Contractors working on building sites should ensure they are aware of and comply with their duties to carry out their work in a way that prevents danger, particularly where there is a risk of debris falling into neighbouring properties, otherwise they risk prosecution.
Employers in Great Britain (GB) should be alert to the prospect of employees (and their unions) claiming for unpaid holiday pay on grounds that the ‘three-month rule’ should not apply, following a ruling in Northern Ireland (NI), allowing them to claim backdated holiday pay that they would not otherwise be entitled to.
Employers dealing with an employee who has a potentially progressive impairment which has no substantial adverse effect on their ability to carry out day-to-day activities, should ensure they do not discriminate against them by assuming the impairment is likely to develop in the future so that it does have such an effect, as this may amount to disability discrimination by perception.
Landlords will welcome clarification of their duties to inspect let properties, the scope of such inspections and the extent of remedial action which may be required, following a recent ruling.
Employers may be able to access an employee’s work emails, even to family and/or to their personal email accounts, if they include appropriate authority in their work policies, act in a reasonable and proportionate way and comply with any conditions in those policies, according to a recent ruling.
Employers and employees will welcome clarification of factors to take into account when considering whether secret recordings of meetings, conversations, etc by employees amount to gross misconduct, and breach the implied duty of mutual trust and confidence between employers and employees.
Limited companies will welcome guidance on how to determine whether they have ‘de facto’ directors – those not formally appointed as directors but treated by a court as having fiduciary and other duties to the company as if they had been formally appointed because they have behaved as if they were full directors – following a recent High Court ruling.
Companies proposing to use written resolutions to make shareholder decisions – ie, agreeing to a decision in writing rather than holding a formal meeting - should ensure every such resolution is approved and circulated by the board and sent on its behalf to all shareholders entitled to vote on the decision, otherwise it will be invalid - as a recent ruling makes clear.
Employers will welcome a ruling that a restriction in a clause in an ex-employee’s employment contract, stopping her from being ‘interested in’ any competitor business and which was too wide to be enforceable, could be ‘severed’ from the other restrictions in the clause, so those other restrictions remained enforceable against her.
Employers should avoid treating employees for whom English is a second language less favourably on the basis they inevitably have a lesser command of English than those for whom it is their first language; otherwise they risk a race discrimination claim as a recent ruling makes clear.