Blog

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

Dismissal on the grounds of ill-health

We are advising increasingly on employees going off on long term sick. Helpfully, a recent Scottish case (BS v Dundee City Council) highlights the issues that an employer should take into account when dealing with an employee on long-term sick absence.

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Employment

Is it unreasonable to rely on an expert’s opinion?

When dealing with a person who has been off work for a prolonged period due to ill health, it is always a good idea to obtain a medical expert’s opinion on the employee’s condition. However, is an employer simply able to rely on the expert’s views when deciding how to manage the employee or does it have to apply its own mind to the situation? The common sense answer would be that an employer should be free to rely on an expert’s assessment, given that they have been asked to help due to the simple fact that they are an expert! However, employment law tends not to be what you’d expect and a recent Court of Appeal decision dealing with this question proves this point.

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Employment

Employment Status Sham-bles

Employment status is always an interesting topic which is continually raised with Employment Tribunals. An issue which is often disputed is whether or not contractual documentation entered into between an alleged self-employed individual and their "customer" is a sham, which in effect seeks to obscure the true nature of their relationship. This normally happens where an individual is initially happy to be viewed as a self-employed contractor (usually for tax reasons), but then wishes to argue that they are, in reality, an employee or worker when the relationship turns sour.

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National Minimum Wage - Further reasons to take seriously

The Government has confirmed plans to increase the maximum fine for failure to pay the National Minimum Wage from the current £5,000 to £20,000 in a move aimed at clamping down on the rising number of complaints in this area. These new powers are due to come in to force in February 2014.

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