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Employment law specialist solicitors serving Dundee and Scotland

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A new study has revealed that Scottish workers across the UK have the longest working day and that on average, Scottish workers work eight weeks extra per year with no extra payment.

The survey found that on average, Scottish workers work for more than 30 minutes more than the national average per day with two-thirds of those working in Scotland stating that they put in more effort and time than expected or is required. Applying the figures throughout the year, Scottish workers effectively work for eight weeks more per year than other UK workers.


Critics have hit back at Dundee Council claiming that the cuts suggested by the organisation will affect lowest paid staff and vulnerable staff such as women on maternity leave.

The council wants to transform the way it pays staff in an attempt to make savings after the organisation was told it had to save £23 million from its budget. Some trade unions such as the GMB have condemned the proposals warning that under the plans from the council workers on a low income would be worse off and women on maternity leave could lose thousands.


A new study has revealed that at least 25% of workers in Scotland have witnessed some sort of gender bias in the workplace according to a poll from The Scotsman.


Former employees at a Dundee construction company have been awarded a collective sum after it was deemed that they were not given adequate warning about the fate of the company, which led to redundancies.

Workers at the construction firm Muirfield Contracts were given £220,000 after it was decided in an employment tribunal that they were unfairly dismissed. The company had faced legal action because labourers, skilled tradesman and site managers were not consulted about the construction company going into administration last year.

Following the legal action from the union UCATT, workers were awarded eight weeks worth of compensation, amounting to just under £220,000.

The union’s representative for Tayside had claimed that the workers were not filled in on the dire situation the company was in and expressed his happiness about the outcome of the case.  131 union members will receive compensation through a protective award, based on their weekly salary, paid by the Redundancy Payments Service.


Despite an increase in the number of Scottish workers finding employment, some experts have expressed concern in regards to the number of males accounting for the growth.

According to the latest employment figures from the Office of National Statistics, 21,000 more Scots were in work, compared with the previous quarter, bringing the total to 2,631,000. The figures also meant that Scotland had the highest employment rate out of the four UK nations.

The rates seen in Scotland showed that the highest number of people in employment since the recession with the employment rate being at its highest since 2007, at 74.9%. During said time, unemployment fell by 11,000.

Scotland's Fair Work Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: "I am very pleased to note this month's figures, which reinforce the positive longer-term trends in Scotland's labour market, notwithstanding recent and ongoing volatility with Labour Market Statistics."

The minister added: "Employment has continued to rise and unemployment to fall - with more Scots in work than ever before. Youth employment figures continue to be strong, outperforming the UK statistics.

"However, we are not complacent and we recognise that a number of significant challenges remain beneath these encouraging headline figures."


The Government has failed to name companies who are underpaying staff despite continually promising to “name and shame” those who are breaking the law.

Critics have stated that the failure to inform the public about which companies are breaking the rules are showing that the government are not serious about tackling the minimum wage issue and eradicating poverty.

Since tougher rules on non-payment of the wage were introduced in 2013, HM Revenue and Customs has investigated 1,004 complaints against employers.

Of those investigated, 398 firms have been named after they were found to be underpaying staff. 165 have not been identified because their total arrears to employees were less than £100. 27 companies have successfully argued they have not broken the law. Despite the criticism, the Department for Business said its priority was to ensure that any wage arrears owed to workers were paid rather than naming employers before them settling what they owe.

The department added that there was a delay in the naming of companies as employers had two chances to appeal before they suffered the reputational damage of being publicly identified, but, that a list of names could be expected shortly.


Postal workers in Fife have taken industrial action for the second time over what they deem to be the unfair dismissal of a colleague after he was sacked over allegations of theft.

David Mitchell, who worked as a postman for 27 years before he was dismissed was accused of stealing mail resulting in his dismissal for gross misconduct.

However, he has since taken Royal Mail to an employment tribunal winning £57,000 in compensation due to loss of earnings. The employment tribunal Judge Ian McFatridge also ordered the postal service to reinstate Mr Mitchell, twice, as he said there were no reasonable grounds for the belief he had stolen mail, but they have failed to do so.

As a result of this failure to reinstate Mr Mitchell, colleagues went on a 24 hour strike for the second time with some union representatives warning that the action could soon affect all of Scotland.

