Select Committee on Delegated Powers and Deregulation Ninth Report

Appendix B -Legal Opinion Re Scope of the Code of Practice

According to Baker Mackenzie, the employment solicitors employed by BEDA to prepare the Code of Practice relating to employment, it would be inappropriate to add a clause on a separate issue such as transport:

    "The issue of safe transport home is one which will occur every night of the week.

    "The Code addresses dismissal and action short of dismissal (detriment or victimisation). Transport is irrelevant to these issues, indeed the Code regulates the position of those who choose not to work on Sundays rather than those who do. In that sense it is an inappropriate vehicle to include the provision of safe transport home.

    "Insofar as it regulates the terms of the contract which are offered to those who do agree to work on a Sunday, there should in fact be no change to terms and conditions as long as members already provide transport home for those working on other days i.e. no variation is necessary as existing policies should cover the issue. Members should be reminded to check policies and provide transport, but outside the terms of the Code itself.

    "Safe provision is not a new issue and this should already be dealt with by the employer's practices. In addition general provisions of employment law ensure that employers must take sufficient steps to ensure safe systems of work and to take measures where particular dangers are apprehended. In addition the Employment Rights Act provides specific provisions for employees who were dismissed or subjected to detriment for airing health and safety concerns at work. These general provisions apply all week and every week rather than specifically carving out provisions for Sunday working."

Ellen Temperton, Baker Mackenzie

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