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Changes are afoot

18 January 2013

Yesterday the government made a number of important announcements relating to its ongoing employment law reforms. The key points are:

  1. There will be a cap on the compensatory award for unfair dismissal of 12 months’ pay. The statutory cap (currently £72,300) will still apply if 12 months’ pay is greater than the cap.
  2. A consultation on extensive amendments to TUPE including the removal of Service Provision Change provisions.
  3. ACAS will publish a draft statutory code of practice on how settlement agreements will operate including template letters.

Employers, in particular those involved in contractor changes and businesses disposals, are likely to welcome these reforms. The changes to compensation are intended to provide more certainty as to the ultimate value of a claim. So far as TUPE is concerned, no one doubts that employees should be protected when there is a disposal of a business, but for a long time the service provision change provisions have been criticised because they go beyond EU minimum requirements.

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Evidence of guilt not always required for fair dismissal

This case offers particularly helpful guidance for employers when being faced with employees who are suspected of criminal wrongdoing, albeit care should always be given to ensure allegations are clearly defined and considered on their own merits.

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Handing back an empty shell of a building did not prevent a tenant from exercising a break clause

Break rights have proved a fertile source of litigation over the last few years. More often than not, tenants have found themselves on the wrong end of the decisions. However, a Court of Appeal decision yesterday has bucked that trend.

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Flexible working, childcare and indirect sex discrimination – important reminder

The courts have long recognised that, on a societal level, women bear a greater burden of childcare responsibilities than men which can make it more difficult for women to comply with employer requirements for flexible working (known as the ‘childcare disparity’).

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School not liable for reckless actions of a student

The decision reinforces that the standard of the duty of care owed by schools is one or reasonableness.

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