Employment Law newsletter – Summer 2019

Posted by Joanne Davies, 25th July 2019
A warm welcome to Blake Morgan’s Summer newsletter, keeping you informed of the latest developments in Employment Law.

The good weather has arrived and holidays plans have been made. That doesn’t mean it’s time for employers to relax though as summer brings its own workplace issues. If you have a dress code should it be relaxed in a heatwave and if so, how? In our article on dress codes we consider how to prepare a dress code policy which strikes the right balance between meeting business needs and not creating issues in the workforce, and which sets out what you regard as appropriate dress during the hot weather.

Unfortunately, travel disruption is not uncommon in the busy summer months and our article looks at what employers should do when stranded employees may not able to get to their required destination.

We have waited more than a year to see how the Information Commissioner would deal with breaches of the GDPR and just like buses, two announcements came at once. With proposed fines of £193 million and £99 million the very serious consequences for breach of the GDPR are now clear.

There are six more articles in the Newsletter and I hope you will find all the articles informative and helpful, and if you would like any further information please do not hesitate to get in touch with your usual Blake Morgan contact. In the meantime if you would like help with any forthcoming contract review to take account of the new requirements for the written statement of employment particulars, we would be happy to assist.

Looking ahead, our Autumn Employment clubs commence in Cardiff on 10 September and for details of all the dates please see here and our invitation with details of the topics will be circulated shortly. Other events include our Oxford HR Forum on 26 September, our joint Strategic HR Forum event with Hays, “The Future of HR” at our Reading office on 26 September and an event with Oxfordshire Mind, at our Oxford Office on 10 October for World Mental Health Day.

We do hope you can join us.

In relation to team news, I am delighted to inform you about recent promotions and congratulations to Lisa Wallis, promoted to Legal Director, Rhiannon Jenkins, promoted to Senior Associate and Charlotte Marshall, promoted to Senior Solicitor. Their promotions are very well-deserved and we wish all three the very best in their new roles.

Finally, I hope you all have a very enjoyable summer break.

The ins and outs of dress codes

Employers need to pay careful attention to dress code policies to strike the right balance between meeting business needs and not creating issues in the workforce. With summer now definitely here we also consider the issue of appropriate dress for the workplace during hot weather.

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What to do when employees are stranded abroad?

It’s a busy time right now for holidays and with travel disruption caused by extreme weather conditions, airline companies collapsing or airlines struggling to keep to flight schedules what should employers do when stranded employees may not able to get to their required destination?

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Shared parental pay – what does the future hold?

The Court of Appeal has held that there is no direct or indirect sex discrimination and no equal pay claim when men on shared parental leave do not receive the same enhancement of pay as women on maternity leave. What does this decision mean for employers and the government’s stated aim of giving parents the ability to share child caring responsibilities?

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Another record breaking GDPR fine announced

In the very same week, the ICO announced its intention to issue two multimillion pound penalties and the size of the proposed fines indicate the very serious consequences for breach of the GDPR.

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Social media blunders – what employers can do

Handling social media mistakes is a growing area of concern for HR professionals and in our article we consider how careful judgment and well drafted social media policies will help to manage the tricky issues that can arise.

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How to support staff with eating disorders

An estimated 1.25 million people in the UK have an eating disorder and employers can play an important role in creating a supportive work environment for employees who are either suffering themselves, perhaps in silence, or supporting a loved one.

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Update on developments: Consultations and legislative proposals

A plethora of new consultations and legislative developments have been published in the last few weeks. Whether you’ve already had your well-earned summer break or are still looking forward to it, here’s the latest need-to-know reading on what’s in the pipeline for employment law.

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Covert recording of meetings isn’t always misconduct

The EAT has recently considered the issue of an employee’s covert recording of a meeting with HR and held that, depending on the circumstances, such behaviour will not necessarily constitute misconduct.

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