This month’s employer’s law news in brief
Companies encourage employees’ heritage
The Human Rights Act 1998 has opened up new avenues for those seeking to
challenge dress codes as discriminatory and some organisations are now
encouraging employees to wear clothes that reflect their ethnic or cultural
heritage, according to a report by IRS Employment Review.
Unions to crack down on bogus excuses
Trades unions intend to crack down on employers they consider are using
health and safety as an excuse to discriminate against disabled workers. The
TUC said it will train 35,000 representatives to challenge employers that give
bogus safety reasons for not employing disabled workers or for preventing them
from doing certain types of work.
Identity cards will not halt illegal workers
The Law Society believes Government plans to prevent illegal working by
immigrants through the use of national identify cards will fail. Society
president Peter Williamson said: "Employers illegally employ people
without National Insurance cards and they are likely to continue to illegally
employ people without identity cards."
Employment tribunal applications fall again
The number of employment tribunal applications has fallen for the third
consecutive year, according to Acas’s annual report. Total applications have
fallen from 104,000 to 94,000 since 2001 – a drop of almost 10 per cent. The
number of claims withdrawn or settled before reaching tribunal has risen, with
77 per cent being resolved at Acas, compared with 75 per cent last year.
CBI publishes guide to director payments
The CBI has published best practice guidelines on termination payments for
directors, in response to the outcry over "rewards for failure". The
guidelines include six key principles that could be used as a benchmark for
executive director contracts, including giving a proportion of the payment in
shares and making severance payments in monthly instalments that stop as soon
as the recipient gets another job.