GFTU Emplaw Emplaw Emplaw

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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Health & Safety at Work/key card

Key Points

  • UK Health and Safety statutes, rules, Codes of Practice and regulations form a mishmash system which has grown and grown over the years. Attempts are made from time to time to pull the system together into one comprehensive code, with varying degrees of success. The most recent of these was the Health and Safety at Work 1974.
  • The various regulations which have been made and updated since then are the attempt to regulate the way in which health & safety is organised and managed in the workplace in the UK.
  • The regulations which are of greatest importance to employers in standard workplace environments (i.e. not factories, mines, ships etc) include Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations SI 1999/3242 , The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 SI 1992/3004 and The Working Time Regulations 1998 SI 1998/1833
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Redundancy/key card

Key Points

  • Redundancy for the purposes of consultation is simply defined as termination for a reason “not related to the individual concerned.”
  • The broader definition of redundancy is set out in a two stage test that flows from ERA 1996 s.139
  • Compensation for unfair dismissal is better than for redundancy and so redundancies can often result in unfair dismissal cases.
  • An employer does not have to be in a poor financial position to justify making redundancies.
  • Re-engagement following a redundancy can negate the redundancy entirely provided it is within a given time frame.
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Trade Union Matters, Associations etc/statutory rights of TUs and members-key card

Key Points

  • A trade union which is both a recognised trade union and an independent trade union will have a variety of statutory rights.
  • These rights are in addition to those which all independent trade unions have, even if they are not recognised 
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Unfair Dismissal/awards and remedies-key card

Key Points

  • The remedies for unfair dismissal are reinstatement or re-engagement or compensation.
  • Orders for reinstatement or re-engagement are rare.
  • The statutory framework for unfair dismissal remedies is contained in Part X, Chapter II of the Employment Rights Act 1996 at ss 112 to 127B.
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Unfair Dismissal/potentially fair and automatically unfair reasons for dismissal-key card

Key Points

  • A claim for unfair dismissal can be defended by the employer showing that the reason for the dismissal was a potentially fair reason.
  • In order for any dismissal to be fair, the reason for the dismissal must fall within one of the four potentially fair reasons set out in section 98(2) of ERA 1996, or be “some other substantial reason justifying dismissal”.
  • An employee can also bring a claim that his dismissal was unfair because the reason for dismissal was an automatically unfair reason.
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Unfair Dismissal/key card

Key Points

  • Unfair dismissal is a statutory right which is defined in ERA 1996.
  • A claim for unfair dismissal can only be brought in an employment tribunal by an employee with qualifying service.
  • Unfair dismissal is different to wrongful dismissal.
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Pre-Employment Background Checks: key card

Key Points

  • An employer may choose to undertake certain pre-employment checks:
    • Right to work in UK
    • Criminal checks
    • Health Checks
    • References
    • Credit Checks
    • Check Membership to a register (lawyers to Solicitors Regulatory Authority, Accountant to Chartered Institute, Financial Services Authority)
    • Check Qualifications
    • Social Media searches
    • Check no outstanding restrictions apply.
  • Employers must follow data protection rules when handling information on job applicants.
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Summary

Important information this month for employer/employee advisors including further details on UK Points Based immigration system starting in less than 6 months and an Acas podcast on Black Lives Matter: the workplace. Case wise, we have a full report of the case which challenged the Coronavirus Regulations and a number of decisions around some fundamental principles in discrimination claims. Meanwhile our incisive Covid-19 Materials include coverage of the recent updates on working safely during Covid-19 and the impact of the pandemic on low paid workers