Policy News Journal - 2014-15

Tribunal in Belfast referred the same point to the CJEU in relation to the law in Northern Ireland (where the EAT’s decision in Woolworths did not apply directly).

The Advocate General’s Opinion in both cases says that the EAT’s approach in Woolworths was wrong and that in fact the Directive does allow Member States to require collective consultation only when employers propose 20 or more redundancies in 90 days at one establishment. Essentially the Advocate General interprets the Directive as including the very “establishment” test which the EAT said had to be written out of UK legislation. Of course, this is only an Opinion and is not binding. We still have to wait to see if the CJEU will endorse this approach. However, it does raise hope that we may return to the pre- Woolworths position of consultation obligations being triggered on an establishment by establishment basis. This would mean that organisations would not have to try to keep track of all redundancies proposed across the whole business and would not risk a finding that redundancies which have been implemented at one site without collective consultation are suddenly caught within the duty to consult because another set of proposed redundancies emerge elsewhere in the business (taking the organisation over the “20 or more in 90 days” threshold). It could even mean that large scale redundancies across several sites don’t fall under the duty to consult at all because the number proposed at any one establishment is less than 20.

Read the full summary .

Do you have clearly defined social media policies in place?

6 February 2015

Pinsent Masons talks about the first social media case involving the use of Twitter to reach the Employment Appeal Tribunal and the importance of having clear polices in place.

The use of social media in the workplace is fast-expanding so it's no surprise to see the first social media case involving the use of Twitter to reach the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

The case is Game Retail Ltd v Laws involving an employee who was dismissed after posting offensive, non-work related tweets outside of work time. The EAT overturned an employment tribunal’s decision that a dismissal for posting the abusive tweets was unfair. The case is useful because it highlights an important difference between Twitter and Facebook - a difference that you would do well to make clear in your social media policy. With more on that, this from Emma Johnston: "It seems to be the case that Facebook is regarded as perhaps a more private forum. The issues which arise from Facebook are likely to be things like an employee making a disparaging comment about a client or a customer or the employer itself and the ways to deal with those issues are fairly well established now. The issue appears to be now in relation to Twitter in particular and the employee making a comment which is not linked with work, has been produced from a private account, but the issues are that an employee can follow an employer on Twitter and the employer may even follow the employee back which means that any comment made by an employee on a Twitter account is likely to be publicised to the employer and any potentially offensive or abusive comments are therefore publicised to the employer. The importance of informing the employees of the dangers and risks of their tweets being publicised in this way can't be underestimated. Employees have to be put on notice as to what is expected of them in relation to their social media policy. The advantage of having such a policy in place is that the employees are less likely to act inappropriately and to produce inappropriate social media material but in the event that they do the benefit to the

CIPP Policy News Journal

08/04/2015, Page 135 of 521

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