In-house news vlog – February 2015

In-house news vlog – February 2015

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This month's top stories are...

Is obesity a disability?

In a recent landmark European ruling, it has been held that obesity in some instances will be considered a disability and therefore subject to disability discrimination law. This case has significant ramifications for employers. If obesity may be considered a disability then employers in some circumstances will need to make appropriate adjustments for such staff.

Sarah Rushton, an employment partner at Moon Beever considers the decision in news analysis: CJEU clear that obesity can be a disability.

Employment holiday pay saga

In November last year, employers were requested to include regular overtime in holiday pay calculations; concern has mounted about the risk to employers facing significant back-dated claims.  To restore business confidence the Government announced in December that it would make changes to the Employment Rights Act to limit backdated claims to a maximum of two years. For background on the ruling, see news analysis: What options do employers have in relation to holiday pay?

Covert surveillance on an employee

Caerphilly Council has been warned by the ICO about its conduct after carrying out covert surveillance on an employee. The surveillance had been authorised on anecdotal evidence and began only four weeks into the employee’s sickness absence. For more information on data protection in an employment context, see Practice Note: Data protection in the employment relationship.

SFO obtain their first convictions

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) obtained its first convictions under the Bribery Act on 5 December 2014. Sentences of 28 years in total were imposed on three men. Two of those accused were convicted of offences under the Bribery Act. For more information on bribery, see our risk management guide Practice Note: In-house lawyers: Risk management: bribery and corruption.

Changes relating to the naming of companies

From the end of January new regulations were effective to consolidate the rules relating to the naming of companies, limited liability partnerships (LLPs) and trading disclosures.  The changes include extending the list of characters that can be used in a company name. For more information on trading disclosures, see Practice Note: Trading disclosures.

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About the author:
Helen Hart studied in Cardiff and Germany and qualified as a solicitor in 1998 after a training contract at Allen & Overy in London and Frankfurt. She spent over six years working in-house at Centrica plc and Palm Europe Limited focusing mainly on consumer, advertising and data protection law before returning to private practice at Stevens & Bolton where she was an associate in the corporate and commercial team. She worked for a legal publisher between 2008 and 2012 and has also worked in local government library services. Her main areas of expertise are general commercial law, advertising law and consumer law.