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Insights

Keep up to date with all that’s happening here at BPE, and read about the latest trends and issues in the law profession.

Employment

All Change

Employment law is always fast paced, but 2013 is proving to be an action packed year even for normal standards. There are to be improvements to the National Minimum Wage legislation, changes to the TUPE regulations, compromise agreements are to be replaced by "Settlement Agreements", we will shortly have new Tribunal rules and fees, whistleblowing legislation is to be changed, and flexible working for all and shared parental leave are on the horizon.

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Employment

Aggravated damages - To award or not to award, that is the question

Unlike unfair dismissal compensation, which is limited purely to financial loss (such as wages), awards for successful discrimination claims can include compensation for non-financial losses such as "injury to feelings" and "aggravated" damages. The latter are awarded in the most serious cases where the behaviour of an employer has (as the name suggests) aggravated a Claimant's injury to feelings. Importantly, both injury to feelings awards and aggravated damages are designed to compensate a Claimant for injury and not to punish an employer.

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Employment

Future Changes to Watch Out For

Many of you will have heard about the Government’s numerous proposals for changing or updating the status quo relating to issues as diverse as redundancy consultation, TUPE, Tribunal procedures, compromise agreements, ACAS conciliation and even employment status. However, until recently, not only was how these changes would manifest themselves unclear, but also when they would kick in.

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Employment

Consultation, Consultation, Consultation (plus a few actual reforms)

Writing in the months before the 2010 general election the then shadow business secretary, Lord Hunt, set out five ‘priorities’ for a Conservative government to address in the area of Employment Law. For the main part these were aspirational rather than grounded in the kind of technical detail that gets employment lawyers excited, but it is notable how little the legislative landscape has changed over the last two and a half years: all that is set to change in the coming months though.

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Employment

Just when you thought you were beginning to understand TUPE...

A "service provision change" (more commonly known as outsourcing) is excluded from the scope of the TUPE Regulations where the outsourced activities are in connection with a "single specific event" or a task of "short term duration". But what does that mean in practice? The Employment Appeals Tribunal gives some insight in the recent case of Liddell's Coaches v Cook & Ors [2012].

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Employment

Sanctions, Internal Appeals and Dismissal

Mr Piper was a Reverend who was employed by an NHS Trust as a lead Chaplain. He was dismissed for gross misconduct, following the completion of a disciplinary procedure on 20 July 2011. Mr Piper subsequently appealed this decision and the outcome was that the Trust allowed the appeal to the extent that it substituted his dismissal for a final written warning, a demotion of his role and a transfer of his work location (so not all good news for Mr Piper!). However, instead of welcoming his job back, Mr Piper informed the Trust that he considered the offer of re-engagement unreasonable. He then lodged an unfair dismissal claim alleging that his employment had terminated on 20 July 2011.

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