Employers will welcome updated Acas guidance on the status of different types of employee and worker, following various recent rulings that purported self-employed contractors working in the 'gig economy' can in fact be 'workers' and entitled to basic employment rights.
Legal Alert - April 2017
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: Retrospective sanction on breach of contract was unenforceable as it amounted to a 'penalty'
Businesses negotiating termination clauses in contracts should avoid imposing financial sanctions on breach of contract which are to apply retrospectively, or risk the clause being found to be a penalty and therefore unenforceable, following a recent ruling.
Case law: Employers face continued uncertainty over commission and holiday pay following Supreme Court refusal to hear appeal
Employers still face uncertainty after the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of a ruling that holiday pay should include contractual, results-based commission.
Case law: Court can look at subsequent behaviour in disputes over whether contact had been entered into
A party to a proposed contract should ensure it is clear at every stage of negotiations whether they consider a contract has been concluded at that stage or not, or risk the other party later claiming that a contract has been concluded, a recent case makes clear.
Case law: Court clarifies when UK holding companies owe duty of care to those damaged by the acts of their subsidiaries
UK holding companies should consider whether their potential liability to third parties who suffer damage and loss because of the acts or omissions of their subsidiaries, in light of the tests set out in a recent High Court ruling.
Case law: Test of fitness for purpose of goods supplied under a contract is subjective, not objective
Suppliers of goods should ensure their contracts with customers take into account that in a dispute, a court might rule that the goods are not fit for purpose (even if they are), if in the particular circumstances a reasonable buyer would not use or install them without further enquiry or investigation, a recent ruling has clarified.
Case law: Organisations cannot refuse requests for personal data on grounds it could be used in legal proceedings against them
Organisations receiving 'subject access requests' from individuals under UK data protection law may not refuse to comply solely on grounds that the personal data provided could be used against them in potential or actual legal proceedings.
Case law: Employers may be able to ban religious symbols at work without being liable for discrimination on grounds of religion
Employers who ban all visible religious signs in the workplace are not directly discriminating against employees on grounds of religion, but risk indirectly discriminating against them unless the circumstances justify the ban, according to the European Court.
Will-makers need to consider carefully before excluding their adult children (and others) from their Wills following various rulings, but the risk of the court overruling the Will terms may have now diminished after a Supreme Court ruling.
New guidance: Draft guidance published on how to obtain individual's consent to use of their data under the GDPR
Organisations will welcome new draft guidance, Consultation: GDPR consent guidance, published by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), which deals with how to lawfully obtain an individual's consent to processing of their personal data under the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
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.