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Weekly Issue 97 - February 2005

Labour & European Law Review Download issue

In the news

The Information Commissioner has just published part 4 of the Employment Practices Data Protection Code.

Time out

In cases of unfair dismissal, claimants have to lodge their tribunal claim within three months (less one day) of the effective date of termination of their contract.

As the claimant in the case of Palfrey v Transco (2004, IRLR 916) found out, that means that the first thing you have to do is identify the effective date of termination.

Counting the costs

If someone acts unreasonably in the way that they bring or conduct proceedings in an employment tribunal, they run the risk of having a costs order made against them.

In Iron and Steel Trades Confederation v ASW Ltd (IRLR 2004, 926), the employment appeal tribunal (EAT) has clarified that a costs order will not be made against a party just because their case was unlikely to succeed.

Hollow victory for claimants

All too often, an award of compensation by an employment tribunal can end up as a hollow victory for workers. The reason is simple. Awards are not being paid because employment tribunals in England and Wales have no powers to enforce them.

Own up, own up

Under the Companies Act, directors are required to observe a number of different duties and obligations. But just how far do these extend?

In Item Software Ltd v Fassihi (IRLR 2004, 928), the Court of Appeal has just decided that a director (who was also an employee) had a duty to disclose his own misconduct as part of the director's duty of loyalty.

Human rights and wrongs

The Human Rights Act 1998, which incorporates the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law, gives public sector employees the right to bring a claim against their employer for a breach of the Convention.

Roll up, roll up

The issue of rolled-up holiday pay has been the subject of a number of recent cases, but in Marshalls Clay Products v Caulfield (LELR 82), the Court of Appeal decided that it was legal. Marshalls and a further case Robinson-Steel v RF Retails Services Ltd have, however, now been referred to the European Court of Justice (see LELR 91).

Discrete payment

When a court decides that someone has been wrongfully dismissed, it can calculate the size of any contractual bonus to which the employee would have been entitled as part of the damages settlement.