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