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Employment Law Journal: April 2013

Alex Beidas examines the potential impact of the EU’s planned limit on bonuses in the financial sector

The EU’s proposed bonus cap looks likely to become law in 2014. This article summarises the proposal and explores its likely ramifications, whether the UK government can do anything to contest it and how firms should prepare to deal with it.

As the Liberal Democrats have found, the reputational damage caused by failing to deal with allegations of inappropriate behaviour in the workplace can be immense, report Jeffrey Jupp and Patricia Leonard

As is evident from the allegations about Lord Rennard and accounts recorded by the Everyday Sexism Project, sexual harassment is not confined to the workplaces of the 1970s and 80s. It is also clear that it is not restricted to any one sector – recently tribunals have dealt with cases of sexual harassment by hairdressers, trade union representatives, senior managers, bankers and restaurant owners.

A recent ruling suggests that the courts will be reluctant to restrain employers from using their disciplinary procedures, Sarah Fitzpatrick explains

Employment lawyers get involved in the vast majority of cases after the contract of employment has terminated. However, recently we have seen an increase in the number of cases in which employees have sought injunctions to prevent their employers dismissing them.


Alicia Oddy looks at the Court of Appeal’s recent judgment on the lawfulness of schemes that put jobseekers on unpaid work placements

Aimed at helping jobseekers gain valuable skills and return to the workplace, Back to Work schemes have been in place for a number of years and are the government’s main method for assisting jobseekers. Over the years, the schemes have been subject to criticism, with opinions differing on how beneficial they really are. The most common complaint from individuals on the schemes is that they effectively constitute forced labour, as jobseekers are placed into a working environment to carry out placements for no wage, which many of them consider to be a breach of their human rights. In addition, if a jobseeker who has agreed to a placement then refuses to complete it, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has the power to issue sanctions and refuse to pay out benefits.

Birketts LLP

Kevin Palmer analyses the government’s proposals for shared parental leave and for an extension of the right to request to work flexibly

In the current economic climate the government appears conflicted in its approach to freeing employers from the strictures of a regulated workplace. Across its policy portfolio, the coalition has consistently demonstrated how its liberal instincts will often trump a conservative approach to the employment sphere. Nowhere is this more evident than in the upcoming Children and Families Bill, due to become law in 2014. As employers prepare for many more employees to have the right to request accommodations to their working schedules, business leaders will be asking what the administrative and financial costs of such measures will be and what, if any, procedures they can put in place to prevent a raft of tribunal claims.

In light of a recent ruling, Julian Yew and Jon Heuvel consider whether it is fair to dismiss an employee at the behest of a third party

Dismissals resulting from a demand by a third party can give rise to a wide range of issues. There are many different reasons why a third party may seek to enforce a right not to have one of the employer’s staff working on its premises or on its contract. The reasons given may justify a dismissal for ‘some other substantial reason’ (SOSR) under s98(1)(b) Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA) or the dismissal may be unlawful or discriminatory under ss41, 111 and 112 Equality Act 2010.

Christine O’Brien and Kim Sartin discuss proposed changes to the law protecting those who reveal misconduct or wrongdoing

With a multitude of scandals hitting the headlines in recent months, there has been renewed focus by both politicians and the media on our whistleblowing laws and the protection they provide to individuals who reveal wrongdoing.

Removal of employers’ liability for repeated harassment of employees by members of the public is misguided, warn Jonathan Exten-Wright and Suky Tour

The Plan for Growth accompanying the coalition government’s Budget statement in March 2011 revealed its intention to consult on removing what it termed: