Weekly Review of Developments 15/9/2017

Posted in : Weekly Review of Developments on 15 September 2017
Legal-Island
Legal-Island

The Dalai Lama was in Derry/Londonderry this week. But was he billed as from Tibet/China? Here’s the week’s employment news straight down the middle…

CONTENTS

1. Early Bird Discount on Annual Reviews Ends at 5pm Today!
2. Case Law Reviews
3. Lifting of 1% Public Pay Cap
4. Racism Affects Third of Ethnic Minority Staff
5. Should Criminal Records Be Sealed from Employers?
6. 5.8 Million UK Workers Have Gone into Work When Feeling Mentally Unwell
7. Too Busy to Exercise?
8. £13m a Year Needed to Help Boost Workplace Productivity in Small Businesses
9. Is Employee Vetting Failing to Detect Modern Slavery?
10. Unemployment Rate Falls to 4.3% as Wages Stagnate
11. HR Interview Series
12. The Immigration and Nationality (Fees) (Amendment) Regulations 2017
13. Irish Economic Growth Boosts Northern Ireland Firms
14. Brexit Update
15. Employment News in the Media
16. Health and Safety Developments
17. Friends of Legal-Island
18. Weekend Weather and Thought-Provoking Video

Case law essentials this week:
A paralegal who handed in his notice before receiving his bonus was entitled to the five-figure pay out in the case of Mr C Yucetas v Ersan and Co Solicitors [2017] 3323966/2016. Allowing the claim, the Employment Judge noted that the company could not unilaterally alter what was agreed at the meeting by issuing a draft contract with different terms.

Remember:
Our case law reviews are now held in our case law section on our fully-searchable employment law hub:
https://www.legal-island.com/case-law-landing-page/  

Highlights this week:
The UK government faces controversy over public sector pay after a decision to lift the 1% annual cap on increases; it has been reported that more than a third of black or minority ethnic workers (BME) have been subject to racism at work; a government-commissioned review, led by MP David Lammy, suggests ex-offenders should have their criminal records sealed so they cannot be scrutinised by potential employers; Northern Ireland firms are benefitting from strong growth in the Republic of Ireland's economy; the third Farm Safety Action Plan has been launched, aimed at reducing the number of injuries and deaths on farms, as agriculture remains one of the most hazardous industries to work in; and we interview some of Northern Ireland’s leading figures in HR to find out about their role, the challenges they face, what winds them up in business and how they wind down.

Post Graduate Certificate in NI Employment Law and Practice:
Legal-Island has joined forces with Ulster University and the Labour Relations Agency to create what we think will be the best employment law course in the UK. Find out more here, if you'd like to hold an accredited Post Graduate Certificate in NI Employment Law and Practice:
https://www.legal-island.com/event/post-graduate-certificate-in-ni-employment-law-and-practice/

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1.  Early Bird Discount on Annual Reviews Ends at 5pm Today!

Over 290 of your peers have already booked to attend the Annual Reviews of Employment Law 2017 conferences, held in association with sponsors NI Jobs and Sureskills. Book your place by 5pm today (15th September) and you'll save up to £70 per seat.

This year we have 14 different sessions, and 16 speakers discussing everything you need to know – it’s a comprehensive and practical update on all the major changes and developments in employment laws affecting NI workplaces.

After attending, you will better be able to:

  • Minimise your risk of litigation
  • Understand how the relevant new cases from Northern Ireland, GB and Europe impact your workplace
  • Update your HR policies with useful templates for key areas in your organisation - these will be sent to you directly via email
  • Refer to all important legislative and case law developments relevant to your workplace with an extensive folder of notes
  • Prepare your HR department for the year ahead

This year, the Annual Review of Employment Law conferences take place as follows:

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2. Case Law Review

Mr C Yucetas v Ersan and Co Solicitors [2017] 3323966/2016

Keywords: Unpaid Bonus; Oral Contracts; Contractual Terms; Unilateral Variation

The claimant, a paralegal, worked part-time at the respondent solicitor’s firm and was initially employed by way of oral contract. There was no dispute between the parties that a meeting had been held in May 2015 regarding bonuses for paralegals and the claimant was eligible for an increased bonus. The respondent, however, argued that the contractual terms were such that the claimant would only receive the bonus if he was employed and not under notice by the end of June in any financial year. The claimant denied any such term ever existed. After handing in his notice in April 2016, the claimant enquired about his notice pay and was informed that he had not been employed at the right time of the financial year to be eligible. The tribunal accepted the claimant’s evidence and held that the company could not unilaterally alter what was agreed between the parties by issuing a draft contract with different terms. The claim was allowed and the firm was ordered to pay £13,830.50 to cover the unpaid bonus as well as the claimant’s lost wages.

