DAVID ROYDEN - EMPLOYMENT SOLICITOR
UK EMPLOYMENT LAW

David Royden is a Partner with Laytons Solicitors and Head of Employment Law, Manchester, UK

Laytons Solicitors is a national law practice specialising in all aspects of Company and Commercial Law

Laytons Solicitors, 22 St John Street, Manchester M3 4EB.
Tel: +44 (0) 161 834 2100
Fax: +44 (0) 161 834 6862

Offices at London, Manchester and Guildford, UK

 

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Dismissal for refusing to do Shop or Betting Work on a Sunday

Legislation gives shop and betting workers the right not to be dismissed, selected for redundancy or subjected to other detrimental treatment for refusing or proposing to refuse to do work on Sundays. There is no qualifying period of service or upper age limit for employees who wish to complain that they have been dismissed for this reason. This protection came into force in England and Wales on 26 August 1994 for shop workers and on 3 January 1995 for betting workers. It applies in Scotland, both for shop and for betting workers, from 6 April 2004. It does not apply to those employed to work only on Sundays.

In England and Wales, employees who were employed at the time the legislation came into force and have remained with the same employer since then generally have these rights automatically. Employees in England and Wales whose contracts cannot require them to work on Sundays also have these rights automatically. Employees in England and Wales who, after the legislation came into force, enter into a contractual agreement to do shop or betting work on Sundays, either by formally "opting in" to Sunday working or by taking up a new job which requires Sunday working, can generally qualify for these rights by "opting-out" of Sunday working, subject to a three month notice period.

In Scotland, only employees whose contract cannot require them to work on Sundays have these rights automatically. Other employees in Scotland can qualify for them by "opting-out" of Sunday working, subject to a three month notice period.

Dismissal relating to activities as an Occupational Pension Scheme Trustee

Employee occupational pension fund trustees have the right to reasonable paid time off for the performance of their duties and to undergo training.

A dismissal will be held to be unfair if the main reason for it is that an employee who is a trustee of a relevant occupational pension scheme has performed, or has proposed to perform, any functions as such a trustee. There is no qualifying period of service or age limit for employees who wish to complain that they have been dismissed for these reasons. It is also unlawful for an employer to subject an employee to any other detrimental treatment for these reasons.

A "relevant occupational pension scheme" means an occupational pension scheme (as defined in section 1 of the Pension Schemes Act 1993) established under a trust.

Dismissal relating to the Transnational Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 1999

The Transnational Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 1999 (Statutory Instrument 1999 no.3323, available from The Stationery Office) implement in the United Kingdom the European Works Council Directive, which sets out requirements for informing and consulting employees at the European level, in undertakings or groups with at least 1000 employees across the member states and at least 150 employees in each of two or more of those member states. An employee will be held to be unfairly dismissed (or selected for redundancy) if he or she was, within the meaning of these regulations, a member of a special negotiating body or a European Works Council, an information and consultation representative or a candidate to be such a member or representative, and the reason or the main reason for the redundancy or dismissal was that he or she performed or proposed to perform any functions or activities as such a member, representative or candidate, or that he or she (or a person acting for them) made a request or proposed to make a request for reasonable time off to perform such functions and to be paid for doing so.

There is additional protection against dismissal for any employees who take proceedings in good faith to an employment tribunal to enforce their rights under these regulations, or who take certain actions in relation to the procedures governed by the regulations.

There is no qualifying period of service or age limit for employees who wish to complain that they have been dismissed for a reason described in this section. It is also unlawful for an employer to subject an employee to any other detrimental treatment on these grounds.

Dismissal relating to Jury Service

From 6 April 2005 employees will be unfairly dismissed (or selected for redundancy) if the reason, or the principal reason, is that they have been summoned for jury service or have been absent from work on jury service. There is no qualifying period of service or upper age limit for employees who wish to complain that they have been dismissed for these reasons. This protection will not apply, however, if the employer shows that the employee's absence will cause substantial injury to his business and makes this known to the employee, who nevertheless unreasonably refuses, or fails, to apply to be excused from jury service or to have his jury service deferred.

Employees are also protected against detrimental action or deliberate inaction by their employer because they have been summoned for jury service or have been absent from work on jury service. However, the protection does not cover failure to pay remuneration during absence on jury service unless the employee's contract of employment entitles him to be paid during such an absence.

Dismissal relating to The European Public Limited-Liability Company Regulations 2004

The European Public Limited-Liability Company Regulations 2004 (Statutory Instrument 2004 no.2326, available from the Stationery Office) implement in Great Britain the Directive on employee involvement (2001/86/EC), which supplements the European company Statute. The Regulations came into force on 8th October 2004.

The Statute creates a legal framework for a new corporate entity, the European Company or "Societas Europea" (SE), available to companies operating in more than one Member State. The supplementary Directive provides for employee involvement (information, consultation and possibly participation arrangements) in the SE. In the first instance the arrangements are to be negotiated between the management and the employees, acting through a Special Negotiating Body (SNB). If a voluntary agreement is not reached, then certain "standard" rules will apply, provided management wants to carry on with registration of an SE.

Unfair dismissal provisions under these Regulations cover any employee acting as a member of the SNB (or other representative body), an information and consultation representative, or an employee representative on the company board. Employees are also protected when standing as candidates to be such representatives under the Regulations.

An employee will be regarded as being unfairly dismissed where the reason or the main reason for the redundancy or dismissal was that the employee performed or proposed to perform any functions or activities as such a representative or candidate, or that the employee (or a person acting for them) made a request or proposed to make a request for reasonable time off to perform such functions and to be paid for doing so.

There is additional protection against dismissal for any employees who take proceedings in good faith to an employment tribunal to enforce their rights or who apply, complain or appeal to the Central Arbitration Committee or the Employment Appeal Tribunal under these regulations.

There is no qualifying period of service or age limit for employees who wish to complain that they have been dismissed for a reason described in this section. It is also unlawful for an employer to subject an employee to any other detrimental treatment on these grounds.

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