Contracts of Employment

When a company employs someone new, you have to make sure that you have everything covered, so they don’t find themselves on the wrong side of the law. Future disputes are a real pain. It’s best if you have a solid foundation for a happy employment. Consider the following, when you’re knocking up the contract which is applicable both for commercial / business law and employment law matters.

Compensation

Always consider any annual base salary increases – will the employee be receiving any? Sometimes, to incentivise entering a new role, companies will offer benefits to secure the job change. Is the employee entitled to any bonuses? If so, how regularly?

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rightotwork

http://www.onespace.org.uk/sites/default/files/rights.jpg

 

Freelance work is a beautiful business when played out correctly. If managed well it can give you freedom as and when required, generally handsome levels of pay and a level of financial control that you don’t get from a 9 to 5 job However, you also open yourself up to all kinds of pitfalls when freelancing incorrectly, so it is imperative to know what you can use to protect yourself should a contract turn sour.

 

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Lapdancer wasn’t an Employee

 

nadinequashieimages

In the run up to Christmas you may have overlooked the Court of Appeal’s Judgment in Stringfellow Restaurants Ltd v Nadine Quashie [2012] EWCA Civ 1735, which was handed down on the 21st December.  This is more popularly referred to as the case of the lapdancer suing Peter Stringfellow and is a case I’ve followed since the outset.

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Implied Restrictive Covenants?

 

If an employee doesn’t sign an employment contract containing restrictive covenants can he be held to them subsequently? The answer is yes, but it will depend on very particular circumstances. The general rule is that an employee must expressly consent to be bound by restrictive covenants for them to be effective. However, in the case of F W Farnsworth Foods Ltd (1) Northern Foods Ltd (2) v Lacy and Ors [2012] EWHC 2830 the First Defendant, Mr Paul Lacy was held to have impliedly consented to the imposition of restrictive covenants (such as a non-compete, non-dealing and non-solicitation clauses), despite the fact that he had never signed the new contract provided to him upon his promotion to a senior management grade in 2009. The Claimants had obtained an injunction against Mr Lacy and this hearing was held to decide whether it should continue pending a full trial of the dispute.

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Can a Partner be an Employee?

Time for Tiffin

A few weeks ago I wrote about whether a lapdancer could be held to be an employee (she couldn’t).  A similar question arose recently in the case of Tiffin v Lester Aldridge LLP at the EAT: can a Partner in a law firm be an Employee?  Nadine Quashie’s case was a Preliminary Hearing at first instance, i.e before the Employment Tribunal; Tiffin’s was an appeal against the refusal of the ET to hold that he was an employee.

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If you’re snowed in and can’t get to work, does your employer have to pay you?

Almost certainly not.  I did an interview for parentdish.co.uk on this very subject (click here).  Unless the employer is contractually obliged to pay (which would be unusual) if you can’t make it in to work because of the weather conditions, your employer doesn’t have to pay you.  The Lawyer today reported on one law firm taking a hard line on the issue.  As ever, much will depend on what the contract of employment says, but in my experience it is very unusual for contracts to say anything at all about this situation.

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What Makes a Good Employment Law Story?

Nadine Quashie

There’s no question about it: take a good looking woman, preferably without her clothes, have her dancing (naked, of course), throw in some large sums of money, add a celebrity and a good soundbite from a lawyer and, hey presto, you have a story to fill the paper.  In fact, you have this story.

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Yesterday Ian Barratt of Mind Strengths Ltd published his “Seven Top Stress Management Tips for Employees”.  Today I am publishing my “top tips” for employers hoping to avoid claims for stress at work from being commenced against them.   

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As promised last Monday, I am delighted today to welcome my first guest blogger, Ian Barratt (pictured, right) of Mind Strengths Ltd, to present his Seven Top Stress Management Tips on this third Monday of January, the allegedly most miserable day of the year. Ian is a qualified stress management consultant speaker and author.  His book “The Phoenix Strategy”, co-authored with Amanda Robinson was published last October.  Mind Strengths Ltd is a consultancy company offering workplace strress management , wellbeing and support services.  Tomorrow I will look at how employers can minimise the risk of being sued for stress at work by employees. 

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Employee, worker or neither?

Well, would you believe it?  In the week that I gave a talk at the City Business Library about contracts of employment (see here for my slideshare presentation) and the differences between employees, workers and the self-employed, I came across a case in the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) which discussed all these issues.  It is an important issue because the answer to the question will determine what legal remedies are available to the individual.

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