Employment Law in the United Kingdom – what differences are there?

Is it a United Kingdom? We thought we’d look in detail at the main differences in Employment Law between England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and have updated this for July 2019. Generally there is very little difference in employment law between England and Wales, some differences in Scotland but there are some important differences

Can love and relationships in the office work?

It’s not uncommon for romance to blossom between work colleagues – generally, this causes few problems, but we thought we’d take a look at what can sometimes be a quagmire for employees, employers and freelancers.
The rules
It can be difficult for employers to object to workplace relationships, although many wish they could operate an

How to deal with an Acas conciliation request

If an employee or ex-employee has a potential Employment Tribunal claim, from May 2014 they are required to contact Acas first, who will then contact their employer.
There have been a lot of changes to the Employment Tribunal system in the last 2 years and this is the latest one, which may be significant for employers.

Changes to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974

The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 supports reformed offenders entering the workplace. Following a specified period of time – which varies according to the sentence – an offender’s cautions and convictions become ‘spent’ and the offender is regarded as rehabilitated.
This means the Act treats a rehabilitated person as if he or she had never

Statutory Sick Pay changes could affect small employers

A major change to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) comes into force on 6th April 2014, which will affect all employers.
Currently, under the Percentage Threshold Scheme (PTS), employers can recover SSP costs for their employees’ sickness if the total SSP paid in a tax month is more than 13% of their gross Employers’ (Class 1) National

Employing young people/school leavers

From the start of the 2013/14 Academic year the Government changed the law on how long young people are required to stay in education or training.
Raising the Participation Age‘ (RPA) means that young people must now stay in education or training longer.
‘Raising the Participation Age‘ (RPA) means that young people must now stay

What languages should be spoken at work

With the diversity of workforces in the UK today, there’ll inevitably be many workers of different nationalities and with different languages and cultures. This will mean that employers may need to deal with issues regarding what language is used in the workplace, particularly if many workers don’t speak English as their first language.
The most

Should employers fear the office Christmas party?

Your Christmas Party is normally pretty lively and good fun, but employers need to consider various factors beforehand, so there are no problems (yawn – but bear with us here!).
Unfortunately, because of various pieces of legislation, employers need to have a policy in place setting out the standards of acceptable behaviour for their workers

Criminal record checks

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), which replaced the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) in late 2012 is there to help employers make safe recruitment decisions, and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children.
The DBS are responsible for:

Processing requests for criminal records checks which they

Can an Agency worker become permanent at the company they work for?

An Agency worker (temp) is usually contracted and paid by the Agency who employs them, and the Company that hires them pays a fee to the Agency for their work.
Here though, we consider if it is possible for an agency worker to be seen as a permanent employee of the company they work for (not the

Can disciplinary or grievance meetings be audio recorded?

There could be various reasons you, or your Employer, may wish to audio-record important work meetings/hearings, including the hope that this will support your/their position should a claim be made to an employment tribunal in the future. Should you? We look at the details here.
However neither an employee, nor an employer, has the right to record

What would UK Employment Law be like without Europe?

Following the Referendum in June 2016 we look at what impact Europe has had on our existing UK employment laws; what laws are derived from Europe; where the Government has chosen to enhance EU regulations for workers; what laws are derived solely from the UK; and what may happen to these laws in the event

Can an employee be dismissed because of their political opinions?

The European Court of Human Rights says no, you can’t be dismissed because of your political opinions!
In the case of Redfearn v the United Kingdom, the Court of Human Rights found that the UK had violated article 11 of the European Convention of Human Rights – the right to freedom of assembly and association

Short-time working and lay-offs – can you use them?

It can be quite common that during a bad patch an employer, rather than make redundancies, may choose to make other changes to an employee’s Employment contract including lay-offs and short-time working.
Two options your employer may consider are Lay-offs and Short-time working – and we look at what this means in our article here.

What are zero-hour contracts, and can casual workers ever become employees?

With the introduction of the Agency Workers Regulations in 2010, many Companies are believed to be using far more zero-hour contract workers now, instead of Agency temps. At Workline we get a lot of queries from people employed on zero-hour contracts, so in our article here we look at these types of contracts in more

Everything you need to know about references (part 2)

In our second article on References here we look at what obigations a previous employer has whey they provide a reference for an employee.