Practical Lessons

The key legal point from this case unquestionably relates to the status of contractual terms. All contractual terms should ideally be agreed in writing before the commencement of employment and this is particularly true where bonus schemes are concerned. Whilst it is common practice for the precise details of bonuses to be ironed out after employment begins, this case demonstrates that having a ‘black and white’ agreement beforehand can potentially save such complications. It was a contractual variation that caused the problem here, yet having the agreement written and signed is equally important. Although there is Court of Appeal authority holding that terms can be modified orally, even if there is a contractual clause requiring them to be in writing, employers should not completely discount them. Such a clause would serve to heighten the burden of proving that a variation had occurred and would put the employer in a stronger position evidentially.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/59a6d062ed915d44ac71fdc1/Mr_C_Yucetas_v_Ersan_and_Co_Solicitors_Ltd_3323966.2016.pdf

This case review was written by John Taggart BL. NI Tribunal decisions are available on the OITFET website:
http://www.employmenttribunalsni.co.uk/   

If you have any queries or wish to comment on the reports please feel free to contact John at: jtaggart11@qub.ac.uk      

John Taggart LL.B, CPLS, BL:

After practising at the Bar of Northern Ireland for two years John joined 33 Bedford Row, London as a third six pupil in January 2016. He writes a weekly review of employment case reports for Legal-Island and is also a contributor to various legal blogs on a range of topics. John has also taught criminal law and tort law at Queen’s University, Belfast and is currently a visiting lecturer at City University, London. He is currently on secondment from chambers to the Nursing and Midwifery Council as a fitness to practise lawyer.

John Taggart will be discussing the following at this year's Annual Reviews of Employment Law in November:

Reasonable Adjustments and Performance in Employment and Recruitment

The case of Downie v DSD indicated that employers must consider dis-applying efficiency and other performance procedures when weighing up absences of disabled employees. The EAT in Government Legal Service v Brookes ruled that changes should be made to multiple choice tests to accommodate candidates with Asperger’s syndrome. How far should an employer go to avoid accusations of disability discrimination? Must absence records of disabled employees be discounted (and by how much) as a reasonable adjustment in redundancy matrices? What other changes might employers have to make to their recruitment tests? John Taggart, Barrister discusses the relevant case law and advises on what should be deemed reasonable by tribunals. He also provides notes on other relevant equality developments affecting the NI workplace.

https://www.legal-island.com/event/annual-review-of-employment-law-2017-crowne-plaza/ 

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3. Lifting of 1% Public Pay Cap

The UK government faces controversy over public sector pay after a decision to lift the 1% annual cap on increases was met with derision from the Labour party and renewed threats of strikes by trade unions. Following months of pressure over the issue, Downing Street announced above 1% pay rises for police and prison officers and a wider commitment to “flexibility” for all public sector workers from next year. But Jeremy Corbyn accused the Conservatives of trying to divide and rule workers, while unions representing prison officers and police dismissed their pay rises as insufficient, with the former threatening industrial action.

Steve White, the chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said many of his members would be “angry and deflated” at their pay award following a requested 2.8% rise in basic pay.

The pay announcement is also likely to cause discontent in many parts of the public sector, including the NHS, with the Royal College of Nursing threatening strike action. Public sector pay was frozen for two years in 2010, except for those earning less than £21,000 a year, and since 2013, rises have been capped at 1% - below the rate of inflation. More from the Guardian:
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/sep/12/police-and-prison-officers-pay-cap-to-be-lifted-no-10-says

In Northern Ireland, the absence of a devolved administration is hitting police pay. The Police Federation for Northern Ireland has called on the Secretary of State to take action to deliver a pay award to thousands of officers. The federation's chairman, Mark Lindsay, said PSNI officers would not get a pay rise in September owing to the lack of NI ministers in place to approve any deal.

