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July 2017 Newsletter – Education Sector

It’s July and if you’ve still got energy after all the Wimbledon watching and build up to the summer holiday season, then we’ve got more HR/employment news for you. We’ve got the latest on the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices and its recommendations for reform to non-traditional employment relationships (including in the ‘gig economy’) and also an update on data protection and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) most recent guidance.

Our case update this month focuses on whistleblowing and when a disclosure is protected due to its being in the ‘public interest’, when a lack of appeal hearing evidence is not fatal to defence of an unfair dismissal claim and the importance to employers to set out in the employment contract how an employee’s daily rate of pay is calculated.

What we’ve been doing in the Education sector recently…

A number of our clients have been asking us to assist them with questions about apprenticeships, particularly terminating an apprentice’s employment. This is for a number of reasons but a common one is that the apprentice’s attendance record at work or college is patchy at best.  A few managers have shared an observation with us that there is a time about 6 months into an apprenticeship when younger apprentices start to feel that the novelty of attending work and college has worn off and problems can set in.   The $64,000 question we ask is under what sort of contract is the apprentice engaged? Put simply if they are engaged under a modern, compliant, apprenticeship agreement then it can be a relatively easy matter to deal with.  However if they are engaged under the older style contract of apprenticeship then clients can find themselves facing a very large bill if they want to terminate the contract. One particularly nasty mine in this minefield is that if you don’t get the apprenticeship agreement quite right then there is a real risk that the arrangement will default to the contract of apprenticeship.  It is therefore definitely worth the time and effort to make sure the contract ticks all the right boxes and we can help with that. Watch out on our website for a helpful note on apprenticeships in the near future.

Simon Martin
Partner, Solicitor
email Simon or call 0117 325 0929



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