A very important decision on Appeal has been published concerning apprentices, and when they are not actually apprentices at all. The implication of course is that an employer may fail to pay the National Minimum Wage and have to pay back pay, perhaps for years, if their apprentices turn out not to be apprentices. The case in question concerns trainees in livery stables. They claimed the minimum wage and the original tribunal refused their claim as they were apprentices. Specifically, they were there to be trained. On appeal this decision was overturned. The reason was that the contracts of apprenticeship contained no fixed end date, contained notice provisions and contained a power to dismiss on notice. The Appeal Tribunal ruled that these factors were not consistent with an apprenticeship contract. The ruling also underlined the idea that an apprentice cannot be sacked for poor performance. If you use apprentices, it is worth perhaps rechecking your agreements in light of this decision. Legitimate Apprentice Agreements must state what skill, trade or occupation the apprentice is being trained for. The case can be read at the following link:http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKEAT/2014/0458_13_1609.html Back to legal...
An employer whose business model uses “gig staff” (presumed to be self-employed often) has told a committee of MP’s that if a worker takes them to Tribunal and wins, gaining rights to paid holiday and to the Living Wage, the employer would not roll out the rights to anyone else. Read More Read more>>
It has long been a stock question from clients as to whether they can monitor employees’ emails. In fact, the actual question from clients often comes too late, in that they ask if they can sack an employee for the contents of an email, and we have to say that they could, except that they… Read more>>
Suspension is an extremely common response to allegations which might amount to gross misconduct. If an employer has left an employee in situ after serious allegations, the employer might face difficulty in dismissing summarily if the employee has been left at work while the matter is investigated. Read More Read more>>