An employer must act reasonably towards an employee who has failed a drugs or alcohol test. It must take into account the employee’s record, what the employer’s policies say, any explanation given by the employee (and the possible need to investigate further) and the effect of any sanction on their future employment prospects, a recent ruling makes clear.
Legal Alert - February 2019
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: Misrepresenting your costs in contract negotiations can result in the other party rescinding the contract
Parties negotiating a contract and tempted to over-estimate their costs as a negotiating tactic could lead to a successful claim against them for fraudulent misrepresentation, and rescission of the contract, a recent ruling makes clear.
Parties negotiating contracts should ensure no clauses in the final contract are mere ‘agreements to agree’, as the courts will refuse to uphold them.
Case law: Employers may have to give an employee a statement of terms of employment, even if their employment ends within two months
Employers must give an employee a statement of terms, even if their employment is terminated before expiry of the two-month period for giving them such a statement, provided they were employed for at least a month, a recent ruling makes clear.
Trade mark owners should ensure they are making ‘genuine use’ of their trademarks given the nature of their products and business - particularly if it could be argued that they are only using their trademarked goods to promote another business – otherwise they risk their trademarks being revoked.
Case law: Head landlord cannot directly terminate assured shorthold tenancies granted by intermediate tenant
A landlord granting a head lease to a tenant who can then create assured shorthold sub-tenancies over the premises’ residential units, should ensure the lease requires the head tenant to serve a s21 notice to quit on the sub-tenants, if it is itself served with notice to quit by the landlord, a recent ruling makes clear.
Parties negotiating an agreement should ensure it is comprehensive and clearly and unambiguously expressed, to avoid disputes about what it means and whether additional terms should be implied into it, as a recent case clarifies.
Case law: Another business doing sales or marketing work from your premises can be your commercial agent and protected by EU law
Businesses need to investigate whether individuals and other businesses negotiating and/or closing sales for them are their commercial agents, with consequential EU rights and protections, even if they work from the business’s premises and/or carry out functions other than their sales-related work.
Small businesses may find it easier to raise finance now that new laws say any provision in a business contract is void if it stops them raising money by assigning a ‘receivable’ to a third party, imposes conditions on an assignment or stops someone from valuing or enforcing the receivable.
Parties to, or negotiating, joint ventures or other long-term arrangements should consider whether their agreements are ‘relational contracts’. If they are, there may be an implied duty for the parties to act in good faith, which does not apply in other types of contract.
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.