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Weekly Issue 98 - March 2005

Labour & European Law Review Download issue

In the news

The TUC has just produced a new guide for trade unions on monitoring lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual workers.

Disabling insurance

In personal injury claims, the courts have to observe certain principles when calculating compensation for future losses.

Equal discrimination

Under the Sex Discrimination Act, a woman can claim direct sex discrimination if her employer treats her less favourably than a man. To succeed, however, she has to show that the reason is because of her sex. It does not have to be the only reason, but it does need to be the main one.

Do you recognise me?

Following a thorough review of the 1999 Employment Relations Act, a new and updated version of the legislation received royal assent at the end of last year (see LELR 95).

The review followed a specific commitment by the Government in its 1998 "Fairness At Work" white paper to keep a watching brief on the operation of the statutory recognition and de-recognition procedures introduced in the 1999 Act.

The last straw

In general terms, it is a high risk strategy for employees to resign and claim constructive dismissal. But it is even more so when the last act relied on was not in itself unreasonable, although it was the "final straw" in a series of acts.

Time out from the regulations

Under section 12 (1) of the Working Time Regulations 1998, workers are entitled to a rest break of at least 20 minutes every six hours.

This does not apply, however, to workers whose activities "involve the need for continuity of service or production" (regulation 21(c)) such as those who work at docks or airports; or where "there is a foreseeable surge of activity" in the work (regulation 21 (d)).

Consult in time

Under the Collective Redundancies Directive, employers have to consult with workers' representatives in good time to try to find a way of avoiding the redundancies or reducing the number of workers affected.

Failure to consult

Section 188 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act says that, if employers are proposing to make 20 or more employees redundant within 90 days, they have to consult the appropriate representatives of anyone who might be dismissed "in good time".