Saturday, 23 August 2008

Flexible Working Consultation

The government has, this morning, launched a consultation to extend / revamp the right to request flexible working. The consultation will cover:

  • extending the right to request contract variations to parents with children under 16 (it is currently parents of children under 6)
  • methods of raising awareness of the right to request flexible working amongst the workforce;
  • methods of making it easier for employers to deal with requests.

The consultation document is meant to be here, but the link isn't currently working. So, if you're interested, try the Press Release instead.

[Thanks to Eugenie Verney for telling me about this]

Monday, 11 August 2008

Restrictive Covenants Enforceable

The QBD has handed down judgment in Kynixa Ltd v Hines, a restrictive covenant case.

Mr Hynes, Ms Preston and Ms Smith worked for Kynixa. All three left and went to work for a separate organisation with which Kynixia had dealings. None of the three warned Kynixa that this was where they were going to work and it was some time later before Kynixia discovered what had happened.

In the High Court Wyn Williams J held that given the senior positions they held, all three employees were in breach of their fiduciary duties. Two were also in breach of restrictive covenants contained within a shareholders' agreement. The question, then, was whether these restrictive covenants were enforceable. They purported to bind the employees for 12 months after they ceased connections with Kynixia. It was argued that this was too long a period.

At paragraphs 130 - 141 of his judgment Wyn Williams J set out a detailed analysis of the law on restrictive covenants. He then concluded that in all the circumstances 12 months was a reasonable period and that, although the restrictive covenants were very wide, even so they were reasonable and enforceable.

[Thanks to for giving permission to use their summary of this case.]

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Crack down on rogue employers

A new Government drive to crack down on rogue employers who abuse vulnerable workers and undercut honest businesses is unveiled today.

The strategy includes a single telephone helpline for vulnerable workers to report abuses to the Government's workplace enforcement agencies, breaking down barriers so agencies can share vital information to catch rogue employers and a £6 million information campaign to raise awareness of employment rights and how to enforce them.

This initiative will be overseen by a new Fair Employment Enforcement Board which will co-ordinate the work of the government enforcement agencies covering minimum wage, health and safety, employment agencies and gangmasters. The new Board will be chaired by the Employment Relations Minister and will include representatives from business and trade unions, as well as the enforcement agencies.

More details here.

[Thanks to Eugenie Verney for telling me about this]