Brief history of Newwalk Chambers

Find by month

Find by label


Chambers Blog

Entries matching label employees:

Update on new and current maternity rights and benefits

22 Jan 2009, 09:37 by Joseph Neville

Labels: article, employees, employers, employment, maternity-leave, pregnant

Joe Neville has written an article, which first appeared in the December/January issue of Independent Lawyer, on:

  • The difference between ordinary and additional maternity leave;
  • When employees qualify;
  • The changes to statutory maternity pay;
  • Employers' obligations towards pregnant employees.

Read the article here.


Discrimination Law London Borough of Lewisham v Malcolm

03 Jul 2008, 13:36 by Joseph Neville

Labels: disability, discrimination, employees, employment-law, employment-tribunal, legal-profession

The House of Lords has published an important decision on disability discrimination law, Lewisham v Malcolm [2008] UKHL 43, that turns much previous authority on its head. The particular case concerned housing: Malcolm was a secure tenant of the local authority, but he left his flat and subletted it. This had the legal effect of cancelling his security of tenure and converting his tenancy to a contractual one. The local authority served notice and brought a possession claim. Under normal circumstances, since the subletting was a breach of the tenancy, the local authority would be successful.

Malcolm's defence was that he had breached his tenancy agreement as a result of his schizophrenia, and that he was disabled within the meaning of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. Section 22(3)(c) of the 1995 Act provides that evicting a person from housing is unlawful if in doing so the landlord discriminates. Section 24 the provides that discrimination will exist if "(a) for a reason which relates to the disabled person's disability, [the landlord] treats him less favourably than he treats or would treat others to whom that reason does not or would not apply; and (b) [the landlord] cannot show that the treatment is justified."

This statutory wording has been the subject of much dispute over the years - if Malcolm's case is right then the council cannot evict him for unlawfully subletting his flat. Nor could they (or any other landlord) evict a tenant for falling into arrears if this was due to a disability.

The House of Lords addressed the following issues:

  • Does the reason for the eviction "relate" to the tenant's disability?

To determine this question the Lords followed the usual practice of looking for the non-disabled comparator. In this case, the correct comparator was a person without a disability who had nonetheless sublet the flat and moved out. Since the local authority would have treated this person in exactly the same way, it could not be said to be treating Malcolm "less favourably" such as to give rise to a claim of disability discrimination.

  • Is it relevant whether the landlord knew of the tenant's disability?

The Lords' view was robust- the local authority must have knowledge (or imputed knowledge) of the disability before it can be said to have discriminated. This ruling resolves a considerable a number of conflicting authorities.

This is an important judgment, as it relates not only to housing, but to employment law, education, transport and goods and services.

Written by Joseph Neville, Barrister at New Walk Chambers specialising in Employment Law.


Employment Law Update

14 May 2008, 09:39 by Kate Richards

Labels: acas, employees, employer, employment, employment-law, employment-tribunal, workplace

Since my blog dated 31st March 2008 more changes have been proposed in Employment Law. ACAS have now released proposals for the new Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures. The revised code is set to simplify the existing code and provides basic practical guidance to employers, employees and their representatives. It also sets out principles for handling disciplinary and grievance situations in the workplace. A key element of the new proposals is that they aim to encourage the internal resolution of disputes without the need to attend an Employment Tribunal.

Written by K Richards.


Crackdown on Illegal Workers

08 May 2008, 17:17 by Fayyaz Afzal

Labels: asylum, employees, illegal, immigration, nationality

In late February new laws came into force to stem illegal working in the UK. The changes to the Asylum, Immigration and Nationality Act 2006 provided for employers knowingly employing illegal workers to be given large fines or be imprisoned for up to two years. Recent statistics shows that in the two months since the new powers came into force, the UK Border Agency has caught out 137 employers. This is 10 times the figure from 2007. Businesses can protect themselves by taking simple steps to verify which employees can legitimately work in the UK under current immigration law.

Written by Fayyaz Afzal, Barrister at New Walk Chambers, specialising in Immigration Law.


Displaying entries 1-4 of 4.

The New Walk Chambers Blog page is only intended to provide an accessible forum for a general overview and discussion of the topics posted on it. It is not meant to be a substitute for taking legal advice in any particular situation and should not be so used. Neither New Walk Chambers nor the author(s) accept any responsibility for anything done or not done on the basis of the contents of the Blog page.

Website developed by Focus New Media