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Employment Law Journal: February 2017

Liz Parkin outlines a recent EAT decision which offers clear guidance on the obligation to provide workers with a rest break

The Working Time Directive (WTD) requires that all EU workers should have ‘adequate rest periods’. In particular, Art 4 provides that:

Joanne Owers and Richard Fox comment on the government’s latest proposals to modernise the employment tribunal system

On 5 December 2016, a joint consultation on reforming the employment tribunal system was launched by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Ministry of Justice.

Calls have been growing for employees who suffer the loss of a child or other close relative to be entitled to paid time off, report Anna Byford and Marian Bloodworth

As the spate of celebrity deaths in 2016 showed, life is unpredictable and in some cases tragically short. Loved ones, friends and family members can be taken away from us through illness or an accident, sometimes very unexpectedly. At such times, it is natural for employees to look to their employers for understanding, support and some time away from work to make practical arrangements and to grieve. But does the law adequately look after them at this difficult time?

Adam Hartley rounds up recent case law and developments affecting employers and their advisers

Catrina Smith and Amanda Sanders examine proposals for companies to publish pay ratios showing what their senior executives earn compared to the rest of the workforce and for increased employee involvement in decision making

On 29 November 2016, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy published a Green Paper on corporate governance reform. It sets out a range of proposals for strengthening the UK’s corporate governance framework, since the ‘behaviour of a limited few has damaged the reputation of many’. It seeks views on three areas:

Alex Bearman considers the findings of a recent report on whether the legislation which protects religious freedoms is striking the right balance

The laws which seek to protect people from religious discrimination continue to ignite controversy about how far that protection should go. Should an employer with a religious ethos have the right to refuse to employ an individual on religious grounds? Should employees have the right to opt out of work duties which conflict with their religious views? Should an organisation have the right to refuse to carry advertising which promotes a religious message?

Mark Stevens reviews four EAT decisions on the requirements around medical evidence in disability cases and on what amounts to a disability

The autumn and winter of 2016 saw a flurry of disability discrimination decisions in the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) that are likely to have an impact on employment law in 2017 and beyond.