"Much to our disgust and disappointment there has been no such award relating to police officer pay for Northern Ireland... In the absence of a Northern Ireland Executive, we have written to the Secretary of State urging him to enact legislation which enables critical decisions pertinent to the effective running of Northern Ireland to be taken in the absence of local ministers. We would also seek assurances that any increase for officers in Northern Ireland be backdated to the 1 September 2017." More from the BBC:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-41247034

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4. Racism Affects Third of Ethnic Minority Staff

More than a third of black or minority ethnic workers (BME) have been subject to racism at work, a study by the TUC trade union body suggests. Incidents included bullying, abuse, or being singled out for unfair treatment, a survey of 1,000 BME workers found. Almost a fifth of the workers said they had been passed over for training or promotion. The Industry body CBI said employers have a legal duty to protect their employees.

TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady said, "Racism still haunts the workplace. Racist bullying, harassment and victimisation should have no place anywhere, least of all at work."

Employers should intervene if any employee expresses racist views, according to conciliation service Acas. Racism at work could be an employment law and a criminal law matter - so in some cases, employers and the police should handle the complaint. Acas adviser Tom Neil said companies should investigate incidents properly, as well as having an open workplace that celebrates cultural diversity. More from the BBC:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-41243550 

Meanwhile, almost one in five (18 per cent) ethnic minority leaders have personally experienced workplace discrimination in the last two years, according to new research. The survey from diversity consultancy Green Park also revealed that eight in 10 (82 per cent) ethnic minority leaders did not trust the organisations they worked for, believing there was institutional prejudice against minorities in the UK. More from the CIPD:
http://www2.cipd.co.uk/pm/peoplemanagement/b/weblog/archive/2017/09/13/fifth-of-ethnic-minority-leaders-have-experienced-workplace-discrimination.aspx

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5. Should Criminal Records Be Sealed from Employers?

Ex-offenders could have their criminal records sealed so they cannot be scrutinised by potential employers, under proposals published in a government-commissioned review.

A review led by David Lammy, Labour MP for Tottenham and chair of the all-party parliamentary group on race and community, examined how black, Asian and minority ethnic individuals are being treated by the criminal justice system.

Among its 35 recommendations is the proposal for the UK to introduce a US-style mechanism where people can apply to have their criminal record sealed. The judge or parole board considering the request would take into account if the offence was committed when the person was a child or a young adult, and if the offender could demonstrate that they have since changed their behaviour.

“This important review rightly recognises the significant negative impact that the current criminal records disclosure regime has on people’s chances of finding work after they’ve turned their lives around,” said Christopher Stacey, co-director of Unlock, a charity supporting people with convictions. “It unnecessarily anchors people to their past, locks them out of the labour market and has a considerable financial cost to society through out-of-work benefits.” More from the CIPD:
http://www2.cipd.co.uk/pm/peoplemanagement/b/weblog/archive/2017/09/08/criminal-records-should-be-sealed-from-employers-mp-suggests.aspx 

The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 primarily exists to support the rehabilitation into employment of reformed offenders who have stayed on the right side of the law. Under the 1974 Act, following a specified period of time which varies according to the disposal administered or sentence passed, cautions and convictions (except those resulting in prison sentences of over four years and all public protection sentences) may become spent. Once a caution or conviction has become spent, a person does not have to reveal it or admit its existence in most circumstances. Unless an exception applies, then spent cautions and convictions need not be disclosed when filling in a form, or at a job interview. An employer cannot refuse to employ someone (or dismiss someone) because he or she has a spent caution or conviction unless an exception applies. The 1974 Act solely applies in England, Wales and Scotland.

In Northern Ireland, the Rehabilitation of Offenders (Northern Ireland) Order 1978 applies. The Order (and subsequent amending Orders) sets out time limits under which a criminal conviction becomes spent and stipulates occupations for which a conviction can never become spent, this includes work that involves contact with children, young people or vulnerable adult groups.  In this instance an individual must disclose all convictions. Learn more about the applicable legislation in NI:
https://www.legislation.gov.uk/nisi/1978/1908 

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6. 5.8 Million UK Workers Have Gone into Work When Feeling Mentally Unwell

A fifth of respondents (19 per cent) said they’d be more likely to go into work if feeling mentally unwell than they would if feeling physically unwell, with mental health issues not deemed as severe as physical ones by a significant minority, according to new research from Canada Life Group Insurance.  Just 20 per cent report they would take time off if they were suffering from a stress-related illness.

