Cyber attack victim fined £60,000 for insufficient data protection

October 26, 2017

Failure to secure customer and employee information can have serious ramifications for small and medium sized businesses, as a Berkshire-based video game rental firm learned recently. The victim of a cyberattack, Boomerang Video Ltd faced a £60,000 fine after an investigation by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) revealed the company had failed to adequately take … Continue reading Cyber attack victim fined £60,000 for insufficient data protection

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Update on ‘Gig Economy’ Case Law and Developments

August 25, 2017

There have been a number high profile tribunal cases this year which have kept the ‘gig economy’ making headline news. These cases explore the increasingly controversial ‘worker’ status which falls somewhere between employee and self-employed contractor. In reality the gig economy is not a new phenomenon. Taxi drivers, trades people and couriers for example have … Continue reading Update on ‘Gig Economy’ Case Law and Developments

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Suspending an employee is not always a neutral act

August 22, 2017

In instances of serious misconduct an employer may wish to suspend an employees during an investigation. This is generally provided for in disciplinary procedures and may be appropriate, for example where there is a threat to the business or other employees, or where there are concerns about potential interference with evidence or attempts to influence … Continue reading Suspending an employee is not always a neutral act

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Criminal prosecution and fine for employee who shared personal data in breach of the Data Protection Act

August 17, 2017

Breach of the data protection legislation can have very serious consequences for employees as highlighted by the recent criminal prosecution of an employee, Mr Franklin, in England. Mr Franklin was prosecuted under Section 55 of the Data Protection Act 1998 and the case was publicised by the Information Commissioners Office (“ICO”) as a warning to … Continue reading Criminal prosecution and fine for employee who shared personal data in breach of the Data Protection Act

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Employees beware! – 6 week jail sentence for employee who deleted confidential information

August 11, 2017

The recent decision of the High Court in London in the case of OCS Group v Dadi to impose a 6 week prison sentence on an ex employee is an alarming but salutary tale. Background Mr Dadi was an aircraft cleaning contractor employed by OCS at Heathrow Airport. In February 2017 his employment was transferred … Continue reading Employees beware! – 6 week jail sentence for employee who deleted confidential information

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Implications of 2017 General Election for Employment Law

June 9, 2017

In the run up to the General Election on 8 June 2017 I have examined the relevant policies of the main parties in respect of employment law. It is important to note that many of the issues noted below are matters which are devolved to the Northern Ireland Assembly. It is therefore important to consider … Continue reading Implications of 2017 General Election for Employment Law

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Take Steps Now to Avoid Fines of €20m: Overview of the General Data Protection Regulations

May 26, 2017

The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) have been a long time in the making but it has been confirmed that the UK will adopt them prior to Brexit. GDPR will come into force in May 2018 and will replace the 1995 Data Protection Directive. Organisations which do not comply will run the risk of being … Continue reading Take Steps Now to Avoid Fines of €20m: Overview of the General Data Protection Regulations

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Employees Offered up to £100k to Whistleblow on Employers

April 20, 2017

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is seeking to crack down on illegal activity such as price-fixing and bid-rigging by offering a reward of up to £100,000, and the promise of anonymity to employees who report any such activity undertaken by their employers. The “carrot” of £100,000 is only offered to employees who have not … Continue reading Employees Offered up to £100k to Whistleblow on Employers

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Bike Courier Wins Worker’s Rights in “GIG Economy” Case

January 31, 2017

Numerous headlines in 2016 made reference to the “gig economy” and reports suggest that almost 5 million people in the UK are engaged in the “gig economy”. In early 2017 an Employment Tribunal in England issued a Decision which will have a further significant impact on this sector. What is the “gig economy”? The “gig … Continue reading Bike Courier Wins Worker’s Rights in “GIG Economy” Case

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CFR December 2016 Employment Update

December 21, 2016

Update – The Employment Act 2016 The Employment Act (Northern Ireland) 2016 contains a number of provisions resulting from an extensive review of employment law carried out by the Department of Employment and Learning (DELNI).  The Act received Royal Assent on 22 April 2016. This is the primary legislation that gives the legislative backing for … Continue reading CFR December 2016 Employment Update

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Apprenticeship Levy Update

December 6, 2016

The Government is committed to boosting productivity by investing in human capital by introducing an Apprenticeship Levy (“the Levy”) on all employers (in both the private and the public sectors) in the UK. The hope is that this will increase the quantity and quality of apprenticeships. It will also save the Government approximately £3bn per … Continue reading Apprenticeship Levy Update

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Uber Loses Landmark Tribunal Case

