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Employment Law Journal: May 2017

An employee’s contract will usually specify the period of notice they are entitled to receive if they are dismissed, but when does the notice period start to run? Phil Allen looks at a recent Court of Appeal judgment

In Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust v Haywood [2017], the Court of Appeal has confirmed that a notice period will only begin once it has actually been communicated to the employee. This provides legal certainty (at least to employees), but it does mean that employers must ensure an employee has received the notice of dismissal otherwise the dismissal may be delayed. The employer cannot just assume the employee has received correspondence sent to them.

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

The Supreme Court has ruled that claimants do not need to prove why they have suffered group disadvantage for their indirect discrimination claim to succeed, write Joanna Chatterton and Ed Livingstone

On 5 April, the Supreme Court handed down judgment in Essop v Home Office (UK Border Agency) [2017]. This is an indirect discrimination claim which highlights the need for employers to monitor their employee selection and assessment processes and criteria for evidence that they may be (albeit unconsciously) putting certain groups at a disadvantage. Even if the reasons for the disadvantage are not clear or cannot be explained at all, employers should nevertheless take proactive steps to change their systems to eradicate that disadvantage.

Alex Beidas analyses the latest proposals for large businesses to be more transparent over executive pay and to improve boardroom diversity

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee published its report on corporate governance reform on 5 April. Overall, the report does not recommend a profound overhaul of the UK’s corporate governance regime but does identify areas for improvement, with more powers for the Financial Reporting Council (FRC).

The Court of Appeal has recently considered whether an employer should postpone dismissing an employee on long-term sick leave who suddenly claims they are fit to return. Lorna Scully reports

In O’Brien v Bolton St Catherine’s Academy [2017], the Court of Appeal gave some guidance on when it is reasonable to expect an employer to delay in dismissing an employee on long-term sickness absence. This article examines the judgment, which provides a useful reminder of the factors an employer should consider when deciding whether it is appropriate to dismiss.

Rebecca McGuirk and Anna Scott outline how to carry out a fair dismissal in light of recent case law

Employers dealing with misconduct should always tread with caution. In particular, it is essential they carry out any dismissal fairly in accordance with s98(4) of the Employment Rights Act 1996. This article looks at three recent cases involving misconduct dismissals, which considered various tricky issues such as:

Employers need to take care before they discipline someone for knowingly making a false disclosure, warns Christopher Tutton

Whistleblowing has been in the news recently after it was reported that financial regulators were investigating the boss of Barclays, Jes Staley, after he admitted trying to unmask the author of two anonymous letters sent to the bank’s board. In his defence, Mr Staley said the whistleblower was trying to ‘maliciously smear’ and harass a senior colleague but Barclays told the media it would be formally reprimanding Mr Staley and he would face a ‘very significant’ cut to his bonus.