Paul Avis, Marketing Director at Canada Life Group Insurance, comments: “Old stigmas still persist when it comes to mental health in the workplace. People suffering from mental health issues should be focusing on getting better rather than struggling into the office. You would not come into work if you were too physically unwell to do so, would you? Too many employees do come in when unwell as they are worried about how having a mental illness will affect their job prospects or relationship with their colleagues. Employers must do more to show they are serious about supporting employees with mental health and stress-related issues. It is important to communicate not only that it’s okay for them to take time off to get better, but also that there won’t be any negative impact on their career for doing so. Organisations should embrace professional, quality support as many are unaware of what can be done and what support is available from insurers..." More from HR Review:
http://www.hrreview.co.uk/hr-news/5-8-million-uk-workers-gone-work-feeling-mentally-unwell/105785 

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7. Too Busy to Exercise?

Exercise is the first thing people drop when work pressures take up too much of their time, according to a study. The data released to coincide with Cycle to Work Day shows 35% of employees have less than an hour a day of "me time" during the working week. As a result, their fitness regime fails and home-cooked food is sacrificed for convenience meals.

"We can't let our dedication to our jobs cost us our health and wellbeing," said Adrian Warren, Business Operations Director at Cyclescheme - one of the partners supporting the day. "Cycling to work is a simple way to get more exercise, which is shown to make people happier and more productive at work, whilst saving money compared to an expensive gym membership." More from the BBC:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-41243436

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8. £13m a Year Needed to Help Boost Workplace Productivity in Small Businesses

New research by the CIPD, supported by J.P. Morgan, suggests giving small businesses basic HR support can help to lift workplace productivity. The CIPD is calling on Government to invest £13m a year to provide HR support to small businesses, as new research shows that it could be a key part of efforts to unlock the UK’s productivity puzzle. The call is based on the evaluation of year-long ‘People Skills’ pilots providing HR support for SMEs in Hackney, Stoke-on-Trent and Glasgow. It provided up to two days’ worth of free HR support to small firms, including face-to-face advice, a telephone helpline, online information and templates, as well as group training events. Key findings of the pilot were:

  • Online business support is inadequate unless supplemented by personalised advice and support, with face-to-face advice particularly by small business owner managers
  • Existing fragmented business support provided at local level should be rationalised to prevent duplication of provision and confusion among SMEs
  • Policy makers need to re-think how they encourage SMEs to employ and train young people in the workplace, for example through apprenticeships, as in most cases they don't have the interest or capability to do this. Re-focusing a proportion of government investment in skills to providing enhanced business support around people management capability for SMEs would, over time, give more small business the capability and confidence to engage in programmes supporting young people into work in the future.
  • The support provided by People Skills did not disadvantage existing private sector providers as owner managers participating in People Skills had not previously accessed HR support services

More from the CIPD:
https://www.cipd.co.uk/about/media/press/110917-people-skills

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9. Is Employee Vetting Failing to Detect Modern Slavery?

Companies may be inadvertently participating in modern slavery because their vetting practices are not up to scratch. The study from the Universities of Sheffield and Bath, which entailed interviews with experts in business, non-governmental organisations, trade unions, law firms and the police, found that organisations were failing to thoroughly monitor outsourced recruitment, subcontracting or informal hiring practices.

“Companies have little hope of detecting modern slavery practices unless they adopt a new approach that focuses specifically on their labour supply chains; they need to be able to trace the origin of their employees in the same way as most now can for their products,” said Professor Andrew Crane, Director of the University of Bath’s Centre for Business, Organisations and Society and the study’s lead author.

The research warned that those caught up in modern slavery could have been subjected to highly exploitative practices, such as having their passport withheld, being forced to work for little or no pay or having to pay for the job in the first place.

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 requires all UK companies bigger than a certain size to publish a yearly statement outlining what they have done to stamp out slavery in their supply chains. However, a study published by the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply revealed that a third (34 per cent) of companies that fell within the legislation’s remit had published no such statement.

More from the CIPD:
http://www2.cipd.co.uk/pm/peoplemanagement/b/weblog/archive/2017/09/11/employee-vetting-failing-to-detect-modern-slavery.aspx 

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10. Unemployment Rate Falls as Wages Stagnate

UK unemployment fell by 75,000 in the three months to July, bringing the unemployment rate down to 4.3% from 4.4% in the previous quarter. The rate remains at its lowest since 1975, but a squeeze on real incomes continues, according to the Office for National Statistics figures.

