Last updateTue, 24 Feb 2015 5pm

Catherine McGrath rounds up recent case law and developments affecting employers and their advisers

Sarah Fitzpatrick considers the legislation and recent decisions on dress codes in the workplace

Over the last few months the media have featured a number of dress-code stories, including ‘heelgate’, about a receptionist who was allegedly sent home when she refused to wear high heels. There have also been reports that a number of city institutions (traditionally bastions of the suit and tie) have introduced ‘business casual’ dress codes. At JPMorgan Chase, for example, polo shirts and casual trousers are now acceptable, as are dresses and skirts of an ‘appropriate’ length for the workplace.

A recent decision highlights the lack of flexibility for employers who have contractual employment policies. Liz Parkin examines the case

Contractual terms governing the employment relationship are subject to the common law principle that a contract may only be amended with the agreement of the parties.

Anna Fletcher and Connie Cliff look at how the Psychoactive Substances Act could affect employers

After some uncertainty and delay, the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 (the Act) came into force on 26 May. The Act bans the production and supply of ‘legal highs’ but not their use.

New rules require banks and other financial institutions to put extra procedures in place encouraging staff to report concerns about the business, report Nick Howard and Ben Wright

In October 2015, regulators proposed a package of measures to formalise financial firms’ whistleblowing procedures. The measures were contained in a supervisory statement (SS39/15) and a policy statement (PS15/24) issued by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA). PS15/24 attached new rules to be included in the Senior management arrangements systems and controls sourcebook and the Prudential sourcebook for investment firms. While affected firms have until 7 September 2016 to comply with most of the new rules, 7 March 2016 was the deadline for appointing a whistleblowers’ champion.

Jo Broadbent reviews two recent decisions focusing on whether individuals working abroad could bring a claim in the UK employment tribunal

Neither the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA) nor the Equality Act 2010 (EqA) contain provisions about their territorial scope. This has resulted in the courts and tribunals having to determine in what circumstances someone who does not actually work in Great Britain will have protection against unfair dismissal and discrimination.

Chris Morrison contemplates how organisations are responding to the prospect of much tougher fines for health and safety offences

New sentencing guidelines for health and safety, corporate manslaughter and food safety offences were introduced on 1 February 2016, arming the courts with a new weapon of fines related to turnover to take on errant businesses.

Jane Hannon rounds up recent case law and developments affecting employers and their advisers