Articles by Katee Dias

The rights skills for the job?

This article first appeared in Estates Gazette, 22nd July 2017. Many employers will be paying additional sums by way of the apprenticeship levy that came into effect on 6 April 2017. Some savvy property sector employers will already be exploring ways in which these sums (plus more) can be recouped by their businesses. Apprenticeships are […]


The General Election: employment considerations

With the general election just around the corner, below are five employment law issues for employers to think about: Campaigning in the workplace Employees are paid to work so an employer is perfectly entitled to stop them using their work time and company resources for political campaigning. Also, this might be a sensible move in […]

10 things you need to know about the new Apprenticeship Levy

From 6 April 2017, many employers will have to pay the Apprenticeship Levy, which has been referred to by some as a new payroll tax. However, at least some of this additional expense could be recouped if the employer employs an apprentice. Given the hospitality industry is one of the largest employment sectors, the scope […]


How to make returnships a success

On International Women’s Day, the chancellor announced a new £5m fund designed to help women return to work after a long break. The initiative will support returnship programmes that provide short-term assignments to returners who are often, but not always, women who have taken time out to raise their children. Typically lasting around 12 weeks, […]

Effective date of notice of termination

When an employer decides to terminate an employee’s employment, it is obviously important that notice of the termination is communicated to that individual. There can sometimes be difficulties with this, for example when the employee is absent from work because they are on holiday or off sick. The recent case of Newcastle upon Tyne NHS […]


Employment status

Given the recent high profile cases involving Uber, CitySprint and the like, the true employment status of purportedly “self-employed” individuals has come under the spotlight. So what is genuine self-employment and what is a worker or an employee? And why does it matter? What are the categories of employment status? There are three categories of […]

Employment law update

Major developments in employment law are expected to take place in 2017, Katee Dias outlines the main changes. Employment Tribunal Fees Fees were introduced in 2013 for all Employment Tribunal claims. However, the lawfulness of this was questioned and the latest hearing in the long running legal challenge by UNISON is expected to be heard […]


Can I sack an employee for criticising their place of work on social media?

The problem One of my team members has posted a comment on his personal Facebook page saying that he hates his work, our customers and his colleagues. The comment was made in his own time on his home computer, but it has been seen by some of our regular diners. Can I dismiss him? The […]

What is coming up in employment law in 2017?

Happy New Year! As the celebrations have now passed and it is back to work, let’s look at some employment law developments coming up in 2017. Employment Tribunal Fees Fees were introduced back in 2013 for all Employment Tribunal claims. However, the lawfulness of this was questioned and the latest hearing in the long running […]


Fallout over Christmas issues

The Christmas period is a time of joy and celebration for many but employers can often face employment law issues leaving them feeling more “bah-humbug” than “cheers”. Set out below are common problems that arise for employers at this time of year. Some of my employees have not turned up to work on time the […]

Social media dismissals

We are hearing more and more of employees who are dismissed from their employment because of private postings made on their own social media sites. The actor from Coronation Street who was recently dismissed by ITV because he made discriminatory postings on his personal Twitter account is a prime example of this. Set out below […]


Recent and upcoming developments in employment law

The summer may now have gone but it was an active period for employment law news. Below we look back at some of the happenings to ensure you remain aware of developments that could impact on your business going forward. Employment status It was reported in July 2016 that the food delivery firm, Deliveroo, had […]

New payroll tax – will you be paying an additional 0.5% of your wage bill from April?

A new form of tax, known as the Apprenticeship Levy, will hit many employers from 6 April 2017. The funds generated will be used by the Government to help pay for apprenticeship training costs.  Employers will firstly want to assess whether they will be liable to pay this additional tax and secondly, consider whether they […]


Don’t be held liable for the unauthorised acts of your employees

Picture the scene… A potential diner visits your restaurant and asks for a drink that you do not sell. Your server replies using obscenities that you do not stock it. The diner complains about being sworn at. The server angrily directs him off the premises using racist and expletive language. The diner is shocked and […]

A slave to new law

Does your organisation have a turnover of £36million or more? Are you a supplier to an organisation which has a turnover of at least £36m? Do you provide goods or services to an organisation who is, in turn, a supplier to a business which has such a turnover? If you answer “yes” to any of […]


New Year resolutions for HR

It is that time of year again… The time where you resolve to better yourself; whether that be learning a new skill, getting off the bus one stop earlier to walk the rest of the way or, if you are an HR professional, getting your personnel practices shipshape. If it is the latter, you are […]

Instigating change – New Year resolutions

January is often seen as the time for instigating change, so consider the following New Year resolutions: 1. Signed Contracts Do all your employees have appropriate and signed contracts of employment in place? The law prescribes that certain information be provided in writing to the employee within the first two months of their employment. This […]


New Year resolutions for HR

PROBLEM As an HR professional, what resolutions could I adopt for 2016? LAW Employment laws change frequently and HR professionals can find it difficult to keep up with changes. There is also the burden of general housekeeping to ensure personnel files are compliant and up to date; a task which can be particularly difficult in […]

Competing requests for Christmas holiday?

  Christmas is a time when many employees want to take their annual leave, whether it is for religious or childcare reasons or simply so that they can indulge in mince pies and sale shopping. How should you deal with the barrage of holiday requests from employees all wanting the same period off work? The […]


Top 5 new year resolutions for HR practitioners

As demonstrated by our articles in this special Christmas bulletin, the festive season can be a stressful time for HR professionals. After managing competing holiday requests and dealing with the fall out of Christmas party punch-ups (we hope not), January may feel like a time for hibernation not housekeeping. But with proper policies and procedures in […]

Christmas punch, not Christmas punch-up!