November 18, 2016

The highly anticipated employment tribunal ruling in Aslam and Farrar v Uber has stated that Uber drivers are not self-employed and should be paid minimum wage and holiday pay. This decision will have huge implications for companies using the increasingly popular “gig economy” business model. This has become increasingly prevalent as businesses can use apps … Continue reading Uber Loses Landmark Tribunal Case

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Bartholomews Agri Food Limited v Michael Thornton – Unreasonable Restrictive Covenant Declared Unenforceable

August 19, 2016

A restrictive covenant is a clause in an employment contract which is designed to prevent the solicitation of customers, clients, suppliers, other employees, or general competition for a defined period after the employee ceases his or her employment. The purpose of it is to protect the employer’s confidential information, customer connections, its goodwill and the … Continue reading Bartholomews Agri Food Limited v Michael Thornton – Unreasonable Restrictive Covenant Declared Unenforceable

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Brexit- Implications for Northern Irish Employment Law

July 7, 2016

After months of intensive campaigning from both sides, the UK electorate has voted in favour of leaving the EU. This is in contrast to the position in Northern Ireland where the majority voted to remain. This article will examine the impact that the EU has had on employment law in Northern Ireland, what the immediate … Continue reading Brexit- Implications for Northern Irish Employment Law

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Service provision changes: assessing whether a transfer of employees has taken place

June 17, 2016

The recent Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decision in Amaryllis Ltd v McLeod (2016) has provided helpful clarification for assessing whether a transfer of employees should take place following a service provision change. A service provision change occurs in three situations: where an organisation outsources certain activities to a contractor; where activities cease to be carried … Continue reading Service provision changes: assessing whether a transfer of employees has taken place

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Dove v Brown & Newirth Ltd – Workplace Nicknames and Unfair Dismissal

June 3, 2016

Facts of the Case Mr Dove was a sales representative for Brown & Newirth Ltd (“the Respondent”), a jewellery manufacturer, which employed about 43 people. He had worked for the Respondent for 25 years and had a clean disciplinary record. In 2011 Mr Ball began working for the Respondent as a sales director and in … Continue reading Dove v Brown & Newirth Ltd – Workplace Nicknames and Unfair Dismissal

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Shared Parental Leave: One year later

April 5, 2016

It has now been a year since the Government introduced Shared Parental Leave (SPL), but what impact has it had? The policy aims behind the legislation were to enable women to return to work sooner after giving birth and to give parents the option of spreading almost a year’s worth of leave, rather than the … Continue reading Shared Parental Leave: One year later

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Whistleblowing: whose interest is it in?

March 4, 2016

The law relating to whistleblowing in Northern Ireland will shortly be amended by the Employment Bill which is currently working its way through the Northern Ireland Assembly. The proposed changes will mirror recent reform of whistle blowing legislation in England & Wales following the EAT decision in Parkins -v- Sodexho. This case created a loophole … Continue reading Whistleblowing: whose interest is it in?

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Lock v British Gas – Holiday pay must reflect commission rules EAT

February 29, 2016

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) found in favour of Mr Lock, ruling that a worker’s commission payments must be included in the calculation of his or her holiday pay. The EAT interpreted domestic UK law in line with EU law, relying on the judgement of the European Court of Justice. Mr Lock was employed by … Continue reading Lock v British Gas – Holiday pay must reflect commission rules EAT

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The Cost of the Living Wage

December 15, 2015

National Minimum Wage (NMW) workers aged 25 and over will, from April 2016, see an increase in their hourly earnings. The National Living Wage (NLW) will be introduced in April 2016, with a starting rate of £7.20. This will be the new legal wage floor for workers aged 25 and over, with the current NMW … Continue reading The Cost of the Living Wage

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Are you a Director, Trustee or member of a Board of Governors?

October 19, 2015

As society becomes ever more regulated it is easy to forget the burgeoning amount of legal obligations impacting on organisations in the private and third sectors. It is important for all company directors, charity trustees and members of boards of governors to be aware of these legal obligations and the standards they are required to … Continue reading Are you a Director, Trustee or member of a Board of Governors?

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Employment Newsletter October 2015

October 7, 2015

Welcome to the latest edition of CFR’s Employment Update highlighting recent interesting legal developments for employers. We hope you find this useful and would invite you to send this email bulletin to friends and colleagues. Michael Black, Employment Director SOCIAL MEDIA: CAN AN EMPLOYER REMOVE OFFENSIVE POSTS BY A FORMER EMPLOYEE? What can an employer … Continue reading Employment Newsletter October 2015

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NI Employment Law Briefing for Start-Ups

September 25, 2015

Although employment law can appear complex and overwhelming for any start-up business which decides to take on employees, by getting a few key areas right from the start you can avoid the pitfalls and prevent problems arising. Businesses operating in Northern Ireland should also be careful to ensure they comply with NI employment law as … Continue reading NI Employment Law Briefing for Start-Ups

