the ET was entitled to conclude that AUL could have taken further reasonable steps by way of refresher training, as they had in fact ordered Mr Pearson to undertake after Mr Gehlen complained. ... read more
The SC has upheld the ET’s finding that Uber’s drivers have worker status and are therefore entitled to various employment rights, including the national minimum wage, 5.6 weeks of paid holiday and the protection of whistleblowing legislation. ... read more
The CJRS will now run to 31 March 2021: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-extends-furlough-to-march ... read more
In Ikejiaku v British Institute of Technology Limited the EAT confirmed that the imposition of a new contract was not a continuing act and therefore set time running for the purposes of bringing a protected disclosure detriment claim. ... read more
In BC v Chief Constable of the Police Service of Scotland, the Inner House of the Court of Session held that the Police Service of Scotland was entitled to use WhatsApp messages found during, but not used for, a criminal investigation as the basis for bringing misconduct proceedings against officers involved in the group chats. ... read more