A holiday all around?

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?

EHRC ‘clarifies’ its position on Long Covid as disability

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

Long Covid and Disability

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

Strikes, disciplinary warnings, and freedom of association.

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.

Discrimination in Dismissal Process does not make Dismissal unfair.

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.

Scope of Trade Union Detriment Law Expands

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

BEIS argues disciplining striking workers may be legitimate and lawful.

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.

Protection for employees who complain of bullying

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

Waiving a breach?

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?

‘Bastard Defence’ fails at Alpha Omega Security

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

Is it Proportionate?

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?

Health and Safety Rights for Workers

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

Civil Service employer found to have anti-union animus as it loses employment tribunal case.

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.

Compensation for Right of Accompaniment Breach

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

Menopause, Disability and the Equality Act 2010.

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.