Friday, 22 September 2017

SEPTEMBER EDITION EMPLOYMENT LAW NEWS

My periodic newsletter on all things employment law related that I think you should be aware of.
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                                        EDITORIAL

Hello  colleagues, readers and chums! ,   some sage has announced that tribunal applications will soar !   well, well,   they could have asked me,  I would have told them for free!     Historically,  the tribunal system was known by the cognoscenti as the "chancers charter".    This view supported by the shear number of hopeless cases submitted to the system. By which I refer to the number of cases for instance where the applicant did not have sufficient service to qualify, nonetheless the application had to proceed through the system to arrive at the declaration.  Then the was the frivolous and vexatious cases, hopeless from the outset,  and brought simply to "get back" at an employer, and this not to mention the serial litigants!    Before anyone writes in,   I do appreciate that great injustices were done by unscrupulous employers and ordinary folk should not be denied access to justice, I do advocate this.......but something needed to be done,   it was just ill-conceived  from the outset.   THAT is the real injustice,  that the people who we trust to make our laws should make such a pigs' ear of it as to have it declared unlawful !
           My special gripe this month is the story that "suspension was not a neutral act".      I sometimes wish we had Judge Judy in charge,   she'd show 'em a bit of practical application!

        However............

           Read on for details of this months reports and, as always, call me or mail me if you have any concerns or need more information about this edition's content.

Kind regards,     Paul 
 

First The News:
 

The number of tribunal claims are expected to soar.

Following last month’s decision of the Supreme Court declaring that employment tribunal fees were unlawful, the number of tribunal claims are expected to soar. Zuraida Curtis looks at five types of case that will increase in the post-fees era.
 

1. Holiday pay

The Employment Appeal Tribunal confirmed in Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council v Willetts and others that voluntary overtime payments that are sufficiently regular constitute normal pay and should be included in holiday pay.
There have also been a string of employment law cases involving companies operating in the gig economy that have resulted in individuals being classified as workers rather than being self-employed.
This means that these individuals will be entitled to basic rights, including holiday pay.
In light of these decisions, there is likely to be an increase in holiday pay claims since the costly fee barrier has been removed.

2. Sex discrimination and maternity discrimination

Research undertaken by the Young Women’s Trust this year showed that young mothers are more likely to experience maternity discrimination and that six times as many under 25 year olds reported being dismissed after informing employers that they are pregnant.
The requirement to pay fees made it difficult for these employees to bring employment tribunal claims as a number of them would be on low pay, having to weigh up the cost of bringing a claim against the other stresses and priorities that pregnancy brings.
With the removal of the fees barrier, there is an opportunity for more of these cases to be taken to an employment tribunal.

3. Equal pay

Gender pay gap reporting came into effect on 6 April 2017, requiring organisations with 250 employees or more to publish annual figures demonstrating the pay gap between male and female employees.
Pay gap reporting made the headlines again when the BBC published its pay report recently. With the publication of pay gaps within a company, there is an increased risk to employers that equal pay claims will rise now that the fee barrier has been removed
4. Low value casesThe introduction of the fee system resulted in a sharp decrease in low value claims. Employers faced little risk from an employee on a lower salary, who was able to mitigate his or her loss quickly.
In recent years, employers also faced a low risk of claims brought by employees with under two years’ service, such as an employee dismissed during his or her probationary period.
A number of employers would risk a dismissal on the basis that the employee was unlikely to bring a claim due to the requirement to pay a fee.
These claims are all likely to increase with the removal of the fee barrier. It is also quite possible that employees with short service will be more willing to bring discrimination and whistleblowing claims.

5. Multiple claims by unions

The Supreme Court decision to end tribunal fees was a huge victory for Unison and it is likely that unions will become more attractive to employees, given the positive publicity that this case has given union membership.
Employees who are unionised have more access to legal support. With the abolition of fees, the costs to unions in bringing multiple claims will reduce and employers are likely to see an increase in union-backed multiple claims.

My Comment:    It will come as no great surprise that claims will increase,  as it becomes a free for all except for employers,   who end up paying one way or another!

 

 
 
Newsflash: 

Suspension is not a neutral act !

Did suspension of a teacher amount to a breach of the implied term of mutual trust and confidence?