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Employment Law Health Check

July 30, 2015

Is your business at risk by failing to comply with employment law and health and safety regulations? Employment law is constantly changing, placing additional obligations on employers and enhancing employee rights. Employees are also now better informed and aware of those rights. Employees who believe their rights have been denied or infringed can bring a claim to an Industrial … Continue reading Employment Law Health Check

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Accrual of Annual Leave during Long-term Sickness Absence

July 27, 2015

It has long been established that workers on long term sick leave may carry forward holidays which have accrued during their absence to the following leave year. This has led to a number of issues for employers when seeking to manage employees’ annual leave entitlement, particularly where there have been very long periods of sickness absence. The Employment … Continue reading Accrual of Annual Leave during Long-term Sickness Absence

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When is a resignation not a resignation?

May 12, 2015

The case of Geraldine Christie and Glasswater Lodge Retirement Home Limited and Others in the Industrial Tribunal in Northern Ireland has held that there is a duty on employers to clarify an employee’s resignation. In this case Ms Christie was employed as the manager of a retirement home. In the period leading up to the claimant’s resignation the … Continue reading When is a resignation not a resignation?

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God’s Employee or not?

May 8, 2015

The Court of Appeal in England and Wales has ruled in the matter of Sharpe – v – The Bishop of  Worcester in which the Reverend Mark Sharpe lost his right to claim for unfair dismissal following allegations that he was a victim of a four year hate campaign from parishioners which forced him to leave … Continue reading God’s Employee or not?

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Shared Parental Leave and the Risk of Discrimination

April 24, 2015

The introduction of Shared Parental Leave (SPL) in Northern Ireland by the Work and Families (Northern Ireland) Act 2015 presents one of the biggest shake-ups to family leave provisions in recent times. This article considers some of the main changes brought in by the Act and the potential of discrimination arising if employers aren’t careful in how these … Continue reading Shared Parental Leave and the Risk of Discrimination

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UNFAIRLY DISMISSED FOR GIVING OUT TOMATO PLANTS

February 23, 2015

An employee had a generous gesture of giving his home-grown tomato plants to his colleagues. All but one colleague received the tomato plants and due to this he was accused of favouritism and was sacked. A Juicy Gesture Richard Chapman, former clerk of Malvern Town council had been in his post for 12 years until the … Continue reading UNFAIRLY DISMISSED FOR GIVING OUT TOMATO PLANTS

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EMPLOYMENT UPDATE

February 2015 Welcome to the latest edition of CFR’s Employment Update highlighting recent interesting legal developments for employers. We hope you find this useful and would invite you to send this email bulletin to friends and colleagues. Michael Black, Employment Partner   BOUND BY AN EXTERNAL HR CONSULTANT’S MISTAKE? When difficult employment issues arise many employers turn … Continue reading EMPLOYMENT UPDATE

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Employer Bound by External HR consultant’s mistake

February 12, 2015

When difficult employment issues arise many employers turn to external HR consultants, providers or specialists for assistance. In Hershaw and Others v Sheffield City Council 2014 the employers left the resolution of a particular issue entirely up to the external HR consultants. Facts Twelve marked patrol officers, who were employed by Sheffield City Council (SCC) had been … Continue reading Employer Bound by External HR consultant’s mistake

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Are you calculating holiday pay correctly?

Overview Under the working time regulations, holiday pay is usually calculated in regard to an employees basic pay. Last year the Supreme Court in Williams and others v British Airways (2011) signalled the way for a significant re-think of the way statutory holiday pay should be calculated. It was established that holiday pay should include all elements of … Continue reading Are you calculating holiday pay correctly?

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ROI SOCIAL MEDIA CASE REINFORCES THE IMPORTANCE OF PROCEDURES

October 31, 2014

The Employment Appeals Tribunal decision in the Republic of Ireland in the case of Jane Loughran –v- Mullingar Electrical Wholesale Ltd in April 2014 highlights the risks for employers in not having proper policies and procedures in place. In this case Ms Loughran, a marketing assistant, was dismissed by the Managing Director of the company after he had … Continue reading ROI SOCIAL MEDIA CASE REINFORCES THE IMPORTANCE OF PROCEDURES

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Enforceability of Restrictive Covenants

The Court of Appeal in England & Wales recently delivered its judgment in the case of Rodgers v Sunrise Brokers LLP [2014] EWCA Civ 1373. This case provides useful guidance for employers on the enforceability of restrictive covenants Mr Rodgers had entered into a contract of employment with Sunrise Brokers LLP (“Sunrise”) which stipulated that he could only … Continue reading Enforceability of Restrictive Covenants

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Can an Employer increase a disciplinary sanction on appeal?

