Be Aware - March 2016
This is the second in a series of articles rounding up recent developments and common legal issues that affect motor traders.
Disability Discrimination and Reasonable Adjustments
Should the duty to make reasonable adjustments under s.20 of the Equality Act be abolished? No, held the Court of Appeal in Griffiths v Secretary of State for Work & Pensions. The practical effect of this case is to remind employers that the duty to make reasonable adjustments remains and we can advise on such matters as appropriate.
Removal of Company Car from an Employee on Sick Leave
“If an employee is off on sickness absence but has the use of a company car, can we take the car back whilst they are off?
It may be possible, but it will depend upon what the relevant contractual clause and/or any policy document/handbook says. In some cases, the remuneration package includes benefits in kind, for instance personal use of a car, wording could be included to state it may be removed at a specified point during long term absence.
Holiday Pay and Irregular Workers
“I have a lot of workers who work very irregular hours for me on an ‘as and when’ basis. One worker has now come to me claiming that I should have allowed him holiday and I now must pay him holiday pay? Must I?”
The simple answer is yes. In employment law not only ‘employees’ but also ‘workers’ (a broader category than employees) are entitled to statutory minimum holiday under the Working Time Regulations.
In the UK this essentially means all full-time workers/employees should be receiving the 20 + 8 days leave over the course of the year. If workers are part-time then you should pro-rata holiday entitlement.
Selling Uncollected Vehicles
Vehicles are left with garages more often than you may think. If you are owed money this can be particularly difficult to deal with. If you do not want to take the matter to court one of the options you may have is to sell the vehicle
The Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1977 gives the garage two powers, one to impose an obligation on the owner to take delivery of the vehicle, and two, to take steps to sell the vehicle.
A garage cannot, however, exercise its right to serve a notice or sell the vehicle if at the time it has notice that, because of a dispute concerning the vehicle, the owner is questioning or refusing to pay all or any part of what the garage claims to be due in respect of the vehicle.
This advice is general in nature and it will need to be tailored to any one particular situation. As an RMI member you have access to the RMI legal advice line, as well as a number of industry experts for your assistance. Should you find yourself in the situation above, call the member helpline on 0845 305 4230 for advice and assistance.