Yes, held the High Court in Agoreyo v London Borough of Lambeth. In this case, a teacher was suspended because of the force she used with two children. She had not been asked for her response to the allegations and there was no evidence of consideration given to any alternative to suspension. She resigned the same day.
Foskett J held, following Mezey and Gogay, that suspension was not a neutral act, at least in the context of a qualified professional in a vocation, such as a teacher. Taking into account the statutory guidance for local authorities, it was noted that a knee-jerk reaction must be avoided and that suspension must not be the default position. The reason given for the suspension was not the protection of children, but to "allow the investigation to be conducted fairly".
The Court concluded that suspension was adopted as the default position, was a knee-jerk reaction, and amounted to a repudiatory breach of contract. This was not undermined by a resignation in friendly terms.
NB the court did not have before it the question of whether this case was an attempt to circumvent the statutory qualifying period for unfair dismissal claims and fell within the 'Johnson exclusion zone'.

My Comment :  this is the sort of legal decision that makes me furious!   This teacher may have handled children in a less than professional manner,  and was suspended from duty to allow investigation to take place.    What if,     through fear of this sort of fuddled reasoning,   the school had simply allowed her to continue with other children,    there would have been screams of "what are you thinking?   get her out of the place, just in case"      So here was a case of damned if you do,  and damned if you don't !      Suspension was for the protection of the teacher as much as anyone.  And as for calling it a "knee jerk reaction"   to policy,    that's what policy is there for, to make a decision there and then,   what were they supposed to do,    wait a few days,   whilst a committee had a look at it?       Grrrrrr!        read this on MY BLOG

 

 


And this, just in: my coffee and doughnut item!

Postman who resigned over shift pattern wins £22,000


Worker requested flexible working to cover childcare; lawyers warn case shows the risks of altering hours                                                   
 
A former postman was unfairly and constructively dismissed when he resigned over a dispute about his shift patterns, a tribunal has decided.
Manchester Employment Tribunal heard that Adam Gregory, who was awarded £22,000, had worked as a postman for Royal Mail since 1993. He has a daughter from a former marriage and, under an access agreement, sees her at weekends. Because of this, in 2012, Gregory approached his then line manager to limit his working days to Monday through Friday. The line manager allowed this and Gregory signed a letter acknowledging the new working pattern, but his official employment contract was not changed.
In 2015, Royal Mail started a restructuring exercise which was likely to change the way duties were carried out at the Burnley office, where Gregory worked. A questionnaire to determine employees’ working preferences was sent out. Gregory was on holiday at the time, so his union representative picked his preferences for him and selected a duty which would require Gregory to work three Saturdays a month.
When Gregory returned from holiday and discovered what had happened, he objected and submitted a new flexible working request. One of the postman’s managers considered the new request but rejected it, claiming it was partly because the work could not be reorganised among staff. Gregory appealed the decision, but this was also rejected.
Shortly after the failed appeal, around September 2015, the postman took time off sick with stress. In April 2016, while he was still off sick, his solicitor sent Royal Mail a letter to raise a formal grievance on behalf of his client. Royal Mail then acknowledged that Gregory’s contract, as far working hours were concerned, had been altered in 2012.
Gregory returned to work in May 2016 under a phased return and not working Saturdays. However, after Royal Mail sent him a letter in June 2016 confirming he was to work three Saturdays a month, Gregory resigned. Although he initially claimed jobseeker's allowance, he started working as a painter and decorator in January this year.  
Allowing Gregory’s unfair dismissal claim, Judge Holmes said “it was not physically impossible for [Royal Mail] to maintain his Monday to Friday working pattern, it was merely unsatisfactory, inconvenient, and more costly”.
Gregory was awarded £10,577 as a basic award for unfair dismissal, £8,486.29 as a compensatory award, and £3,008.43 for breach of contract. Royal Mail was also told to pay costs of £4,012.50.
“This ruling shows the risks that employers face when trying to change working hours, particularly where contracts have been varied to accommodate childcare arrangements,” Laurie Anstis, employment law director at Boyes Turner, told People Management. “While the employer in this case had originally operated its flexible working scheme properly, it ran into trouble when there was a later reorganisation of working arrangements at the depot.”
Ben Stepney, senior associate at Thomson Snell & Passmore, added: “An employer cannot unilaterally change an employees’ contract of employment. Even if the contract has a clause entitling the employer to do so, the clause must be very clear and be exercised in a manner that does not undermine the relationship of mutual trust and confidence between employer and employee.”
Gregory also brought claims for detriment for having made flexible working applications, but he later withdrew this, and sex discrimination, but this was dismissed.
A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “Royal Mail accepted the findings of the employment tribunal and the judgment has been paid out to the former employee some time ago.”
 
