January 2018 Newsletter – Manufacturing & Engineering sector

It’s January so Happy New Year and welcome to our first Newsletter of 2018! We hope you are all looking forward to the year ahead, particularly the HR/Employment law challenges?! We update you on a couple of the main challenges in our Newsletter, namely the arrival of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and the Gender Pay Gap (GPG) reporting requirements. We have new guidance from the Information Commissioner’s Office on the GDPR and an EHRC consultation on the GPG, plus guidance from the Government and Equalities Office. We also update you on the annual statutory rates increases.

In our case update this month we take a look at the High Court decision that Morrisons Supermarket was responsible (‘vicariously liable’) for the data protection breach of one of its employees. We also update you on the EAT’s decision that if a disclosure is found to be purely in an employee’s own self-interest, it cannot be a “protected disclosure” under the whistleblowing legislation.

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

We are still noting a substantial increase in Tribunal claims, particularly from our manufacturer clients. Apart from the volume it is the type of claims that we just haven’t seen for the past four years. Ex-employees are picking up on what they perceive as procedural flaws in their dismissals and this is sufficient to mean they are submitting Tribunal claims. Whilst we can, and do, robustly defend these cases, ultimately a claim of this nature can mean almost as much work for us and our client as a case involving more substantial allegations. The lesson is to take advice at an early stage in a process that may lead to a dismissal. It is much more cost effective to take advice at the outset and have us help with (for example) letters and disciplinary hearing scripts, rather than involving us in a damage limitation exercise after the event.

So, if you receive notice of a claim or feel that one might be in the offing due to an ongoing grievance or disciplinary then please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Simon Martin
Partner, Solicitor
or call 0117 325 0929