Last updateTue, 24 Feb 2015 5pm

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP

William Long assesses the impact of Brexit on data protection legislation in the UK

On 23 June 2016, UK voters passed a referendum to leave the European Union (EU) after a membership of nearly 40 years. This historic decision is likely to have a profound impact on political, economic and regulatory decisions in the coming months and years, while politicians negotiate the terms of the UK’s exit from the EU. The impact of this decision on many different areas of law and regulation will need to be carefully examined and monitored over the coming months, including in relation to data protection.

Nicola Bartholomew and Heather Barc consider two recent cases on penalty clauses in the employment context

Employers can invest a significant amount of time and money recruiting and training the right employee with the requisite skills to fulfil a particular role. As a result, they often seek to protect themselves against the loss they may suffer if an employee leaves before they can find a suitable replacement or before they have received the benefit of the employee’s specific training. The law prevents unlawful deductions from wages, so employers often seek to set out in an employee’s contract of employment particular situations in which they will be permitted to recover specified amounts by way of a deduction, typically from a final payment of wages. However, in drafting those provisions, employers and their advisers must consider the law on penalty clauses and assess what the deduction is designed to achieve. Otherwise, the provision may be struck out as an unenforceable penalty clause when a former employee objects to a deduction from their salary.

Nicola Bartholomew and Heather Shallow explore how far the duty of fidelity extends when an employee is preparing to compete

As the economic recovery slowly takes hold, it remains vital that employers are able to protect their legitimate business interests. This can be an issue of particular importance when it comes to competing businesses and departing employees. While the express terms of an employee’s contract will play a large part, employers will also often look to rely on implied contractual terms to protect their business. In this regard, the duty of fidelity is arguably the most important.