The Employment Law & HR Podcast

Unfair Dismissal Cases from the Employment Tribunal

In this episode of the podcast I have reviewed a couple of employment tribunal decisions which have been published on the government website. It is a great way to get an understanding of what the Tribunals around the country will consider when looking at a claim for unfair dismissal.

In this episode I will cover:

  • Decision of the Tribunal in a misconduct case: Miss Helen Evans v Llanishen Fach Primary School
  • Decision of the Tribunal in a redundancy dismissal case: Mrs JM Hockenhull v David Lewis Centre
  • A reminder of the 'Polkey' rules when compensation is reduced where the Employer has failed to follow a fair procedure but the result would have been the same.
  • Decision of the Tribunal in a misconduct case: Mr D Maguire v Department for Work and Pensions
  • The surprising number of unfair dismissal cases being withdrawn or struck out as the employee did not have the required two years continuous employment.
  • A useful tip about preparing witness evidence.
  • A decision where the Employer was awarded some of their costs.

Action Points

  1. It is a useful exercise for those who are decision makers in disciplinary cases or HR professionals to have a read of some of the Judgements available:  https://www.gov.uk/employment-tribunal-decisions
  2. Ensure that you stay up to date with employment law developments by signing up to our free fortnightly newsletter.  
  3. If you do not have the time to read Judgements and stay on top of the law why not hire a professional who is specialist in this area: https://www.adviceforemployers.co.uk/employment-law-support/

Useful Links

https://www.gov.uk/employment-tribunal-decisions

As part of our HR Harbour annual subscription service for employers we provide guidance and support with settlement discussions and documentation. If you would like to know more about the HR Harbour Service and how you can get unlimited support from as little as £180 per month please contact me for a no obligation discussion - alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or you can find full details here: HR Harbour

Don't forget you can contact us by email alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or miranda@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or by telephone 01983 897003, 01722 653001 or 023 8098 2006

 
Direct download: Episode_103.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:19pm EDT

In this episode of the podcast I cover the recent high profile case against Pimlico Plumbers in the Supreme Court. This is just one of many cases making the way through the Tribunal and Court system concerning the new 'gig' economy workers and establishing their legal status.

In this episode I will cover:

  • The background to the case.
  • The facts of the case.
  • What you need to know about the 'gig' economy and 'worker' status.
  • Summary of the key points.
  • Why this is an area where there will undoubtedly be legislation to clarify the position shortly.

Action Points

  1. Ensure that if you use' workers' or 'self-employed' consultants that you understand how to determine their legal status;
  2. Ensure you understand the risks of getting it wrong;
  3. Ensure that you stay up to date with employment law developments by signing up to our free fortnightly newsletter.  

Useful Links

You can read the full case here: http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKSC/2018/29.html

Watch the Supreme Court Judgement here: https://www.supremecourt.uk/watch/uksc-2017-0053/judgment.html

Podcast Episodes 61 & 66 re Uber case

Section 230 Employment Rights Act 1996

The Taylor Review: Read the full report here 

Governments response to the Taylor Review here

As part of our HR Harbour annual subscription service for employers we provide guidance and support with settlement discussions and documentation. If you would like to know more about the HR Harbour Service and how you can get unlimited support from as little as £180 per month please contact me for a no obligation discussion - alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or you can find full details here: HR Harbour

Don't forget you can contact us by email alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or miranda@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or by telephone 01983 897003, 01722 653001 or 023 8098 2006

 
Direct download: Episode_102_-_draft_v2_-_edited.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:53pm EDT

Can an employer fairly dismiss an employee for serious misconduct without any warnings?

In this episode of the podcast I cover a couple of points including a recent Appeal Tribunal case about unfair dismissal, an update on delays in the Employment Tribunal and a question answered about pregnancy and sickness.

In this episode I will cover:

  • The case of MR A BARONGO  v QUINTILES COMMERCIAL UK LIMITED;
  • What you need to consider when deciding on dismissal in a case of serious, but not gross, misconduct;
  • Why there are delays in the Employment Tribunal process currently;
  • Whether you are able to ask an employee who is pregnant to fill in a sickness reporting form when absent due to sickness.

