IGA News

Be Aware - March 2017

Be Aware - March 2017

28 February 2017

Stress!

Does long term stress amount to a disability?

In the case of Herry v Dudley MBC the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) said no, not without something else.

In this particular case, the Claimant failed to establish a mental impairment or to show substantial impact, presenting little or no evidence that the stress had any impact on normal day to day activities. Conducting litigation or giving evidence at an employment tribunal were not considered to be normal day to day activities because they do not affect participation in professional life.

Whilst again this case gives employers some comfort, each case will obviously turn on its own facts and it may be that in some cases stress does indeed amount to a disability within the meaning of the Equality Act.

Public Performance Of TV Broadcasts And Films

Over the last few years we have become used to the requirement to hold a PRS or PPL license in order to listen to radios within the workplace. However, there have been recent changes to legislation and a number of RMI Members have now received letters from the Motion Picture License Company (MLPC) alleging that a license is required to watch the television as well.

Do I need a license?

The MPLC only license the public performance of works produced by their members. If the TV broadcast is in a place of work and more than one person can hear it, it is likely that you need a licence if the MPLC’s member’s works are performed. If the film/TV program is not owned by their members there is no requirement to hold their license. However, if it is owned by other organisations their permission will be required.

A list of the MPLC members can be found at www.themplc.co.uk/page/producers.

The answer depends on what you are showing. If you are showing a news channel it is very unlikely that you will need a license from the MPLC or any of the societies above.

However, if it is any other type of channel the answer is …probably yes.

You can either stop making TV broadcasts available, or you can try and ensure that any TV only broadcasts works not covered by the MPLC license. The latter will be very difficult unless you have a clear understanding of the programs to be broadcast in advance as well as a list of the rights holders sufficient to check against the catalogue of rights holders for each society.

Rest breaks and working time

“What is the position with rest breaks for Sales Executives? When it is busy our staff do not tend to take lunch breaks which suits us because it means they can meet customer demand but we want to make sure we are not breaching any laws”.

Where any worker works 6 hours or more, legally they are entitled to a 20 minute rest break. There has been a mix of case law on the subject but ultimately employers should not be seen to prevent their staff from taking breaks, even if the staff themselves do not expressly request them.

In a recent case of Grange v Abellio London Limited the Employment Appeal Tribunal held that employers must take active steps to ensure their working arrangements enable workers to take their required rest breaks. The entitlement to rest breaks is intended to be actively encouraged by employers for the protection of workers’ health and safety. Employers will therefore be considered to refuse an employee’s rest break if they put in place working arrangements that fail to allow the taking of such breaks i.e. agreeing an employee works a shorter day if they work through their lunch. It doesn’t matter therefore if an employee doesn’t actually ask to take their rest break, time should be allowed within their working day for them to take them.

Dash Cams

“I have had a customer use a dash camera to record my work on their vehicle. I am concerned that this might record sensitive information. Is there anything I can do to stop it”

Dashboard cameras, or ‘dash cams’ are becoming more common on our roads. Which means they are becoming more common in our garages. Garages needs to be aware of the issues raised and consider what policies to put in place in advance in order to ensure you remain on top of the issue. But what is the legal position?

The law

The use of CCTV is covered by a number of Acts of Parliament. However, most of these are designed to regulate the use of CCTV by the Government and public bodies. The main act to cover private use of CCTV is the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). This provides general principles that govern the collection and use of data, including CCTV Footage.

All personal data must be collected and processed in line with the DPA and the principles established under it. The collection must be:

  • Fair and lawful;
  • For a legitimate and define purpose; and
  • Retained only as long as reasonably required.

As the controller of any system would have to comply with DPA, the Information Commissioners Office has produced a code of practice for surveillance cameras and personal information code of conduct.

Can I Object?

In a public area, no. However, any recording on private property can be restricted by the property owner. As such, even with clear signage on the vehicle, any motor trader can limit or prohibit dash cam use on their premises.

Can I disconnect dash cams?

Yes. However, we would advise that customers are clearly advised this will happen. You also need to be careful. You will be liable for any damage to the dash cam if you are negligent. It is also important to ensure that dash cams are turned back on after the work is done. We have had incidents where accident that should have been recorded was not. Whilst this will not automatically result in a liability for the motor trader, it is possible and it will at least damage your reputation.

Conclusion

There is no right answer in this area. Dash cams can establish good practice and reputation but they can also result in damage to your reputation or worse. For example dash cam footage could mean that the layout/ contents of your Worksop could be put online or that alarm and security codes are recorded. There has been a case where a workshop was caught by the customer’s dash cam racing the customer’s car at speeds up to 118mph. You will need to assess the risks of cameras to your business.

Our advice is to put a clear policy in place so that staff and customer are aware of their responsibilities and what actions will be taken with regards both the presence of dash cams as well as the behaviour expected where they are present. 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, contact us at any stage for advice and assistance as appropriate.

Conclusions

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 0845 305 4230 at any stage for advice and assistance as appropriate.