Pissing in the wind

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

Constructive Dismissal: The Last Straw

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

Employment tribunal forgets to consider reason for dismissal

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

FDA slams Priti Patel inquiry

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

Unnatural Covid-19 deaths at Ministry of Justice building?

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?

Sickness absence: a disciplinary or capability issue?

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?

Covid-19: License to discriminate?

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?

Middlesbrough FC not paying National Minimum Wage

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

FOI and Subject Access Request Misconduct

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

Sir Philip Rutnam and Constructive Dismissal

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

Arising in consequence

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

Attribution of Knowledge in Unfair Dismissal

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

The Mind of the Decider (3): Problem Solved?

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?

Disability needs to be ‘long term’ at the time of mistreatment

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

Policing of Union Protests: Independent Enforcers of the Peace or Employer Stooge?

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?

Unite improperly pursued disciplinary against union member

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

Lying employer shifts burden of proof in discrimination claim.

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.

PCS members re-elect Mark Serwotka as General Secretary

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