My Comment:  It just goes to show,   employees have massive rights, ignore them at your peril.  But, significantly here,  considering the size and resources of this employer,  this could have been avoided with  just a little application of common sense.  .     Thanks to  People Management for this article,  see them at: 

Download of employee pay rates,  NMW, "living wage" and other benefit entitlements:

Additionally:
In you need further in depth help working out what exactly counts as minimum wage,  the DBIS has produced this 55 page guide,

"Calculating the minimum wage"     
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Health& Safety

Issue

Store stopped providing customer with empty ‘tester’ perfume bottles to customer for health and safety reasons.

Panel opinion

Retailers are not prohibited under health and safety at work legislation from providing empty perfume bottles to customers upon request. In this case the store assistant was correctly following company policy on the destruction/recycling of waste. The company should have been more transparent about the real reason for refusal rather than use the excuse of ‘health & safety’.
 


Issue:
 

Supermarket deli refused to leave plastic wrapping on liver sausage stating that it was a ‘choking hazard’.

Panel opinion

There is no health and safety reason for refusing to leave the original plastic wrapping on fresh liver sausage. The decision to remove the plastic wrapping from the fresh food at point of sale makes no sense, especially as the product is likely to be wrapped in some other form of plastic bag before being handed to the customer. Claiming removal of the product’s original wrapping was necessary for health and safety reasons is indeed a myth!

Issue:

Local council bans tenant from using a mains extension lead from within his house, citing health and safety reasons.

Panel opinion

Health and safety and safety at work legislation does not prevent tenants from using their own extension lead at home for personal use. This seems to be a case of the landlord leading their tenant astray by inappropriately extending health and safety at work legislation to justify their rules.  Rather than banning extension leads, the landlord could more appropriately refer tenants to available guidance, for example from Electrical Safety First link to external website[1] or the Department for Communities and Local Government Fire safety in shared or rented accommodation link to external website[2].

 

Friday, 1 September 2017

the number of tribunal claims are expected to soar.

Following last month’s decision of the Supreme Court declaring that employment tribunal fees were unlawful, the number of tribunal claims are expected to soar. Zuraida Curtis looks at five types of case that will increase in the post-fees era.

1. Holiday pay

The Employment Appeal Tribunal confirmed in Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council v Willetts and others that voluntary overtime payments that are sufficiently regular constitute normal pay and should be included in holiday pay.
There have also been a string of employment law cases involving companies operating in the gig economy that have resulted in individuals being classified as workers rather than being self-employed.
This means that these individuals will be entitled to basic rights, including holiday pay.
In light of these decisions, there is likely to be an increase in holiday pay claims since the costly fee barrier has been removed.

2. Sex discrimination and maternity discrimination

Research undertaken by the Young Women’s Trust this year showed that young mothers are more likely to experience maternity discrimination and that six times as many under 25 year olds reported being dismissed after informing employers that they are pregnant.
The requirement to pay fees made it difficult for these employees to bring employment tribunal claims as a number of them would be on low pay, having to weigh up the cost of bringing a claim against the other stresses and priorities that pregnancy brings.
With the removal of the fees barrier, there is an opportunity for more of these cases to be taken to an employment tribunal.

3. Equal pay

Gender pay gap reporting came into effect on 6 April 2017, requiring organisations with 250 employees or more to publish annual figures demonstrating the pay gap between male and female employees.
Pay gap reporting made the headlines again when the BBC published its pay report recently. With the publication of pay gaps within a company, there is an increased risk to employers that equal pay claims will rise now that the fee barrier has been removed

4. Low value cases

The introduction of the fee system resulted in a sharp decrease in low value claims. Employers faced little risk from an employee on a lower salary, who was able to mitigate his or her loss quickly.
In recent years, employers also faced a low risk of claims brought by employees with under two years’ service, such as an employee dismissed during his or her probationary period.
A number of employers would risk a dismissal on the basis that the employee was unlikely to bring a claim due to the requirement to pay a fee.
These claims are all likely to increase with the removal of the fee barrier. It is also quite possible that employees with short service will be more willing to bring discrimination and whistleblowing claims.

