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Hewett's Legal Corner - July 2014 #13


June 2014

Deduction for failure to serve notice period

Yizhen Li v First Marine Solutions and another UKEAT/0045/13

Miss Li was employed by First Marine Solutions Ltd (FMS) and was appointed as the principal engineer on an on-going contract. When a dispute arose between her and FMS, Miss Li resigned and claimed constructive dismissal.


Employment status where there is no remuneration

Ajar-Tec Ltd v Stack UKEAT/0293/13, 30 May 2014

The business “Ajar-Tec” had three shareholders and directors. Mr Martin worked on a full-time salaried basis under a written contract of employment. He had no other interests or source of income. Mr Keane was a part-time finance director and played a small part in the company's operation. Mr Stack was the major investor and had other substantial business interests. There were discussions regarding employment contracts but Mr Keane and Mr Stack did not formalise any employment arrangements. Relationships subsequently broke down and Mr Stack's directorship was terminated and he lodged claims for constructive unfair dismissal and unauthorised deductions from.


Queen’s Speech – Employment law

The Queen's Speech was delivered on 4 June 2014 and it indicated that the government has made plans to introduce a number of bills that will affect employees and other workers.

The main proposals for employment law purposes are contained in the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill. This will include changes on National Minimum Wage, zero-hour contract abuses and redundancy payments for highly paid public sector employees.


Flexible Working Regulations 2014 published

By way of update, the Flexible Working Regulations 2014 have been laid before Parliament and will come into force on 30 June 2014 and this will amend the right to request flexible working.


Tribunal statistics update

The Ministry of Justice has published tribunal statistics for January to March 2014. The statistics show that the significant reduction in the number of claims since the introduction of fees in July 2013 has continued.

In brief, the number of claims brought by single individuals has dropped by 59% compared to the same period in 2013. The reduction appears to be consistent across all types of claim and in all tribunal regions.

Unison's appeal to its judicial review challenge to the fees regime should be heard between 10 September and 10 December 2014. The previous judicial review launched by Unison had failed largely because of the lack of evidence of the impact of fees on access to justice, however these statistics will no doubt be used by Unison to bolster the strength of their appeal.


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