Matt Hughes, a senior ONS statistician, said "Another record high employment rate and a record low inactivity rate suggest the labour market continues to be strong. In particular, the number of people aged 16 to 64 not in the labour force because they are looking after family or home is the lowest since records began, at less than 2.1 million. Despite earnings rising by 2.1% in cash terms over the last year, the real value of people's earnings is down 0.4%." More from the BBC:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-41252976

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11. HR Interview Series

In this series, we interview some of Northern Ireland’s leading figures in HR to find out about their role, the challenges they face, what winds them up in business and how they wind down.

This week we have compiled some of our most popular interviews for you to enjoy.

You’ll find out who started their career in a video rental shop, who’s biggest office bugbear is an overflowing paper shredder and who would love to be a model or TV presenter, as well as some great tips and advice for a top career in human resources.

Interview with Cathy Donnelly - HR Director, Liberty IT

Interview with Michelle Hatfield - Director of HR and Corporate Responsibility, George Best Belfast City Airport

Interview with Emer Hinphey - Co-Founder/Director, Think People Consulting

Interview with Chris Lillie - Group HR Director, SHS Group

Interview with Gillian McAuley - Group HR Director, Devenish Nutrition

Interview with Linda Hutchinson - Deputy CEO / Director of Human Resources & Organisational Development, Inspire

If you have any comments or you'd like to feature in our HR Interview Series, please contact pamela@legal-island.com.

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12. The Immigration and Nationality (Fees) (Amendment) Regulations 2017

The Immigration and Nationality (Fees) (Amendment) Regulations 2017 come into force on 2nd October 2017.

In particular, the Regulations make provision in respect of the exchange rate which the Home Office is to apply when receiving payments in currencies other than sterling (regulation 5). The remainder of the changes made by these Regulations are minor and technical in nature.
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2017/885/contents/made  

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13. Irish Economic Growth Boosts Northern Ireland Firms

Northern Ireland firms are benefiting from the strong growth in the Republic of Ireland's economy, an Ulster Bank survey has suggested. The bank conducts a monthly survey of private sector business activity. The August survey showed the strongest rate of growth this year, with exports to the Republic of Ireland reportedly supporting rises in workloads.

The Republic of Ireland, which is Northern Ireland's single biggest export market, is continuing to experience a robust economic recovery. Unemployment is at lowest levels since the summer of 2008 and the country's central bank is forecasting economic growth of 4.5% this year and 3.6% in 2018. Some Northern Ireland firms are also likely to be benefiting from the weakening of sterling against the euro. More from the BBC:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-41220501

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14. Brexit Update

Common Law Ireland to be 'Isolated' within EU Post-Brexit

Ireland will become much more isolated after Brexit as one of only two common law jurisdictions remaining in the European Union, leading Irish legal experts have warned. Paul Gallagher SC, a former Attorney General of Ireland, told a UCD Sutherland School of Law seminar on Friday that differences between the two legal traditions of common and civil law have come to a head in the EU, particularly with regard to regulations involving contract and criminal procedures.

The Common Law and Brexit: A New Frontier? was chaired by Professor Conor Gearty of the LSE, with presentations from Mr Gallagher as well as Dr Catherine Donnelly, Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC and Conleth Bradley SC. Justice Gerard Hogan SC and Lord Mance of the UK Supreme Court were also in attendance. The panel focussed on the effect Brexit would have on the future of common law. When the UK leaves the EU in March 2019, Ireland and Cyprus will be left as the sole remaining common law countries within the EU, which is dominated by states of the civil law tradition.

Previously, the UK was the main power from which the EU derived its common law expertise, and shared a common interest with Ireland in ensuring that EU legislation was not drafted or interpreted in a way that would be contrary to the principles of the common law. More from Irish Legal:
http://www.irishlegal.com/8486/legal-experts-say-common-law-ireland-to-be-isolated-within-eu-after-brexit/ 


Brexit: The Future of the Environment in Northern Ireland

Are you concerned about Brexit and the environment? As part of NI Environment Week 2017, Northern Ireland Environment Link will be hosting a seminar on Monday 11th September 2017 at Lough Neagh Discovery Centre to discuss the latest developments on Brexit.

