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Annie Hayes



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Hard(y) Law Talk: What’s brewing in 2006?


Dr Stephen Hardy, senior lecturer in Law at the University of Manchester and a Barrister specialising in employment and EU labour law looks at the raft of employment law that lies in waiting for the year ahead.

Now that we have all settled back into work after the excesses of the festive season, its time to think anew and reflect on the highlights of the past year.

Last year was supposed to be fairly quiet … well, Parliament may have been a little more silent due to the General Election. However, the courts kept HR practitioners busy. For example:

  • Olimaju – restating of the rules relating to constructive dismissal claims, bringing the established legal approach in line with the statutory grievance procedures (that is the inclusion that these should be used before resigning);
  • Dacas – noting that some employees are self-employed and vice versa (Mummery LJ’s words that “….employment relationships are now complex…”);
  • Astley v Celtec – the European Court of Justice clarifying when a TUPE transfer takes place, when the workers move?;
  • Webley – establishing that non-renewal of a fixed term contract does not amount to a detriment, but only a natural conclusion/expiry of the contractual relationship.

Yet, the new statutory procedures took real effect and the amended Disability Discriminaton Act, and as previously mentioned in this column, the revised definition of harassment at work. Of much amusement has been the introduction of purple, then aqua claim forms. What fun! These new prescribed forms, now bring Employment Tribunals into the electronic era. Yet perilously, fill in the form wrongly and your claim gets thrown out. Whether litigation levels dropped and why in 2005, will no doubt be revealed sometime this year.

So looking ahead, what joys lie in store for HR this year? The belated newly revised TUPE Regulations 2006 (don’t hold your breath … for health and safety reasons) in April and the Age Regulations in October. So, more fun that is more challenges await HR, good luck!

Other articles in this series:

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Annie Hayes


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