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Employment Law Journal: November 2011

Half of employers believe that the abolition of a fixed retirement age will have a negative impact on their business, reports Paul Griffin

According to a research report by employment lawyers at Norton Rose LLP, scrapping the default retirement age (DRA) in the UK could lead to a reduction in opportunities for younger workers. More than one in five employers confirmed that they expect to have less capacity to take on younger members of staff. The findings come as a further blow to the nation’s younger workers following the current rise in youth unemployment.

The government’s proposal to extend the period of service required to bring an unfair dismissal claim could have a damaging effect on both employers and employees, warn Paul Callaghan and Christopher Cooper

On 3 October 2011, the chancellor, George Osborne, announced that the continuous-service qualifying period for unfair dismissal claims will double from one year to two years from April 2012. We are still awaiting the draft regulations, but the proposed reform has received a mixed reaction from business and could have a detrimental impact on both employers and employees.

Nicholas Greenacre and Euan Fergusson examine recent proposals to curb excessive rewards for senior executives.

On 19 September 2011, the Department for Business Innovation & Skills published a discussion paper on the governance of executive remuneration in quoted companies. The paper’s publication coincided with a keynote speech to the Liberal Democrat Conference by Vince Cable, the secretary of state for business, at which he unveiled proposals aimed at encouraging shareholder activism and creating a direct link between executive remuneration and company performance.

CMS

A Court of Appeal decision has reinforced the principle that employers should not be prevented from providing a negative reference for ex-employees as long as it is true, accurate and fair, explains Sarah Ozanne

The recent Court of Appeal case of Jackson v Liverpool City Council [2011] has provided some useful clarification, and quite possibly some comfort, to employers on the thorny issue of providing references for employees and ex-employees when there are outstanding performance or conduct issues. However, the legal issues surrounding the provision of references remain tricky. This article looks at the development in the law brought about by Jackson and places it in the context of the existing jurisprudence on this subject.

Morgan Lewis

Employers need to think through a decision to suspend an employee and avoid making a knee-jerk reaction, comment Christopher Hitchens and Rachel Ashwood

The practice of suspending an employee pending potential disciplinary action has risen to prominence recently following the high-profile suspensions of Carlos Tevez by Manchester City Football Club and Ali Dizaei by the Metropolitan Police Authority.

Sandra Wallace considers what public bodies need to do to comply with the delayed Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) Regulations 2011, which came into force in September

Public sector organisations have had to grapple with their obligations under the race, disability and gender equality duties since 2001, 2006 and 2007 respectively. The Equality Act 2010 replaced these separate and different duties with a new consolidated and extended single public sector equality duty, which applies to all of the protected characteristics covered by the Act: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. As with the former equality duties, the new duty consists of an overriding general duty underpinned by specific duties set out in regulations, which are intended to operate as a means to better performance of the general duty.

Employment tribunals are increasingly having to resolve discrimination claims brought against partnerships. Suzanne McKie and Laura Bell look at the key issues

It is fair to say that equity partners are becoming increasingly willing to pursue their rights under discrimination law. There have been several recent high-profile discrimination cases brought by equity partners asking tribunals to consider their treatment by firms over many years of their careers in equity. This article explores the issues that arise frequently in such claims.