In response to the EU Referendum result NIEL and its members created a new dedicated Brexit working group entitled the NIEL Brexit Coalition (NBC) to assess and respond to the challenges and opportunities associated with Brexit.

Topics of discussion include:

  • The challenges for the environment on both sides of the border, such as biodiversity loss, climate change, air and water quality remain the same now as before the Referendum result.
  • Through existing EU legislation, a wide range of environmental protection has been set out, and it is essential that, following Brexit, NI maintains a high or even improved level of environmental protection.
  • As the EU has provided high levels of investment in the environment, it is essential that this level of support is continued post Brexit.
  • In the absence of the European Commission and the European Court of Justice, it is not clear how environmental standards will be upheld post–Brexit. It is essential that governance arrangements are put in place to replace any loss of the necessary oversight, accountability, and enforcement functions currently carried out by the EU institutions.
  • As we have a unique challenge associated with the Northern Ireland/ Republic of Ireland land and sea border – many environmental problems have a strong cross border dimension. It is crucial therefore that the island of Ireland is considered as a single bio–geographic unit and that effective mechanisms exist to resolve and manage cross border environmental issues post Brexit.

This will be an opportunity to get an update on the work of the NIEL Brexit Coalition as well as having your say on the environmental messages we need to communicate at a NI, UK and European level on why and how our environment needs to be safeguarded post-2019.

View the draft agenda:
https://www.nienvironmentlink.org/cmsfiles/Brexit---The-Future-of-the-Environment-in-NI.pdf

And register for the event:
https://northernirelandenvironmentlink.wufoo.eu/forms/qkqgim516tv5g3/

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15. Employment News in the Media

A multi-billion pound aircraft trade dispute that could threaten hundreds of jobs at Bombardier in Belfast has been described as a "red herring" by  Canadian Senator, Colin Kenny. In 2016, Canadian firm Bombardier won an order to supply up to 125 C-Series passenger jets to US airline, Delta. The wings for the C-Series are made at Bombardier's Belfast plant. However, rival aircraft firm Boeing complained to the US authorities that the deal was unfairly subsidised by the Canadian state. The US Department of Commerce is due to make a ruling later this month and it could hit Bombardier with punitive tariffs. This could make it difficult for Bombardier to locate new C-Series customers in America and, as a result, threaten hundreds of jobs in Northern Ireland. More from the BBC:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-41251441 


Another of Northern Ireland's largest employers, the poultry producer Moy Park, has been sold for £1bn. About 6,300 people work for the company in Craigavon, Ballymena and Dungannon. The new owner is another major chicken producer, Pilgrim's Pride Corporation, which is headquartered in Colorado in the United States. More from the BBC:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-41225537


Members of a traveller family have been jailed for enslaving 18 men who were made to work for little or no wages while their captors lived a life of lavish luxury. The workers were illegally trafficked and exploited by the Rooney family - 10 men and one woman - whose actions left a gruelling mark on their victims. One man's terrifying ordeal spanned more than a quarter of a century. On one occasion, he was made to dig his own grave if he did not agree to a lifetime of servitude. More from the BBC:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lincolnshire-40903474

A paralegal who handed in his notice before receiving his bonus was entitled to the five-figure pay out, a tribunal has decided. Allowing the claim, the Employment Judge noted that the company could not unilaterally alter what was agreed at the meeting by issuing the draft contract with different terms. More from the CIPD:
http://www2.cipd.co.uk/pm/peoplemanagement/b/weblog/archive/2017/09/07/paralegal-who-resigned-was-entitled-to-163-14-000-bonus-tribunal-rules.aspx


A man convicted of theft has been given a final chance to complete the hours of unpaid work imposed by a court – or face going to prison. Jak Wright, 26, is subject to a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years for stealing £5,356 from his employer while manager at a Carphone Warehouse branch in Shrewsbury. More from the Shropshire Star:
https://www.shropshirestar.com/news/crime/2017/09/11/shrewsbury-thief-who-stole-over-5000-from-carphone-warehouse-given-last-chance/ 


