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Latest From The Employment Law Experts
Latest From The Employment Law Experts

Latest From The Employment Law Experts

Monday, 26 March 2012 12:45

Trigger and redundancy

Written by Jonathan Lord
In the Advocate General Opinion, on the United States of America v Nolan case it was confirmed that the obligation to begin consultations only arises once a "strategic or commercial decision" which compels the employer to plan for collective redundancies has been taken. However, the Advocate General suggested that it is the responsibility of the national court (in this case the Court of Appeal) to decide when such a strategic decision has been taken and whether consultation began in good time following that decision. So what was the background to the case? In November 2010 the EU Court of Appeal asked the ECJ to rule on whether employers need to consult with their staff before deciding to make them redundant. This followed an appeal by the U.S. Government over the closure of a U.S. army base in Southampton, Hampshire, in 2006, which resulted in the loss of 200 civilian jobs. The civilian workforce were only informed of the closure on 24 April 2006 and, on 5 June 2006, a collective consultation was commenced. A UK employment tribunal held that the U.S. Government had failed to engage in any meaningful consultation and made a protective award in favour of the affected employees. The tribunal awarded former army base employee Christine Nolan 30 days pay or 3,000 over the U.S. Government's failure to consult. The remaining staff were also awarded between 2,000 and 4,000, bringing the total compensation package to about 600,000. Subsequently, the U.S. Government went to the Court of Appeal,…
Thursday, 22 March 2012 10:14

Employment Law – What the budget revealed

Written by Jonathan Lord
The Government plans to respond before the summer recess on the consultation regarding fees for tribunal claims, and confirmed that Mr Justice Underhill's report on the employment tribunal rules of procedure will be delivered in spring 2012. The Coalition announced that it will relax Sunday trading laws from 22 July 2012 to 9 September 2012 inclusive for the Olympics and Paralympics. It also set out progress regarding its various proposed reforms to employment law, confirming that "protected conversations" are on the way, subject to consultation that will take place in 2012. It is also considering responses to its calls for evidence regarding the current TUPE provisions and the rules regarding collective redundancies, with a view to consulting on any proposed changes in autumn 2012. The Government will also "scrap or improve" 84% of health and safety legislation, which includes the removal in 2012 of "strict liability" provisions for employers where they have done everything that is reasonable practicable and foreseeable to protect their employees. It will also, by October 2013, amend the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (SI 1995/3163) and its associated guidance to provide clarity for businesses on how to comply with it. If you're struggling with insomnia here is the budget outlined in full
The 2012 Budget lacked measures to stimulate growth and job creation, according to business leaders who expected more from the Government to help curb youth unemployment. Chancellor George Osborne announced no new funding for apprenticeships, nor - as businesses had hoped - did he increase funding for next month's new Youth Contract to help more young people. At present, the £1bn scheme will help 160,000 unemployed youths find jobs by giving businesses £2,275 "wage incentives" per individual to take them on. However, there are more than 1m under-25s out of work leading some groups, including the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), to call for an extension of the Youth Contract. But businesses were left "disappointed" that the Government did not throw in more measures to help them more hire young people. Unemployment is expected to peak at 8.7pc, or 2.8m, this year, before falling to 6.3pc by 2016-17, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) said. Its forecast for jobs is largely unchanged since November. Businesses were hoping the Government would cut national insurance contributions for any business hiring someone aged 25 and under. However, Mr Osborne did say the Government would test a new enterprise loans scheme for young people who wished to start their own business. The £10m loans system would work in the same way as the UK student loans scheme, widely used by young people going to university. The Budget 2012 seemed to favour young people starting-up their own firms rather than rely solely on the private…
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