Commercial news update - March 2018: Protecting documents from disclosure, Gig Economy and Tesco's £4bn equal pay claim

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This month’s commercial update focuses on Corporate & Commercial and Employment.

We always provide the commercial aspects, and look at the practical steps for you to consider.

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Corporate & Commercial—tune in from 0:12 secs
On 13th January, a ban on payment surcharges were implemented for consumer transactions such as debit, credit and PayPal Payments. (See LNB News: PSD2 comes into effect)

The Court of Appeal has restated in two recent cases (Process Components Ltd v Kason Kek-Gardner Ltd) and (Interactive E-Solutions (IES) v 03B) the words in business contracts will, generally, mean they say – even where they have bizarre or unintended consequences. The only exceptions are where it’s necessary to imply a term for the contract to achieve its purpose or where the term is so obvious it goes without saying.

We have previously reported on the case of SFO v ENRC that highlighted how difficult it can be to assert privilege. If privilege can be substantiated, then relevant documents do not need to be disclosed to a court. More recent cases have reached similar decisions. (See LNB news analysis: Legal professional privilege: a reasonable prospect of litigation? (HSE v Jukes)

Hear how a recent case between Phones 4U (In Administration) v EE demonstrates the importance of explaining why a contract is being terminated. (See LNB News analysis: Availability of loss-of-bargain damages if termination not for repudiatory breach (Phones 4U Ltd (in administration) v EE Ltd)

Employment—tune in from 3:40 secs
The Government has responded to the Taylor Review which was published last year which concentrated on the so-called gig economy of part time and flexible workers. (See Employment news analysis: ‘Good Work’ response to the Taylor Review published by government). The government has also issued four new consultations on:

Equal pay seems to dominate the headlines with Tesco now facing a £4bn equal pay claim from store staff (mainly female) who allege that they should be paid the same as distribution centre workers (mainly male). (See LNB News: £4bn equal pay claim launched against Tesco on behalf of employees)

We look at the case of Kostal UK who has been ordered to pay penalties exceeding £400,000 for breaching Trade Union law by making offers directly to the employees to bypass collective bargaining. (See employment news analysis: Direct contractual offers to avoid collective bargaining prohibited (Kostal UK v Dunkley).

We look at the recent case of Guvera who acquired Blinkbox Music (BM) TUPE – identifying when and if a ‘transfer’ has happened.

Law Matters. Our 200th Anniversary
This year we celebrate our 200th anniversary. To mark the occasion we have produced a bicentenary film, which is a tribute to the legal profession and how it has helped transform society over the past 200 years. Watch it here.

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