Tag Archives: court of appeal

Staying in tune with whistleblowing law – just what is “the public interest”?

Back in 2015 we reported on the Employment Appeal Tribunal’s decision in Chestertons, a ruling which struck fear into the hearts of employers everywhere by the ease with which it suggested that employees could bring their personal complaints into the whistleblowing arena just by referring to other people who might be similarly affected http://www.employmentlawworldview.com/who-is-the-public-in-public-interest-asks-the-tribunal/. In … Continue Reading

Putting your money where your mouth is – are injured feelings index-linked?

Through a long and not very relevant series of arguments, the Court of Appeal in De Souza – v – Vinci Construction (UK) Limited has just decided that in effect they are. This is not a surprising conclusion, since otherwise inflation would erode the value of such awards as either proper compensation for the employee … Continue Reading

Context or causation – the role of race in unfavourable treatment

Statutory construction can be a bit like nuclear fusion – you take an atom of something relatively ordinary and then subject it to such pressure that it explodes into a million flaming pieces and lays waste to your entire afternoon.   Employment Tribunals and Courts do the same to words, taking perfectly mundane sentences and phrases … Continue Reading

Dismissing for long-term sickness – when is enough enough?

Legally-speaking O’Brien – v – Bolton St Catherine’s Academy as reported last week is mostly about how much overlap there is between fairness for unfair dismissal purposes and justification in disability discrimination terms (in brief, very substantial).  It is also a fine illustration of how hard it is to overturn an Employment Tribunal judgement on … Continue Reading

Full of promise – employer comes unstuck in discretionary bonus scheme

Here is a recent case which contains lessons harder than A-Level Maths for employers with discretionary bonus schemes. Mr Hills was regional sales manager in the UK for Niksun Inc, a US-owned business whose website says that it is “the primary provider of full packet capture for DISA“.  No, nor me.  Niksun runs a bonus … Continue Reading

Unpaid Intern or Employee? Recent Decision Announces New Test for Intern Misclassification Cases

Second Circuit Court of Appeals Adopts New Test for Determining Whether Unpaid Interns Should Be Classified and Paid as Employees Unpaid internship programs have come under heightened scrutiny in recent years by the Department of Labor, the Internal Revenue Service, and other regulatory agencies, as well been the subject of a number of high-profile lawsuits. … Continue Reading

Not unreasonable, not perfect – UK Court of Appeal guidance on disciplinary process

Some generally reassuring guidance for employers from the Court of Appeal this month concerning the level of certainty required to legitimise the starting of formal disciplinary proceedings.   Dr Mian worked at Coventry University when accused of complicity in the provision of falsely favourable references for a former colleague.  A preliminary investigation was carried out by … Continue Reading

No help from UK Courts for “absurd” non-competition covenant – over to you, employers

A strong message to employers from the Court of Appeal this week to check your restrictive covenants, but this time to do it properly.  None of that just casting an idle eye over the relevant page of your executive’s contracts – description of territory, tick; vague reference to competition, tick; not wholly fanciful restraint periods, … Continue Reading

Employee commits “brutal and unprovoked attack” on shopper … who gets the bill?

A customer at a Morrisons supermarket petrol station entered the payment kiosk and asked the employee there whether it would be possible to print some documents from his USB stick. An unusual request, granted, but not in any way hostile or offensive, so the customer would surely have expected from this request no worse an … Continue Reading

UK Court rejects employer’s reliance on inadequate disability opinion

Your employee is sick a lot, mostly stress and related issues.  Keen to respect your statutory obligations if you have any, you repeatedly ask your external Occupational Health provider if this means he is disabled.  You are repeatedly told that he is not, though without any particular depth of enquiry on your part and without … Continue Reading

Any given Sunday – UK employers’ rights to require staff to work in breach of religious preferences

The trouble with religion, as John Lennon might one day have said, is that it means different things to different people.  At one end of any religion will be those for whom their holy book, whatever name it takes, must be complied with to the letter even though it is probably thousands of years old … Continue Reading

UK Custom and Practice in Enhanced Redundancy Terms

This post is kindly written for us by Lord Justice Underhill of the Court of Appeal.  Actually, that’s not entirely (or indeed at all) true.  However, while reciting long tracts of Court Judgments is rarely a good way to make friends and influence people, his recent guidance on when enhanced redundancy terms will become contractual … Continue Reading

Upholding grievances – kill or cure?

If you make some horrible error in your treatment of an employee, how far can your addressing it swiftly prevent it becoming a constructive dismissal claim?   Two quite similar stories in the law reports shed some light on this.  In 2010 the Court of Appeal concluded in Bournemouth University Higher Education Corporation –v- Buckland that … Continue Reading
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