The Latest News from Acton Jennings.

July 2016 - Employment Law and Brexit

Posted on Friday 15th Jul 2016

Employment Law and Brexit

Given the oceans of printing ink devoted to Brexit we hesitate to add our contribution. But…

“May you live in interesting times” is the expression of doubtful Chinese origin which comes to mind in the immediate post Brexit era. Interesting and very uncertain.

There are two schools of thought about what might happen to employment law, insofar as it relates to individual employment protection.

The first is the view broadly associated with the political left and trade unions that free of the restrictions of Europe and the ECJ a Conservative Government would

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May 2016 - Employees Win Holiday Pay Claim

Posted on Tuesday 17th May 2016

Employees Win Holiday Pay Claim  

Another employment tribunal decision, in a claim for overtime payments to be reflected in holiday pay, this time an English case, has gone in favour of employees. 

Our July 2015 Newsletter covered the decision from the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal in the case of Patterson v Castlereagh Borough Council which held that voluntary overtime can, in principle, be included for the purposes of calculating holiday pay. As we pointed out the decision is not binding in England, Wales and Scotland but claimant representatives would likely refer to it. The

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March 2016 - Changes in April

Posted on Tuesday 29th Mar 2016


National Minimum Wage
From 1 October 2016 the rates for the national minimum wage will rise as follows from the current figures shown in brackets:
Workers aged 21 to 24 over: £6.95 (£6.70*)
Workers aged 18 to 20: £5.55 (£5.30)
Young workers aged under 18 but above compulsory school age who are not apprentices: £4.00 (£3.87)
Apprenticeship rate: £3.40 (£3.30)

* Until 1 April 2016 the adult rate applies to all workers aged 21 and over.

National Living Wage
One of the biggest government interventions in the contractual relationship between employer and employee,

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February 2016 - Rights to access employees’ emails/personal internet usage

Posted on Friday 12th Feb 2016

Rights to access employees’ emails/personal internet usage 

Bosses can snoop on private emails and messages European Court Rules was the headline in The Telegraph (13 January 2016). The decision which prompted that headline and many more like it was the European Court of Human Rights case of Bărbulescu. One should be wary of headlines because this decision assuredly does not mean that employers have carte blanche to review employees’ personal emails and/or internet usage. 

The facts of the case were, first and importantly, that the employer had an absolute rule prohibiting use of its

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November 2015 - Not quite a storm in a teacup

Posted on Wednesday 11th Nov 2015

Not quite a storm in a teacup 

Northern Ireland seems to be contributing more than its fair share of interesting legal judgements lately. Here is another one Catherine Rooney –v- Western Education and Library Board NIQBD 87 (15 October 2015). It concerns the washing up of a Miss Piggy mug and the injury to an employee that resulted from its breaking.    

Mrs Rooney, a canteen assistant at a primary school for seven years, was washing a ‘Miss Piggy’ mug brought in by another employee for her or his personal use. However it was accepted that the Miss Piggy mug had become part of the stock

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