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
The Central London Employment Tribunal have recently found in Sethi v Elements Personnel Service Ltd that a recruitment agency indirectly discriminated against Mr Sethi for reasons related to his religion. Mr Sethi is an adherent of the Sikh faith. Reading the judgment it is abundantly clear why that decision was made, it is one of … Continue reading Recruitment agency discriminates against Sikh job applicant – how indirect discrimination works
Workers in the Whirpool factory in Bristol have just secured a 13.75% payrise as the company gave into demands from Unite union in advance of a planned strike on 12 December. Prior to the threat of strike action Whirlpool had only been willing to offer a 1.25% raise for workers who were already low paid. … Continue reading Whirlpool workers secure 13.75% pay rise after threat of strike action
The Supreme Court's long awaited decision in Jhuti has now been delivered which is one all employee reps would do well to be aware of. The legal issue which the judgement addresses was surveyed a few weeks ago in which I expressed hope that the Court of Appeal's decision in Orr would be overruled. To recap, under … Continue reading The mind of the decider (2): The effect of Jhuti
If the Fixed Term Worker Directive, the EU law that provides for employment protection for fixed term workers, is to be believed "contracts of an indefinite duration are, and will continue to be, the general form of employment relationship between employers and workers." I have to say I have some scepticism of that statement and … Continue reading Fixed term employee dismissals
Over 50 employment Law specialists in the UK have written a open letter on the Labour Party's employment law plans, which offer the most comprehensive extension of employment protections for workers in living memory, to be "a credible plan of action." The full text of the letter, published on 6 December 2019, reads: "Britain’s labour … Continue reading UK academics declare Labour’s employment law reforms offer “a credible plan of action.”
In February I made reference to the unfortunate decision of the Court of Appeal in Royal Mail Group Ltd v Efobi  IRLR 352 to overturn the Employment Appeal Tribunal's earlier interpretation of section 136 of the Equality Act 2010 that made it easier decision to establish that the burden of proof at which a … Continue reading The return of Efobi? The burden of proof in discrimination claims.
Earlier this year PCS successfully concluded a protracted indirect discrimination legal claim on behalf of members. That claim, which that went all the way to the Supreme Court, resulted in more than £1 million compensation being awarded to members within the department who alleged they had been discriminated against. It has just been announced that … Continue reading PCS union launches legal action against Home Office over check-off removal
This is Godwin, he is a cleaner at St Mary's hospital employed by Sodhexo. Godwin, along with fellow UVW Union members has been on strike seeking insourcing of contracts. In flagrant breach of employment protections for striking employees Sodexo sacked him as soon as he returned to work. Sodexo claimed he was on a zero … Continue reading UVW secure reinstatement of striking worker
Section 94 of the Employment Rights Act 1996, if read in isolation, gives a very valuable right to all employees - the right not to be unfairly dismissed. However, by a series of qualifications what sounds a universal right is in fact only of benefit to a smaller percentage of employees. The Labour Party Manifesto … Continue reading On Labour Manifesto Commitments and Hash Brown Related Dismissals
For union representatives in PCS, which has a majority membership of civil servants, there is limited need to be aware of the protections provided by the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006, or TUPE as it is more commonly called. But for union representatives more generally this is a key area upon which … Continue reading IWGB secure important judgment on TUPE and Workers
In 2005 Mr Orr, a Black Jamaican youth worker, was dismissed by Milton Keynes Council for misconduct. He was dismissed by a Mr Cove who heard the case against Mr Orr, and at which Mr Orr was not present. Mr Cove conducted the disciplinary hearing in good faith and, as noted, this resulted in Mr … Continue reading The Mind of the Decider (1): The case of Orr
The ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures has been pretty much constant for a number of years. Personally I think that is a shame as I find it decidedly lacking in vision, and little more than a checklist of what to avoid to prevent a grossly prejudicial decision; less a roadmap to … Continue reading Deferring disciplinary and grievance hearings beyond five working days – Talon v Smith
The recent Employment Appeal decision in Radia v Jefferies International Ltd is a good case study in how established 'fair process' norms will not always render a dismissal unfair. Somewhat unusually since I tend to be critical of such deviation in this case it strike me that the decision is a reasonable one and that … Continue reading Failure to investigate misconduct before dismissing employee was not unfair
When someone is dismissed from their employment for misconduct the ACAS Code of Practice states that the employer should allow the opportunity to appeal and, in most cases, the employee will be seeking for the dismissal to be overturned and to be reinstated to their formal role. The Code also requires that that appeal and … Continue reading Now you see it, now you don’t: the strange case of the vanishing dismissal (or possibly not).
Right now there is an election in progress that will effect the working lives of all union members in the UK, with one group of candidates having made commitments to end austerity and provide a real pay rise to civil servants after a decade of real terms pay cuts. That election is, of course, the … Continue reading PCS General Secretary election begins
An employer is obligated to make disability related reasonable adjustments in connection to work if an arrangement of an employer places the disabled employer at a substantial disadvantage. This is commonly referred to as the duty to make reasonable adjustments and is set out in section 20 of the Equality Act 2010. In the context … Continue reading Removal of a disability related adjustment amounts to a failure to make an adjustment
On 7 November 2019 union members in the PCS will begin voting to decide who will be be the General Secretary of the union for the next five years. Under union rules a candidate must have a minimum of 15 branch nominations in order to make it onto the national ballot, three candidates met this … Continue reading PCS General Secretary election due to start in November
In unfair dismissal law a dismissal can only be fair if the reason for dismissal is for one of five potentially fair reasons for dismissal. In an unfair dismissal claim before the tribunal can consider whether a dismissal was reasonable it must be satisfied that the dismissal was for a potentially fair reason. Only if … Continue reading Give me a reason
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
Is it misconduct for an employee to digitally record a disciplinary hearing without the employer's knowledge? This is of course a byproduct of what is likely to be a much more frequently uttered question arising from an employer's realisation that a dismissed employee has a recording of a fragment of a discussion in a disciplinary … Continue reading Secret Recordings
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?
Many employer grievance policies have a two stage process process requiring an employee to seek to informally resolve a grievance before it is registered as a formal grievance. Sometimes, as was the case in GMB v Brown  the employer, a trade union, has a three stage process: Stage 1 - Informal resolution with line manager … Continue reading When is it unfair to follow a grievance policy?