August 2018 Newsletter – Manufacturing & Engineering sector

It’s August and the holiday season, which combined with Parliament’s long summer break, hasn’t left much time for HR/Employment law. However, the summer slowdown hasn’t stopped developments altogether and we bring you the latest news on the Government’s decision to ‘caste’ out this form of discrimination  from legislation and guidance on post-Brexit status for EU workers.

In our case update we bring news on liability for the acts of third parties, the effect of a successful appeal against dismissal and confirmation that when an employee is dismissed without notice for genuine gross misconduct, the termination date is not extended by the statutory notice period.

What we’ve been doing in the Manufacturing & Engineering sector recently…

We have been advising on a few disciplinary hearings recently and several times the question has come up about the limits of the role of the HR person in the hearing. We are all aware of the recent(ish) case where the paper trail between the HR manager and the hearing manager showed that the HR manager had persuaded the hearing manager to dismiss where the hearing manager did not think the offence merited that. Because of the HR manager’s intervention the dismissal was deemed unfair by the Tribunal. The case is a useful reminder that a) communications between a HR manager and hearing manager are not legally privileged so you need to be prepared to see your written communications read out in Tribunal and b) the importance of the separation of roles. The decision should be solely the hearing manager’s. The HR manager can assist with questions of procedure and can usefully point out things like how the company has dealt with similar instances in the past to try to ensure consistency. They can also act as a sounding board for the manager and play a spot of devil’s advocate but ultimately the hearing manager needs to make and “own” the decision.

Simon Martin
Partner
or call 0117 325 0929