Your work Christmas party will undoubtedly soon be taking place with crackers being pulled, wine consumed and (possibly questionable) dance moves thrown. It will hopefully be a good-humoured and happy experience for all but what happens when things go wrong, for example, when colleagues brawl or discriminatory insults are made. An employer needs to be […]


National minimum wage

As you hopefully know, all workers are entitled to be paid at a rate which is not less than the national minimum wage. How much is the national minimum wage? The rate of the national minimum wage is set by the Government. It generally changes with effect from 1 October each year. The current and […]

Rules on rest

Rules about rest periods can easily get overlooked, particularly when there is an unexpected rush of customers or because a colleague has called in sick so work needs to be covered. However, employers would do well to remember that there are some strict obligations that they should comply with: A worker’s average working time must […]


Running recruitment processes

Before you launch into placing an advert or calling a recruitment consultant, pause to think about exactly what it is your organisation actually needs. For instance: Is a permanent or a fixed-term employee required or is engaging an agency worker more appropriate? The latter generally gives you more flexibility and less exposure to liability Do […]

How to handle tube strike disruption in the workplace

Given the tube strikes last month, employers will undoubtedly have already faced employees encountering travel disruption difficulties. With the winter approaching, perhaps snow will be the next cause for disruption. Some employees may arrive late to work, want to finish their working day earlier in anticipation of travelling home and some employees may not make […]


Tips about tips

Payment of tips and gratuities in the restaurant industry is perhaps more common than in any other sector. These are spontaneous amounts paid voluntarily by the customer. Set out below are some pointers on dealing with these sums from an employment law perspective: 1) If a tip or gratuity is paid directly to your employee […]

Exclusivity clauses banned

New legislation has recently been passed to stop you compelling any of your workers who are engaged on a zero-hours contract from working exclusively for you. The new law effectively makes any provisions in a zero-hours contract that seek to prohibit the individual from doing work or performing services under another contract or arrangement unenforceable. […]


What will be the impact of the Conservative Party’s manifesto pledges on HR professionals in the leisure sector?

With the general election results now declared, it is worthwhile looking back at the Conservative Party’s manifesto pledges to consider the possible impact on HR professionals in the hotel and leisure sector. 1. ZERO HOURS CONTRACTS A key pledge was that exclusivity clauses (being provisions which restrict the individual from also being engaged by any […]

Imminent Employment Law Changes

Family Pay From 5 April 2015, statutory maternity, adoption, paternity, additional paternity and shared parental pay will be £139.58 per week (up from £138.18). By way of a reminder, maternity pay entitlement (which is probably the most common form of family pay that employers deal with) is as follows: 6 weeks payable at the rate […]


Sacking an employee for being sick could land you in trouble

Katee Dias is a Senior Solicitor in Goodman Derrick’s Employment practice and a member of the firm’s multi-disciplinary Leisure sector team. Katee’s article first appeared in the 23rd January edition of ”The Caterer” magazine. ————————————- If you don’t proceed with care, you may well find yourself with a disability discrimination case on your hands. The problem It is […]

It’s a thin line between obese and disabled

Katee Dias is a Senior Solicitor in Goodman Derrick’s Employment practice and a member of the firm’s multi-disciplinary Leisure sector team. Katee’s article first appeared in the 13th February edition of “The Caterer” magazine. —————————————————————– Employers should be aware that if severe obesity stops an employee carrying out their job, it can be considered a disability, says […]


Obesity and Disability

Q: Can an employee who simply overeats and is consequently overweight be protected for the purposes of employment law? A: Potentially, yes. Whilst there is no free-standing protection against discrimination on the grounds of obesity, an employee may be protected under disability discrimination laws. This question was at the heart of a recent European case […]

Top 5 New Year resolutions for HR practitioners

***** Stop Press: Katee Dias was recognised as a “Star Legal Writer” by the The Lawyer for this article. ***** Katee Dias Employment Lawyer Goodman Derrick Top Five HR Resolutions As January is often seen as the time for instigating change, we thought it would be helpful to consider some possible New Year resolutions for those of […]


Whistleblowing Protection

Now that employees usually need over two year’s service before they are able to claim unfair dismissal, they often look for other potential claims to bring against their employer if the relationship ends on a sour note. Whistleblowing is one of those potential avenues as no period of qualifying service is required. Employers would be […]

Big Changes to Employment Law – Tribunal Fees; Unfair Dismissal Compensation; Protected Conversations

Employers and their Human Resources advisers face constant difficulties in trying to avoid potential pitfalls posed by current employment and discrimination law. This bulletin addresses, in a practical way, some issues commonly dealt with by Human Resources departments and gives realistic guidance on how to reduce the risk of employment related litigation in these areas.


Employment News – Hotel and Leisure Sector Spring 2013

Click here for our latest newsletter which gives the hotel and leisure sector details of recent and proposed legislative developments as well as addressing the question of whether obesity can ever be classified as a disability.

Hotel and Leisure Sector Employment Law Update

This article gives the hotel and leisure sector practical tips and guidance on how to deal with a number of important employment issues, including how to protect business interests and how to deal with snow days.


Managing Sickness

Employee sickness is something that most employers face at some point. Read here about how to deal with sickness absence issues.

Competing Holiday Requests

Many staff will want time off over Christmas, and it’s not always possible to accommodate every request. So its important to ensure you have a sensible system for deciding who get to take holiday.


Rules on Employee Rest

Read here for a summary of the rules regarding rest breaks that should be given to workers.