August 2016 news

simon martinIt’s August and the holiday season, which combined with a successful GB Olympics and Parliament’s long summer break, hasn’t left much time for HR/Employment law developments. However, the summer slowdown hasn’t stopped developments altogether and we bring you the latest news on the apprenticeship levy, gender pay gap reporting and taxation of termination payments.

In our case update this month we focus on unfair dismissal and the education sector: firstly whether it is fair to dismiss a head teacher for non-disclosure of their relationship with a convicted possessor of indecent images of children and, secondly, whether the fairness of a university professor’s dismissal was compromised by the HR and in-house legal teams’ interference with the investigation report.  We finish with a case looking at the circumstances in which agency workers may claim whistleblowing protection against end users.

What Simon has been doing recently…

In keeping with the Olympic theme I have seen a reasonable amount of jumping the gun. In an Olympic event that sort of behaviour will normally get you disqualified and in the employment context it can be very expensive. I advised an employer who had drafted the outcome (dismissal) letter before the disciplinary hearing. The manager explained it was to save time(!) When the letter came to light we had to settle the inevitable unfair dismissal claim.

I also have just acted for an employee who found an email that talked about managing her out on capability grounds. It appeared to be a ruse to avoid paying her a redundancy payment, and no one had raised any issues about her performance with her.  Needless to say I assisted her to negotiate a package that was significantly more generous than the redundancy figure.

I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions about whether it’s worth jumping the gun…