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Employment Law Journal: March 2012

Businesses are under increasing pressure to adopt international principles protecting workers’ rights, despite weaknesses in the law in individual countries, warns Keith Corkan

Increasingly, multinational companies are being reminded by their advisers, regulators, the media and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) about the importance of incorporating human rights policies into their domestic and international operations. This article will attempt to show how this is increasingly becoming a public issue for multinationals and their advisers, particularly in relation to international labour standards. In the US, in particular, the issue also has political and social ramifications.

Morgan Lewis

Matthew Howse and Celia Kendrick analyse Vince Cable’s proposals to rein in top employees’ pay packages

On 23 January 2012 – at the start of a week during which chief executives’ remuneration was barely off the front pages – Vince Cable, the business secretary, made a speech to the House of Commons setting out the government’s proposals on executive-pay reforms for listed companies.

Helena Davies examines the new ‘material influence’ formula applied by the Court of Appeal in a recent whistleblowing case

Protection for employees who ‘blow the whistle’ on their employer by reporting breaches of health and safety or other legal obligations is contained in the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA). It forms part of a group of protective measures covering detriment in employment, which also covers those exercising statutory rights such as the right to time off work and working time rights.

Recent rulings seem set to make it easier to carry out post-transfer harmonisation of employees’ terms, report Andrew Taggart and Francesca Lopez

Following a business transfer, the incoming employer (the transferee) will commonly want to vary the employment terms of its newly acquired employees to bring them into line with those of its existing workforce. However, reg 4(4) of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE) states that unless the outgoing employer (the transferor) is subject to insolvency proceedings, any purported variation of an employee’s contract will be void if the sole or principal reason for that variation is:

Dechert LLP

The claims by Andy Coulson and Glenn Mulcaire against the News of the World’s owners contain useful lessons for those negotiating, drafting and enforcing indemnities given by employers to their executives, explains Charles Wynn-Evans

Employees may seek indemnities from their employers in various situations. When an individual changes employers, particularly as part of a team move, the former employer may allege breach of fiduciary duty or restrictive covenants. The executive will wish to be covered for legal costs should litigation ensue, as well as for potentially significant additional liabilities for damages and adverse legal costs. An employee who is an additional respondent to discrimination proceedings brought against their employer may also seek an indemnity against any resulting compensation award, since liability for such awards is joint and several, and employment tribunals have no power to apportion liability between respondents ( London Borough of Hackney v Sivanandan & ors [2011]).


Melanie Lane and Dominic Holmes argue that it is more important than ever for employers to adopt a wide-ranging and flexible approach to reasonable adjustments

The Equality Act 2010 (the Act) has resulted in a radical overhaul of disability discrimination law. In particular, it has created two new strands of disability discrimination – indirect disability discrimination and discrimination ‘arising from disability’. These sit alongside the pre-existing concepts of direct disability discrimination and the duty to make reasonable adjustments (which survived the repeal of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA), albeit with some changes).

Businesses in Northern Ireland share the appetite for employment law reform that is evident in many companies across Britain, write Adam Brett and Paul Gillen

Readers of Employment Law Journal will be familiar with the government’s efforts to cut red tape and free up UK businesses from bureaucracy in order to secure growth.