REUTERS | Vasily Fedosenko

In brief for week ending 10 September 2014

Make sure that you have not missed a key development in your area of the law by reading our In brief review of the latest Practical Law Public Sector e-mail.

Central government:

  • The UK Parliament website has published an election timetable for the 2015 general election, which confirms that Parliament will be dissolved on 30 March 2015, on which date the period of pre-election purdah will commence.

Civil litigation:

  • The MOJ has published its response to the House of Lords Select Committee on the Constitution’s 2nd Report of Session 2014-15 on the judicial review aspects of the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill 2014-15.

Education and children’s services:

Employment and pensions:

  • The EAT has:
    • held that a tribunal erred when finding that an employee was assigned to the organised grouping of employees that transferred to a new contractor on a service provision change (Costain Ltd v Armitage and another);
    • overturned a tribunal’s decision that an employee with Asperger’s syndrome, dismissed because of his criminal conviction for covertly recording a colleague in the shower area of shared accommodation, had suffered discrimination arising from disability under the Equality Act 2010 (Hensman v Ministry of Defence);
    • considered whether an employer that had implemented a government-imposed pay freeze had acted in breach of contract when it failed to operate a pay progression clause which expressly provided for annual pay reviews (The Equality and Human Rights Commission v Earle); and
    • upheld a tribunal’s decision that the costs incurred by a party’s in-house legal team should be referred for a detailed assessment in the county court (Ladak v DRC Locums Ltd).
  • The Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills has delivered a speech to the TUC Congress in which he indicated that the Labour Party will undertake major reforms of the employment tribunal system, if elected in 2015.

FOI and data protection:

  • The Secretary of State has made the Intellectual Property Act 2014 (Commencement No.3 and Transitional Provisions) Order 2014. This brings into force most of the remaining provisions of the Intellectual Property Act 2014 with effect from 1 October 2014, including section 20, which inserts a new exemption for research into the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (section 22A).
  • The ICO has:
    • launched a consultation on framework criteria for a privacy seal scheme which it will endorse; and
    • created an online survey to seek feedback on its data sharing code of practice.


  • The Home Office is piloting “right to rent” checksun der the Immigration Act 2014 in certain areas of the West Midlands.

Property and planning:

  • The Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) has considered whether a factory was capable of beneficial occupation whilst substantial refurbishment works were being carried out or whether it should be removed from the rating list (R3 Products Ltd v Salt).
  • The Land Registry has amended section 9 of Practice Guide 10: official search of the index map, confirming when the Land Registry may issue a plan illustrating the properties with the results of an official search of the index map.

Public procurement:

  • The NAO has published a report, Transforming government’s contract management, which sets out the results of its review of government contracts with the private sector.

Regulation and enforcement:

  • The HSE has reported to its executive board on the outcome of its consultation on proposed changes to the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007.

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