Thursday, 4 September 2008


I notice that M&S are reported to have sacked the employee who passed details of the company's plans, to reduce redundancy payments to a large number of head office staff by some 25%, to the press.

It is interesting to speculate how the proposals contained in the new Equality Bill would impact upon this apparently heavy handed decision. The bill contains measures including a ban on gagging clauses in contracts which would enable employees to compare wages and to challenge any employer who is unlawfully underpaying them. Since minimum redundancy payments are set down in statute one has to hope that discussing redundancy payments will also fall within the ambit of this new piece of legislation.

I am unable to comment upon the details of the M&S case which has been broadcast widely but without substantive detail, because I am not privy to all of the facts; however, I would hope that M&S has acted fairly and legally and that the legal minima are to be paid to their employees shortly to be out of work. If not then the act of dismissal takes on a whole new complexion.

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