Friday, 14 October 2011

Soldiers being made redundant - what's that got to do with you?

We were at a very interesting networking event last night which took place at the TA in Paisley. It was a great insight into what the TA does. As the regular army plans to reduce the number of soldiers they may be calling more and more on reservists for active duty. This means that you may be affected if your employees are deployed.
What does this mean for you? Yes, you may be losing your employee for a period of time, but what you gain can massively outweigh this. The TA equips its personnel with a host of tranferable skills that can help your business in the future. These can include:
  • Management and leadership
  • Communication skills
  • Problem solving and decision making
  • Resilience
  • Adaptability 
  • Tenacity
to name but a few. To find out more about this go to

As always, if you have concerns about this or any other matter to do with your people, don't hesitate to contact us on 0141 880 9025 or email

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Changes to the Employment Tribunal process

Although no date has been set, the following changes are going to be implementd to the Employment Tribunal process. It is likely to come into force in April 2012
  • With the exception of discrimination claims, the qualifiying period of employment for being able to lodge a claim will double from 12 months to 2 years
  • Claimants will have to pay a fee to lodge a claim and for it to be heard at tribunal. This is likely to come into force in 2013. Claimants will have to pay between £150 and £250 to lodge a claim with a fee of a minimum of £1000 for it to go to a hearing. If they win their case, the fees will be refunded. It will be interesting to see if these fees are paid by the 'no win - no fee' representatives.
If you have any concerns about this or any other people issues, don't hesitate to call us on 0141 880 9025 or email on

Monday, 5 September 2011

Backhander gets a slap

First worker charged under Bribery Act

Court Clerk faces court case over alleged bung

Court clerk Munir Patel is the first person to be charged under the Bribery Act for allegedly taking a kickback at work to waive a traffic penalty for a court defendant.

Patel is accused of accepting a £500 bribe while he was working at Redbridge Magistrates' Court in Ilford to leave a traffic penalty off a legal database.

He faces charges under the new act - which came into force on 1 July - while further charges against him include misconduct in a public office and perverting the course of justice.

Under the Bribery Act it is illegal to offer or receive bribes, but the rules include a new offence of failing to prevent bribery, which specifically affects employers. Companies will have to show they had adequate procedures in place to prevent bribery; if they do not, they could be liable to prosecution if an employee gives or receives a bribe.

If you do not have an Anti Corruption Policy, or would like advice on how to protect your business, then call us on 0141 880 9025

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Under 21's no longer allowed in licensed premises

Yesterday it was reported in the Glasgow Herald that Glasgow Licensing Board has decided to suspend the Liquor Licence for after midnight opening for Karbon, a Glasgow nightclub, for a month, while the venue can now only admit over-21s.
Whilst the sanction of suspending the licence is within the remit of the Licensing Board, is it within their powers to enforce a condition that is Direct Age Discrimination, in contravention of the Equality Act 2010? The Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 clearly makes the sale of alcohol to under 18s a criminal offence, however, this is the only age related reason to prevent access to licensed premises.
This situation is reminiscent of the gay couple who were refused accommodation in a Christian owned B&B. In their case, they were awarded compensation for direct discrimination.
What do you think?
To read the full story in the Glasgow Herald click here

Mother Nature wins again

The UK's weather last winter and Hurrican Irene last week show that no matter how much we plan, when Mother Nature decides she's going all out, there's not much we can do - or is there?

Extreme weather often means that people can't get into work, as we saw last year when the country almost came to a stop for days. This cost business millions of pounds.

You can't stop weather happening, but you can ensure that all your teams are clear about your policy about absence due to adverse weather conditions.

You should be planning now for the winter. Contact us for help in contingency planning and absence policies. 0141 880 9025 or email

Friday, 19 August 2011

Professional Bar Person qualification

We're going to be running a Professional Bar Person qualification on Thursday 1st September.

This consists of 2 modules:
  1. Scottish Certificate for Licensed Premises Staff
  2. Scottish Award in Customer and Drinks Service
This is a great qualification if you work in licensed hospitality and can also help you get a job in the industry. The course is £175 and is eligible for ILA funding so it could cost you nothing!

Call us on 0141 880 9025 if you would like to book a place on the course

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Shoesmith dismissal in the Baby P Case ruled Unfair

Sharon Shoesmith

The High Court has ruled that the dismissal of Sharon Shoesmith, who was director of child services at the time Baby P was abused, was procedurally unfair, with rumours of compensation reaching millions.

The decision had been taken to dismiss Shoesmith, based on conclusions drawn by Ofsted that she had not seen and she was not given an opportunity to defend herself.

The court concluded that it was not possible to say that the outcome would have been the same even if she had been given an opportunity to defend herself. It found the process had been so flawed as to render her dismissal null and void. The court recognised that reinstatement would not be a possibility and, therefore, expressed the hope that the parties would be able to negotiate a settlement. This led to press speculation about possible seven figure payments, since the cap on unfair dismissal is not relevant to an award of compensation in a judicial review.

It is important to note, that this is a High Court decision, and was a judicial review. This only happens in the public sector. The issues are different in the private sector.  There is no scope for judicial review, and unless there is unlawful discrimination, compensation cannot be awarded in excess of the unfair dismissal cap, currently £68,400. However, the concerns about the need for procedural fairness, even with senior executives, are likely to affect other cases.

Your disciplinary procedure must reflect the ACAS Code of Practice, as a minimum. Please contact us on 0141 880 9025 for support in ensuring you have the appropriate procedures, before you need to rely on them.

Case ref 2011 EWCA Civ 642