This podcast was recorded at the CIPD Employment Law conference on the 1 July 2009
If you are a CIPD member and would like to discuss any of the legal issues covered in the podcast visit the CIPD online communities at cipd.co.uk/community.
Philippa Lamb introduces Dominic Regan and Ian Smith, two eminent employment lawyers who will be answering questions that members posed at the recent conference.
The first question concerned statutory redundancy and reduction in hours. The questioner wanted to know if subsequent redundancy payments are arranged on the current or previous working hours?
In the credit crunch, many employees are forced to take on two or more jobs in addition to their regular one, making the possibility of an accident or distraction at work more likely. Is the employer liable if a mishap occurs?
Our next question concerned overtime that has become a regular practice. New arrangements at this CIPD member’s company will increase hourly pay, but reduce the need for overtime. Does the regular nature of the overtime mean that it has become ‘custom and practice’? Is there a test for ‘custom and practice’?
A similar question was asked about the regular pay increase and whether that is considered ‘custom and practice’.
In the light of the Ainsworth / Stringer case, our next questioner asked about accrual of holiday during sick leave.
Philippa reports that at the conference, there were many questions concerning the ACAS code of practice on discipline and grievance procedures. One listener wanted to know the changes that have been made to the previous law. See if you are up to speed on this.
Next came a question about the difference in levels of responsibility in larger organisations from those in smaller ones. Could larger organisations be expected to use mediation more widely than small ones that might have fewer resources to do so? Will mediation reduce the number of tribunal cases?
Cross-border employment law is a complicated area. The question asked was: if someone is employed by a British company, but working overseas, which country’s employment law should be used? Our two lawyers, while making relevant points, also make amusing observations.
The next question centred on the vexed issue of staying on after retirement. Hear the recommended action to take.
Are employee handbooks contractual? This is a question which often crops up in different ways on the Communities website. ‘Aptness’ is apparently the answer here.
What do our two lawyers think is going to be crucial over the next year or so? Do you agree?
Further information and useful links
Think you might need a course to brush up your knowledge of employment law?
CIPD has pages for members on employment law issues and some frequently asked questions
LEWIS, D. AND SARGEANT, M. (2009) Essentials of Employment Law. London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
CIPD has various employment law factsheets which you may find help you.
There's a new CIPD podcast every month. Coming soon… Executive Remuneration panel discussion.