The Data Protection Employment Practices Code recommends:

That employers have a policy on giving references that includes a requirement that “all those giving corporate references must be

Everything you need to know about references (part 1)

In our first article on References here we look at whether Employers have to seek references about employees when recruiting and whether there is a legal obligation for a previous employer to give a reference to their ex-employee?
Includes….. Is there a legal obligation for a previous employer to give a reference to their ex-employee?

Workplace surveillance: can your employer spy on you at work?

With CCTV cameras everywhere you go these days, how likely is it that your employer or client will be keeping an eye on you? Basically, quite likely. Employers can monitor staff through a variety of methods  – but it must do so in a way that is consistent with several legal requirements and we take a

Trust and Confidence – what does it really mean, and what happens when it breaks down?

We look at the Implied Terms in your contract of employment that are probably not written down anywhere, but are understood to exist because of the conduct of the parties, which includes Trust and Confidence. They should be fairly obvious to both parties to the contract. If there’s nothing clearly agreed between you and your

For what reasons can I be made redundant?

In this article we look at the scenarios when your employer is considering making redundancies, and in what situations can they make you redundant?
The Employment Rights Act 1996 (the law that currently covers making redundancies) says that, ‘an employee is dismissed by reason of redundancy if the dismissal is wholly or mainly attributable to

Continuity of Service – for employees and workers

We thought we’d look at the concept of continuity of service in more detail here, as it is important for employees and workers in terms of the employment rights that you are entitled to (e.g. being able to claim unfair dismissal and/or receive a redundancy payment).
Continuous employment usually means working for the same employer

Peter Stringfellow – how he is clarifying employment law

Updated for 2013.
Last year there was an important employment law case about employment status that showed that Employment Tribunals would focus on the actual reality of working relationships when determining whether someone is self-employed or not, and not focus on what the contractual documentation actually said (Autoclenz v Belcher, see the details here).
This

Your employer is making you redundant but has offered you another job – must you accept it?

Your job is at risk of redundancy, and your employer has offered you redeployment to another job in the same company – are you obliged to take it? We look at the details in our article here.
Redundancy is a ‘fair’ means of dismissal by your employer, so long as the procedures the Employer follows and

Taking on an apprentice – the full details

Apprenticeship schemes are often in the news (and not always for the right reasons), so we’ve had a look at what they are about and where you can find out more details about taking on an apprentice.
Many UK businesses consider skills shortages and recruitment difficulties a big problem. Apprenticeships can be an answer

Fixed Term Contracts: what are they & how can they come to an end?

Fixed Term Contracts have always been popular with employers as a way to fill a ‘gap’ for a temporary period, but we also know they can be abused. Here we look at what a Fixed Term Contract actually is, what protections they have in law and what happens when they expire.
Fixed Term Contracts are

Have you been dismissed while working abroad?

If you work abroad you may now be able to claim unfair dismissal in the UK if you are dismissed. With unemployment rising in the UK, British workers may have to look abroad for employment, and of course many multinational companies have employees constantly moving across international borders.

Disciplinary procedures: common mistakes made by employers

In unfair dismissal claims, employment tribunals take the “Acas code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures” that was introduced in 2009, into account where relevant..However, many Employers make mistakes when handling disciplinaries and this can result in you having a claim for unfair dismissal if you have one years continuous service (which will increase to 2 years for employment starting after April 2012). Here we look at the common mistakes Employers make.

What employment status do I have? Your contract may not provide the answer!

Recently, Freelance Advisor reported on the very important Supreme Court 2011 legal judgement on Autoclenz Ltd v Belcher and Others and how this may affect freelancers and contractors who have IR35 concerns. As this case is so important for all employees, workers and freelancers in deciding their employment status, at Workline we thought we’d explain this in more detail.

The case highlights the importance the Courts now give to finding clarity in employment relationships, not by looking at what is written down in a contract, but what is actually happening in the working relationship.

Small Business Owners – documents you need to employ staff!

We recently highlighted how red tape is putting off small businesses taking on staff. Another area of huge concern and confusion is what paperwork you need to give your staff to ensure your working relationship is clear and unambiguous. We give you the low-down here!

Internships – a good opportunity or a waste of time?

Internships and work placements often get bad press. Are they a beneficial experience for both Employers and graduates, or potentially unethical exploitation? Here we look at what they offer (and what they should offer!) in more detail.
You can read our Guide to Apprenticeships here.
Research by XpertHR in June 2011 showed that 44% of

The Human Resources Consultancy service for SME's in the UK creative industries

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