As we approach October, the ever-controversial Uber have achieved the seemingly impossible and fallen even further from grace. Now, along with black cab drivers and Trade Unions, Uber can add Transport for London to the list of groups who are out to expose their failings.
However, instead of discussing the revocation of their license to operate in London, we will instead focus on their appeal at an employment tribunal that started this week. Also in this week’s Employment Law & HR roundup, we discuss what all contracts of employment should contain, the dismissal of football manager Mark Samson, balancing work and family life and much more.
What Should Be Included in an Employment Contract?
Last year alone, 9,279 claims for breach of contract and 1,024 claims for failures to provide written terms and conditions were brought to Employment Tribunals. These cases, which almost certainly left a lot of employers out of pocket, could well have been prevented through the use of accurate, up to date and effective contracts of employment.
Whether verbal or in writing (preferably in writing), the agreement that is made between employer and employee when an offer of employment is accepted is legally binding and must be adhered to until the employment ends.
So, what is an employment contract and what should it include? In the following blog post we take you through everything you need to know about contracts of employment.
Uber in landmark UK employment tribunal
Over the last couple of years, Uber have been at the forefront of the legal battle between ‘gig economy’ workers and their multinational employers over their employment status. This week, one of Uber’s competitors Adison Lee faced an employment tribunal that ruled three of its drivers should have been classed as workers instead of self-employed.
This decision could well set a precedent for Uber’s upcoming appeal. The appeal, which was launched on Wednesday, follows a 2016 ruling that two of its drivers should be treated as workers and receive employment benefits such as a minimum wage.
Uber refutes this and claims that their workers have the flexibility to choose when they work, subsequently making them self-employed.
Read more about Uber’s argument and what is at stake in this article.
Mark Sampson could sue FA for unfair dismissal
On 20 September, Mark Samson was sacked as England women’s manager following revelations of supposed inappropriate behaviour with female players in a previous role.
It has been suggested that Samson, who was recently cleared by two inquiries into accusations of racism, could have a convincing case for Unfair Dismissal.
The evidence of Samson’s ‘inappropriate and unacceptable’ behaviour comes from a 2015 report on his conduct at Bristol Academy, where he worked before becoming England manager.
Unless the FA can justify why they sacked Mark Samson last week, instead of 2015 when the investigation into his conduct took place, they could lose any unfair dismissal claims lodged against them.
Read more about the possibility of the ex-England manager lodging a claim for unfair dismissal against the FA.
Man accused of going on holiday rather than looking after sick wife was unfairly dismissed
An Employment Tribunal ruled this week that the Royal Mail ‘ignored conclusive evidence’ when an employee of 16 years was fired on suspicion of misusing special leave.
Special leave is a general term used to describe time off given by managers for a variety of circumstances. The time off, whether paid or unpaid, is in addition to annual leave.
In this case, the employee cancelled a scheduled flight to Mumbai and requested special leave to look after his wife following an accident. However, he was later dismissed following a mistake on the part of the Royal Mail which led them to assume he would not be returning to work.
Read more about how this small error left the Royal Mail in an Employment Tribunal.
Third of parents stressed out by balancing work and family life
A new study has discovered that over a third of parents feel that balancing family and work responsibilities has taken a toll on their mental health.
Speaking about the findings, Mike Blake, Director at Willis Towers Watson, the company behind the research, said,
‘Supporting working parents can have a positive impact for organisations in a number of key areas. By looking after their financial and emotional wellbeing, incidents of sickness absence can be reduced and productivity can be increased through improved levels of motivation and engagement. Furthermore, support for this important workforce demographic can reinforce an organisation’s reputation as an employer of choice and, in turn, help boost recruitment and retention.’
The findings of the study are in keeping with recent revelations about the impact that mental health has on productivity in the workplace.
Read more about how employers can help their employees to cope with stress and the work-life balance.