Harassment is a form of unlawful discrimination and can include behaviour that individuals find offensive even if it’s not directed at them, and even if they do not have the relevant protected characteristics themselves. It is important for an employer to be able to recognise harassment in the workplace to reduce the risk of an employee lodging an employment tribunal claim against them. Therefore it is in every employer’s interest to promote a safe, healthy and fair environment in which people can work in.
I would like to thank everyone who contacted me following my blog “New Start to the Year – Get your Affairs in Order – Part One”. For those who I have seen and spoken to, you will now be aware it is equally important to have your affairs in order during your lifetime, not just on death, in the event you suddenly suffer from a physical or mental incapability.
When a firm makes more than 20 or 100 people redundant such as through closing down a factory site, very special rules apply as to an employer’s obligations to its workforce. Failure on the Employer’s part such as when closures occur out of the blue and almost overnight can lead to employees being able to make a claim even if the company has gone into administration or liquidation and the company no longer exists. Most typically the claim is for what is known as a Protective Award.
Often people consider writing their Will when they have suffered bereavement or a family member has been seriously ill. I have even come across people that are frightened of making a Will as they fear that once they have signed on the dotted line, they will meet their maker. I have to say it took me several years to persuade my father-in-law to make a Will, which he did a few years ago and guess what, he is still with us.
Proprietary estoppel provides a means by which a person may claim a right to property or land despite being legally documented. For example, if someone has promised that you inherit their property or land on death, but you subsequently find out that it is not reflected in their Will.
Christmas is almost upon us…as are the much awaited office Christmas parties. Whilst no one wants to be the office scrooge and detract away from the positivity of such an event, employers should be aware of their potential liabilities.
Dealing with someone’s estate can be a burdensome task and at the same time you are faced with the ever expansion of the modern world and you now have to consider “Digital Assets”.
So what is a digital asset? It is simply personal property stored in digital form whether that be electronic or online and you may not realise that you own digital assets until examples are given.
A class action brought in the UK by campaign group “Google You Owe Us” was blocked in the High Court yesterday (Monday 8th October 2018). They allege that in 2011/12 Google bypassed privacy settings on Apple iPhone handsets and collected data about millions of people in contravention of the Data Protection Act 1998. The High Court was told that the information collected by Google included data about race, sexuality, political leanings and social class.
The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that a woman trapped in a ‘loveless marriage’ must stay married to her husband because he will not divorce her.
Yesterday (10 July 2018) the UK Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, published a progress report in relation to her office’s investigation into the use of data analytics in political campaigns. This investigation has focussed on Facebook and Cambridge Analytica. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has said it intends to fine Facebook £500,000 for two breaches of the Data Protection Act 1998. This is the maximum fine that can be imposed under that legislation. However, the position could have been much worse for Facebook.
The government has been urged to investigate the practice by many employers of forcing employees to repay training costs when they leave employment. In some cases such costs have run into several thousand pounds.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the regulator responsible for policing the current legislation, has had difficulty enforcing the current legislation. Since 2010, of the £17.8 million in fines that it has imposed, for the making of nuisance calls and the sending of nuisance emails and texts, only just over half have been paid. The ICO’s efforts have been hampered by some of the companies it has fined going into liquidation rather than paying their fine.
A typical scenario may be where an employee accused of misconduct claims that they were not ‘thinking straight’ or indeed that their behaviour was ‘out of character’, caused by stress or issues with mental health.
You should not forget the other obligations that companies have under the Companies Act 2006 (CA 2006), such as, the obligation to keep a register of persons with significant control (PSCs).
The decision of whether or not to suspend an employee suspected of misconduct can be a difficult one for many employers. If an employer suspects an employee of serious misconduct, suspension may be an appropriate step to take but only in circumstances where the employee’s presence at work would either (a) jeopardise the fairness of the ensuing investigation or (b) where their presence could pose a potential threat to the business or other employees.
Taylor Wimpey has launched a Ground Rent Review Assistance Scheme. This comes following some heavy media coverage surrounding the issue of ‘doubling ground rent’.
Chris brings with him more than 30 years’ experience as a professional service marketer. He has devised and implemented high profile strategies across international organisations, such as Arval, Reed Elsevier as well RAC, and The AA.
Anxiety, depression and stress are now the leading cause of sickness absence in the UK and an estimated 70 million working days are lost every year because of mental health. This makes mental wellbeing a central concern for all workers and their employers.
A story very much in the headlines at the moment is the hacking of Uber’s computer system.
Maternity Action have released a report on how women are being unfairly dismissed while on maternity leave, returning from work and even during pregnancy.