Last week the Employment Appeal Tribunal decided the Unison backed case of Mercer v Alternative Future Group Ltd. In this case a union rep had helped to organise and took part in a strike for the Unison union, and was disciplined by her employer for having done so, being given a disciplinary warning. The union … Continue reading BEIS argues disciplining striking workers may be legitimate and lawful.
Despite numerous campaigns over the years it remains the case that, except where bullying is related to a protected characteristic (race, religion, disability, etc) then there is no express protection for bullying victims in employment law. In truth there are only limited legal protections. There is of course a duty of care upon employers for … Continue reading Protection for employees who complain of bullying
Sometime one reads an employment tribunal judgment and you can do little else than think whether the employment judge was imbibing something untoward when they made their decision since it is, to put it diplomatically, batshit crazy. That comment is, of course, made in jest but reading of the employment judge's decision in Gordon v … Continue reading Waiving a breach?
In a discrimination case (specifically a direct discrimination complaint) one of the defence tactics an employer can deploy is the so called bastard defence; this can be paraphrased as an admission that the employer is shit and unfair to all its staff but the defence rests on the assertion that it is equally bad to … Continue reading ‘Bastard Defence’ fails at Alpha Omega Security
Section 15 of the Equality Act 2010 makes it unlawful to treat a disabled person unfavourably for something that arises in consequence of the person's disability. The Act itself defines the unlawful treatment in this way: 15 Discrimination arising from disability (1) A person (A) discriminates against a disabled person (B) if—(a)A treats B unfavourably … Continue reading Is it Proportionate?
In IWGB v DWP and BEIS (2020) the IWGB union challenged the UK government over the question of whether it had adequately implemented EU law, as found in section 44 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA), to protect the healthy and safety of UK workers. The issue was that the ERA specifically provided protection … Continue reading Health and Safety Rights for Workers
A basic rule of contract law is that any change in contract needs to be agreed by both parties, and unless there is a specific pre-agreed clause allowing unilateral changes, no one party can change the terms of the contract. If a change is sought then one party will need to end the contract (give … Continue reading ‘Fire and rehire’ under spotlight
In the Employment Appeal Tribunal case of Evans v London Borough of Brent, the EAT rejected an employer's application that a claimant's case of unfair dismissal be struck out and dismissed without a hearing to consider the facts. The case does not really break any new ground but is nonetheless a useful one for employees … Continue reading The value of a ‘valueless’ claim
I have covered the ongoing constructive unfair dismissal claim and associated matters of the former Permanent Secretary of Home Office Philip Rutnam a couple of times. As has now been widely reported that case, which concerned accusations of improper conduct by the Home Secretary Priti Patel or those who for her, has been discontinued after … Continue reading Not with a bang but a whimper?
The below summary is taken from PCS Union's report on the employment tribunal decision in Williams v DVSA in which the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency was found to have placed Paul Williams at a detriment because of his union activities. Unfortunately a copy of the tribunal judgement does not yet appear to be available. … Continue reading Civil Service employer found to have anti-union animus as it loses employment tribunal case.
One of the factors that strikes many employee's as perverse (with good reason) is that an employment tribunal, when it finds that an employer has unfairly dismissed an employee, can (and often does) offer no compensation for that breach of their legal rights. In the recent tribunal judgement of Pullar v Tangerine (2020) that is … Continue reading Compensation for Right of Accompaniment Breach
In recent months I have assisted in a case in which a worker was on the brink of dismissal for absences that were entirely attributable to her experience of menopause (thankfully averted, the dismissal that is). In another a worker was subject to a misconduct allegation for an emotional and out of character outburst that … Continue reading Menopause, Disability and the Equality Act 2010.
It has been covered a few times and will hopefully be clear to readers that if a worker is absent from work and the reason for the absence is because of a disability related reason then the employer may is likely to be under a duty to make disability related adjustments if, because of those … Continue reading Short term sickness absences and disability
A couple of weeks ago I highlighted an old ET decision on the right of accompaniment, the 2017 decision in Everitt v Regal Consultancy (2017) raises another issue linked to the right to be accompanied, that of whether a worker can be accompanied by a family member who is not a trade union representative or … Continue reading The right of accompaniment beyond section 10 of the Employment Relations Act 1999
In April earlier this year Cetin Avsar, a United Voices of World union member, was leading a strike at St Georges Hospital where he was a security guard. Fast forward to this month and Cetin was in a new job working as a security guard for Wilson James, a security contractor. Just three weeks into … Continue reading Solidarity with Cetin
At the beginning of this year I suggested that there had been signs of a ratcheting up of interference of union activities commenting that there "are worrying signs that should a copper turn up on a picket line their agenda should not be automatically assumed to be as an independent and fair-minded enforcer of the … Continue reading Lockdown and the right to picket
In the wake of a national public health emergency workers across the economy have been told that for their own safety and to minimise the spread of the deadly Covid-19 virus that if they are able they should work from home. It is an eminently sensible exhortation but the reality is that those in sectors … Continue reading How the Employment Rights Act is not fit for purpose in a world of lockdowns
Up until the early 1970's a worker who was unfairly dismissed by an employer had three choices, do nothing, sue the employer for wrongful dismissal (which is a claim in contract only), or challenge the dismissal outside of the courts (for example, by an employer wide strike initiated by a trade union). In 1968 Lord … Continue reading Why an 1888 court judgment is (unfortunately) still relevant for employees
I have been doing some work recently on the right of accompaniment in disciplinary hearings and have come across a 2012 judgement that emphasises some of the protections a co-worker has if they accompany a colleague to a disciplinary or grievance meeting. The decision, Evans v Opensight (2011) is a first tier tribunal decision but … Continue reading Sacked for helping colleague
When deciding what compensation a successful claimant can receive in an employment tribunal section 207A of the Trade Union and Labour Relations Consolidated Act 1992 allows for compensation to be increased (or decreased) by up to 25% if a party has failed to follow a Code of Practice issued by ACAS which applies in the … Continue reading ACAS uplifts in automatically unfair dismissals
A former prison officer has lost her case alleging unfair dismissal after being dismissed for what the employer alleged was gross misconduct. I am not sure, based on the judgement, that that is the right decision given the centrality of the first disciplinary allegation to the dismissal, the uncertainty on my reading of the real … Continue reading Playing Doctor
Just over one year ago today DKLM LLP, a solicitors firm, appointed Hilesh Chavda as its new Head of Private Client. The appointment would, according to the firm's website announcement on 19 October 2019, "help capitalise on the firm’s successes with high net worth individuals and entrepreneurs in the UK and international markets." He was … Continue reading Solicitor loses Covid-19 pay cut case
In February 2020 (back when coronavirus was barely a thing - it seems so long ago!) the Permanent Secretary of the Home Office announced in a press briefing that he had resigned from his role because continuing was no longer tenable, given a reported hostile working relationship caused by alleged activities of the Home Secretary … Continue reading What’s new in Rutnam’s constructive dismissal complaint?
It is well known that the Equality Act 2010 has four type of discrimination that applies to all of the nine protected characteristics set out in the Act: direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, harassment, and victimisation. However, in cases where the characteristic of disability is relied upon the Act recognises two other forms of discrimination that … Continue reading Indirect discrimination in disability claims