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Employment

A row has broken out between construction firm Mears Group and trade union Unite over a ban on beards. The beard ban will be hugely controversial amongst many a man. The facial hair resurgence in recent years has been insuppressible; from designer stubble to the full on hipster mountain-man beard, a fuzzy face has become a common look. Of course everyone can agree that beards are a good look (I’m completely impartial, can you tell?)…

The recent case of The Government Legal Service v Brookes [2017] UKEAT/0302/16 is a useful reminder of the issues that employers should consider when faced with job applicants who are disabled and who are requesting that adjustments are made to the application process to mitigate the disadvantage caused by their disability or arguing that the process is discriminatory.

With the general election just over two weeks away, we take a look at the potential impact on employment law.

An increasing awareness of data protection rights among employees means employers should carefully consider how they handle information requests from staff, with a wrong move potentially resulting in significant financial and reputational costs for the employer as well as significant diversion of time and resource.

The issue of whether a worker is to be regarded as carrying out “time work” and therefore entitled to the National Minimum wage  (“NMW”) for the full duration of their shift (even if they may be sleeping during this time) requires multiple factors to  be  taken into account.   If the worker is not carrying out such “time work” and is merely to be regarded as “available and required to be available … for the purposes of working”, then they will only be entitled to the NMW in relation to time when they are awake for the purpose of carrying out relevant duties.

Figures released this week by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show the average working week in the UK continues to rise.

Today, Thursday (6 April 2017), the new ‘apprenticeship levy’ will come into force.The levy, which was introduced by sections 98 to 121 of the Finance Act 2016, will be potentially applicable to all UK employers and will go towards the cost of apprenticeship training.

We are almost one quarter of the way through 2017 (already?!). Each year the beginning of April is notable from an employment law perspective, with a number of changes usually coming into force. This year is no different and so this week we take a look at some of the key changes coming next month.

Chambers UK 2018

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