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July 31, 2019
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Heathrow airport employee Facebook post ruling

In a recent case, Forbes v LHR Airport Limited, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) ruled that an offensive post shared by an airport employee on Facebook was not carried out in the course of employment.

As the post was shared on the employee’s own device, it was not posted during the course of her employment nor did she mention any of her colleagues.  The employers, London Heathrow Airport, were not liable under The Equality Act which makes an employer liable for discriminatory acts carried out by their employees in the course of employment.

This case offers some reassurance to employers, who might be concerned about their employees’ social media activities. Employers should continue to act on, and investigate complaints relating to social media harassment promptly and have social media policies in place. It is worth noting the small factual changes to this case that made Heathrow airport exempt from responsibility.  LHR may have been liable if:

  • The post had been made during work time, or 

  • The employees had been “tagged” in the post, or

  • The case had been brought against the colleague who had been shown the image

Any of these could have resulted in a very different outcome for LHR.

Look out for our blog series on social media screening coming soon!

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July 30, 2019
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Bahrain Data Protection Law

Information from Clyde & Co. discusses Bahrain’s new data protection law, including key obligations, how the law will be enforced and the punishments for breaches, what data is protected, and what organizations should do now to be in compliance.

It notes that compliance cannot be achieved overnight and will require more than just a review of legal documentation. IT systems, business processes, personnel awareness and training are all relevant and important parts of compliance.
 
 

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July 19, 2019
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Presentation of Queen’s Award for Enterprise by HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire Helen Nellis

Verifile was formally presented yesterday with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the category of International Trade by Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire Helen Nellis.

In April, we were delighted to learn that Verifile had been named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2019 and would be receiving the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade for outstanding growth in Verifile’s overseas sales over the past six consecutive years.  This notification was followed up with an official reception at Buckingham Palace in June along with the other Queen’s Award winners from across the UK. Yesterday (18th July) we were delighted to welcome Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant Helen Nellis, to conduct a special presentation ceremony at our Bedford offices.
 
The Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire was accompanied by Deputy Lieutenants Nick Kier BEM, Professor Sir Les Ebdon CBE, Chris Kilroy MBE and Mark Hardy. All four Deputy Lieutenants are members of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Panel and included the Chairman (Nick Kier) and two judges.  Also, in attendance from Bedford Borough Council were Mr Patrick Lyons and Mr Paul Adams. The official ceremony began with a welcome from our CEO Eyal followed by a tour of Verifile’s offices.
 
HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire stated, “I am so honoured to present the Queen’s Award for Enterprise to Verifile this morning.  An outstanding organisation led with passion and creativity, leading the world in its field”.
 
Our visitors experienced the robust process we follow in conducting background checks on behalf of our clients.  A member from each of the eight specialist teams gave an overview of what happens to the candidate’s information at each stage of the process from initial review through to sign-off by Quality Assurance experts.
 
The tour demonstrated how we use the extensive linguistic skills within our multi-national Referencing Team to source references and verify CVs from around the world. Having these language resources available in-house is one of the key reasons we have been able to increase our international trade so significantly, and over such a long period of time, enabling Verifile to qualify for the Queen’s Award for Enterprise.
 
The Lord-Lieutenant and her delegation were fascinated to learn that from the last quarter of a million employment checks Verifile has processed for clients, one in three references were allocated either a Red or Amber traffic light, signifying that there was at least one potential issue requiring their consideration. Whether it is contacting Russian organisations for employment references, or Chinese universities to confirm qualifications, Verifile is able to obtain and interpret the information and provide our clients with the peace of mind that they require.
 
The tour also emphasised how our International Background Team manages the ever-changing legislation around the world.  The different checks and type of information that can and cannot be used for employment screening purposes from country to country is a legal minefield, which only specialist suppliers such as Verifile are able to help clients navigate and stay compliant. 

The Lord-Lieutenant then read the Grant of Appointment and presented a commemorative crystal bowl as a mark of the achievement to Verifile’s CEO Eyal Ben Cohen. Eyal concluded the presentation by giving a proud response on behalf of the company.  “On behalf of Verifile, I am very pleased to accept this prestigious award in recognition of our success in International Trade.  Our business is all about helping employers to mitigate their recruitment risks and our award highlights the growing demand worldwide for pre- and post-employment screening.  I’m delighted that all the hard work put in by the team to grow this important part of our business has now been recognised. I’m also incredibly proud that an idea I had sixteen years ago has taken hold to the extent that we’re in a position to claim such an esteemed award. We are elated to become the first screening company to receive this much-coveted honour, highlighting our status as a premium provider of global background screening services”.

The Lord-Lieutenant then kindly presented eight members of the Verifile team with long-service awards before staff and dignitaries tucked into a thoroughly English cream tea, complete with strawberries and scones.

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