5. Multiple claims by unions

The Supreme Court decision to end tribunal fees was a huge victory for Unison and it is likely that unions will become more attractive to employees, given the positive publicity that this case has given union membership.
Employees who are unionised have more access to legal support. With the abolition of fees, the costs to unions in bringing multiple claims will reduce and employers are likely to see an increase in union-backed multiple claims.

My Comment:    It will come as no great surprise that claims will increase,  as it becomes a free for all except for employers,   who end up paying one way or another!

Suspension is not a neutral act

Suspension is not a neutral act:

Did suspension of a teacher amount to a breach of the implied term of mutual trust and confidence?

Yes, held the High Court in Agoreyo v London Borough of Lambeth. In this case, a teacher was suspended because of the force she used with two children. She had not been asked for her response to the allegations and there was no evidence of consideration given to any alternative to suspension. She resigned the same day.

Foskett J held, following Mezey and Gogay, that suspension was not a neutral act, at least in the context of a qualified professional in a vocation, such as a teacher. Taking into account the statutory guidance for local authorities, it was noted that a knee-jerk reaction must be avoided and that suspension must not be the default position. The reason given for the suspension was not the protection of children, but to "allow the investigation to be conducted fairly".

The Court concluded that suspension was adopted as the default position, was a knee-jerk reaction, and amounted to a repudiatory breach of contract. This was not undermined by a resignation in friendly terms.

NB the court did not have before it the question of whether this case was an attempt to circumvent the statutory qualifying period for unfair dismissal claims and fell within the 'Johnson exclusion zone'.


My Comment :  this is the sort of legal decision that makes me furious!   This teacher may have handled children in a less than professional manner,  and was suspended from duty to allow investigation to take place.    What if,     through fear of this sort of fuddled reasoning,   the school had simply allowed her to continue with other children,    there would have been screams of "what are you thinking?   get her out of the place, just in case"      So here was a case of damned if you do,  and damned if you don't !      Suspension was for the protection of the teacher as much as anyone.  And as for calling it a "knee jerk reaction"   to policy,    that's what policy is there for, to make a decision there and then,   what were they supposed to do,    wait a few days,   whilst a committee had a look at it?       Grrrrrr!   

Asda Equal Pay Claims: Comparability

The EAT has ruled in Asda Stores Ltd v Mrs S Bierley and others that claimants who work in Asda’s retail stores can compare themselves with higher paid men who work in distribution centres. Mr Justice Kerr decided that:
  1. Article 157 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union is directly effective in a claim founded on equal pay for work of equal value.

  2. Where there is a “single source” of pay and conditions for both claimant and comparator, a comparison is permitted. Single source is a freestanding gateway to comparability and not an additional hurdle to be overcome in all cases.

  3. A Tribunal is entitled to take into account the similarity between the claimant’s terms (other than the ones that are the subject of the claim) and those of the comparator as well as the genesis of those terms in deciding whether or not they are “common terms” for the purposes of both the Equal Pay Act 1970 and the Equality Act 2010.

  4. Where no comparator works at the claimant’s establishment, comparison is permitted if a hypothetical employee at the claimant’s establishment would have been employed on broadly similar terms to the actual comparator (referred to as the “North hypothetical” test). The North hypothetical is still available under the 2010 Act, notwithstanding that the wording in the 1970 Act was not replicated in the 2010 Act.
The EAT has given Asda permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal.

My Comment,   this is high end legal stuff!  read the last paragraph,  4,     it shows you that in legal terms,  where is difficult to make clear the facts,   the tribunal can simply make its' own rules up as it goes along, by using hypothetical (imagined)  facts !       You couldn't make this up could you........OH,    it seems they just did !         thanks to Daniel Barnett for this piece  see them at

Postman who resigned over shift pattern wins £22,000

Postman who resigned over shift pattern wins £22,000

Worker requested flexible working to cover childcare; lawyers warn case shows the risks of altering hours                                                   

