In November last year the government announced an additional bank holiday in recognition of the Queen's fiftieth year as monarch. Republican though I may be if someone's offering me an additional day's holiday I'll take it! Will everyone be entitled to it though? When announced that was the impression the government gave, this is from … Continue reading A holiday all around?
Over the last few days there has been a lot of comment over an Employment Tribunal’s decision that a reference to an employee’s baldness was discriminatory, some of it ill-informed. At the outset of this article, I will say I disagree with the decision that there was harassment in the case but think the case … Continue reading Bald Facts Only
Over the weekend the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) issued a statement stating it was not its position that Long Covid (LC) was a disability. So irked was I that it prompted not one but two blogposts, the first on the statement and the second on how the Employment Tribunal have treated Long Covid … Continue reading EHRC ‘clarifies’ its position on Long Covid as disability
Following on from the last post on EHRC's ill-advised guidance to managers that employers do not consider Long Covid to be a disability under the Equality Act 2010 I thought I would take a look at whether and how this has been considered by employment tribunals to date. Because of delays in tribunal processes and … Continue reading Long Covid at the Employment Tribunal
Earlier today the Equality and Human Rights Commission posted an incredibly unhelpful tweet on whether Long Covid is a disability. It includes a line of argument that is, I think, also inconsistent with the Statutory advice it has provided in its Employment Code so its inclusion is doubly confusing. What is disability in law? Going … Continue reading Long Covid and Disability
I have covered the Mercer case twice on this site (here and here). The facts are that a union member helped organise a strike that was supported by the union. Later the employer imposed a disciplinary warning on the employee for that act. The union member complained this was a breach of section 146 of … Continue reading Strikes, disciplinary warnings, and freedom of association.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal's decision in Knightly v Chelsea & Westminster Hospital NHS Trust (2022) is another in a line of cases on the interrelation of the range of reasonable responses test in unfair dismissal and the proportionality test in discrimination cases. The disabled claimant who was dismissed after a long sickness absence claimed that … Continue reading Discrimination in Dismissal Process does not make Dismissal unfair.
For many PCS members, along with many monthly salaried workers it is now payday. With the costs of living rises far outpacing salary increases many find themselves wondering how all bills will be paid. Just today, for example, I was talking to one colleague whose gas/electricity bills had tripled over recent months. There is talk … Continue reading More payday blues
Last year I uploaded a post on the employment law implications of Cliff Richard's breach of privacy case against the BBC and South Yorkshire Police, those curious can remind yourself of the details here. The case centred on whether a person who is suspected of being culpable, and may even have been arrested, of a … Continue reading No Charge, no Disclosure?
A couple of months I highlighted covered Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy's position that an employer may well act appropriately if they issue a worker a warning if that worker takes part in a campaign of strike action called by a trade union. Thankfully, BEIS' argument - despite the fact that BEIS is … Continue reading Scope of Trade Union Detriment Law Expands
When challenging a dismissal in a unfair dismissal context then the employer's handling of any appeal will be part and parcel of the consideration of whether the dismissal was fair or unfair. If an employer makes a complete pig's ear of an appeal then even if the original decision was fair the overall process will … Continue reading Appeals matter too
A recent EAT judgment considered when an employer defence to an employment tribunal claim can be struck out.
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.