Disciplinary investigations 
 
A recent case has demonstrated that the investigating officer conducting an alleged disciplinary offence should only take guidance on procedure and the Employment Law from an HR supporter and that his/her recommendations should be their own and not be influenced by the views of the HR person. 
 
Sickness cases 
 
Recent dismissal cases based upon ill health dismissals have confirmed that Occupational health assessments should be undertaken. 
Accessing Company employee’s computer records 
 
This case demonstrated that an employer had the right to access an employee’s in house computer records provided that it was clearly stated in the Company Policies and also that it’s subsequent investigation into the employee’s records on the Computer were only restricted to checking use which was out with the Company Policy. 
 
Holiday Pay calculations 
 
In the British Gas versus Lock case Mr Lock contended that his holiday pay should take account of the fact that if he had been at work he would have been earning commission and that therefore his holiday pay should have been based upon this concept. 
At various Tribunal levels and ultimately the Court of Appeal this concept was accepted. This suggests that where an employee’s pay is based upon a combination of basic pay and commission earnings that the employer must take such commission earnings into account when calculating holiday pay. For more information on how to do this please contact us. 
 
Overtime pay considerations 
 
It is now clear that voluntary overtime which is worked on a regular basis should be taken into account when calculating average pay for holiday pay purposes. For more information contact us. 
 
Holiday pay and sick leave 
 
A recent case suggests that if an employee has been off sick for a protracted period they should be allowed to take holidays upon their return to work. 
Please contact us for more details on how this should be applied. 
 
Sickness periods and return to work adjustments. 
 
Another recent case highlights the need to effectively manage sickness absence cases particularly in respect of disability, number of absences and exceeding trigger points. This case also highlighted the need to continue to have ongoing and updated medical assessments prior to any decision to dismiss or to ask the individual to return to work with adjustments to work patterns and duties. Please contact us when you have these cases as they need to be handled carefully with advice. 
 
Recruitment 
 
A recent case demonstrates once again that great care must be taken with the content of Job descriptions used in conjunction with advertising job vacancies and furthermore care should be taken sifting applications to decide who to interview. Please contact us for further information. 
 
Employers liability for the actions of its employees 
 
This case was about a petrol station forecourt attendant who punched a customer and used foul language. His name was Mr Khan and the organisation in question was Morrison’s. The case is a reminder to employers that employee’s attitudes towards other employees and customers could be the responsibility of the employer. 
Please contact us if you wish us to look at your behaviour and misconduct Policies. 
 
Status of employees, workers and self employeds 
 
There is a continuing series of cases, including six major ones recently, about whether a person is an employee, is self-employed or is a worker. Notable amongst these cases is Uber, deliveroo, Citysprint UK bike couriers, Pimlico Plumbers etc. The Government is so concerned about this so called “gig” economy that it has established the Taylor review. This review team has just finished taking evidence and no doubt we will soon learn the Government’s decision as we did recently with Zero Hours Contracts where the regulations were changed. 
 
Those employers who say we don’t employ people because of employment costs and the hassle that goes with employing individuals and state that they only use the ones that they call sub contractors, freelancers or self employeds should now look carefully at the real relationship they have with such providers of goods or services. 
 
Uber for instance have tried to suggest that there is a category of people that they use who they assert are called “individual suppliers”. However this term has no basis in Employment, Law.. 
 
The three legally constituted terms in use in this country are Employees, self employeds and workers. 
 
We can offer advice in this respect, particularly on agreements for service as distinct from contracts of employment – which we also do as well! 
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