Worker Insecurity at 20 Year High

That was a rather depressing headline in the Financial Times over the weekend. According to the 2012 Skills and Employment Survey “Britain’s employees are feeling more insecure and under pressure at work than any time in the past 20 years”.  Public sector workers are also more worried than those in the private sector about losing their jobs and status.

The reason for this is is a combination of recession and low growth, as well as “work intensification” i.e. working harder and with less autonomy over how to do the work. However, for some the restrictions on individual employment rights was an issue,

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More Reform Ahead?

The Queen’s Speech is to be given any minute now and most employment lawyers will probably be watching the speech with a mixture of interest and trepidation.

The Institute of Directors (IOD) weighed in saying that today was the last chance for the Government to save the economy by “unleashing business”.  A survey of IOD members showed that 65% of them thought the economic conditions were having a negative effect on their business and 45% blamed too much regulation. The press release said;

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April 2013 employment law changes explained

Guest Post by Linder Myers

The government has made a number of employment law changes in April 2013 that employers need to know about.

Through having a clear understanding of the alterations and amendments usually made in April and October every year, employers can make sure that their policies and procedures reflect any changes, which can serve to protect them from falling into pitfalls that could result in Employment Tribunal claims being brought against their business.

Redundancy procedure

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How to Resign

Chris Holmes' resignation cake.

Employment lawyers can get very excited about clients resigning from employment.  How much notice has to be given or why the person is resigning are often key questions; legal claims may be envisaged as a consequence of resigning. For instance, when an employment relationship has gone seriously pear shaped, careful consideration may be given to resigning immediately and claiming constructive dismissal.  In most cases then the discussion is about timing, or the reason for leaving.

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Redundancy for New Mothers on the Rise?

Guest Post


A new survey carried out by research company OnePoll suggests that pregnant women and new mothers could be being discriminated against by employers looking to lay off staff.

One thousand women were questioned as part of the research, and their answers reveal a problem that appears to be escalating. Pre-recession, it was estimated that 30,000 women per year were losing their job unfairly as a direct result of their pregnancy. It is thought that this figure is likely to be much higher now.

The responses revealed that:

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Proposed Changes to Employment Tribunals

Guest Post

March 14 saw the announcement of the introduction of new rules regarding employment tribunals, with the government attempting to streamline the process.

Employment Relations Minister Jo Swinson made the announcement, bringing to an end a long running review which began in November 2011. Employment tribunals had previously been a lengthy process, surrounded by a great deal of complicated legislation. The changes announced by Swinson are designed to make the process easier for both employees and employers alike, helping to ensure a swifter resolution to any workplace issues. The proposals are expected to come into place during the summer of 2013.

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C’Mon Everybody … Do the Harlem Shake


What do an Oxford Librarian, a school teacher and a group of miners in Western Australia have in common?

Answer: they’ve all been sacked for performing the Harlem Shake at work.

The Harlem Shake, m’lud, is the latest You Tube craze in which groups of people dance in a wild, unco-ordinated fashion, in fancy dress,  to a piece of music by a fellow called Baauer. It’s not to be confused with the song “Harlem Shuffle” by the Rolling Stones, a band with whom you might be familiar m’lud.  Yes, you may have seen it at the English National Ballet, m’lud.

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Something for the Weekend 2

pink socks

It’s been a colourful week for ukemplaw. A tale of  Apprentices, sharks and headmasters being sacked for wearing Hawaiian shirts and pink socks. There’s also a good deal of symmetry, with both cases below involving husband and wife teams dismissed for alleged misconduct, and both couples coming from Wales.

On more serious matters, gagging clauses in NHS compromise agreements have been abolished and the new, lighter, thinner, smarter etc Tribunal rules due to come into force next month, have now been been delayed until the summer, rather than the week after next.

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The Apprentice Gets the Wrong Headlines


This week is National Apprenticeship Week, which in an unhappy coincidence of timing follows on directly from “Ex-Apprentice’s Week” last week.  Last Tuesday The Guardian and others reported on “The Apprentice” Series 6 winner Stella English’s Employment Tribunal appointment with Lord Sugar. She complained that she had been treated as an “overpaid lackey”, her job was a sham and there was nothing for her to do. She claims to have only met the great man five times during her tenure, firstly with Viglen and then You-view, both Sugar group companies.  Her contract was not renewed and she brought proceedings for constructive unfair dismissal. For some acerbic comments by Darren Newman on English’s case read here.

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