Protected Conversations and the Without Prejudice Rule

Key Points

  • A ‘protected conversations’ is a process introduced by the Business and Regulatory Reform Act 2013.
  • The effect is to render evidence of certain pre-termination negotiations inadmissible in an unfair dismissal case. 
  • The ‘without prejudice rule’ only applies where statements are made in a genuine attempt to settle a dispute.
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Settlement of Claims in the Tribunals - General

Key Points

  • Outside the tribunal legal framework all claims can generally be compromised in the ordinary way, by contract
  • The legal framework for the statutory claims over which the Tribunals have jurisdiction is different
  • Some statutory claims are incapable of settlement but, for some of those, a binding settlement may still be achieved following Acas conciliation
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Pensions Regulator (TPR) - Key card

Key Points

  • TPR has statutory objectives which include protecting pension scheme members' benefits
  • TPR has a broad range of investigative, remedial and anti-avoidance statutory powers
  • TPR's stated approach is to educate, enable and enforce 
  • TPR regularly publishes reports on the considerations given by it to the exercise of its powers and functions

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Working Time, Holidays & Time off Work /Working Time Regulations: key card

Key Points

  • The Working Time Regulations 1998 (SI 1998/1833) implement the Working Time Directive 93/104/EC, now Working Time Directive 2003/88/EC
  • For the first time they introduced general statutory limits on working time and holiday in the UK.
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Qualifying Periods for Claims

Key Points

  • Refer to the card below for the table of qualifying periods
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Termination of employment/key card

Key Points

  • Termination of employment occurs in a number of ways, whether by dismissal (actual or constructive), expiry or frustration.
  • Claims arising from termination may be for breach of contract that is wrongful dismissal or Unfair Dismissal under the statutory provision.
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National Minimum Wage (NMW): Key Card

Key Points

  • The National Minimum Wage Act was introduced with effect from 1st April 1999. The hourly rate depends on age and whether the worker is an apprentice.
  • The National Minimum Wages Regulations and amending Regulations have been consolidated into the National Minimum Wage Regulations 2015
  • The Low Pay Commission recommends changes in the hourly rates.
  • The basic approach is to divide a worker's total remuneration which is to be taken into account (essentially "gross pay", including tax and national insurance but excluding benefits in kind) by the total number of hours in a pay reference period. 
  • The calculation varies according to time work, salaried hours work, output work and unmeasured work
  • Records have to be capable of being produced in a single document on request by the worker or enforcement agency and must be kept for 3 years but do not have to be in any particular form.
  • Apart from the statutory minimum wage there can be and are industry and other non-statutory (and thus non-enforceable unless agreed in relevant employment contracts) minimum wage arrangements, for example the Living wage (LLW).
  • Workers aged 25 and over are entitled from April 2016 to the National Living Wage (NLW) which is paid at a higher rate than the NMW. 

 

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Right to Pay

Key Points

  • An employee’s right to pay is governed by the contract of employment.
  • The right to pay is subject to statutory minimums – the national minimum wage.
  • Employees are entitled to pay during certain absences, including holiday, family and caring related absence, and sickness absence (subject to satisfying statutory sick pay criteria).
  • Employees are protected from employers making unlawful deductions from their wages.
  • Some level of deductions are permitted for retail employees
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Collective Consultation / Key Card

Key Points

  • There is no general obligation on employers to inform and consult with their employees or their employees' representatives.
  • Employers are nevertheless required to inform and consult in certain specific situations.
  • Certain employers can also be compelled to inform and consult on an ongoing basis if this is requested by their employees.
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Discrimination and Pensions - key card

Key Points

  • The Equality Act 2010 prohibits direct discrimination and indirect discrimination on the grounds of a protected characteristic.
  • The protected characteristics listed in the Equality Act are sex, age, religion or belief, race, sexual orientation, gender reassignments, pregnancy & maternity, marriage and civil partnership, and disability.
  • With the exception of age, direct discrimination cannot be objectively justified, but indirect discrimination can be.
  • There are particular exemptions in the Equality Act and associated regulations that apply to pension schemes, notably in relation to age.
  • Trustees of occupational pension schemes are liable to their members or prospective members if they discriminate in terms of the offer of membership or benefits provided under the scheme, for example.
  • All occupational pension schemes are deemed to include a non-discrimination rule, regardless of what the rules say.
  • The Equality Act 2010 also applies (with certain important exceptions) to providers of goods and services.
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