Report to Branch March 2016

Legal Services Secretary – Report to Branch Committee
March 2016

Since taking on the role of Legal and Medical Secretary in 2005, a running total has been kept of monies recovered following on from accidents incurred either inside or outside of work, that have been processed on behalf of members of the Branch.
At the time of writing this report, that total stands at £4,264, 862. An increase of around £0 from last month. This is due to the fact that only one week has passed since the last Branch Committee meeting.
The total includes compensation payments and monies received from the Department of Works and Pensions (DWP) in Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit, along with payments made from the various businesses Personal Accident Benefit Schemes (PABS). In addition to this, just over £76,300 is made in payments to our members by the DWP every year for the rest of their lives in disability benefit. (This payment rises year on year in line with the rate of inflation).
3 new cases have been opened since the date of the last Branch Committee report.
External Legal news:
The Branch will be aware of the ongoing claims in the Employment Appeal Tribunal process of Fulton v Bear Scotland and Lock v British Gas. These are the cases considering if overtime should be used to calculate holiday pay, and how far back any claims can be made. The Judgement is pending at the time of writing this report, but is expected to made shortly.
Further developments have been made in relation to the law regarding social media, for both personal and professional use at work. Although the TUC have recently declared that people “should have a right to privacy in the workplace” (LRD, Feb 2016), the reality of the legal position is that most cases are being decided on the employer’s interests and whether monitoring is proportionate. Royal Mail has policies on social media use, and it would be wise to familiarise ourselves with them. There are copies of these policies available in the Branch office. As agreed at the February Branch Committee meeting, a separate report will be produced in regards to this subject.

Employment Law:
The latest edition (19th) of Selwyn’s Law of Employment is due for release on April 1st 2016. This is available for purchase from Amazon at £36.99. I am currently advising people on aspects of Employment law using the current book that is now out of date, and I strongly recommend that the Branch purchase a copy of this book, which is now available on pre-order.
Dave Westbrook


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