REUTERS | Ali Hashisho

In brief for week ending 13 May 2015

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 email.

Central government:

  • The European Commission has adopted its 2014 Report on the application of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
  • The Cabinet Office has announced the appointment of a number of ministers following the post-election re-shuffle of Cabinet.

Civil litigation:


  • Amendments to the Infrastructure Conditions of Contract have been published, addressing the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM).
  • The NEC has published guidance on complying with the CDM when using the NEC3 Engineering and Construction Contract.

Education and social services:

  • The Department for Education has published updated guidance for schools on effective buying. The guidance is aimed at school leaders, school business managers, back office staff and governing bodies.
  • The Court of Appeal has:
    • confirmed that, when assessing whether an application under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 is in the best interests of a person lacking capacity (P), the court may only look at the options available to P if he had full capacity (MN (Adult)); and
    • provided guidance that stays of an interim care order, where the plan is for removal of the child, must be long enough to allow an appeal to be lodged. The court agreed with the lower court that there can be circumstances where emotional harm can justify interim removal (Re T (Children)).

Employment and pensions:

  • The Court of Appeal has held that:
    • an employment tribunal adopted the correct approach when considering whether a decision to terminate a consultancy agreement was on the grounds of the claimant’s age (CLFIS (UK) Ltd v Reynolds); and
    • an employment tribunal was entitled to conclude at a pre-hearing review that a Church of England minister was neither an employee nor a worker, and so was precluded from bringing claims for unfair dismissal and whistleblowing (Sharpe v The Bishop of Worcester).
  • The EAT has:
    • held that time a health and safety or trade union rep spent attending health and safety committee meetings and other union meetings counted as “working time” under the Working Time Regulations 1998 (Edwards and another v Encirc Ltd);
    • upheld an employment tribunal’s decision that an employer did not act unfairly in dismissing an employee who refused to comply with an instruction not to contact the Information Commissioner’s Office in relation to an alleged breach of the employer’s data protection obligations (Barton v Royal Borough of Greenwich);
    • upheld an employment tribunal’s decision that it had no jurisdiction to hear a claim that was submitted out of time (Sterling v United Learning Trust); and
    • held that an employment tribunal did not have proper grounds under rule 12 of the Tribunal Rules to reject a claim which had been lodged six years out of time (Higgins v Home Office and another).

FOI and data protection:

  • The First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights) has ruled that reports produced by a consultant expert for a council were not covered by the “internal communications” exception under regulation 12(4)(e) of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (East Devon District Council v Information Commissioner).
  • The Cabinet Office has published 27 letters between HRH the Prince of Wales and seven government departments dating from September 2004 to April 2005, following a request made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 by a journalist from the Guardian newspaper.
  • The ICO has published:
    • new guidance on the issue of monetary penalty notices under section 55A to 55E of the Data Protection Act 1998; and
    • its review of data sharing between the public and private sector for the purposes of fraud prevention.
  • The European Commission has published a Communication on a Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe.


Judicial review:

Local government:

  • The High Court has ruled on the meaning of “costs reasonably incurred” under regulation 34 of the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 in a council tax arrears case where a liability order was obtained by a London borough (R (Nicolson) v Tottenham Magistrates’ and another).

Public procurement:

Practical Law In brief

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