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Posts tagged ‘employment’

Do you suffer from hearing loss and/or tinnitus?


Mark Jackson

logoIf you’ve been exposed to excessive levels of noise in the course of your employment, and have difficulty with your hearing, you may be entitled to claim compensation.

From, at least, 1963 onwards (although arguably before), employers have had a legal duty to monitor the level of noise in the workplace and to protect their employees from excessive exposure as it became known that noise in the workplace could cause hearing loss.  Where the noise is assessed as being excessive they are required to take reasonable steps to reduce the noise levels.  Where this is not possible they have been required to provide and enforce the wearing of hearing protection.

Many jobs and workplaces require employees to work in environments where noise levels and patterns are potentially hazardous to hearing. As stated above employers have a responsibility to provide their employees with adequate protection against this noise. If this protection is missing or flawed, the result can be serious and long-lasting damage to hearing and can result in noise induced hearing loss, also referred to as industrial deafness, for which you may claim compensation.

If you have previously been exposed to high levels of noise at work and you now find that you have to turn the volume on your television or radio up, or cannot follow a conversation where there is background noise, or have difficulty hearing the telephone or doorbell, then you may be suffering from noise induced hearing loss. Hearing loss may or may not be accompanied by tinnitus – a ringing, whistling, humming or buzzing in one or both ears.  You may also be entitled to claim compensation for tinnitus caused by exposure to excessive noise in the workplace (when not accompanied with hearing loss). Read more

Employee fairly dismissed for vulgar Facebook comments…


Mark Jackson

In a decision given in March 2012, an Industrial Tribunal in Northern Ireland has held that an employee was fairly dismissed for making vulgar comments about a female colleague on his Facebook page.

In the case of Teggart -v- Tele Tech UK Limited, the Tribunal held that an employee was fairly dismissed because comments which he posted on his Facebook page amounted to harassment of a female colleague and breached the employer’s Dignity at Work Policy.

The claimant was employed at a call centre in Belfast. He posted obscene comments about a female colleague on his Facebook page from home. The comment mentioned his employer’s name and was read by some other work colleagues. It was alleged that the comment had been brought to the employer’s attention by a member of the public. The female colleague heard about the comments and asked the claimant’s girlfriend if he would remove them. However that led the claimant to simply post further comments. Read more

Tax Tribunal case may have wide ranging implications for temp agencies…


Mark Jackson

The case of HMRC -v- Reed Employment may have serious implications for umbrella companies and other employment businesses.

The landmark case has found Reed Employment, a leading employment agency, to be liable for £158m in back taxes, after 500,000 temps were reimbursed for expenses, which should have been paid as salary.

For more see here.

Redundancies & compromise agreements…


Mark Jackson

As a result of the current economic climate, the last few years have seen a sharp rise in redundancies.  Only last week Ulster Bank Limited announced that they will be making a further 350 redundancies in Northern Ireland – see here for the story.

The rise in redundancies has in turn seen an increase in the number of people who need advice on a compromise agreement.  Employers are increasingly using compromise agreements, especially in a redundancy situation, to avoid any potential future litigation as a result of bringing the employment to an end by offering some sort of financial settlement in return for the employee agreeing not to sue.  It can be daunting when handed a legal document by an employer that looks complicated and full of legal jargon.  Plus, if you’re being asked to enter into a compromise agreement, you’ll need to get advice from an independent solicitor to explain what the document means if it is to become legally binding.  So what is a compromise agreement? Read more

The annual increase in Tribunal compensation limits and new rates of benefits…


Mark Jackson

Industrial Tribunal compensation limits 

The annual increase in Tribunal compensation limits will take effect for dismissals occurring on or after 1 February 2012.  The maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal will increase from £68,400 to £72,300, and the maximum amount of a week’s pay (for calculating the unfair dismissal basic award and statutory redundancy pay) will increase from £400 to £430 per week.

Statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay and statutory sick pay

On 9 April 2012, the lower rate of statutory maternity pay, and the rates of statutory adoption, paternity and additional paternity pay, will increase from £128.73 per week to £135.45 per week.  Statutory sick pay will increase from £81.60 to £85.85 per week.