in brief

This month’s Employers’ Law in brief

TUC calls for an end to Big Brother antics

The TUC has called on employers to stop snooping on staff claiming that it
breaches privacy and harms business. The union believes that UK business is
increasingly eavesdropping on telephone calls, e-mails and internet access,
while using hidden cameras to spy on staff. It is calling for much tougher
guidelines from the Government’s information commission.

Thames Trains fined £2m for Ladbroke Grove

Thames Trains has been fined a record £2m for the 1999 collision at Ladbroke
Grove in which 31 people died. The Old Bailey hearing also awarded costs of
£75,000. The firm pleaded guilty to charges that it breached Section 2(1) and
Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSW Act).

Scotland says no to rolled-up holiday pay

Rolled-up holiday pay has been deemed illegal in Scotland under the Working
Time Regulations, but the situation in England and Wales is still unclear. The
practice has become popular in the offshore industry but the recent MPB
Structure Limited v Munro case has now outlawed it. Carol Ann Massie, of Croner
Consulting warned firms in Scotland would now be held liable by the courts.

Charity calls for flexible working for all staff

A charity has called for the right to request flexible working to be
extended to all employees, not just those with young children. A report by
Working Families claims too many employers are flouting the existing rules
introduced 12 months ago.

Age is not an issue when recruiting

UK business leaders are unconcerned about ageism, according to recruiter
Macildowie Associates. Only 9 per cent of directors and partners questioned
felt the problem had affected them. A further 63 per cent said more mature
professionals had a business advantage because of their experience.

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