On 21 June 2012 Stephen Miller gave evidence to the House of
Commons Public Bill Committee considering the provisions of the
Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill.
One of the suggestions in the Bill is that employers be entitled
to conduct protected conversations with employees with a view to
agreeing a Compromise Agreement exit. In unfair dismissal
claims Tribunals would be prohibited from hearing evidence about
the content of such conversations unless the conversation was
Although such a protection has an obvious appeal for employers,
it is difficult to see how the situation could be made to work in
Stephen illustrated that with an example when he was taking
"Stephen Miller: Listening to the debate,
if one feature has to be considered, it is that you must exclude
misconduct cases. So far, as I say, redundancy or changed business
needs are no fault, but misconduct cases can involve, for example,
what happened the night before at the office party, when there has
been an indiscretion. If there is a conversation about that -
"We want you to leave" - it is very difficult to see how,
if the employee refuses to leave, there can be a fair disciplinary
process, when the employer has already taken the position that the
employee has to go. At the moment, my anticipation is that judges
will take a lot of persuasion to exclude evidence about that, and
therefore, they will use the elasticity around the word
"improper", saying, "It was improper to do that,
therefore we can hear evidence about it."
Q 223 Ian Murray: I will not ask you to
give us practical examples of office party indiscretions.
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In October 2012, the Court of Appeal confirmed that a Service Provision Change ("SPC") TUPE transfer can only occur where the client who receives the service, before and after the change, remains the same (Hunter v McCarrick  EWCA Civ 1399).
Following much debate, on 24 April 2013 the House of Lords finally gave its approval to employee shareholder status which will now take effect from Autumn 2013.
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