A woman who was told she might be “better suited to a traditional estate agency” was discriminated against because of her age, a tribunal has ruled. The tribunal concluded the phrase ‘better suited to a traditional estate agency’ was a reference to her age and it was unlikely that such a comment would have been made to a younger employee. The tribunal also found the person in charge of handling the grievance had compromised their impartiality. More from the CIPD:
http://www2.cipd.co.uk/pm/peoplemanagement/b/weblog/archive/2017/09/12/59-year-old-told-she-d-be-more-suited-to-a-traditional-office-wins-tribunal.aspx


The director of a salmon supply company has been ordered to carry out the maximum amount of community service after admitting to fraudulently using the labelling of two other firms to pass off products to a high-end Russian market, following a four-year multi-agency investigation led by Aberdeen City Council. Employees were asked to remove the original labels, add false labels and prepare false health and pre-export certificates.  More from the Fraserburgh Herald:
http://www.fraserburghherald.co.uk/news/crime/director-narrowly-avoids-imprisonment-after-admitting-huge-salmon-labelling-scam-1-4557469

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16. Health and Safety Developments

100 Accidents on NI Farms Each Month

About 100 accidents resulting in medical treatment happen on Northern Ireland farms each month,  according to the Farm Safety Partnership. The safety promotion body revealed the figure as it published its new action plan, aimed at reducing the number of injuries and deaths on farms as agriculture remains one of the most hazardous industries to work in. It comes just days after a well-known cattle breeder was killed in County Armagh in an incident involving a cow. More from BBC:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-41242246 

Farm Safety Action Plan April 2017 - March 2020

The third Farm Safety Action Plan was launched in September 2017 and covers the period April 2017 to March 2020. This action plan highlights the four main causes of fatal accidents - Slurry, Animals, Falls and Equipment (SAFE) and promotes the need for farmers and their families to stay vigilant and take those next steps towards safer farms and work practices. Read the action plan in full:
https://www.hseni.gov.uk/sites/hseni.gov.uk/files/farm-safety-action-plan-2017-2020.pdf 

Co Antrim Contractor Fined for Safety Failings During Lifting Operation

A County Antrim contractor has been fined and sentenced at Belfast’s Laganside Magistrates Court for failing to ensure safety measures were adhered to when moving a 1.8 tonne concrete slab. Mr Andrew Scott, a self-employed contractor from Ballyclare, was tasked with installing the precast concrete slab at Bryson Recycling Limited. During the lifting operation the concrete slab toppled over causing serious injuries to an employee of Bryson Recycling Ltd. HSENI Inspector Anne Cassidy said, “The outcome of this incident could have been much more serious but was completely preventable had the lift been properly planned by a competent person. The dangers of lifting operations are well known and all employers should ensure they are carried out without involving risk to those carrying out the work or in the immediate area.” More from HSENI: https://www.hseni.gov.uk/news/co-antrim-contractor-fined-safety-failings-during-lifting-operation 

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17. Friends of Legal-Island

Managing Mental Health in the Workplace

The theme of World Mental Health Day 2017 is ‘Mental Health in the Workplace’ so the charity Mindwise is holding an event on this very topic at The Andrews Gallery, Titanic Belfast on Tuesday 10th October from 8.30-10.30am. Click here to find out more:
www.legal-island2008.com/Managing-Mental-Health-in-the-Workplace.pdf 

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18. Weekend Weather and Thought-Provoking Video

Sunny spells and heavy showers on Friday with strong northerly winds at times. The showers and winds gradually ease from the west through the weekend with most places dry on Sunday. Maximum daytime temperatures of 14-15°C.

Go to the BBCNI for local information:
http://bbc.in/tw39eP 

This week's thought-provoking video is from Ray Dalio on 'How to Build a Company Where the Best Ideas Win'.

What if you knew what your co-workers really thought about your ideas? Ray Dalio makes the business case for radical transparency, with a system for decision-making that can create an idea meritocracy where people can speak up and say what they really think -- yes, even contradicting the boss. Learn how these strategies helped Dalio create one of the world's most successful hedge funds, and how you can harness the power of data-driven group decision-making in your own life. (16:33):
https://www.ted.com/talks/ray_dalio_how_to_build_a_company_where_the_best_ideas_win


And don't forget the A&L Goodbody 'Back to Basics' series of videos on the Legal-Island website if you want a quick check of NI employment rights. As well as a short video from the team, there's a transcript for reference purposes.
https://www.legal-island.com/regular-features/back-to-basics-video/ 

Enjoy the weekend.

This article is correct at 15/09/2017
Disclaimer:

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

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