Hospitality & Leisure know how

What to do about a bad review

This article first appeared in QuickBite Magazine. In the age of Uber Eats, Deliveroo and TripAdvisor, our next meal is only a swipe away, every customer is an expert and word of mouth spreads faster than the speed of a dial-up connection. Studies show that as many as 70% of customers under the age of […]

GDPR: Direct Marketing update

An area of some confusion among clients, now bracing themselves for the arrival of the GDPR, is on what basis they can continue to market themselves to customers: is fresh consent required, or what are the alternatives?  With the 25th of May fast approaching, this short article explains that the new restrictive form of consent […]

Coping with the Christmas peak: recruitment issues re seasonal workers

This article first appeared in QuickBite magazine. With thoughts turning to Christmas, employers may be considering what staffing options they have to help cope with the party season when demand for their services may temporarily increase. Below are four points to think about when recruiting additional help for this seasonal rush of trade. Employment Status: […]

The Taylor Review of modern working practices – will this clear up the confusion regarding employment status issues?

This article first appeared in QuickBite magazine. Is that delivery driver of yours an employee, worker or self-employed? Many readers will recall that the issue of employment status has been under the microscope a lot recently, in particular during legal cases involving Uber, CitySprint and Deliveroo, which examined whether an individual was classed as an […]

Minimum Unit Pricing

Will cheap alcohol in Scotland soon be a thing of the past?  Health campaigners may hope so. Some in the industry don’t!  Either way, the Minimum Unit Pricing case is in the Supreme Court on Monday and Tuesday (24- 25 July 2017), and is likely to be pivotal.  We shall be watching the outcome closely. “CHEAP […]

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, […]

Illegal Working in Licensed Premises

There hasn’t been much publicity about this, but these measures (see link below) are specifically for the Licensed Trade (alcohol and late night refreshment), and came into force on 6 April 2017.  In short it is part of a clamp down on illegal working in Licensed Premises, with the key points being: Applications by individuals […]

Alcohol and Late Night Refreshment Figures

The latest Government figures for alcohol and late night refreshment licences are out. Two points stand out for me. First, the ongoing climb in the number of premises licences suggests a general resilience in the sector, which is encouraging.  Challenges obviously remain, broad figures should be approached with caution, and there are still pockets of […]

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 […]

Recent ruling highlights different disclosure requirements for accountants and solicitors

Question: what is the extent of solicitors’ duty of disclosure, and in particular is there a duty to disclose information gained from acting for one client to another? The decision in Harlequin Property (SVG) Limited v Wilkins Kennedy (a Firm) [2016] EWHC 3188 (TCC) held that accountants do not owe such a duty and in […]

Lessons for the food and restaurant trade from the Fabric case

The high profile closure of Fabric, and recent resolution to enable it to re-open, may seem a far cry from the average retail food offering. Much of it was! However, there are some important points to take on board, which are applicable more widely. First of all, know your permitted hours and conditions. All those […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Budget 2015 Minimum Wage Rates Update

Following the Budget last Wednesday, talk has turned to the minimum amounts that should be paid to workers over the age of 16. As you will know, at least the national minimum wage must be paid. Current rates (per hour) are:   Until 30 September 2015 From 1 October 2015 For those aged 21 and over: […]

Significant changes to company law in the UK, Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015

The government’s aim in introducing the Act is to enable small businesses to innovate, grow and compete. The hope is also that internationally it will endorse the UK as a trusted and fair place to do business. The Act received Royal Assent on 26 March 2015 and is set to have a significant impact on […]

Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations

Their name may not inspire, but if you are a landlord of commercial or residential multi-let buildings where heating hot water or air cooling is provided centrally to individual units, and via a liquid, then you need to take note! Billing If you are such a landlord, you should already be complying the Regulations’ billing […]

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. […]

Counterclaim struck out but allowed to stand as a Defence

In the recent case of Cockell v Holton (No 2) [2015] EWHC 1117 (TCC), which was a claim arising out of works to a listed building following a fire, the Judge refused to grant the Defendant permission to pursue a significant Counterclaim, but allowed him to amend his Defence to include the allegations contained in […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Can you be liable under an indemnity for sums that have not yet been paid out?

In the recent case of Durley House Ltd v Firmdale Hotels Plc [2014] EWHC 2608 (Ch), the High Court considered whether the defendant indemnifier was liable under a contract of indemnity, when the claimant indemnified party had not yet paid out the sums owed to the creditor. Facts The Claimant tenant entered into a lease […]

A Break for Landlords – Recent Court of Appeal Decision Restores Certainty

The Court of Appeal has overturned the decision of the High Court relating to the refund of rents for a period after a break option has been exercised.

Penalty Clauses in Commercial Agreements Following El Makdessi v Cavendish Square Holdings

It is common for parties to commercial agreements to agree mechanisms for resolving breaches of their agreement without having to resort to legal proceedings. Typically this is done by incorporating provisions, such as forfeiture or compulsory buy-back clauses, into a contract which are activated upon one party’s breach of its terms. In such a situation, […]

Should Merger Control Be Repatriated To The UK (And All Other Member States)?