October 6, 2014

This issue was considered in the recent case of McMillan v Airedale NHS Foundation Trust [2014] EWCA. The employer, an NHS Trust, had incorporated a formal and detailed disciplinary procedure into the employee’s contract. The employee was subject to disciplinary action and was given a written warning. The employee appealed the sanction and as the employer was … Continue reading Can an Employer increase a disciplinary sanction on appeal?

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CFR Quarterly Review

September 29, 2014

Overview Under the working time regulations, holiday pay is usually calculated in regard to an employees basic pay. Last year the Supreme Court in Williams and others v British Airways (2011) signalled the way for a significant re-think of the way statutory holiday pay should be calculated. It was established that holiday pay should include all elements of … Continue reading CFR Quarterly Review

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Employment Update

July 29, 2014

Welcome to the latest edition of CFR’s Employment Update highlighting recent interesting employment law developments for employers. We hope you find this useful and would invite you to send this email bulletin to friends and colleagues. Michael Black, Employment Partner WHO OWNS AN EMPLOYEE’S LINKEDIN ACCOUNT? The recent case of Whitmar Publications Ltd V Gamage and Others … Continue reading Employment Update

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How Flexible are you?

July 4, 2014

Prepare for Flexible Working in NI Changes in England and Wales extending the right to request flexible working are now in place after the Children and Families Act 2014 was given Royal Assent in Parliament in March. At present, in Northern Ireland the right to flexible working hours can only be availed of by employees with children … Continue reading How Flexible are you?

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Bring Your Own Device – What Employers Need to Know

February 3, 2014

Commonly referred to as ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) many employers have recognised the benefits of allowing staff to use their own personal electronic devices such as laptops and smart phones for work purposes. Employers should, however, be aware of and consider the commercial and legal risks which exist before implementing such a policy. What are the Benefits? … Continue reading Bring Your Own Device – What Employers Need to Know

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Legal Island Update: Case Law Round Up Jan – Dec 2013

January 16, 2014

INTRODUCTION Welcome to Cleaver Fulton Rankin’s case law review for 2013. This year we have seen many new employment issues for the tribunals and courts to grapple with, as well as a few old ones for them to reconsider. You can click on a case in the index to take you to the relevant page and we … Continue reading Legal Island Update: Case Law Round Up Jan – Dec 2013

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Zero Hours Contracts: Friend or Foe?

September 19, 2013

Vince Cable’s recent criticism of zero hours contracts “abuses” has added to the growing clamour for the reform of such contracts. It seems that zero hours contracts have been very much misunderstood. A zero hours contract is an agreement with an individual to provide work without the guarantee of set hours or regular work. The number of people employed on … Continue reading Zero Hours Contracts: Friend or Foe?

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The Employment Team

August 22, 2013

Please do not hesitate to contact any member of our Employment Team to discuss the Employment Update or any other employment law/HR matter. Michael Black Employment Partner T 028 9027 1312 E m.black@cfrlaw.co.uk Michael has a wealth of expertise regarding employment and discrimination law, working with both the private and public sectors. The advice he provides ranges from all … Continue reading The Employment Team

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Is re-engagement always an option?

August 20, 2013

The recent case of Oasis Community Learning v Wolff has raised the possibility of employers being ordered to re-engage former employees even in difficult circumstances. Under the Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 a tribunal is required to consider reinstatement or reengagement as the primary remedy for unfair dismissal. Nevertheless such orders are rare – not just because … Continue reading Is re-engagement always an option?

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CAN I STILL LAWFULLY SET A RETIREMENT AGE FOR EMPLOYEES?

On 6 April 2011 the Employment Equality (Repeal of Retirement Age Provisions) Regulations (NI) 2011 came into force and abolished the Default Retirement Age (DRA) of 65. Previously under the DRA employers could give employees approaching the age of 65 notice of their retirement. The setting of a compulsory retirement age now effectively results in an act … Continue reading CAN I STILL LAWFULLY SET A RETIREMENT AGE FOR EMPLOYEES?

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Can covert recordings be used as evidence in Industrial Tribunal claims?

The question of when secret recordings might be used as evidence in the context of employment claims has recently started to become an issue for employers and is likely to remain a concern given the increasingly sophisticated nature of smart phone technology and the availability of other inexpensive recording devices. The EAT has recently ruled on the admissibility … Continue reading Can covert recordings be used as evidence in Industrial Tribunal claims?

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Social Media: Protecting the Employer’s Position

August 19, 2013

The recent explosion of social media has led to an increasing number of legal issues arising from malicious, defamatory and careless comments posted on websites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Recent examples include one incident in which a man was fined and given a suspended sentence for threatening Gregory Campbell of the DUP over social media. … Continue reading Social Media: Protecting the Employer’s Position

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