Speaking of the incident, local MP Stephen Gethins. Speaking on the incident Mr Gethins said: "This is question of fairness. There's now been two court rulings in Mr Mitchell's favour and Royal Mail need to respect that."

Mr Mitchell is also being backed the Communications Workers Union (CWU) which says Royal Mail failed to properly investigate the theft allegations. Items of mail were reported missing from his round but his postal vehicle, his own car, his home and clothing were searched by investigators with no trace of the items found. Despite the lack of evidence, he was still dismissed for theft leading to an employment tribunal.

CWU assistant secretary Ray Ellis said: "It was an extremely serious allegation, accusing him of theft with no evidence whatsoever.

"As well as the court, the Scottish prosecution service also ruled that there was insufficient evidence to back up the charge."

A spokeswoman for Royal Mail said: "Royal Mail is disappointed that the Communications Workers Union has again taken strike action at Cupar Delivery Office today.

"We are out delivering mail to nearly all our customer in Cupar today and the enquiry office remains open for customers to pick up mail.

"Royal Mail continues to work with our trade union and people locally to resolve this issue and we apologise to our customers for any inconvenience caused."


The former Chelsea doctor, Eva Carneiro, who was dismissed after a bust up with then-manager Jose Mourinho, has failed to reach a settlement agreement with the club resulting in a private employment tribunal hearing beginning this week.

Due to both parties being unable to reach a settlement, it is expected that the case will end up in an employment tribunal and could result in lengthy court action.

Carneiro’s has launched a constructive dismissal and sex discrimination claim after she was frozen out of her job with the club. The club doctor had fallen out with the then manager of the club after she ran onto the pitch to treat a player in the dying minutes of a game, against the manager’s wishes. The doctor was banned from first team matches and attending the ground on certain days, ultimately leading her to quit her role at the club.

She then took legal action citing unfair dismissal after she has asked to be reinstated in her role as the first-team doctor. Carneiro claimed for damages for sex discrimination from Jose Mourinho, as well as personal injury compensation and aggravated damages from the club. It is believed that the number of cases launched by Carneiro made it difficult for any settlement agreement to be met.


Bullying in the workplace is growing according to the latest survey from ACAS with a study finding that many people are too afraid to speak out.

According to ACAS, there has been more than 20,000 calls regarding bullying and harassment in the workplace. The organisation has also called for employers to take claims of bullying in the workplace much more seriously and improve all anti-bullying policies.

Chair of ACAS, Sir Brendan Barber, stated that it wa clear bullying was on the rise and that poor business policies and management was one of the main reasons for the rise. He said: "Callers to our helpline have experienced some horrific incidents around bullying that have included humiliation, ostracism, verbal and physical abuse.

"But managers sometimes dismiss accusations around bullying as simply personality or management style clashes, whilst others may recognise the problem but lack the confidence or skills to deal with it."


A study from HMRC and a number of law firms has revealed that the number of high female earners has not changed in the last four years despite many attempts to reduce the gender pay gap.

Figures from HM Revenue & Customs showed that women accounted for 27% of all higher-rate taxpayers in each of the past four financial years meaning that women made up 1.21m of the 4.47m higher-rate taxpayers. This number remained the same despite a rise of about one million high earners in the last year.

Many experts have stated that while the number of high earners in the UK has grown, the gender gap between male and female workers has played a part for the same percentage of high female earners. In 2015, despite a number of goals to reduce the gender wage gap, the gap decreased by a mere 0.2%. Currently, the gender gap sits at 9.4%.


More than 1,400 women working in the Fife Council are to share a multi-million-pound payout after they were awarded a lump sum for underpayment.

The payout related to cases dating back to 2006 with Unison being involved in a case that highlighted historic discriminatory pay practices. The case, involving mainly lowly paid Unison members was at the final stage with solicitors negotiating the exact amount of compensation with those involved in the case expected to have news “in due course”.

Dougie Black, the Unison regional organiser for Fife local government, said: "This has been a long time coming. Many claims stretch back to 2006, and we can only thank Unison members for their hard work and patience.

"We will now discuss individual claims with the employer to ensure each claim is calculated properly. This a good day for low-paid women workers and Unison is proud to have been a part of it."

