Supreme Court Finds Employment Tribunal Fees Unlawful

Precedential Decision by Judiciary or Regulatory Agency

Author: Richard Harvey, Partner — GQ Employment Law LLP, Littler Global United Kingdom

On July 26, 2017, the Supreme Court ruled that fees charged to bring a case in the Employment Tribunal, which hears most employment disputes in the UK, were unlawful. These fees, which ranged from £390 - £1,200, were put in place in 2013 and seemingly caused a significant and sustained drop in all types of tribunal claims. The fees were found to be unlawful because they (1) disproportionately restricted access to justice; (2) prevented the proper enforcement of EU law rights; and (3) indirectly discriminated against women. Following the decision, the government announced that between £27m and £32m in fees paid would be refunded. No plans have been announced for a new fees regime.

Court of Appeal Clarifies Circumstances When Share Sale Will Trigger TUPE

Precedential Decision by Judiciary or Regulatory Agency

Author: Richard Harvey, Partner — GQ Employment Law LLP, Littler Global United Kingdom

On June 6, 2017, the High Court considered the applicability of TUPE to a share sale. TUPE regulations protect employees during the sale of a business by providing for automatic transfer of employment and other rights. It is generally accepted that share sales do not automatically trigger TUPE. However, the High Court found that there had been no transfer because the two businesses were still being run separately, from separate premises, and there had been no change to what employees were doing on a day-to-day basis. This decision leaves scope for TUPE to apply to share sales when there is a process of post- closing integration.

Court of Appeal Creates Uncertainty on Enforceability of Broad Post-Termination Restrictions

Precedential Decision by Judiciary or Regulatory Agency

Author: Richard Harvey, Partner — GQ Employment Law LLP, Littler Global United Kingdom

On July 21, 2017, the UK Court of Appeal unexpectedly held that a post-termination non-compete clause in an employment contract that restricted the employee from being directly or indirectly “concerned or interested in” a competitor for six months was too broad because it would prevent Claimant from being a shareholder – of any size – in a competitor. Further, the Court found that it lacked the power to “blue pencil” the offending parts of a restriction. With this decision, this area of the law becomes very uncertain and particular care should be taken when drafting post-termination restrictions.