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Employment

Engineer wins appeal against employer monitoring his emails

An engineer who was dismissed after his employer monitored his emails has won his appeal that his right to privacy had been breached. The case involved a Romanian company that set up an IT system and Yahoo messenger account to enable employees to send work-related emails. It was against company policy to use the systems for private correspondence. However, one engineer, Mr Barbelescu, regularly shared private messages with his friends, …Read More

Overtime ruling in Veolia case could impact all employers

A group of refuse collectors have won an overtime claim that could have an impact on employers across the UK. The workers were employed in the Bromley and Camden council areas by the French owned company, Veolia Environmental Services. Their union, Unite, brought a test case relating to overtime payments. The Employment Tribunal found that voluntary overtime worked by the refuse collectors was part of their normal pay because there …Read More

Cancer sufferer awarded £47,000 + in discrimination case

A woman who claimed she was subjected to discrimination and harassment while undergoing treatment for cancer has been awarded more than £47,700 compensation. Eimear Coughlan worked for the Hideaways Club (UK) Ltd, a property investment firm based in London. She was the office manager and personal assistant to the chief executive, Poonam Dhawan-Leach. Problems arose after she had to undergo surgery and intensive chemotherapy after developing an aggressive form of …Read More

Finance company protects its business against former employee

A finance company has succeeded in using its employment contracts to prevent competition from a former employee for a set period. The employee had worked for the company as a broker in the energy market. His contract contained a non-compete clause preventing him from working for competitors within a specified territory for six months after termination of his employment. “Territory” was defined as England and any other country in which …Read More

Supreme Court rulings help clarify law on indirect discrimination

The Supreme Court has provided two rulings that help clarify the law on indirect discrimination in the workplace. In the first case, the employer required staff to pass a skills assessment to be promoted. Some employees complained when they failed the assessment. They were either black and minority ethnic (BME) candidates or aged over 35. They quoted a statistical report which found that BME and older candidates had a proportionately …Read More

Several changes to employment law came into effect on 1 April.

Apprenticeship Levy Employers with payrolls of £3m and above now have to pay a levy of 0.5% of their pay bill to help fund 3 million additional apprenticeships over the next five years. The aim is to increase job opportunities for people aged between 16 and 24. The annual pay bill is defined as comprising of total payments to employees that are subject to Class 1 secondary National Insurance Contributions. …Read More

Plumber wins ‘worker’s rights’ claim against employer

A plumber who carried out jobs on behalf of a plumbing company should be classed as a “worker” under the Employment Rights Act, not a self-employed contractor. That was the decision of the Court of Appeal in a high profile case involving Pimlico Plumbers and one of its operatives, Gary Smith. Mr Smith carried out plumbing work for the company between August 2005 and April 2011. He complained that, following …Read More