Suzanne Craig, Unison's legal officer, said: "Unison will be seeking early payment from the employers.

"Regrettably it took the threat of proceeding to an employment tribunal to focus the employer's minds to settle, but it is great news for everyone that we have agreed.

"This settlement also agrees on the legal principles for moving forward to ensure wherever possible that job evaluation and pay practices remain free from discrimination in the future."


A new study has revealed that workers are more likely to be productive when in a happy and relaxed in the workplace.

The study, which was reported in The Guardian analysed the relationship between productivity and happiness and found that if workplace morale was high, productivity could increase by 12%.


A pair of employees have won their unfair dismissal case after they were awarded around £25,000 after being dismissed by BEAR.

The company used covert surveillance to monitor staff and then used said video to dismiss two employees, Sean Toshney from Dundee, and colleague Neil Fotheringham from Arbroath. BEAR cited gross misconduct after alleging they were guilty of poor timekeeping and falsifying records. However, the pair has now been awarded compensation following an employment tribunal.


The Scottish Government are to scrap employment tribunal fees if said powers are devolved to Scotland from Westminster, however, such powers will only be transferred when it is “clear on how the transfer of powers and responsibilities".

The plan was announced in the government’s programme for 2015/16 with the details set to be negotiated by both governments with the Scottish Government wishing to scrap such fees to ensure that people have a greater access to justice.

Speaking on the matter the Scottish Government stated: “We will abolish fees for employment tribunals when we are clear on how the transfer of powers and responsibilities will work.

“We will consult on the shape of services that can best support people’s access to employment justice as part of the transfer of the powers of Employment Tribunals to Scotland.”


HMRC and the Department of business, innovation and skills (BIS) are to crackdown on companies that are not paying staff the National Minimum Wage.

Under the new crackdown, a team of officers will be able to enforce stricter penalties and punish those who are intentionally not paying staff what they deserve. It is hoped that such a crackdown will help those who are being underpaid, but also serve as an incentive for companies to pay their staff their rightful rate ahead of the proposed increase in the rate.


A worrying survey has found that female solicitors are effectively working from free from mid-August as a result of the gender pay gap in the legal sector.

According to new research from the Law Society of Scotland show that throughout a legal career there can be as much as a 42% difference in salaries between males and females. The research analysed average full-time salaries between males and females and looked at the difference at each level of employment, with salaries varying between 2% to 42% at numerous stages,


Trade Union boss Len McCluskey has announced at Unite’s annual conference that he will change the rules to allow activists to illegally strike.

The move comes in direct response to the government amendment that aims to make it harder for workers, especially in the public sector, to strike. However, Unite has now changed their policy to allow workers to strike even if it goes against the new rules so that members are not subjected to such “oppressive legislation”.


MPSs are to launch an inquiry into the effect of the 2008 recession on the quality of Scottish jobs and, in particular, the labour market.

The inquiry aims to investigate some of the conditions and standards faced by Scottish workers with MSPs hoping to see that the conditions of workers in Scotland has improved, even during the tough economic climate of 2008.

As well as the condition of jobs, MSPs will look to see how employee well-being and health and safety in the workplace has been affected as well as the living standard and the impact of low wages. It is hoped that any issues that are found will allow the Scottish government to improve the working conditions for many across the country.

It is thought that the recession and tough economic climate affected many in the long term and could still be hurting the Scottish economy.

Committee convener Murdo Fraser said: "The Scottish economy is clearly on the road to recovery but it's important that as politicians we reflect on whether the 2008 recession has had a long-lasting impact on the quality of jobs in the labour market."

He added: "An increase of people in employment is always to be welcomed. However, this inquiry will delve into the issues behind the headlines and determine if job quality has improved.


The UK Government are to reform the ballot system and the way industrial action can legally occur in a bid to prevent “back door” strikes.

The Business Secretary Sajid Javid has said there will be "significant changes" to strike laws especially for public workers such as transport, fire services and schools, with the changes to the laws considered to be a priority for the Conservative Government.

Under current rules a strike is valid regardless of turnout. If most vote for the motion then it will come into effect.


If your employer has made an unlawful deduction from your wages or has failed to pay your wages, there are two ways you can claim the money back. 


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