Employment Law Monday Update – 17 November

Employment Law Monday Update – 17 November

Anyone who works in HR will know how quickly changes come about in Employment Law, and how hard it is to keep up with them all. With that in mind, the Michelmores Employment Team has created a weekly newsletter that encapsulates the most significant Employment Law developments of the last 7 days. The Weekly Update will be sent out around midday on Monday, so be sure to keep an eye out for it!

Repayment of Tribunal Fees

Old v Palace Fields Primary Academy [UKEAT/0085/14/BA]

A recent Employment Appeal Tribunal (‘EAT’) decision has provided useful confirmation that employers will not automatically have to repay Tribunal fees.

The Claim

The Claimant was a teacher who had been dismissed following an allegation that she had encouraged the bullying of one of her students. The Employment Tribunal found that her dismissal had been fair but the EAT considered that there had been some errors in the judgment and remitted the case to the same employment judge to reconsider.

The EAT did not order the school to repay her issue fee and only ordered it to repay half her hearing fee.

The Reasoning

The EAT confirmed that it had wide discretion in relation to the repayment of Tribunal fees and considered that the Claimant had only been partially successful with her claim. She was therefore only entitled to partial recovery of her fees. It is therefore clear that employers will not automatically have to cover Tribunal fees, even if they lose their case, and Tribunals should carry out a detailed analysis of a case before deciding the appropriate amount to award.

Disclosure of Confidential Information

CF Partners (UK) LLP v Barclays Bank PLC and another [2014]

Employers will be interested in the recent decision which confirmed that a duty of confidence may be imposed by the Court in relation to confidential information, even in the absence of a binding contract. Alice Daniels, a solicitor in our commercial litigation team, considers the case here.

Local authorities to disclose spending on trade union time

The Government published the Local Government Transparency Code at the beginning of October and has now confirmed that local authorities must disclose the level of their spending on subsidising staff who take time off to carry out trade union duties.

The Government apparently wants to control the practice of paying staff to carry out work for their union, but it has not addressed the fact that staff have a statutory right to reasonable paid time off.

New CBI report on ‘A better off Britain’

The CBI has launched a new report which sets out measures the Government could take to boost living standards for low income or working families. It has suggested the following:

  • raising the threshold for employee National Insurance contributions;
  • providing 15 hours of free childcare to employees with children aged one or two years old; and
  • increasing statutory maternity pay (SMP) from 39 to 52 weeks.

You can access the report here.