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Last updateTue, 24 Feb 2015 5pm

Lewis Silkin

Lewis Silkin

Tom Heys and Kayleigh Williams examine the main political parties’ general election promises on employment law issues

Employment issues have emerged as a major election battleground, reflecting the aspirations of the Conservatives and Labour – and perhaps to a lesser extent the Liberal Democrats – to be recognised as the ‘workers’ party’. Theresa May has rather boldly claimed to be pledging:

Samar Shams considers how employers and their advisers should prepare for Brexit, possible restrictions on travel to the US and higher fees to sponsor migrant workers

The meaning of Brexit has changed continuously since the British referendum to leave the EU nine months ago and will continue to do so. This article focuses on how employers can ensure their businesses’ fitness for the future in a shifting immigration landscape.

Bethan Carney considers the agenda for employment law under the UK’s new Prime Minister

In a speech launching her campaign to become Prime Minister, Theresa May declared that while ‘Brexit means Brexit’, her leadership should not become defined exclusively by the process of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. She suggested there was also a need to deliver ‘serious social reform’.

Richard Berry discusses the main considerations for employers dealing with cases of off-duty misconduct that have a criminal element

The case of ex-Sunderland AFC footballer Adam Johnson provides a recent, high-profile example of how criminal prosecutions and employers’ internal disciplinary procedures may interact. After being found guilty of sexual activity with a girl aged 15, and having previously admitted two other counts, Johnson was sentenced to a six-year prison term, a sanction against which the footballer has subsequently appealed.

Charlotte Davies considers the current and future landscape for flexible working and family-friendly rights at work

Recent years have seen the introduction and extension of a range of laws designed to help employees’ work-life balance by giving them the right to request flexible working arrangements and various rights to leave for family reasons. The law in this area looks likely to continue to develop, with the current Conservative government proposing rights to grandparental and volunteering leave.

Steven Lorber discusses a recent ECJ decision showing the difficulties the EU’s data protection regime causes employers

Responses to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling on search engines and data protection rights (Google Spain SL v Agencia Española de Protección de Datos [2014]) have focused on an individual’s right to be forgotten. But the impact of the judgment is potentially much wider.

Colin Leckey analyses the potential impact of the claim for six years’ back pay launched by 400 female supermarket workers alleging gender discrimination

Equal pay claims have been a feature of the public sector for some years, invariably concerning female employees complaining they have been paid less because of their gender than a comparable group of men. Birmingham City Council settled 11,000 claims in October 2013, at great expense to local taxpayers.

Rebecca Peedell examines the CIPD’s guidance and government consultation on zero-hours working

The winter of 2013 saw two welcome developments in the (hitherto rather confused) zero-hours contracts debate.

Companies investigating fraud in both the UK and US need to be aware of key differences in local legislation, explain Ellen Temperton, James Storke and Jim Hart

According to the International Chamber of Commerce’s (ICC) Commission on Anti-Corruption:

Christopher Hitchins and Kathryn Pickard examine the government’s scheme to encourage more workers to save for their retirement

This October marked the start of mandatory pensions auto-enrolment for the UK’s largest employers. Some employment lawyers may be tempted to think this is an area they can largely skip over, but there are important aspects they need to know about.

Christopher Hitchins analyses the eagerly awaited decisions in Seldon and Homer on justifying direct and indirect age discrimination

The Supreme Court has recently handed down its judgments in Seldon v Clarkson Wright and Jakes [2012] and Homer v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police [2012]. This is the first time that the Supreme Court has had to consider the issue of age discrimination (direct in the case of Seldon and indirect in the case of Homer ) in the context of retirement.

Katharine McPherson reviews the decision in Woodcock v Cumbria PCT and considers what role cost may play in justifying treatment that would otherwise amount to discrimination

For some time now, case law around the justification of discriminatory treatment has developed on the basis that cost alone is not enough to justify such treatment. There must be some other consideration or factor in addition to cost to rationalise such behaviour. This had come to be widely accepted as the ‘cost plus’ principle.

Rachel Rooksby and Carla Leonard highlight a worrying discrepancy between the government’s pledge to ensure interns receive the minimum wage and its own unpaid jobseeker schemes

These days, unpaid work experience is rarely out of the news. Headlines vary from HM Revenue & Customs’ crackdown on unpaid internships to Nick Clegg’s campaign against ‘it’s who you know’ advantages in the jobs market and, most recently, the furore over the government supplying jobseekers to large corporations for free. Unpaid internships, often intended to give people a leg up into competitive industries in a flagging economy, have had a swift and hard fall from grace.

Katharine McPherson and Katherine Shaw weigh up whether the government needs to amend the Equality Act to make clear that it prohibits caste discrimination

The case of Begraj v Heer Manak Solicitors, listed to be heard by the employment tribunal in March, raises the important issue of whether discrimination based on caste is prohibited under the Equality Act 2010 and adds fuel to the broader discussion on whether caste should be included within the Act’s definition of ‘race’. This article examines key issues raised in the caste-based discrimination debate, explores the possible implications of Begraj and considers whether caste can fall within either race or religion for the purposes of finding discrimination under the Act.

The leaked Beecroft report may not go the right way about it but there is a case for far-reaching reform of the unfair dismissal regime, argues James Davies

Abolishing unfair dismissal law and replacing it with a fixed compensation payment equivalent to statutory redundancy pay was the most eye-catching and contentious of the recommendations in Adrian Beecroft’s recent report.

Russell Brimelow, Gemma Chubb and Rachel Rooksby give their tips on how to manage a cross-border workforce successfully

Inevitably, the international labour market has changed significantly since the global financial crisis. Before the crash the trend was towards the internationalisation of trade patterns and migratory labour movements. Now we are seeing increasing numbers of multinational companies closing operations, rationalising their workforces and streamlining their HR operations worldwide.

The Court of Appeal decision in Daejan confirms that the courts will strictly apply the consultation requirements in s20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. Mario Betts assesses the implications

On 28 January 2011, the Court of Appeal handed down its eagerly awaited judgment in Daejan Investments Ltd v Benson & ors [2011]. The court robustly dismissed the landlord’s appeal against two decisions of the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal (LVT) and the Upper Tribunal, and in so doing refused its application to dispense with the consultation requirements under s20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. Critically, the court also confirmed that the financial consequences for a landlord are irrelevant considerations to the grant or refusal of dispensation.