Welcome to the December edition of our employment law round-up. In this edition, we couldn't fail to give you an update on the most important piece of constitutional litigation of our time, which has been heard by the Supreme Court on Article 50. Other festive treats include a summary of recent restrictive covenants cases (first published on HR-Inform) and unfair dismissal litigation. We have also given you our take on calculating rest breaks for workers, and the dangers of using employees' personal data unlawfully.
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The High Court in R(Miller) v. Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union has held that the UK government cannot trigger Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union (TEU) without parliamentary approval, in the most important constitutional decision in recent years. The case has since been considered again by the Supreme Court.
Under UK law, the starting point is that a worker is entitled to a rest break of 20 minutes, where he or she works for more than six hours a day (Regulation 12(1), Working Time Regulations 1998 (the WTR)). If an employer refuses to permit a worker to take a rest break, then the worker can bring a claim in the employment tribunal (Regulation 30, WTR).
The case of Campus Living Villages UK v. HMRC and Sexton is a reminder to employers that, if a Statutory Maternity Payment (SMP) is included in a settlement agreement, this must be made clear.
Seasonal businesses can have a tough time if they try to sell ice cream in the UK in the winter or turkeys in the middle of summer. Conversely, when seasonal businesses are at peak time, employees and businesses are faced with additional pressure to provide goods and services, often within very short timeframes. This article summarises three recent unfair dismissal cases, including a tricky situation faced by such a seasonal business.
For employers, the turn of the year is a double-edged sword: it is the best time to find new hires, but it's also an organisation’s most vulnerable time of the year for losing key staff.
The case of Brown v. Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis is a reminder to employers that it is unlawful to use employees' personal information for anything other than its intended purpose.