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
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
In responses to employment tribunal claims it is sometimes argued that a tribunal does not have jurisdiction to hear the complaint because the tribunal is 'estopped' (prohibited) from deciding an issue because it has already been decided by the Tribunal. This can occur when a claimant has previously made an employment tribunal claim. The basic … Continue reading Disability and Issue Estoppel
In order to succeed in a disability discrimination one of the core requirements is that the impairment has, or is likely to, be long term. As enacted the Equality Act defines long term as being an impairment that has or is likely to last twelve months or more. As I have highlighted previously, the 12 … Continue reading Likely to be long term?
Last year the BBC ran a story on what it described as a 'landmark' case on whether veganism, or more specifically, ethical veganism was a religion or belief for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010. The factual background to the case is that the Mr Casamitjana was dismissed by his employer, the League Against … Continue reading Veganism and discrimination
It is a couple of months since I promised the last post in my brief series on direct discrimination with a summary on an employer's defence to direct discrimination claims. Life got in the way, etc. But first a recap, section 13 of the Equality Act 2010 sets out that that no employer can treat … Continue reading Direct Discrimination: Defences
The BBC have been reporting that a Belfast women has won a £2,000 disability discrimination after event organisers, Eventsec Ltd, failed to make reasonable adjustments. The case itself, as reported by the BBC (I have not seen the judgement, strikes me as a helpful case with which to explain the duty). The duty to make … Continue reading The duty to make reasonable adjustments
RMT Yesterday, whilst attending a counter-protest to the Free Tommy Robinson brigade (apparently you can be convicted twice of contempt and even plead guilty and it is still a 'fit up) RMT Assistant General Secretary Steve Hedley was, according to Hedley, assaulted by right wing thugs. Guardian story is here. CWU Martin Henwood was a … Continue reading Around the Unions
It is only less than two months since Don Lane, a worker for courier firm DPD, died after DPD fined him £150 for having the audacity of attending a necessary hospital appointment. As a 'self-employed' worker workers like Lane have very few effectively no employment rights. For example, fining a worker for attending a disability … Continue reading Pimlico Plumbers Visit the Supreme Court
Letters, especially letters based on pre-written templates in an employer’s HR policies frequently look and read the same. So much so that there is sometimes a temptation to assume we know what is written in the letter without needing to read the whole thing. There is a danger though for trade union reps that that … Continue reading Don’t Assume, Read.
When an prospective claimant has received an Early Conciliation certificate from ACAS enabling them to proceed to lodging a claim time limit is extended by a minimum of one month. This provision is set out in section 207B of the Employment Rights Act 1996 which states. But what is a “month” in respect to the … Continue reading What is a month?
Writing in 2007 in the British Medical Journal Anthony Frais criticised the decision of whistleblowers such as Graham Pink to blow the whistle on insufficient staffing where this impacted patient safety in the following terms: Pink ignored the option not to whistleblow despite the repercussions on his career. With the odds of success against him, … Continue reading The BMA, 54000 Doctors, and NHS Whistleblowing
Section 43A-L of the Employment Rights Act 1996 provides that if a worker is subjected to a detriment because of their whistleblowing they have a right to complain to an employment tribunal; it is an important right that – however inadequately – provides some assurance that a worker will not be penalised for raising concerns … Continue reading Jeremy Hunt: Protecting NHS Whistleblowers, except Junior Doctors
Over on Secret Barrister there is a superb post on hearsay evidence in criminal trials. This comes in the wake of media fury that Clayton Williams, convicted of the manslaughter of PC Dave Phillips but acquitted of his murder, allegedly signaled what could be interpreted as an intention to run over PC Phillips in the … Continue reading Hearsay
It is (in most cases) unlawful to not select a candidate to a job because they are disabled or for reasons related to their disability. It is difficult to be precise but it is a rare employer where the success rates of disabled candidates applying for posts equals the success rates of non-disabled applicants. Anecdotally, … Continue reading Knowledge of Disability in Recruitment Processes
When an employer commits a serious breach of contract that an employee believes undermines their contract common law dictates that they have two choices. They can: Accept the breach and continue working (perhaps because the employees would face destitution if they were not not do so) Resign their employment (making sure they inform the employer … Continue reading Constructive Dismissal with Notice
Under the Equality Act a person is disabled if they have an long term impairment that substantially affects a person’s ability to perform “normal day to day activities.” Guidance has been given to employees and employers on identifying whether a person is disabled in the Office of Disability Issue’s statutory guidance on disability. This is … Continue reading Disability and Normal Day to Day Activities
With the news that unemployment is is at a near 10 year low I was tempted to post a serious blog suggesting underemployment is running at high levels. But then I read this wonderful article from the people at NewThump. So in lieu of my serious piece I have reposted the NewsThump article in its … Continue reading Zero Hour Joy
When a worker wishes to pursue an employment tribunal it is mandatory for them to approach ACAS and obtain an certificate from ACAS that they have done so. Without a certificate the claim is invalid, except in a few exceptional circumstances and will be rejected. This applies even when the claimant has no interest in … Continue reading ACAS Early Conciliation Ping Pong
In 1998 the New Labour Government introduced the Public Interest Disclosure Act (PIDA) to introduce a statutory protection the employees who blow the whistle on wrongdoing in the workplace. In the language of whistleblowing law when a worker blows the whistle this is a ‘protected disclosure’ and it is unlawful to place a worker at … Continue reading In the Public Interest
This is a very brief post on today’s interesting but, in the grand scheme of things probably insignificant Supreme Court decision in The United States of America v Nolan on the duty to consult with a trade union on redundancies. In the case the claimant, Ms Nolan, was employed as a civilian worker in a … Continue reading The Duty to Consult
Yesterday I referred to the case of The Secretary of State for Justice v Hibbert. The case is not in of itself an important one as it does not alter the way employment law operates in the UK but does provide a useful reminder on the importance of erring on the side of caution when … Continue reading Time is ticking …
One of the situations a union rep occasionally is to talk down members who in an emotional state wish to resign their employment. They may have been publicly demeaned by their manager, been told they are subject to yet another (from their view) baseless misconduct charge against them or been told that for the third … Continue reading I Quit!
I have recently been assisting a union member in a disciplinary investigation. The whole disciplinary process was a shambles and the decision highly dubious; the outcome was the member was issued a final written warning for misconduct. Both the member and I were disappointed with the outcome and could not see how the finding had … Continue reading The Risk of Appealing a Warning