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Employment

Matthew Taylor’s long-awaited independent review of modern employment practices was launched yesterday.

It has now been over a year since the UK voted to leave the European Union, but it has taken until this week for there to be any clarity on what the UK government proposes with regard to the over 3 million EU citizens who currently live and work in the UK.  The government has been accused of using these EU nationals as “bargaining chips” in the Brexit negotiations, and although there is now a little more detail, there has been criticism that the proposals do not go far enough.

Section 15 of The Equality Act 2010, provides that it will be unlawful discrimination for a disabled person to be treated unfavourably because of something arising in consequence of their disability unless it can be proven that the treatment is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.  The question of how to approach the fundamental issue of causation inherent in the statutory test is one that can throw up fairly complex and profound issues that even experts in metaphysics might struggle with.

A row has broken out between construction firm Mears Group and trade union Unite over a ban on beards. The beard ban will be hugely controversial amongst many a man. The facial hair resurgence in recent years has been insuppressible; from designer stubble to the full on hipster mountain-man beard, a fuzzy face has become a common look. Of course everyone can agree that beards are a good look (I’m completely impartial, can you tell?)…

The recent case of The Government Legal Service v Brookes [2017] UKEAT/0302/16 is a useful reminder of the issues that employers should consider when faced with job applicants who are disabled and who are requesting that adjustments are made to the application process to mitigate the disadvantage caused by their disability or arguing that the process is discriminatory.

With the general election just over two weeks away, we take a look at the potential impact on employment law.

An increasing awareness of data protection rights among employees means employers should carefully consider how they handle information requests from staff, with a wrong move potentially resulting in significant financial and reputational costs for the employer as well as significant diversion of time and resource.

The issue of whether a worker is to be regarded as carrying out “time work” and therefore entitled to the National Minimum wage  (“NMW”) for the full duration of their shift (even if they may be sleeping during this time) requires multiple factors to  be  taken into account.   If the worker is not carrying out such “time work” and is merely to be regarded as “available and required to be available … for the purposes of working”, then they will only be entitled to the NMW in relation to time when they are awake for the purpose of carrying out relevant duties.

Chambers UK 2018

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