A former postman was unfairly and constructively dismissed when he resigned over a dispute about his shift patterns, a tribunal has decided.
Manchester Employment Tribunal heard that Adam Gregory, who was awarded £22,000, had worked as a postman for Royal Mail since 1993. He has a daughter from a former marriage and, under an access agreement, sees her at weekends. Because of this, in 2012, Gregory approached his then line manager to limit his working days to Monday through Friday. The line manager allowed this and Gregory signed a letter acknowledging the new working pattern, but his official employment contract was not changed.
In 2015, Royal Mail started a restructuring exercise which was likely to change the way duties were carried out at the Burnley office, where Gregory worked. A questionnaire to determine employees’ working preferences was sent out. Gregory was on holiday at the time, so his union representative picked his preferences for him and selected a duty which would require Gregory to work three Saturdays a month.
When Gregory returned from holiday and discovered what had happened, he objected and submitted a new flexible working request. One of the postman’s managers considered the new request but rejected it, claiming it was partly because the work could not be reorganised among staff. Gregory appealed the decision, but this was also rejected.
Shortly after the failed appeal, around September 2015, the postman took time off sick with stress. In April 2016, while he was still off sick, his solicitor sent Royal Mail a letter to raise a formal grievance on behalf of his client. Royal Mail then acknowledged that Gregory’s contract, as far working hours were concerned, had been altered in 2012.
Gregory returned to work in May 2016 under a phased return and not working Saturdays. However, after Royal Mail sent him a letter in June 2016 confirming he was to work three Saturdays a month, Gregory resigned. Although he initially claimed jobseeker's allowance, he started working as a painter and decorator in January this year.  
Allowing Gregory’s unfair dismissal claim, Judge Holmes said “it was not physically impossible for [Royal Mail] to maintain his Monday to Friday working pattern, it was merely unsatisfactory, inconvenient, and more costly”.
Gregory was awarded £10,577 as a basic award for unfair dismissal, £8,486.29 as a compensatory award, and £3,008.43 for breach of contract. Royal Mail was also told to pay costs of £4,012.50.
“This ruling shows the risks that employers face when trying to change working hours, particularly where contracts have been varied to accommodate childcare arrangements,” Laurie Anstis, employment law director at Boyes Turner, told People Management. “While the employer in this case had originally operated its flexible working scheme properly, it ran into trouble when there was a later reorganisation of working arrangements at the depot.”
Ben Stepney, senior associate at Thomson Snell & Passmore, added: “An employer cannot unilaterally change an employees’ contract of employment. Even if the contract has a clause entitling the employer to do so, the clause must be very clear and be exercised in a manner that does not undermine the relationship of mutual trust and confidence between employer and employee.”
Gregory also brought claims for detriment for having made flexible working applications, but he later withdrew this, and sex discrimination, but this was dismissed.
A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “Royal Mail accepted the findings of the employment tribunal and the judgment has been paid out to the former employee some time ago.”
 
My Comment:  It just goes to show,   employees have massive rights, ignore them at your peril.  But, significantly here,  considering the size and resources of this employer,  this could have been avoided with  just a little application of common sense.  .     Thanks to  People Management for this article,  see them at: 

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Industry reacts to government’s state pension age hike

