UK: HR advice on disciplinary matters should be limited

HR should ensure that, when advising managers investigating or deciding on disciplinary matters, their advice is limited to matters of law and procedure, for example, to ensure all necessary issues have been addressed clearly;  they should not advise on culpability or the appropriate sanction (save for addressing issues of consistency). The report of a manager investigating a … Read more

UK: Consultations on tax treatment of termination payments, IR35 and Sunday trading

The Summer Budget announced a number of forthcoming consultations which have now been published: The HMRC consultation on simplifying the tax and NICs treatment of termination payments, for views by 16 October 2015, is available here. The proposals include: to remove distinctions between contractual and non-contractual payments; to replace the current £30,000 allowance with an … Read more

Australia: ‘Repair, not replacement’ – Productivity Commission releases draft report on workplace relations framework

The Productivity Commission has released its draft report on the workplace relations framework, as part of its inquiry into the current performance of Australia’s system and scope for improvement. This article provides a high-level overview of the key proposed changes. In brief On 4 August 2015, the Productivity Commission released a draft report in relation … Read more

UK: Unfair dismissal – dismissal for attending work smelling of alcohol was unfair given failure to follow policies

Employers seeking to dismiss for misconduct should consider carefully whether the behaviour properly falls within the category of gross misconduct and ensure they apply the precise terms of their policies and procedures. In McElroy v Cambridgeshire Community Services the dismissal of an employee for attending work while smelling of alcohol was unfair where the policy … Read more

UK: Higher standard of investigation may be required where contractual discretion to decide facts

Where an employer had a contractual discretion to decide whether an employee had committed suicide (and therefore whether his widow would receive death in service benefits), the employer had an obligation to consider all relevant matters and exclude from consideration irrelevant matters.  Further, the decision could not be one which no reasonable decision-maker could make, … Read more