Since 2012, the Government has been conducting an audit of EU powers (or “competences” to use the jargon) with a view to seeking whether their repatriation to the UK in appropriate cases.  In a recent consultation, it has got round to asking interested parties on about the current division of regulatory responsibilities between Brussels and […]

A Review of Employment Law Reform in 2013 and 2014

As with 2013, there will be no rest for employment law advisers, employers and HR practitioners in 2014, with further legislative change on the agenda.  Many of the changes hail from the government’s Red Tape Challenge following its publication of the report “Progress on Reform” on 14 March 2013, which detailed the intended timetable for […]

More Change to The Licensing Regime Ahead?

Alcohol consumption, and night time leisure activities, remain hot topics for journalists and politicians alike. Hard on the heels of this Government’s “re-balancing” reforms of the Licensing Act 2003, further changes are afoot. The “rebalancing” reforms, which came into effect at the beginning of 2012, were followed by a review at the end of 2012 […]

Buying a Hotel – Our Top 6 Points

Whether you are an experienced hotelier or just starting out in the hotel industry, the process of buying a hotel can be a daunting prospect. From financing the purchase, to structuring the deal, to due diligence, to negotiating the commercial terms, there are many things to consider and each will impact the success of your […]

Hotel Property Fraud – Don’t Become the Latest Victim

 Unfortunately an increasing number of owners of high value properties are finding that they are victims of property fraud. Owners of hotels are at risk if they own property in a personal or commercial capacity. One of our clients recently discovered that his identity had been stolen and the fraudster was attempting to sell his […]

Pensions Auto-Enrolment – What Does This Mean for your Hotel Business?

Wide-ranging pension reforms were introduced by the Pensions Act 2008 and came into force on 30 June 2012.  All UK employers will be required to auto-enrol eligible workers into a pension scheme and make mandatory contributions, in a process staged over several years. The process is not a simple one, as evidenced by the twelve […]


In 2011, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN, the professional body for domain name registration) launched the new generic top level domain (gTLD) programme to permit the introduction of new top level domains on the internet. The move, which has attracted much publicity, will allow web addresses to end in a whole range of new domains (such as .app, .sport, .accountant) beyond the likes of .com, and .net.

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.

Important Changes to English Litigation Costs – Part 2 (Costs Management)

New rules on costs management are intended to benefit litigants by ensuring that the legal costs of fighting a case are proportionate to the issues in dispute. On the face of it this sounds like it must be a positive step, however the reality is that the changes may not be as beneficial as would initially appear to be the case.

Agency Workers – Tribunal Decides “Swedish Derogation” Lawful for Maintaining Pay Difference between Permanent and Agency Workers

An Employment Tribunal has decided that a temporary work agency which transferred a group of agency workers off zero hours contracts onto guaranteed hours contracts did in fact comply with the Agency Workers Regulations 2010 and that the Swedish Derogation could be relied upon [Bray and others v Monarch Personnel Refuelling (UK) Ltd ET/1801581/12 and others].

Reorganising the Regulation of Financial Services in the UK: The Financial Services Act 2012

1st April sees the introduction of a new structure for the regulation of financial services in the UK. Is its rolling out on April Fools’ Day just a bit of quirky Britishness or a true indication that we would be fooling ourselves in thinking that a mere re-organisation could prevent a repeat of the banking and financial crisis?

Extension of Permitted Development Rights

At the end of last month the Government announced a number of changes to permitted development rights, including allowing the change of use from offices (Class B1(a)) to residential (Class C3) without the need for planning permission. The intention of the new scheme is to make best use of existing developed sites and facilitate speedier conversion of redundant office space into desirable residential accommodation.

Validity of Post-Acquisition Restrictive Covenants

In a recent case, the Court considered the issue of whether covenants in a share purchase agreement amounted to penalties and whether restrictions were an unreasonable restraint of trade.

Important Changes to English Litigation Costs – Part 1

In Shakespeare’s time, lawyers adopted a “no fee, no breath” approach. In spite of the still widely held view that lawyers will do anything for money and nothing without it, “no win, no fee” arrangements have become commonplace in recent years in English litigation. However, a series of controversial changes are shortly to be introduced which, depending on one’s viewpoint, may reduce access to justice for some, whilst increasing it for others and place some losing parties in a fairer position, but some in a worse one. Jonathan Haydn-Williams explains the current position and the imminent changes.

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.

Executive Remuneration: Changes in 2013

There are a number of company law proposals expected to be implemented in 2013. These include reforms relating to executive remuneration and the introduction of the new employee-owner status

Employment Law – What to Expect in 2013

The Government has a wide variety of new legislation currently going through Parliament, which it intends to bring into force next year. This should make for a very interesting and challenging 2013 in the employment and discrimination arena

Excessive Director Remuneration

Court of Appeal overturns High Court Decision on Unfair Prejudice

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.

Give Me a Break Clause!

Break clauses and their exercise continue to cause headaches.

Rules on Employee Rest

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

The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012

The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (“LASPO”) received royal assent on 1 May 2012. The primary purpose of the bill was to reform the civil litigation costs and funding framework, but a number of other changes were also included which may have wide reaching consequences for businesses in England & Wales and their directors and senior officers.