The state pension age increase from 67 to 68 is to be brought forward
Business leaders have reacted to the government’s announcement that the pension age will rise from 67 to 68 by 2039.                                  
It follows the recommendations of the second Independent Review of the State Pension Age report by former CBI director general John Cridland, proposing that those under the age of 45 may have to work a year longer.
The rise in the pension age to 68 will happen between 2037 and 2039 rather than by 2044 as originally proposed, and will affect those born between 6 April 1970 and 5 April 1978. The government said the new rules would save the taxpayer £74 billion in NI contributions by 2045/46.
Secretary of state for work and pensions David Gauke, who made the announcement, told the Commons: “As life expectancy continues to rise and the number of people in receipt of state pension increases, we need to ensure that we have a fair and sustainable system that is reflective of modern life and protected for future generations.”
However, shadow work and pensions secretary Debbie Abrahams said Labour would leave the state pension age at 66, adding that the pension hike was “astonishing” given life expectancy was beginning to stall, with long-standing health inequalities between different income groups and regions in retirement.
“We will look again at the emerging evidence with a view to guaranteeing a secure and healthy retirement for the many, not just the few,” she added.
Head of retirement policy at Hargreaves Lansdown Tom McPhail said the move was bold given the controversies the government faced in the general election over its manifesto pension policies such as the triple lock.
“They’re asking around six million people to wait longer for their state pension,” he said. “It’s a necessary measure but they are not making popular political choices and are not going to get credit for pushing ahead with making people work longer.
“However, the implementation of this is being passed to the next government as they won’t need to begin legislating on this until 2023, so there’s an element of kicking the can down the road,” he added.
Former pensions minister and director of policy at Royal London Steve Webb said that given the more aggressive options on the table Cridland's decision was a compromise.
“It’s a case of us paying for living longer and the government has a choice on which generation has to pay for it,” he added.
However, chief executive of the Centre for Ageing Better Anna Dixon said urgent action was needed from government and employers to make the labour market fit for purpose. She cited flexible arrangements at work.
“Inequalities in life expectancy and healthy life expectancy mean that many people will find it impossible to work until state pension age,” she said. “Without additional support or mitigating policies from government, pensioners will face financial difficulties and hardship in later years. More radical benefit reform should be considered for those with long-term health issues and disabilities.”
Former pensions minister Ros Altmann rejected Labour’s proposal to keep the state pension age at 66 because it would put a heavy tax burden on the younger generations.
She proposed the government move away from a magic age at which people should aim to stop working and live on a state pension. Instead she proposed a flexibility in state pension age, reflecting their health and length of working life.
“At the moment the state pension is only flexible for those who are healthy and wealthy enough not to need it at state pension age,” she said. “The central issue is whether the state pension should run on a one-size-fits-all approach, based purely on estimates of the average, or should have some flexibility to account for people's increasingly flexible lives.”
Director of WEALTH at work Jonathan Watts-Lay said: “It’s vital that those approaching retirement review how much retirement income they will need, or would like, as early as possible, to get a better understanding of what they need to be doing now.
“If there is a shortfall up until the point of receiving the state pension saving more now or working longer than planned could make a real difference, if either option is possible for them,” he added.

My Comment:  I think I may have said previously,   I don't just report this material,  I live it too. All those around me including my own grown up children are caught by this, I can see vast armies of employees helping each other in and out of the work place on walking frames, and areas of the workplace having to be set aside for afternoon naps!      Actually it's not funny!  
   This piece on HR MAGAZINE site,   and my thanks to them for this article  see them:

Rogue employers could face jail

The director of labour market enforcement has called for greater resources to help prosecute perpetrators

Firms that use illegal practices, such as paying under the minimum wage or breaking modern slavery laws, could face prison, according to the United Kingdom Labour Market Enforcement Strategy Introductory Report by the government's director of labour market enforcement David Metcalf.
The report calls for three bodies – HMRC’s national minimum wage enforcement team, the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority, and the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate – to be given better resources to help them crack down on rogue bosses.
Under the current system many workers in exploitative roles do not come forward and report their employer, according to the report. This may be because they are afraid of losing their job, because of a cultural or language barrier, or because they are intimidated into staying silent.
As a result employers acting unlawfully are often not prosecuted for ignoring the law. However, with increased policing power investigators may be able to build a case against them.
Adrian Martin, partner in the employment team at law firm Burges Salmon, told HR magazine that most employers are already compliant. “In many cases where firms are not compliant it is the result of an error or a misunderstanding, rather than deliberate non-compliance” he said. “This move is targeting rogue employers who have set out to exploit low-paid people.”
Martin advised businesses to look to their supply chain to check it is compliant too. “Ensure they [suppliers] aren’t breaking labour laws,” he said. “This can protect you from reputational issues in the future.”
Paul Griffin, head of the employment practice at Norton Rose Fulbright, warned that Metcalf's suggested approach might have unintended consequences.
“This may have the desired effect, assuming the problem is as bad as is thought, but there is the risk that larger powerful retailers would simply pass the cost to suppliers and not be affected by the financial element of the proposed liability,” he said. “The reputational effect on businesses where their suppliers abuse workers’ rights should not be underestimated, so among the larger retailers it will be interesting to see whether the evidence reflects a wider problem that needs addressing.”

My Comment:  Generally,  employers who behave in this way don't seek employment law advice, (maybe they should!)   so I don't often have deal with these distasteful practices,  however, I do sometimes get calls from desperate workers looking for help, I have to redirect them to an appropriate source.   It is regrettable to think that this is going on at all in  Britain.
    as always my thanks to HR magazine for this piece  see them at: