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Employment

Workplace dress codes have been in the spotlight recently, after a receptionist claimed she was sent home from work at a well-known corporate finance company after refusing to wear high heeled shoes.

Nicola Thorp, who was employed as a temporary worker by an outsourced receptionist firm, said she arrived on her first day in flat shoes only to be told she had to wear shoes with a two to four inch heel. Thorp claimed she was then laughed at when she asserted that this was discriminatory.  However, following the headlines and public backlash, the firm decided to scrap the controversial dress code.

On 12 May 2016, the Immigration Bill received Royal Assent and became the Immigration Act 2016.

The Act gives effect to a number of Government commitments intended to curb illegal working and prevent the exploitation of migrant workers.  Its main provisions include;

By Annika Neukirch, Trainee Solicitor

Background

Tipping and service charges are peculiarities of the service industry which have attracted controversy recently. In 2015, for example, after widespread criticism, Pizza Express followed other restaurant chains such as Giraffe and ended its practice of charging their employees an 8% ‘administrative fee’ for paying them their share of tips which customers paid by credit card rather than in cash.

By Eric Gilligan, Partner 

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has recently published research on the prevalence and nature of pregnancy and maternity-related disadvantage in the workplace.  At first glance the results based on survey interviews with over 3000 mothers and a similar number of employers make grim reading for those concerned about workplace equality. 

By Euan Smith, Associate

Background

While it only seems like the other week that we were deciding whether Scotland should remain in the UK, on 23 June, we will be deciding whether the UK should remain in the EU.  
 
Earlier this year David Cameron argued he had achieved success in agreeing a deal for the UK’s position within the EU to be adjusted in certain respects.  Broadly speaking, the areas forming the subject of the deal were; economic governance, competitiveness, immigration and sovereignty. 

By Eric Gilligan, Partner and head of Stronachs’ employment team

The management of employees on sick leave, particularly long-term sick leave, is a significant challenge for employers. Quite apart from the difficulties arising from the requirement to cover the work the sick employee is not undertaking and to ensure that colleagues are not overloaded and that their morale is not adversely affected the issue of engagement with long-term sick employees gives rise to particular risks. These are often compounded if the employee experiences mental health difficulties such as anxiety or depression whereby interactions with management may be negatively perceived with accusations or perhaps even claims arising of disability discrimination (of various types) and of constructive dismissal.

By Annika Neukirch, Trainee Solicitor

With the coming of spring there are a number of changes to employment law. Stronachs’ David Chalmers previously explained the introduction of the National Living Wage from 1 April. Other changes coming into force this spring are increases to the maximum compensation amounts and redundancy payments, and the introduction of penalties for employers in relation to unpaid tribunal awards and settlements. Looking further into the future, the Budget 2016 outlines the plans to introduce employer national insurance contributions in relation to termination payments.

Chelsea FC, along with former manager, Jose Mourinho, appear to be heading for a full hearing at the employment tribunal over claims raised by ex-team doctor Eva Carneiro.

Chambers UK 2018

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