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LAWS making it easier to enforce the protection of trade secrets will be rolled out across Europe, bringing the EU as a whole more in line with the law in the UK and bringing with it greater protection in some EU countries.

The Trade Secrets Directive was finally adopted by The Council of the European Union at the end of May. It will harmonise the law on trade secrets and the rules on the unlawful acquisition, disclosure and use of trade secrets throughout the EU.

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;

The Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016 was recently passed by Westminster for application in England and Wales. Although it is not yet fully in force it will provide greater regulatory powers to the Charities Commission south of the border. Although the Act will not apply to Scottish charities, Trustees should remind themselves of the equivalent powers of the Office of the Scottish Charities Regulator (“OSCR”) in Scotland.

On 1st April 2016 the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) made some changes to the way it monitors charities in Scotland.  This note summarises the changes.

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. 

Chambers UK 2018

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