LawZONE Employment Law Newswire – Issue 9
10th May 2002
(In collaboration with Daniel Barnett, Barrister, 2 Gray’s Inn
Copyright LawZone and Daniel Barnett 2002
The Institute of Directors has issued a report claiming that new
employment legislation introduced over the last five years has
cost businesses 6 billion GBP. The new legislation includes the
Working Time Directive, minimum wage, parental leave, trade union
recognition and stakeholder pensions. The estimate also includes
the cost of time taken filling in forms.
And that assumes that everything runs smoothly. It’s mainly when
things begin to go wrong that the lawyers get involved and their
costs are on top of everything else the poor old employer has had
to put up with. Why are lawyer’s fees so high? The reason can be
found partly in the amount they have to spend on books and other
resources so that they can be up-to-date with all the new laws and
partly in the length of time they have to spend reading the
things. Learning the law is not a form of osmosis – the data and
information the lawyer needs does not flow from the books to the
brain through the ether without any physical effort. It takes
hours of hard work, at all times of the day and night, to acquire
the knowledge and it takes years of experience to use the
knowledge to its best advantage.
Which is why we are here. LawZONE helps the lawyer to acquire the
knowledge relatively easily. Learn from Daniel Barnett and you
are on the right track. In this issue he reports on recent cases
about Continuity of Employment, Agency Workers, TUPE, and the
Compensatory Award due when the minimum wage is not paid, amongst
other things. The sort of questions often asked in our Any
Answers section in fact, so you can put what you have learned into
practice. Go to http://www.lawzone.co.uk/anyanswers/index.html
to see them all.
Use the site to its best advantage – it is a source of knowledge
and a source of work. It is useful or it would not be so popular.
Send copies of the relevant stories to your friends so that they
can reap the benefits too.
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UK in breach of Working Time Directive
According to various press reports, the European Commission has
upheld a complaint against the UK government, holding that the
Working Time Regulations do not properly implement the EC Working
The Commission has issued infringement proceedings against the UK,
giving it two months to comply.
Continuity of Employment
CURR v MARKS & SPENCERS PLC – Employment Appeals Tribunal
An employee had a four year break in her employment, pursuant to
the Marks & Spencers’ Child Break scheme. There was no governing
contract of employment during those four years but the EAT held
that her continuity of employment remained unbroken during the
four year gap and she was entitled to a huge redundancy payment.
ESSO PETROLEUM v JARVIS – Employment Appeals Tribunal
Esso engaged a number of workers through an employment agency. The
employment tribunal decided that they were ’employees’ of Esso,
within the meaning of the ERA 1996. The EAT overturned this
holding that they were not capable of being ’employees’, since
there was no contract in existence.
RCO v UNISON – Court of Appeal
The Aintree Hospitals’ NHS Trust decided to transfer much of the
work from one hospital to a nearby hospital, three miles away.
The issue was whether there was a transfer of undertakings in
relation to the cleaning and catering support services.
The Court of Appeal confirmed that a transfer had taken place.
Interestingly, Mummery LJ’s judgment was supportive of the ECJ’s
decision in Suzen, indicating movement away from the ‘let’s all be
rude about Suzen’ attitude which has appeared in so many recent
Compensatory Award / Minimum Wage
PAGGETTI v COBB – Employment Appeals Tribunal
An employee’s compensatory award was calculated on the basis of
his actual wage, which was 1.88 GBP per hour. The EAT overturned
this, holding that a tribunal should never base it on less than
the minimum wage (then 3.60 GBP ph) because to do so would be to allow
the employer to benefit from his breach of that Act.
The following employment matters have been raised, amongst others,
since the April LawZONE Employment Law Newswire.
Have a look and show off your expertise if you know the answers:
Advice on redundancy waiver in contract
Company Stress Policy
Can we reduce an employees salary?
Jurisdiction – Breach of Contract
MILLER BROS. v JOHNSON – Employment Appeals Tribunal
An employment tribunal has no jurisdiction to hear breach of
contract claims where the breach occurred after termination of
employment, even if the contract (being a compromise agreement)
arose because of the termination of employment.
Strange But True!!!!
In Chile a woman called Pinky has complained because she was told
to use the name Andrea because Pinky was not serious enough. How
far did she get with her case? How far would she have got in the
Job Adverts for Prostitutes
A Dutch jobcentre is advertising for prostitutes for a brothel.
Good rates of pay and no experience needed.
If there are any issues you want covered in the LawZONE Employment
Law Newswire, contact me:
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About the LawZONE Newswire
The LawZONE Newswire is a free weekly newswire for lawyers and
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DANIEL BARNETT is a barrister specialising in employment law,
practising from 2 Gray`s Inn Square Chambers. He writes and
lectures extensively on employment law matters and is the author
of `Avoiding Unfair Dismissal Claims` (Wiley, 1999) and co author
of `Handbook on Employment Law` (Law Society Publishing). He has
been interviewed on employment law matters in the national press,
on radio and on television. He is on the editorial committee of
`ELA Briefing` (IDS) and `Employment Lawyer` (Sweet & Maxwell).
Please note that as a barrister, Daniel Barnett may only give
advice to a particular person on a specific matter if instructed
to do so by a solicitor, a member of a recognised professional
body approved by the Bar Council for the purpose of direct
professional access work, or a BarDIRECT client.
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