September 2018 Newsletter – Manufacturing & Engineering sector

It’s September and if you need some help to get you back into work hopefully we can help with our HR/Employment law update. It’s a return to the old routine for the Government too and we look at changes to HMRC penalties for NMW breaches in TUPE transfer situations and new parental bereavement leave rights. ACAS has also provided us with new guidance on job references and the CBI on health and wellbeing in the workplace.

In our case update this month we look at the effect of a break in service  provision on application of TUPE, when a failure to postpone a disciplinary hearing can lead to an unfair dismissal, and whether an employee, for purposes of a victimisation claim, needs to act dishonestly for an allegation to be made in bad faith.

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

We have advised several of our manufacturer clients about problems with apprentices, the most common one being the apprentice “going off the boil” after a few months and/or failing to turn up to college on the relevant days. What we are finding however is that several clients are still engaging their apprentices on old fashioned apprentice contracts. Put simply it is very difficult and very expensive to terminate them, essentially you are obliged to employ the apprentice for the duration of the fixed term unless there are exceptional circumstances, this can result in some eye watering Tribunal awards. For the last few years there has been a different sort of contract known as the apprenticeship agreement that you can use. Provided that your contract complies with all of the statutory requirements then if you do have someone who goes off the boil or stops going to college for example then it is far less risky and expensive to terminate the agreement. For further details please contact us.

Simon Martin
Partner
or call 0117 325 0929