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Employment Law Journal: December 2011/January 2012
Lewis Silkin

The leaked Beecroft report may not go the right way about it but there is a case for far-reaching reform of the unfair dismissal regime, argues James Davies

Abolishing unfair dismissal law and replacing it with a fixed compensation payment equivalent to statutory redundancy pay was the most eye-catching and contentious of the recommendations in Adrian Beecroft’s recent report.

In light of a recent EAT decision, Lee Rogers looks at how organisations can successfully make changes to workers’ contracts of employment by dismissing and re-employing them

In these times of austerity employers are looking to reduce costs.

Morgan Lewis

Christopher Hitchins casts doubt on the government’s ability to limit damages for discrimination given the restraints of EU law

Against the backdrop of the ‘Red Tape Challenge’, which is the government’s efforts to reduce regulation, with a spotlight on employment law – and the Beecroft report – a report commissioned by the prime minister that looks into ways in which UK businesses can be more competitive – the government recently put out a press release stating that it was considering reforming the current legislation on compensation for discrimination.

Kate Hodgkiss considers how employers can reduce the risks posed by employees posting damaging or confidential material online

The use of social media has become an integral part of the way we live and increasingly affects the way we work, echoing the way in which the advent of email and the internet changed the workplace in the 1990s. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social networking sites link millions of people across the world every day and have become an important way for people to communicate. The nextfew years are likely to see a major growth in the use of social media in the workplace, whether as a method for organisations to communicate with a geographically diverse workforce, or to allow teams to collaborate and share ideas.

Michael McCartney and Rebecca Johns discuss the UK courts’ jurisdiction to hear claims brought by employees working abroad

The issue of which UK employment rights overseas workers enjoy, and whether they can be enforced in the UK, is increasingly complex. As businesses globalise, so employees are becoming global ‘commodities’. But does working outside the UK mean that workers are not protected by its labour laws? Are worker protected even if they have never been based in the UK? And if so, does this mean that employers have to extend all UK employment protections to these workers?

Employers need to take care if they alter the grounds for dismissing an employee part-way through the disciplinary process, warn Ann Robson and Imogen Bourke

When employers are considering dismissing an employee, it is generally clear what the alleged misconduct is and therefore what the potential reason for any dismissal would be. This reason should be made clear to the employee from the outset.

Magrath LLP

Nicholas Stott reviews the third edition of The Employment Tribunals Handbook: Practice, Procedure and Strategies for Success

This book, written by three barristers, is a whistle-stop tour of the ins and outs of practice and procedure in the employment tribunal. It combines both legal and procedural explanation of the tribunal system, with practical advice for those practising the litigious aspects of employment law.

Fixed-term employment can be a useful tool in an outsourcing situation but there are dangers when such contracts come up for renewal, writes Nicola Ihnatowicz

With employers in all sectors under pressure to achieve the maximum efficiencies and best value from their workforce, flexible employment practices are becoming increasingly popular. Fixed-term employment is hardly a new invention and is often used as a quick fix for employers whose funding streams are unpredictable, whether because of market conditions or, for example, dependence on a third-party regulator or funder. But are fixed-term contracts really that easy to use? In particular, what happens when employees on fixed-term contracts are subject to a transfer under TUPE (the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006)? Is it acceptable to employ staff on fixed-term contracts, or not to renew such contracts, because the employer knows there will be a transfer in the future? The political drivers for more services to be outsourced from the public sector has left contracting authorities and service providers grappling with these issues as they try and find ever more efficient ways to provide services with decreasing financial resources.