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
I have discussed the prohibition on pre-employment health enquiries imposed by the Equality Act before on this blog. Section 60 of the Equality Act 2010 imposes a prohibition on an employer making health related enquiries of a prospective employee. Section 60(1) states (1)A person (A) to whom an application for work is made must not … Continue reading Covid-19: License to discriminate?
Can an employer part pay salary with season tickets for a football club even if this takes the employee's wage below the national minimum wage? This is the interesting case that presented itself in the EAT's decision in HMRC v Middlesbrough Football and Athletic Company (1986) Limited. The case began as HMRC, who are responsible … Continue reading Middlesbrough FC not paying National Minimum Wage
The FOI Man blog has reported on the first prosecution by the Information Commissioner (ICO) under section 77 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. This provides that where a public authority has received a request for information it is a criminal offence for a person to alter that information with intent to prevent disclosure. … Continue reading FOI and Subject Access Request Misconduct
The Burchell Test, taken from the EAT's decision in BHS v Burchell is still, over 40 years after it was first delivered, the main (but by no means only) test by which the fairness of a conduct dismissal is judged. The three-fold test sets out three questions which must each be answered positively: Did the … Continue reading Health Related Investigations
The FDA union has been busy recently. A couple of weeks ago it was reported that the union were supporting Sonia Khan in an unfair dismissal case arising from her sacking as a special adviser. Having read the basics of that case then, without making any comment on the underlying substantive reasons I think I … Continue reading Sir Philip Rutnam and Constructive Dismissal
For disabled employees the Equality Act 2010 sets out seven different types of discrimination. Of all the these it is the concept of discrimination arising from disability that I have found to be most useful when assisting employee in workplace disputes. I have discussed this before on the blog (see here and here) but, by … Continue reading Arising in consequence
Last week I concluded my series on the Supreme Court's decision in Jhuti. In the last post I raised a question of whether Jhuti applied if a person in the hierarchy of responsibility had knowledge which the dismissing manager did not have that did not change the reason for dismissal but was a factor that could … Continue reading Attribution of Knowledge in Unfair Dismissal