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Employment Law Journal: April 2011
Fieldfisher

Clare Parkinson examines the new single public sector equality duty in light of a recent finding that HMRC’s treatment of a disabled woman was discriminatory

The recent case of Haworth v Cartmel and HMRC [2011] considered a public authority’s obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA). It gives a flavour of the potential scope of public bodies’ duties towards disabled people and those with other protected characteristics under s29(6) of the Equality Act 2010. When combined with the new public sector equality duty in s149 of the Equality Act, which comes into force on 6 April 2011, this is a dynamic area for employment lawyers wishing to expand their discrimination law experience beyond cases that are limited to Part 5 (Work) of the Equality Act.

Paul Harrison and Stephen Ratcliffe discuss the impact of the Additional Paternity Leave Regulations 2010 and some key challenges arising from their implementation

Paternity leave is, of course, nothing new. The well-established right to up to two weeks’ paternity leave (now referred to as Ordinary Paternity Leave) under the Paternity and Adoption Leave Regulations 2002 remains undisturbed. The Additional Paternity Leave (APL) Regulations 2010 supplement that right by, in broad terms, allowing up to 26 weeks of maternity or adoption leave to be transferred to the father and taken as APL. Any outstanding entitlement to Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) can be taken by the father as Additional Statutory Paternity Pay (ASPP).

The government is repealing the proposed extension of the ‘right to request flexible working’ due to be implemented this month, and will impose a moratorium on new regulations for small businesses, report Stephen Ravenscroft and Helen Mulligan

In April 2003 the UK government introduced the right to request flexible working. This does not create a right to work flexibly or part-time, but simply provides eligible employees with the right to request such arrangements provided they follow the statutory framework.

Morgan Lewis

With the government embarking on another review of the UK’s sickness-absence system, Matthew Howse and Emma Damiral suggest practical ways for employers to get their staff back to work

Statutory sick pay for employees was introduced in Great Britain in April 1983. Prior to this, payment for any sickness absence was very much the exception rather than the norm. The change in legislation made it imperative for employers to keep individual sickness-absence records and, as a result, the monitoring of such absence began. Since this time, governments have regularly raised concerns about the level of sickness absence in Britain and the staggering cost to the economy.

The risks of seeking to recruit a whole team of staff from a rival employer before their employment ends have been highlighted by a recent ruling, explains Christine Young

The long-running and high-profile case of Tullett Prebon plc & ors v BGC Brokers LP & ors [2011] serves as a cautionary tale for both companies seeking to orchestrate a team move and potential defectors. It also provides useful guidance on team moves for employers at risk of a poaching raid and employment law practitioners.

CMS

It may not be the landmark case hoped for, but the conviction of Cotswold Geotechnical points the way to significant fines following workplace fatalities in the future, argues Jan Burgess

In February, Cotswold Geotechnical Holdings Ltd (Geotechnical) became the first company to be convicted under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 (the 2007 Act). It was fined £385,000 (a sum equivalent to 115% of its annual turnover), which it is being allowed to pay over 10 years on account of what the judge described as its ‘parlous’ financial position.

Robert Thomas and Dawn da Silva explore the legal implications of recent findings that longer working hours are causing rising sickness absence, stress and employee grievances

A number of worrying workplace trends have been identified by the third annual State of HR survey conducted across the UK by the HRM Learning Board at King’s College London in conjunction with Speechly Bircham LLP. The findings are based on the input of 550 senior HR professionals representing a workforce of over 2 million. This year’s survey is set against the backdrop of continuing economic difficulties, a change of government with the consequential change in the approach to workplace rights, and the impact of the Comprehensive Spending Review focused on austerity measures and cutbacks.