New developments in employment law

It is always difficult keeping up with changes in the laws which relate to your business – and employment matters can be some of the most far‑reaching.

One such development could affect businesses who have employees travelling to and from customers at the start or the end of their working day.

If the European Court of Justice follows the advice of the Advocate General in Federacion de Servicios Privados del Sindicato Comisiones Obreras -v- Tyco then the time that certain workers spend travelling from home to their first customer and from the last customer back home might well count as working time for the purposes of the Working Time Directive, and domestic Regulations.  This would have an impact on rest breaks. So watch this space!

Another development which occurred some time ago appeared, on the face of it, to provide a salutary warning for employers being taken to the Employment Tribunal.

In July 2013 the law was changed to empower an Employment Tribunal to order a losing employer to pay a fine of up to £5,000 where the case had “aggravating features”.

However, at the beginning of June, an M.P. asked the Minister how many such financial penalties had been imposed in the period of just under 2 years since the law changed.  The answer was that a grand total of 3 fines had been imposed.  Of those 3, only 1 had been paid.  So maybe not so much of a threat as originally thought.

We publish a quarterly Newsletter dealing with these types of developments and if you are interested in discussing any of these matters further or subscribing to the Newsletter, please contact our Malcolm Lawrence on 01737‑365676 or

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