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
Earlier this week the government announced a series of relatively minor changes to the employment tribunal system in the UK, changes include the processes for responding to multiple claims and allowing Legal Officers (who are in fact not required to be legally qualified) to perform some tasks hitherto conducted by judges. The employee representatives two … Continue reading Employment law changes at ACAS and HMCTS
In a relatively rare occurrence a UVW union member has been reinstated after making an interim relief application and an employment tribunal ruled it was likely that his claim would succeed. When an employee is dismissed then a tribunal can order (but not enforce) an employer reinstates the employee to the post they were dismissed … Continue reading Dismissed worker reinstated after manager’s anti-Union rant
In May 2020 a PCS Union rep was dismissed by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), a decision PCS believe to be in retaliation for the rep blowing the whistle on matters of public interest. The summary below is taken from the PCS website but I do hope all readers, whatever their union, take … Continue reading DWP dismissed whistleblower
A relatively recent Employment Appeal Tribunal decision (Asda v Raymond) considers whether in order to conduct a reasonable investigation an employer should not only investigate what happened but also whether there are underlying causes for the conduct (why they happened). The claimant in the case was a lorry driver and parked his lorry in a … Continue reading Pissing in the wind
When an employer engages in conduct that fundamentally undermines the contract of employment to the employee (called a repudiatory breach) then the employee has the option of resigning and claiming constructive dismissal. Effectively the employee says 'enough is enough' you have given me no option but to leave. When the employee has been continuously employed … Continue reading Constructive Dismissal: The Last Straw
When considering a complaint of unfair dismissal the first decision an employment tribunal must make long, before there is any consideration of reasonableness of the decision, is what the reason for dismissal was, and together with that, whether the reason for dismissal is for one of the potentially fair reasons for dismissal. In many, and … Continue reading Employment tribunal forgets to consider reason for dismissal
A little over a week ago it was confirmed that the former Home Office Permanent Secretary Sir Philip Rutnam had launched employment tribunal proceedings against the government for constructive dismissal. The case alleges a toxic working environment and allegations of improper conduct by the Home Secretary Priti Patel. After the news of the remarkable resignation … Continue reading FDA slams Priti Patel inquiry
Last Tuesday workers across the country took a moment on the International Workers Memorial Day (IWMD) to remember those who have lost their lives at work, especially those who have fallen to the Coronavirus. It is right to do so but the IWMD is about empowering workers to demand safe places of work as it … Continue reading Unnatural Covid-19 deaths at Ministry of Justice building?
I previously worked for an employer which did not have a sickness absence policy, every case in which an employee was absent was dealt with under its disciplinary policy. This was a strange and counterproductive approach to take as it conveyed a clear message to staff that to be ill to the extent that one's … Continue reading Sickness absence: a disciplinary or capability issue?
In most employment contracts an employee is not required to provide medical evidence that they are unfit for work unless they have been sick and absent for seven calendar days. At that point they will normally need to provide a 'fit note' from their GP certifying that they are not fit for work. The NHS … Continue reading Coronavirus and fit notes
Following a meeting of the union's NEC last week PCS has announced announced that this year's conference (groups and national) due to be held in Brighton this year has been cancelled. The website explains the decision in this way: The NEC also agreed that it would not be possible to go ahead with our conferences … Continue reading PCS 2020 Conference Cancelled