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Case law: Employers face new uncertainty as EU court says UK limits on claiming unpaid arrears of holiday pay may be unlawful

Employers should review whether their staff - particularly self-employed contractors who may actually be workers and entitled to claim holiday pay - could make unlimited claims for unpaid arrears of holiday pay, after an EU court ruling cast doubt on the legality of UK laws imposing limits on such claims.Read more

Posted on 3 April 2018 | 10:40 am

New rules: Unfair dismissal and related awards increase from April 2018

The annual review of the maximum compensation that can be awarded in unfair dismissal and other cases increases the awards from 6 April 2018.

The new maximum for a 'week's pay' (used to calculate the basic award in unfair dismissal cases, statutory redundancy pay and a number of other awards) increases from £489 to £508.… Read more

Posted on 3 April 2018 | 10:39 am

Case law: Employers cannot avoid giving agency workers same rights, term for term, as permanent employees simply by paying them more

Employers should ensure that agency workers enjoy the same rights, term for term, as permanent employee. They cannot argue that lesser rights in one area are compensated for by paying a higher hourly pay, as this breaches the legal requirement that agency workers' basic working and employment conditions must be the same.Read more

Posted on 3 April 2018 | 10:38 am

Case law: Worker required by employer to be in particular place and available on short notice while on stand-by was working during that time

Employers who require workers on stand-by to stay in a particular place and be available for work at very short notice, should treat that time spent on stand-by as working time and pay them accordingly, following a recent ruling.

A volunteer retained firefighter in Belgium had to be contactable while on stand-by, and stay within eight minutes of his fire station.… Read more

Posted on 3 April 2018 | 10:36 am

Case law: Mere expectation that a disabled employee will work late can lead to disability discrimination claim

Employers should beware giving disabled employees the impression that they are expected to work late, as this could justify the employee bringing an indirect discrimination claim on grounds they failed to make reasonable adjustments.

An employee had a high-powered analyst job in financial services and regularly worked late.… Read more

Posted on 3 April 2018 | 10:36 am

New guidance: New guidance to help employers document their processing of personal data under the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)

Businesses and other organisations will welcome guidance from the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) to help them comply with their record-keeping obligations under the new data protection law - the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) - from May 2018.

The new guidance supplements the ICO's main guidance on the new law, Guide to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and helps UK organisations document their data processing activities, such as processing purposes, data sharing, and retention, as required under the GDPR.… Read more

Posted on 3 April 2018 | 10:34 am

Case law: Court clarifies when a contractual obligation is a 'penalty' and therefore unenforceable

A contractual party seeking to avoid obligations imposed on the other side on breach of contract being treated as penalties, and therefore unenforceable, should frame them as 'primary obligations', or ensure that if framed as 'secondary obligations', they are proportionate to the other party's interest in the performance of the relevant primary obligation.Read more

Posted on 3 April 2018 | 10:33 am

Case law: Employee's 'pre-cancerous' condition was cancer for the purposes of disability discrimination law

Employers should ensure they properly understand employees' illnesses and/or injuries, particularly in cases involving cancer, before deciding an employee is not disabled for the purposes of disability discrimination law.

An employee suffered from what doctors call a 'pre-cancerous' condition which could lead to skin cancer.… Read more

Posted on 3 April 2018 | 10:32 am

Brexit: EU Commission publishes proposals for EU trade marks and other intellectual property rights in the UK following Brexit

The European Commission has put forward a Draft Withdrawal Agreement containing proposals on how EU intellectual property (IP) rights (EU trade marks, registered and unregistered designs, plant varieties and geographical indications) will apply in the UK following Brexit.

The proposals have yet to be negotiated with the UK, but provide some comfort for IP owners.… Read more

Posted on 3 April 2018 | 10:31 am

New law: Overseas companies will have to disclose real owners to own or buy UK property

Owners of UK property through overseas companies, and their lenders, should consider how they could be affected by government proposals to require such companies to disclose their real owners before they can own or buy land and buildings in the UK.Read more

Posted on 3 April 2018 | 10:30 am

Case law: Employer should have considered 'bumping' before dismissing employee, even though the employee had not raised it

Employers should ensure that if 'bumping' is within the band of reasonable responses when considering dismissing an employee, they should consider it as an alternative to dismissal, even if the employee has not raised it as a possibility.

A sales director was dismissed when his employer decided his role was no longer required.… Read more

Posted on 3 April 2018 | 10:29 am

Case law: CJEU clarifies when design features are 'dictated solely by their technical function' and therefore not protected by registration of the design

Individuals and/or businesses with an EU or UK registered design should reconsider whether any feature of their product designs is dictated solely by its technical function, ie, there are no other reasons for the design, such as visual appearance, following a recent ruling.Read more

Posted on 3 April 2018 | 10:28 am

Case law: Agreement to settle dispute over advisor's fees blocked subsequent negligence claim in relation to the advice given

Businesses signing agreements to settle disputes must understand the terms of the agreement they enter into, particularly the scope of the claim being settled and whether it effectively blocks future claims that are neither suspected nor in the parties' contemplation at the time.Read more

Posted on 3 April 2018 | 10:27 am