April 2013 news

flexible labour marketLike it or not, you won’t have missed the fact that April has been dominated by the media’s posthumous commentary on Margaret Thatcher. Similar to so many areas of British life, her legacy in HR/employment law lives on – in particular the shift in the focus from trade unions and industrial action to individual rights and to the ‘highly flexible’ labour market. Strikes are now largely a thing of the past and the British workforce is effectively privatised. Our April Newsletter contains some trends towards self-determination – the right to protection of the obese (see case update) and the trading of employment rights for shares – and also some further tweaks on the collective rights front, with guidance from ACAS on collective redundancies and consultation obligations. We also cover a couple of cases which help illustrate that an employer may be able to carry out a fair redundancy dismissal even if it also has concerns about an employee’s performance or conduct, as long as it can persuade the Tribunal that redundancy was genuinely the principal reason for dismissal.