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
In the previous two posts (here and here) I summarised the effect of the Orr judgement on the fairness of dismissals and how the the effect of Orr on how an employment tribunal will determine the reason for dismissal has been tweaked by the Supreme Court's decision late last year in Jhuti. I think 'tweak' is the right term, … Continue reading The Mind of the Decider (3): Problem Solved?
The question of whether an employee can successfully challenge an employer for disability discrimination will depend on the employee being determined to be disabled at relevant time. Therefore, if an employee is dismissed of 1 April but an Employment Tribunal determines that the employee only became disabled on 14 April there will be no disability … Continue reading Disability needs to be ‘long term’ at the time of mistreatment
Tim Roache, General Secretary of the GMB Union has come out on the defensive over accusations of a no strike agreement between G4S, who provide security for Job Centres and the Union. Seeing some shite on social media from people I wouldn’t normally respond to. But just to be clear. @GMB_union has never signed a … Continue reading GMB’s No Strike Agreement?
In April 2019 the statutory right to a payslip, under section 8 of the Employment Rights Act 1996, was extended to all workers however the right for employees is a longstanding one. Section 8(1) sets out that a "worker] has the right to be given by his employer, at or before the time at which … Continue reading The Electronic Payslip: Widespread Illegality?
Some of the abiding images of past industrial disputes are of large confrontations of police and striking miners, and some three decades on questions are still being asked about the the violent conduct of Police at Orgreave. To a large, but by no means complete extent, the Police's approach to striking workers in the UK in … Continue reading Policing of Union Protests: Independent Enforcers of the Peace or Employer Stooge?
A decision issued by the Employment Appeal Tribunal yesterday declared that Alec McFadden, a Unite union member and representative was unlawfully disciplined by his union. The original disciplinary proceedings gathered some media coverage in the Liverpool Echo. A trade union has the right to discipline its members if a member breaches a rule of the … Continue reading Unite improperly pursued disciplinary against union member
I have been tempted in the past to establish a 'hall of shame' feature on the blog to highlight the depths some employers will go in their treatment of employees based on public decisions of their conduct in caselaw. If I were ever to do so Base Childrenswear Ltd would surely stake a claim for … Continue reading Lying employer shifts burden of proof in discrimination claim.
At midday today the ballot of union members for PCS Union's General Secretary election closed. I am pleased to say that votes have now been counted and the results have been published with the declaration that Mark Serwotka, the incumbent, has been re-elected as the union's General Secretary for a five year term. With the … Continue reading PCS members re-elect Mark Serwotka as General Secretary