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Higher standards expected of NHS trusts before dismissal for capability

The recent case of Muller v London Ambulance Service NHS Trust has emphasised the need for NHS Trusts, as large, sophisticated employers with significant administrative resources, to take a more cautious approach and exhaust every other option before dismissing an employee by reason of capability. Mr Muller’s dismissal was found to be unfair and discriminatory, despite the fact that he had been absent from work for a year and had no predicted return-to-work date at the time he was dismissed.

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Update – Tax changes to termination payments

Back in the 2016 Budget, the government announced that from April 2018, it would “reform and simplify” the taxation of termination payments. Following a technical consultation, the reforms expanded and now aim to "clarify and tighten" (i.e. increase) the taxation of such payments.

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Hempsons’ Healthcare Newsbrief 2018

Welcome to this autumn edition of Hempsons’ Healthcare Newsbrief. It has been a busy few months for the NHS in the legal system with some ground-breaking decisions on key areas such as withdrawing clinically-assisted nutrition and hydration, fitness to practice and procurement.

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Being Paid to Sleep? Royal Mencap Society v Tomlinson-Blake

In Royal Mencap Society v Tomlinson-Blake the Court of Appeal has determined that workers who “sleep in” at their workplace are not entitled to receive national minimum wage for periods when they are asleep. This is because time spent asleep in this way is properly characterised as time when an employee is ‘available for work’ rather than time when they are actually working.

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Can a disability account for bad behaviour?

The recent Employment Tribunal decision of Wheeley v University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust serves as a timely reminder that where conduct issues are said to arise from an underlying mental health condition employers should be cautious of departing from medical opinion.

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Poor Performance and Misconduct – Navigating the Minefield

“No man is an island” - this phrase is particularly pertinent in the workplace, given that many of us depend on the skills, experience, expertise or manpower of employees in order to succeed. Whilst employing staff is positive and beneficial for the most part, it also involves issues and potential liabilities, which can be difficult to manage especially for smaller employers with limited resources. This article looks at two common employment scenarios and gives guidance on how best to manage them successfully.

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Can an Investigation be Too Thorough?

In NHS 24 v Pillar the Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) has overturned a Tribunal’s decision that a disciplinary investigation was too thorough and it was unfair to include details of prior incidents which had not resulted in disciplinary action.

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