It’s February and although we can’t promise to rekindle the love of Valentine’s Day, we can reassure you that law is all around us this month. We get up close to employment status with a focus on its complexities in both our News and Cases sections. We also take a moment to explore the outcome of the Government’s review of Tribunal fees and its guidance and new legislation in relation to intermediaries (IR35) and the public sector.
Our case update this month focuses on employment status in the gig economy and the well publicised Court of Appeal decision in respect of a supposedly self-employed plumber. Finally, we update you on a helpful religious discrimination case where refusal of a five-week holiday to attend religious festivals was non-discriminatory, even without the need for the employer to justify its decision.
What Anne-Marie has been doing recently…
I’ve been up to a real variety of things over the last month.
Firstly, I advised a company on a disability discrimination claim. For the first time in about 15 years, I advised on taking the point that the Claimant was not, in fact, disabled. It didn’t feel comfortable doing this. The Claimant is young and claimed to be suffering from anxiety, panic attacks and more latterly depression. In my experience, it is often an easy call to make if someone is disabled – usually there is some powerful medical evidence or an impact statement from the Claimant. In this case, there just didn’t seem to be enough evidence and I reminded myself that it is for the Claimant to prove they are disabled for the purposes of the claim, not for the employer to disprove it. The Tribunal resoundingly found in our favour and as a result the entire case was struck out – I should add that this was down to ‘our’ Joanne Sefton’s wonderful advocacy – all part of the Menzies Law one stop shop.
Secondly I have been giving lots of advice to our lovely College clients. This has ranged from advice on handling disciplinary proceedings when the employee refuses to attend, redundancy selection pools and the voluntary redundancy process, introducing a new sickness absence policy, governance issues and equal pay.
Also, I have been tasked with putting together our Legal 500/Chambers submissions (lucky me!). These publications provide rankings for the legal industry. We like these publications as they are impartial and highly regarded – whether or not we get a ranking is solely dependent upon their research and feedback that they obtain from our clients and referrers. We have asked some of you to be our referees – and thank you to you all for so generously agreeing to do this. We really appreciate it.
Employment Law Focus: Protect and Defend
This seminar, on 30th March, analyses the most important current risks to your business, particularly in the areas around security of information, competition and reputation. We’ll help you to assess your vulnerabilities and prioritise action to protect your most vital assets, and bring it to life with quizzes, case studies and workshop exercises.
- Government reforms (1): Review – Tribunal fees
- Government reforms (2): Intermediaries (IR35) and the Public Sector
- Government reforms (3): Employment status – reviews
- Case update (1): Employment status: 1. Gig economy – Cycle courier
- Case update (1): Employment status: 2. “Self-employed” plumber
- Case update (2): Religious discrimination – Refusal of holiday