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Hello!
Welcome to the first update
of the new year!
Welcome back and Happy New Year to you all.

Whilst we are all trying to keep to our resolutions and look forward, we are still seeing cases related to COVID 19 in terms of disability considerations and in the case below of Rodgers.

Whilst we have emphasised before that these cases are fact specific, it is reassuring to see the Tribunals and courts are taking a pragmatic approach and recognising where organisations are acting reasonably.

In terms of new and exciting resources for you, we have received a lot of Mediation requests recently, so don't miss our guide below, as well as new dates released for our Mock Employment Tribunal and Mock Investigation Workshops.

So with such a positive start to the year, we hope you find this month’s InView as useful as always.

Best wishes,

Stephen
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New Case Law
COVID-19 
This is the first Covid-related claim of this nature that has reached the Court of Appeal. Read the case of Rodgers v Leeds Laser Cutting below.



Unfair Dismissal - Redundancy
The case of Teixeira v Zaika Restaurants has reached the EAT where they have been considering the Polkey principle. Read the full analysis below.



Disability Discrimination
Employers are obliged to make reasonable adjustments to remove or reduce any substantial disadvantage that disabled employees experience because of workplace arrangements. In this case the EAT has confirmed the limits of that requirement.

Holiday Entitlement: A Harpur Trust v Brazel Update
The Government has announced this month, that they will be conducting a consultation on holiday entitlement for part year and irregular workers/employees.

Scheduled to end on the 9th March 2023, we've got the latest on the changes.

Employment Status
The EAT has given judgment in an employment status claim which confirms that the ‘label’ that parties place on a working relationship is only one piece of the puzzle.

Read the case of Richards v Waterfield Homes and Unity Build and Repairs below.

Compensation -
Unfair Dismissal
The case of Hilco Capital v Harrington serves as a reminder to both employers and employees that employees are required to look for alternative work if they have been unfairly dismissed.

We've got the latest below.

Discrimination arising from Disability
The EAT has recently upheld a tribunal’s findings that an employee’s dismissal was justified in a case where disability potentially impacted the behaviour for which she was dismissed.



Discrimination
Is it harassment to text a colleague in the wee small hours?

Not according to Mainali v New Godalming Sushi Limited.


This is a dramatic one...



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In the News
Managing the Legalities
of Maternity Leave
"The Maternity policy must have been drawn up by a man" was the phrase used to criticise The FA recently by female football star, Emma Mukandi.

Navigating the legislative provisions around Pregnancy and Maternity can be daunting. Here are four simple steps employers can take that will help avoid the pitfalls & create an inclusive workplace.

DWP - Rate Increases
The DWP  has published its annual increases for various employment related pay rates which will take effect in April 2023.

Statutory maternity, paternity, shared parental and parental bereavement pay will increase from £156.66 to £172.48. Statutory sick pay will go up from £99.35 to £109.40.

National minimum wage levels will also increase in April 2023:
  • Age 23 and over: £10.42 (from £9.50)
  • Age 21 and 22: £10.18 (from £9.18)
  • Age 18-20: £7.49 (from £6.83)
  • Age 16 and 17 : £5.28 (from £4.81)
  • Apprentice rate: £5.28 (from £4.81)

Employers must ensure that they revisit employees’ pay to ensure that they meet the new rates at the right time. 

Exclusivity Clauses
Exclusivity clauses are terms which prevent an employee from taking up work elsewhere or require an employee to ask permission before working for another business.

These clauses have been unenforceable in zero hours contracts since 2015. From December 2022, they are also banned in contracts for low paid workers. ‘Low paid’ here means workers and employees whose net average weekly wage does not exceed the lower earnings limit, which is currently £123 per week.

If an employer dismisses an employee for breaching an exclusivity clause, the dismissal will be automatically unfair. There is no requirement for 2 years’ continuous service to bring that claim. An employee can also bring a detriment claim if they are treated badly because they breached an exclusivity clause. Employment tribunals can award an amount equivalent to unfair dismissal compensation in such detriment claims.

Employers must now ensure that they do not use exclusivity clause in zero hours or low paid contracts.


Fertility Guidance for Employers
Did you know that at least 16% of the workforce are impacted by fertility issues? How can you support your employees going through fertility challenges? We've written a new guide.


Menopause
Last month we covered the ongoing discussion regarding how menopause should be treated within the workplace. There had been calls for menopause to be included as a protected characteristic for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010, and to create a specific right to time off for menopause related reasons.

In response, the Government has rejected both these measures. Here's the latest...

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Events & Resources
Mock Tribunals are back
for 2023! Secure your place now.
Back by popular demand!

We have 2 remaining dates in the diary and a new claim of discrimination. With your help, the Judge will make a decision based on the evidence – has there been direct discrimination and/or a constructive dismissal based on Jude’s transitioning?

Secure your space now!

An exclusive guide to Mediation in the workplace
Mediation is a confidential process whereby a neutral third party intervenes in a workplace conflict or dispute, in order to assist the parties in reaching a satisfactory outcome.

In this guidance note we cover:
- What is mediation
- Why is it a good idea?
- Costs to your organisation
- Why it works
- The benefits to your organisation

You'll need to log in to download this one!

NEW DATES RELEASED: Mock Investigations 2023
Do the words ‘we’ll need you to do an investigation’ fill your managers with dread?

Are investigations in your organisation time consuming, unstructured and stressful?

This Mock Investigation workshop delves into a true-to-life case study that we know you’ll relate to. We’ll be putting our tried and tested techniques for planning and conducting an investigation through their paces together, live during the session. Book your free place now!

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