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Employment law solicitor, Roger Cheves examines the definition of self employment status If an “employee” acts like an employee and sounds like an employee, then he’s probably not a self-employed subcontractor. This was The Supreme Court’s decision in Autoclenz Ltd v Belcher, providing much needed clarity to the question of self employed contractors. The case is about whether a person, who is expressly described as a ‘self-employed contractor’ in his contract, is really a 'worker' (and thus entitled to certain rights, including...

The Employment Equality (Repeal of Retirement Age Provisions) Regulations 2011 are now in force. The new Regulations abolish the default retirement age of 65 as well as the statutory retirement notice process. Under these regulations any termination of employment on the grounds of age will be unfair unless it can be objectively justified as a “proportionate response to a legitimate aim.” There are complicated transitional provisions for the retirement age regulations and employers will need to consider whether to have a...

Additional Paternity Leave Regulations 2010 now allow fathers of babies born on or after 3 April 2011 (or adoptive parents who are notified of being matched with a child for adoption on or after 3 April) additional paternity rights. Under the new Regulations mothers can opt to transfer up to 6 months of maternity leave to the father. The father will still be entitled to the standard two weeks paternity leave. In order to transfer maternity leave to the father,...

Roger Cheves, employment lawyer with Slee Blackwell Solicitors offers some explanatory notes for employers The Equality Act 2010 has replaced nine major items of discrimination legislation and other related measures that have been introduced over recent years. Most of the provisions of the Act came into force on 1 October 2010. Although the Equality Act aims to harmonise existing discrimination laws, it also aims to take further steps to extend equality and protection from unfairness and discrimination on grounds of disability; age;...

Revised draft Employment Equality (Repeal of Retirement Age Provisions) Regulations 2011. The Government appears to have listened to concerns expressed by employment lawyers that the draft regulations put before parliament contained an anomaly and has published a revised draft. The new version corrects the apparent error in Reg. 5(b) of the original draft of 16th February and makes it clear that the transitional arrangements will apply whether or not an employee's 65th birthday is before or after 6th April 2011, provided that...

Update 17 February 2011 There has much been discussion on this topic in the press in the last few days, following ACAS revising their guidance which indicated a change of mind by the Government. The draft Employment Equality (Repeal of Retirement Age Provisions) Regulations 2011 have now been published and will almost certainly come into force on 6 April 2011. The Government previously indicated that that the transitional provisions would provide for the default retirement age of 65 to remain in effect...

The government plans to consult on proposals to reform the Employment Tribunal system and qualifying periods for unfair dismissal. The proposals include: sending all unfair dismissal claims to ACAS to attempt conciliation before they reach a tribunal; all unfair dismissal cases to be heard by a single judge rather than a panel of three; the introduction of a fee to file any tribunal claim (the TUC claims this could be as high as £500); extending the qualifying period to bring...

We are delighted to announce the launch of CompromiseUK, a specialist resource for employees seeking independent professional advice on all aspects of compromise agreements - www.compromiseuk.co.uk The site is operated by Slee Blackwell’s employment department who specialise in advising employees on compromise agreements. For those unfamiliar with the concept, a compromise agreement is a legally binding written agreement between an employer and an employee that is entered into on the termination of the employee’s employment. The compromise agreement sets out the terms upon...

ACAS Code of Practice Transitional Period. In previous bulletins we have been keeping you up to date with the new ACAS Code of Practice that was published early this year. The main effect of the new code is that it is no longer mandatory for employees to raise a grievance in order to bring a claim in the Employment Tribunal. The changes only apply to matters where the event giving rise to the claim occurred after 6 April 2009. For...

National Minimum Wage Increase As of 1 October 2009 the following rates apply: Adults aged 22 or above: £5.80 18 to 21 year olds: £4.83 16 and 17 year olds: £3.57 You should also bear in mind that apprentices under the age of 19, or over the age of 19 and in the first 12 months of their apprenticeship, do not qualify for the national minimum wage. Beware the Workplace Bully! Employers can be liable for the actions of employees who bully and...