Weekly issue 88 - April 2004

Labour & European Law Review Download issue

In the news

ACAS, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, has produced new guidance for the use of the internet and e-mail at work. It says that clearly formulated policies - drawn up in consultation with trade unions - help organisations to prevent unauthorised or careless use by workers.

Ballot before action

Taking industrial action without a valid ballot is unlawful, and leaves unions open to possible legal action and a loss of immunity. This is what happened in the case of British Telecommunications plc v Communications Workers Union (IDS Brief 753).

Staff Forum or trade union?

There are some employers who will do virtually anything to thwart a trade union's legitimate efforts to represent its members. The case of BECTU v City Screen Ltd (IDS Brief 753) is a good example.

Sick note

There aren't many of us who can say we've never had a day off work because of sickness. Most people fall ill at some point, yet there is no obligation on employers to provide anything other than statutory sick pay.

The terminator

Unfair dismissal claims can only be heard if they're brought within three months of the effective date of termination (EDT) of the applicant's contract of employment.

A temporary arrangement?

The confusion about whether agency workers are employees may finally have been resolved. In Dacas v Brook Street Bureau, the Court of Appeal ruled that Mrs Dacas was not employed by the agency, and gave a very strong indication that she was employed by the Council.

The variation game

After two TUPE transfers, several redundancy exercises and a number of compromise agreements, the employees in this case must wonder where it's going to end.

Union expels BNP member

Under section 174 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, trade unions are allowed to expel a member in only one of two circumstances.