Action Points

  1. Ensure that you seek advice before making a decision about dismissal;
  2. Obtain training or give guidance to your managers about how to deal with pregnant employees;
  3. Ensure that you stay up to date with employment law developments by signing up to our free fortnightly newsletter.  

Useful Links

You can read the full case here: MR A BARONGO  v QUINTILES COMMERCIAL UK LIMITED

As part of our HR Harbour annual subscription service for employers we provide guidance and support with settlement discussions and documentation. If you would like to know more about the HR Harbour Service and how you can get unlimited support from as little as £180 per month please contact me for a no obligation discussion - alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or you can find full details here: HR Harbour

Don't forget you can contact us by email alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or miranda@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or by telephone 01983 897003, 01722 653001 or 023 8098 2006

 
Direct download: Episode_101_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:30am EDT

Employee Grievances: Part 4 Frequently Asked Questions

This episode of the podcast is the final in a mini series focusing on Grievances and how to deal with them.

I cover some of the Frequently Asked Questions about grievance investigations and processes.

In this episode I will cover:

  •  Does the employee who raises a grievance have the right to see witness statements and evidence gathered in the investigation process?
  • What if the grievance is against the owner of a small business?
  • If the grievance regarding bullying is upheld does the employee who raised the grievance have the right to know the outcome of the disciplinary process?
  • Does the employee 'accused' in the grievance have the right to know about the grievance against them?
  • Should a disciplinary matter or a grievance be dealt with first?
  • Can the same person investigate and decide the outcome of the grievance?
  • How do you reach a conclusion where two sides tell different story and there is no evidence?

Action Points

  1. Listen to episodes 1-3 of the Mini Series.
  2. Seek advice and expert support if you find yourself in a difficult or tricky situation.  

Useful Links

ACAS Code of Practice Here

ACAS Guidance Here

ACAS Guidance on conducting workplace investigations Here

 

As part of our HR Harbour annual subscription service for employers we provide guidance and support with grievances and produce a grievance procedure for our clients. If you would like to know more about the HR Harbour Service and how you can get unlimited support from as little as £180 per month please contact me for a no obligation discussion - alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or you can find full details here: HR Harbour

Don't forget you can contact us by email alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or miranda@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or by telephone 01983 897003, 01722 653001 or 023 8098 2006

 
 

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Real Employment Law Advice Logo

 

The information contained in this Podcast and post is provided for guidance and is a snapshot of the law at the time. It is provided for your information only and should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice that it specific to your particular circumstances.

The guidance should not be relied upon in any decision making process. It is strongly recommended that you seek advice before taking action.

 

Solicitors Isle of Wight | Solicitors Salisbury | Solicitors Eastleigh

Direct download: Episode_100.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:05pm EDT

Employee Grievances: Part 3 Conclusion, Appeal & Points to Note

This episode of the podcast is the third in a mini series focusing on Grievances and how to deal with them.

There will be one further episodes on this topic finishing with an episode on Frequently Asked Questions so if you have a question that you would like covered please email me alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or leave a comment below.

In this episode I will cover:

  • Things to consider in reaching your conclusion.
  • How to approach the conclusion and support your findings and outcome.
  • What to include in your conclusion.
  • The appeal process.
  • The importance of considering mediation as an option throughout the process.
  • What to consider if the grievance is about a colleague or line manager.
  • How to handle employee grievances raised in the disciplinary process.
  • Why you need to be cautious with employees raising 'tactical grievances' at the same time as 'without prejudice' settlement negotiations.
  • How to deal with employees who raise a grievance whilst absent from work due to work stress or for mental health reasons.

Action Points

  1. Ensure that any conclusion you reach in an investigation process is supported by the evidence you have obtained.
  2. Where possible give a full explanation for your investigation findings.
  3. Do not delay in dealing with grievances raised at the same time as a settlement offer.
  4. Seek advice and expert support at the earliest opportunity if a dispute arises.  

