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Employment Law Journal: November 2015

A recent ruling has raised questions about the need for specific protection from caste discrimination and the effectiveness of the Modern Slavery Act, reports Chris Milsom

Permila Tirkey is a remarkable individual. Her trajectory from a state of domestic servitude to interviews on national television is proof – insofar as required – that the employment tribunal system at its best can make a lasting and positive contribution to the lives of the litigants that appear before it. In this piece I offer some insights on her case and consider its wider implications.

Three recent decisions have pushed the boundaries of who can bring discrimination claims, write Tabitha Georghiou and Matthew Ramsey

Discrimination law has traditionally been seen as a means of protecting individuals who fall into a closed list of disadvantaged groups.

Will the government’s plans to simplify the tax treatment of termination payments really make the system easier to understand, asks Rachel Farr

On 24 July, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the Treasury launched a consultation paper, Simplification of the tax and National Insurance treatment of termination payments. The consultation closed on 16 October.

Following new guidance from Acas, Gurpreet Duhra and Gemma O’Boyle consider some of the legal traps posed by the recruitment process

The recruitment process presents several legal risks for employers which can lead to claims from unsuccessful candidates as well as employees who are ultimately hired.

Kate Kelleher sets out the government’s proposals on how to improve the rules that govern the taxation of personal services companies

The way the UK tax system operates means that people pay different amounts of tax depending on whether they work as an employee, are self employed or work through their own limited company, often referred to as a personal services company (PSC). The legislation for the taxation of intermediaries is referred to as IR35 after the press release issued following a statement by the chancellor in the 1999 budget. It was introduced in 2000 to tackle the avoidance of employment taxes by those who choose to work through intermediaries, primarily their own PSC. This type of arrangement is common in a number of sectors – particularly IT, entertainment, construction, transport, security, oil and gas and the public sector – and it is also used by those with a portfolio of appointments.

In light of recent case law, Michelle Tudor explains how to avoid some of the main pitfalls when disciplining employees

Few employers have the time or resources to train their managers on how to follow a disciplinary procedure. It is a common scenario in any business that a manager, with little or no experience in dealing with employee misconduct, finds themselves at the helm of a disciplinary process. They have never had to investigate facts, balance evidence or decide on culpability, so they understandably draw on the help and guidance provided by their HR advisers. The recent case of Ramphal v Department for Transport [2015], however, calls into question the role that HR can play during a disciplinary procedure.

Recent high-profile transport tragedies provide a reminder of the importance of pre-employment health questions and highlight the need to change current requirements, suggests Ross Hutchison

The tragic incident in Glasgow when a bin lorry ran out of control and into a building, killing six people in the process, rightly caught both the press and the public’s attention and has continued to do so throughout the subsequent Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) and ongoing disciplinary proceedings conducted by Glasgow City Council.