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As a busy line manager, just getting the day job done can be a challenge without the added distraction of team members who just aren’t pulling their weight. Wouldn’t it be great if your team took the initiative and sought to resolve some of these issues themselves?

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Finding, gaining and retaining talent is key for businesses to succeed, particularly in today’s world. We share our top HR advice and insight into why you might be losing yours.

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You will know when you have a great HR strategy when your HR practices and responsibilities are aligned to the organisation’s goals and mission statement, resulting in growth and achievement of your business plan. 

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In this digital age, if you need to know how to change a plug, fix a toilet, braid your child’s hair in a French plait then Youtube is usually your first port of call and there will no doubt be someone there who is more than happy to show you just how to do it. With everything now going online, has the time for face-to-face training passed?

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Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills v Knight UKEAT/0073/13


The Employment Appeals Tribunal considered whether a majority shareholder who had not received pay for two years could be an employee.


In this case, the issue was whether the Managing Director and Sole Shareholder was entitled to Statutory Redundancy Pay from the Insolvency Service under section 166 of ERA 1996, even though she had not received pay for a period of two years.

It is established in the case of Ready-Mixed Concrete [1968] 2 QB 497 that “there must be a wage or other remuneration” for there to be a contract of any kind.


In the case of Knight the Secretary of State argued that whilst there was a written contract of employment in existence, the terms did not reflect the reality of the situation, and when Ms Knight forfeited her right to collect a salary she varied the terms of her contract, and in doing so ended her employment status.


In dismissing the Secretary of State’s appeal the EAT found that Ms Knight would probably have taken a salary if the company was suddenly in a position to pay her, and as such there could not have been an agreement whereby her salary was no longer payable. Therefore, the entitlement to pay had not been varied even though this entitlement was not exercised.

This case does not change the law but it does stretch the factual matrix in which a “contract of employment” can be found, particularly when looking at the economic reality of the relationship.


This case could encourage “workers” to claim “employee” rights, or for contracting parties to claim benefits that might otherwise have been waived many years earlier by virtue of the parties’ course of conduct with one another.

If you have any questions concerning this article or any other employment matter please call Tom Clements, Solicitor on 01473 244 333, email or visit our website at


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Top 5 Tips to Limit the Risk of Being an Employer


Employment law is notoriously complex and uncertain with huge risks of tribunal action when things go wrong. Here are my top 5 tips to manage the risk of being an employer to allow you to move your business in the direction you want:


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How many times have you thought “I wish I could clone myself, then I could get <some task you don’t want to do> done at the same time as <this business critical task>”?


A common growing pain with small businesses is not having the resources or inclination to do certain tasks that are required of you because you’re too busy ‘in the business’.  Often this is a point where outsourcing is considered, and it can be incredibly helpful - or an absolute disaster.  Choosing to outsource should not be done through a fear of missing out because everybody else seems to be doing it - outsourcing should be driven by a clear business need.


Here are my top three tips if you are considering outsourcing as a way to enable you to grow your business.

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