Useful Links

ACAS Code of Practice Here

ACAS Guidance Here

ACAS Guidance on conducting workplace investigations Here

 

As part of our HR Harbour annual subscription service for employers we provide guidance and support with grievances and produce a grievance procedure for our clients. If you would like to know more about the HR Harbour Service and how you can get unlimited support from as little as £180 per month please contact me for a no obligation discussion - alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or you can find full details here: HR Harbour

Don't forget you can contact us by email alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or miranda@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or by telephone 01983 897003, 01722 653001 or 023 8098 2006

Direct download: Episode_99.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am EDT

Employee Grievances: Part 2 Investigation

This episode of the podcast is the second in a mini series focusing on Grievances and how to deal with them.

There will be at least a further 2 episodes on this topic finishing with an episode on Frequently Asked Questions so if you have a question that you would like covered please email me alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or leave a comment below.

In this episode I will cover:

  • How to approach the grievance process.
  • Things to consider when assigning a grievance investigator.
  • The importance of planning and setting out the scope and purpose of the investigation.
  • The principles of reasonableness, objectivity and fairness of the investigation.
  • The importance of confidentiality and why it is tricky to manage.
  • How to plan and prepare for meetings with employees and witnesses.
  • Why evidence gathering is essential in assisting you reach the right outcome.
  • How to shape the investigation report and resources available to help.

Action Points

  1. When you receive a grievance from an employee act quickly and assign an investigator.
  2. Ensure that the investigator has appropriate training or resources at hand to assist with the investigation.
  3. Seek advice and expert support at the earliest opportunity if a dispute arises.  

Useful Links

ACAS Code of Practice Here

ACAS Guidance Here

ACAS Guidance on conducting workplace investigations Here

 

As part of our HR Harbour annual subscription service for employers we provide guidance and support with grievances and produce a grievance procedure for our clients. If you would like to know more about the HR Harbour Service and how you can get unlimited support from as little as £180 per month please contact me for a no obligation discussion - alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or you can find full details here: HR Harbour

Don't forget you can contact us by email alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or miranda@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or by telephone 01983 897003, 01722 653001 or 023 8098 2006

Direct download: Episode_98.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:41pm EDT

This episode of the podcast is the first in a mini series focusing on Grievances and how to deal with them.

There will be at least a further 3 episodes on this topic finishing with an episode on Frequently Asked Questions so if you have a question that you would like covered please email me alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or leave a comment below.

In this episode I will cover:

  • Why it is important to identify a grievance even when it may not be obvious!
  • The importance of handling grievances well.
  • The impact and potential legal consequences of failing to deal with grievances correctly.
  • The starting point for any employer when considering grievances.

Action Points

  1. Have a good internal grievance procedure;
  2. Ensure that managers and HR personnel are aware of how to spot and deal with grievances.
  3. Seek advice and expert support at the earliest opportunity if a dispute arises.  

Useful Links

ACAS Code of Practice Here

ACAS Guidance Here

 

As part of our HR Harbour annual subscription service for employers we provide guidance and support with grievances and produce a grievance procedure for our clients. If you would like to know more about the HR Harbour Service and how you can get unlimited support from as little as £180 per month please contact me for a no obligation discussion - alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or you can find full details here: HR Harbour

Don't forget you can contact us by email alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or miranda@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or by telephone 01983 897003, 01722 653001 or 023 8098 2006

Direct download: Episode_97_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Can an employee rely on the failure to pay National Minimum Wage to claim constructive unfair dismissal?

In this episode of the podcast I cover a case, which is rather unusual, in that an employee was paid just 33p per hour. When she resigned and claimed constructive unfair dismissal her claims were initially unsuccessful as she did not know that she was entitled to minimum wage and that her employer was therefore in breach. The case is Mruke v Khan in the Court of Appeal.

