Occupiers must be aware of the risk of injuries to visitors and trespassers on their property, including the vulnerable, and make alterations and/or provide signs warning of potential risk of injury, following a recent ruling.
Legal Alert - December 2016
A monthly checklist from Atom Content Marketing highlighting new and pending laws, regulations, codes of practice and rulings that could have an impact on your business.
Case law: Court clarifies when a third party business's information is confidential and must not be used or disclosed
Businesses should ensure they identify when a third party's information given to them is confidential, and should only be used for the purposes for which it was given, and not disclosed to others without the third party's permission.
Case law: Worker can be valid comparator in another employee's equal pay claim even if their pay is determined by a different department
Businesses in which female workers receive less pay than male workers (or vice versa) for what may be comparable work, should assess the risk of an equal pay claim, even if the workers are employed in different parts of the business where workers' pay is set independently, following a recent ruling.
Employers who deal with a request to work flexibly in a reasonable manner and within applicable time limits, and whose decision does not breach discrimination law, may lawfully refuse a request that falls within a specified ground for rejection in the relevant legislation, a recent ruling makes clear.
Tenants required to give vacant possession when exercising a break clause should ensure any partitioning is removed, or has genuinely become part of the structure of the building. Otherwise they risk the break being ineffective because they have not given vacant possession, following a recent ruling.
Case law: Landlord's bad reason for refusing consent to assignment of lease made refusal unreasonable despite his other good reasons
Landlords who give multiple reasons for refusing to consent to an assignment of a lease should ensure all the reasons are reasonable, or that there is evidence that each reason is separate from the others, or they risk the refusal being treated as unreasonable.
Businesses negotiating agreements should try to foresee and make provision for all 'supervening events' – events which could realistically happen and would make performing the agreement impossible, or change the nature of the parties' rights and obligations under it. Otherwise, they risk the agreement ending automatically because it has been 'frustrated', a recent ruling makes clear.
An employer could fairly dismiss an employee who refused to do overtime in its busiest period in breach of her employment contract, and whose behaviour could have incited colleagues to refuse to do overtime, with potentially disastrous consequences, an Employment Tribunal has ruled.
Case law: Business generating and passing work to 'independent' third parties may have to treat third parties as workers
Businesses which generate and pass work to third party individuals and take a commission each time, should consider whether those third parties may be 'workers' and entitled to basic employment law rights under UK law (and not self employed), following an important ruling.
Businesses appointing commercial agents should carefully consider the effects of provisions in their agency agreement determining whether indemnity or compensation payments apply on termination, following a recent ruling.
Case law: Non-compete and other restrictions in business sale agreement can be wider than similar restrictions in employment contract
Buyers negotiating to buy a business should carefully consider what non-compete, non-solicitation and other restrictions on the seller's future business activities to press for in the sale agreement, as such restrictions may be more widely drafted than comparable provisions in an employee's terms of employment, the court has made clear.
Case law: Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) members may have to repay profit share paid to them if they breach their fiduciary duties to the LLP
LLP members considering leaving should ensure they have not breached their fiduciary duties to the LLP, otherwise they risk having to repay sums paid to them as profit share if those payments were, in reality, remuneration for their services to the LLP, the High Court has ruled.
Case law: Court confirms business refusing an order because of a customer's orientation is discriminatory, even though it was because of religious beliefs
A northern Irish bakery describing itself as a 'Christian business' discriminated against a customer when it refused his order to decorate a cake with images and slogans that were not illegal, but were against its directors' religious beliefs, the Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland has confirmed.
Case law: Failure to specify which of multiple possible reasons for dismissal was relied on makes dismissal unfair
Employers dismissing an employee in circumstances where there are multiple possible reasons for doing so, should specify which reasons they are relying on - including whether they believe which reasons justify dismissal on their own. Otherwise they risk the dismissal being unfair, a ruling makes clear.
Disclaimer: These publications from Atom Content Marketing are for general guidance only, for businesses in the United Kingdom governed by the laws of England. Atom Content Marketing, expert contributors and ICAEW (as distributor) disclaim all liability for any errors or omissions.