Greetings & Happy New Year!
There is something about beginnings. A new year is a real identifiable new beginning when we can choose to do things differently. If in 2014 you want to worry less about HR and focus more on running your business, then get in touch and we'll talk through options for you. Meantime, first off the blocks for 2014 we bring you a good case where an employer rejected an employee's chosen companion where the statutory right to be accompanied applied. Right or wrong? Find out below. Next is the case of an unfair dismissal claim, made on the grounds of a small error, it started with an incorrect date - win or loose? You may be surprised! And next to the National Minimum Wage and a huge hike in penalties for employers not paying it. And finally, given our first two items are about picking the detail, we believe our Thought for the Day and our Top Tip are quite fitting?
Can a company object to a chosen companion, where there is a statutory right to have one?
There is the statutory legal right to be accompanied in certain meetings, including disciplinary. But, can a company object to the employee's chosen companion? In this case, the company rejected the chosen companion more than once (at hearing and again at appeal). Did they fundamentally breach the employee's statutory rights - or not? This one's interesting, and links back to other cases against the same company (sounds like they had a time of it) - read our summary here ...
If your notification of dismissal letter has an small error, you could face unfair dismissal claims
This case reinforces how easy it is to make a small mistake that can cost dearly. In this case, this large organisation made a small error and after three court cases, the EAT confirmed on the grounds of the error and resulting actions, the employee was unfairly dismissed. This is a matter of who had authority to do what, and which date exactly the notification of dismissal (in the eyes of the law) was given. Food for thought - easy mistake to make, it easily happen to a company without HR expertise. Read about it here...
Huge increase in penalties for non-payment of National Minimum Wage
In a government crackdown, penalties for employers not paying the correct National Minimum Wage (NMW) to workers goes up from £5,000 to £20,000. Remember, it's not just whether the government or HMRC find out, it's about whether or not a worker files a claim. Read about it here, and don't forgot, there is the horror of a possible Equal Pay claim made under the Equality Act - this can relate not only to pay, but also to overtime, bonuses, performance related pay, benefits .... we could go on! Not sure about the rates, find the current rates here and here.
Thought for the day
“Never trust to general impressions, my boy, but concentrate yourself upon details.”
Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes