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The World Cup 2014 opened on 12 June 2014 in Sao Paulo with Brazil’s 3-1 win over Croatia and the Commonwealth Games take place in a few weeks. Many advertisers will be aiming to make the most of the hype and attention surrounding the event by selling merchandise and advertising their products around the tournament, although with England's swift exit, there may be less interest. However, with the Commonwealth Games taking place in a few weeks’ time, many of the same issues will apply. It is very easy for advertisers to fall foul of the laws on ambush marketing and in-house lawyers advising advertising colleagues will need to be up to speed on the laws and regulatory requirements. Helen Hart, lawyer in the Lexis®PSL in-house team, considers the issues in World Cup fever—how to win the advertising game (a subscription to Lexis®PSL is required)
New rules will apply to requests for flexible working from 30 June 2014. The changes are set out in the Flexible Working Regulations 2014 SI 2014/1398. The key changes are that flexible working requests will no longer need to be made in order to care for certain children and adults and can be made by all employees (but not agency workers) with at least 26 weeks’ continuous employment; the procedure to be followed is meant to be less prescriptive than the procedure currently in force but the employer will need to deal with the application in a reasonable manner; there will be an Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service Code of Practice on handling requests in a reasonable manner, which employment tribunals will take into account in determining whether or not the application was dealt with in a reasonable manner; and the employer will have a three-month decision period that can be extended by agreement, to consider the request, discuss the request with the employee and notify the employee of the outcome. Policies and handbooks should be updated to reflect the changes to the statutory scheme, as well as the process and recommendations, such as a right of appeal, as set out in the Code and Guide. Providing training to managers would also assist, particularly in respect of the new reasonableness requirement. Natasha Koshnitsky of Archon Solicitors explains what employers need be mindful of and how they can prepare in Flexible working—what’s changing? (a subscription to Lexis®PSL is required)
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