Australia: Breaking the chains – ACCC Review of non-compete and no-poach provisions in employment contracts

The Federal Government has recently passed some of the most extensive industrial relation reforms seen in Australia with the view to providing stronger protections for workers, improving job security and gender equity. Employers could soon be facing further changes, with the Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury, Andrew Leigh MP (Leigh), suggesting the use … Read more

UK: consultation on draft ‘fire and re-hire’ code

Update 4 May 2023: Acas has published its response to the consultation here outlining various concerns about the draft Code, including that it does not adequately set out appropriate standards of reasonableness, is overlong, and is unclear about expectations and consequences.   The Government has finally published for consultation until 18 April 2023 its proposed statutory code … Read more

UK: ‘without prejudice’ protection may apply to exit discussions in response to a grievance

The EAT ruling in Garrod v Riverstone Management Ltd provides welcome reassurance that an employer can initiate ‘without prejudice’ discussions offering a possible consensual termination where an employee has raised a grievance clearly indicating potential legal claims. ‘Without prejudice’ protection can only apply to communications which are a genuine attempt to settle an ‘existing dispute’.  … Read more

UK: Court of Appeal rules on Covid-related automatic unfair dismissal claim

Employees can claim automatic unfair dismissal (from day one of employment) where they are dismissed because they left or refused to return to work in circumstances of danger which they reasonably believed to be serious and imminent, and which they could not reasonably have been expected to avert.  In its first Covid-related dismissal case, Rodgers … Read more

US: A High-Profile Year for the WARN Act

Before COVID-19 and the recent layoffs at Twitter Inc., the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification, or WARN, Act maintained a low profile; the act did not garner significant media attention, and cases alleging violations of the act were limited and largely routine. An explanation for this, at least in part, is that the WARN Act … Read more

UK: EAT ruling adds to doubts around ability to waive certain statutory claims

It is common practice for employers to require departing employees to sign a statutory settlement agreement in order to waive statutory employment claims in return for a compensation sum.  Unfortunately, it has never been possible to guarantee an entirely clean break in this way, as illustrated by a recent EAT ruling in Bathgate v Technip … Read more

UK: Employers should consult before adopting redundancy selection criteria which effectively determine a pool of one

Carrying out a fair redundancy usually involves identifying an appropriate pool from which to provisionally select employees using fair selection criteria, and then consulting with the individual(s) provisionally chosen.  A recent EAT decision has made clear that an employer may need to consult at an earlier stage, prior to the choice of criteria, if the … Read more