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29 April 2014 0 Comments Posted in Employment, Opinion

Drafting error does not prevent enforceability of non-compete restriction

Posted by , Partner

In Prophet Plc v Huggett, the High Court has granted an injunction to an employer to enforce a 12 month non-competition restriction which, if read literally, offered the employer no protection at all. The restriction only operated to prevent the employee from joining a competing business in circumstances where it would be engaged or employed in connection with any products (of the employer) in which he was involved during his employment. The clause was of no use at all, because no company would ever be involved in selling a competitor’s products! However the Court was content to treat this as a drafting error and read the clause in the way in which it was reasonable to consider it should have been drafted by its use of language. The Court decided to read into the covenant a meaning which would produce a commercially sensible result and went on to uphold the reworded covenant on the basis that there was a legitimate interest to protect and that the non-solicitation and non-dealing covenants would not provide sufficient protection on their own. Given that the employee concerned was a sales manager engaged in selling the employer’s product, it was not unreasonable to prevent him from being involved in competitor products from a 12 month period.

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Associated Employers for equal pay purposes

Posted by , Partner

In Glasgow City Council and others v Unison Claimants and another, the Court of Session in Scotland has upheld an EAT decision that a LLP is a company under the definition of “associated employer” for the purposes of domestic equal pay legislation.

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Driving in snow can be qualifying disclosure

Posted by , Partner

In Norbrook Laborotaries (GB) Limited v Sure, the EAT has upheld a Tribunal decision that individual communications could together amount to a qualifying disclosure for the purposes of whistle blowing protection, even if individually they would not do so. Additionally the employee drawing the employer’s attention to a dangerous state of affairs was also capable of constituting a disclosure of information.

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British sailor lacked jurisdiction to bring Tribunal claims

Posted by , Partner

In Hasan v Shell International Shipping Services (PTE) Limited and others the EAT has upheld a Tribunal decision that it did not have jurisdiction to hear claims of discrimination, unfair dismissal and breach of contract brought by a British National who worked abroad.

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Is the term “gollywog” racist?

Posted by , Partner

This was a question which was posed to the Court of Appeal in Lindsay v London School of Economics and Political Science the decision for which gained a lot of publicity in the press on the basis that the press understood the Court of Appeal to have ruled that the term amounted to harassment as it is “obviously racist and offensive”.

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Team Moves

Posted by , Partner

The High Court case of Thomson Ecology Limited v APEM Limited and Others has held that an employee found to be orchestrating a team move whilst still employed may well in breach of contract. In this case, the Operations Manager was accused of acting as a recruiting operator for the First Defendant whilst still in employment. The employer applied for summary judgement on the grounds that the employee was in breach of the implied contractual duty of good faith and fidelity, in attempting to orchestrate a team move and recruiting individuals whilst remaining employed.

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25 April 2014 0 Comments Posted in Employment, Opinion

Changes to flexible working requests coming in June 2014

Posted by , Partner

Changes to various flexible working arrangements are due to come into force in June this year.

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9 April 2014 0 Comments Posted in Employment, News, Opinion

Employers warned of contractual considerations of auto enrolment

Posted by , Partner

A senior employment lawyer has warned firms about the legal implications of auto enrolment on employment contracts.

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3 April 2014 0 Comments Posted in Employment, Opinion

Vicarious liability – employer not responsible

Posted by , Partner

In a decision which differs from another reported case in this Update on vicarious liability, Mohamud v WM Morrison Supermarket Limited, the Court of Appeal has held that the employer was not vicariously liable for the assault on a customer by one of its employees. The facts were that the Claimant, (of Somali origin) visited the Respondent’s supermarket and petrol station and asked the employee behind the counter if it was possible to print off some documents on a USB stick. The employee responded in an abusive and racist fashion, upon which the customer left but was followed by the employee who subjected the customer to a serious attack involving punches and kicks.

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Judicial review of fees fails

Posted by , Partner

In R (on the application of Unison) v Lord Chancellor, the High Court has rejected the judicial review challenge brought by Unison to the introduction of Employment Tribunal and EAT fees. The Court was not convinced by the evidence to date and preferred a “wait and see” approach. It did not rule out Unison applying for a further review in future, given the Lord Chancellor’s public statement that the existing claim was premature. Unison is likely to appeal.

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Collective redundancy consultation applies to US military base in UK

Posted by , Partner

The case of United States of America v Nolan (No. 2) has been making its way through the Courts and has finally got to the Court of Appeal.

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Recovery of Tribunal fees

Posted by , Partner

In Portnykh v Nomura International, the EAT has ordered the Respondent to pay all the successful Appellant’s fees for bringing the appeal.

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