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Employment Law Journal: April 2015

Tom Kerr-Williams looks at the main parties’ pledges on pay, industrial relations and other employment law issues

The general election is shaping up to be yet another close-run thing. The three main political parties are still finalising their manifestos, but a number of key policies have been published already as the leaders embark on their televised debates. This article summarises the key policies of interest to employment law practitioners and in-house counsel.

With immigration set to be a huge focus in this year’s general election, Sarah Lovell examines what the coalition government has done to try and tackle rising numbers of migrants and what the main parties propose to change after the election

Who can forget David Cameron’s pledge to reduce net migration from hundreds of thousands to tens of thousands, ‘no ifs, no buts’? That promise has spectacularly failed, with net migration increasing to 298,000 in the year to September 2014, which is 50,000 higher than when Mr Cameron came to power in 2010. With the rise of UKIP, as well as Labour promising tough action on immigration, this is likely to be a key issue in the forthcoming general election.

The EAT has recently considered whether an employee was protected from discrimination on the grounds of his socialist beliefs. Rebecca McGuirk analyses the case

With the general election rapidly approaching and the increasing popularity of the non-mainstream parties such as Ukip, the BNP and the Green Party, the issues surrounding employees’ political preferences have never been so pertinent. Individuals’ political beliefs may vary dramatically, so the question has been raised whether such beliefs are protected from workplace discrimination and harassment as a philosophical belief under the Equality Act 2010 (EqA). This was one of the issues the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) had to adjudicate on in the recent case of The GMB Union v Henderson [2015].

Dechert LLP

Charles Wynn-Evans rounds up recent case law on service provision changes and other thorny TUPE issues

Notwithstanding the reforms made in early 2014, the transfer of undertakings legislation continues to give rise to cases considering technical arguments about the law’s scope and requirements. Combined with the acute fact sensitivity of its application, this perhaps accounts for the legislation’s continued reputation for uncertainty and unpredictability. This article reports on some of the recent case law in this area.

Clare Sample and Francesca Hodgson give advice on how employers should respond to new drug driving legislation

New drug driving legislation came into force on 2 March 2015. The Drug Driving (Specified Limits) (England and Wales) Regulations 2014 introduce a new offence of driving, attempting to drive or being in charge of a motor vehicle on a road or other public place with amounts of certain controlled drugs above specified limits in the driver’s blood.

Will the government’s new occupational health assessment service really end Britain’s ‘sicknote culture’, ask Eleanor Porter and Charlie Bowden

In February 2011, David Cameron declared war on Britain’s ‘sicknote culture’. In a speech to launch the Welfare Reform Bill, he said he wanted to tackle the problem that:

Ed Bowyer and Jo Broadbent provide answers to some of the more difficult queries being raised about the new SPL system

Most employers and their advisers are now reasonably familiar with the main features of the shared parental leave (SPL) system available to parents of children due on or after 5 April 2015. However, there are a number of tricky issues arising from the Shared Parental Leave Regulations 2014 (and related legislation), of which practitioners need to be aware.