In this episode I will cover:

  • The National Minimum Wage rates (as below);
  • The unusual facts of this case;
  • Background to a successful constructive unfair dismissal claim.

Action Points

  1. Ensure that you pay the National Minimum Wage - new rates: 25+ £7.83; 21-24 £7.38; 18-20 £5.90; 16-17 £4.20; apprentice £3.70.
  2. Check your salaried employees to make sure that their hourly rate does not drop below the new rates;
  3. Seek advice and expert support at the earliest opportunity if a dispute arises.  

Useful Links

You can read the full case here: Mruke v Khan - Court of Appeal 2018

 

As part of our HR Harbour annual subscription service for employers we provide guidance and support with settlement discussions and documentation. If you would like to know more about the HR Harbour Service and how you can get unlimited support from as little as £180 per month please contact me for a no obligation discussion - alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or you can find full details here: HR Harbour

Don't forget you can contact us by email alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or miranda@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or by telephone 01983 897003, 01722 653001 or 023 8098 2006

Direct download: Episode_96_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:13am EDT

What can an employer do to resolve issues without lengthy procedures? 

In this episode of the podcast I run through the procedure for trying to resolve issues with employees without the need for lengthy procedures particularly when you have not already done anything about it previously.

In this episode I will cover:

  • The options available;
  • What 'protected conversations' are and how they work;
  • Why you may wish to make a settlement payment to an employee;
  • Questions to consider before starting the 'protected conversation';
  • How to start a settlement conversation with an employee;
  • What paperwork to produce and when;
  • How allowing the employee paid leave can be a good tactic;
  • How long you should give the employee to decide;
  • An example of the type of scenario that can arise.

Action Points

  1. Do not avoid difficult conversations with employees. If there is an issue to discuss you need to do so immediately and without delay;
  2. If you have delayed or failed to address issues and you want to bring an issue to a conclusion without a lengthy process consider settlement discussions;
  3. Seek advice and expert support at the earliest opportunity. 

Useful Links

Episode 28 of the Podcast - Settlement Agreements

As part of our HR Harbour annual subscription service for employers we provide guidance and support with settlement discussions and documentation. If you would like to know more about the HR Harbour Service and how you can get unlimited support from as little as £180 per month please contact me for a no obligation discussion - alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or you can find full details here: HR Harbour

Don't forget you can contact us by email alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or miranda@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or by telephone 01983 897003, 01722 653001 or 023 8098 2006

 
Direct download: Episode_95_-_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:50am EDT

What can a manager do to assert their authority and continue to manage an employee who has a grievance against them? 

In this episode of the podcast I attempt to answer a great question from a listener about the practicalities of managing someone who has raised a grievance against you in response to your addressing performance or capability issues. An interesting question and a scenario that arises all too frequently.

In this episode I will cover:

  • My advice on how to avoid a grievance scenario in the first place;
  • Why employees often feel aggrieved when performance or capability issues are raised;
  • Why communication is the key in managing employees;
  • My thoughts on grievance procedures and why they do not need to be long drawn out processes;
  • Tips on how best to continue to proactively manage an employee even when there is a grievance process.

Action Points

  1. Do not avoid difficult conversations with employees. If there is an issue to discuss you need to do so immediately and without delay;
  2. Ensure that managers and supervisors who have line management responsibilities have some form of management training;
  3. Give your managers and supervisors support with difficult employees and play a hands on role to resolve the issues;
  4. Do not drag on grievance processes unnecessarily, there is no reason why it has to take months to investigate;
  5. Seek advice and expert support before a dispute arises. 

Useful Links

As part of our HR Harbour annual subscription service for employers we provide guidance and support for managers, which can include training on being a better manager and having difficult conversations. If you would like to know more about the HR Harbour Service and how you can get unlimited support from as little as £150 per month please contact me for a no obligation discussion - alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or you can find full details here: HR Harbour

Don't forget you can contact us by email alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or miranda@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or by telephone 01983 897003, 01722 653001 or 023 8098 2006

Direct download: Episode_94_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT