Tag Archives: recent cases

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

EAT stresses line between disability and unhappiness in the workplace

Fans of the unnecessary medicalisation of management issues in the workplace will be sadly disappointed by a new Employment Appeal Tribunal decision at the end of December. For everyone else, Herry – v – Dudley MBC represents a very sensible and timely reminder of where the line lies between being disabled on the one hand … Continue Reading

Unwinding settlement agreements through lack of mental capacity

When you sign up a Settlement Agreement with an ex-employee you think that’s the end of the matter, right? Clearly that is the general intention, but we already know that even the most procedurally prim and proper settlement agreement can be undone by evidence that it was entered into by fraud or misrepresentation and now … Continue Reading

UK employer obliged to offer pay protection to disabled employee who was redeployed

UK employers take note – the Employment Appeal Tribunal has recently ruled that an employer was obliged to continue paying a disabled employee his full salary even though he had been redeployed into a less well paid role because he could no longer carry out his normal duties as a result of his disability.  Such … Continue Reading

Spying on an employee in France breaches his right to privacy, even where he is committing breaches of his employment contract

The French Supreme Court recently ruled that an employer could not rely on the report of a private detective it had hired to spy on one of its employees to obtain an injunction against him because this was a breach of the employee’s privacy and that could not be justified, however legitimate were its concerns. … Continue Reading

Religious dress at work – where does the law now stand?

The vexed question of an employee’s right to manifest his religion in the workplace has twice raised its head in the EU courts in recent months. Employers seeking a definitive steer on the question should look away now. Both cases deal with similar facts and contain exhaustive reviews of relevant considerations and authorities, and then … Continue Reading

Employees of one company can be whistleblowers at another – agency workers gain new protections

When it comes to explaining the importance of a new Employment Appeal Tribunal decision, there is nothing quite like a good story. However, the facts in McTigue -v- University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust are rather dry and indeed nothing like a good story, so we shall settle instead for the (potentially really quite important) … Continue Reading

Beware the possible costs of rejecting a good offer in Australian Fair Work cases

The Fair Work jurisdiction in Australia is generally considered a ‘no costs’ jurisdiction, meaning that even if a party is successful in an action, it is usually unable to obtain a costs order against the loser. However in 2012 the Fair Work Amendment Act 2012 (Cth) widened the exceptions to the ‘no costs’ rule by … Continue Reading

When overtime goes bad – employers’ duties to clarify expectations for disabled staff

When you work late in the office, why? Because it will make the following day that bit less fraught?  Because you do not want to be seen as a clock-watcher?  Because you think it will help your bonus or job security?  Because you believe it is the right thing to do for the good of … Continue Reading

Threshold for a protected belief under the Equality Act reaches a new low

Does really just anything count as a philosophical belief these days?  An impression you could reasonably take away from the headlines in the Employment Appeal Tribunal’s decision in Harron –v- Chief Constable of Dorset Police last week but happily not one completely borne out by closer reading. Mr Harron considered himself to have been discriminated … Continue Reading

“A descent into Hell, but less interesting” – can you sue for being bored at work?

The Guardian Online reports the case of Paris resident M. Frederic Desnard last week. He is claiming over £280,000 in compensation for a nervous breakdown allegedly caused by his managerial job at French perfumiers Interparfum.  However, no tale of excessive pressure and punishing working hours, this one.  Instead, M.Desnard claims that his job was so … Continue Reading

Bad medicine – the dangers of contacting an employee during sickness absence

It is a common issue facing employers; you want to start or take next steps with a grievance or disciplinary investigation. To do the right thing you want to meet with the employee to discuss your concerns but the worker is on sick leave or goes sick, often citing work-related stress.  Can you contact the … Continue Reading

Employers beware – scope of UK vicarious liability law significantly extended

Almost exactly two years ago we reported on the Court of Appeal’s decision in Mohamud – v – WM Morrisons Supermarkets.  The Court found that Morrisons were not vicariously liable for a serious and unprovoked assault on Mr Mohamud by one of its employees in 2008.  This was because there was not a sufficient connection between … Continue Reading

Practical tips for settling injury to feelings claims

Back in 2014 we posted a piece on Moorthy –v- HMRC http://www.employmentlawworldview.com/taxing-times-for-uk-discrimination-claimant/, a case looking at the taxable status of payments to employees for injury to feelings caused by unlawful discrimination. Historically there had been an unspoken understanding that such compensation could be paid tax free, on top of the usual £30,000 allowance for termination … Continue Reading

French Supreme Court decides that failure to display workplace rules rendered dismissal unfair

A recent case before the French Supreme Court acts as a stark warning to employers of the importance of complying with the requirements in the French Labour Code to display their internal rules in the workplace. After the discovery of empty bottles of alcohol in the employees’ changing room, an employer required one of its … Continue Reading

Much ado about nothing in EU decision on workplace email monitoring

“Private Messages at Work can be Read by EU Employers” blared the BBC online yesterday in the sort of alarmist over-simplification normally best left to the Daily Mail. Mr Barbulescu worked for an unnamed business in Romania. He was instructed to set up a Yahoo Messenger account for business purposes only.  The company’s rules made … Continue Reading

Managers in Australia beware! – the price of seniority may be personal liability

Health and safety laws rolled out around Australia since 2012 have imposed a new positive duty on company officers to exercise due diligence to ensure their “person conducting a business or undertaking” (PCBU – usually the corporate employer) is compliant. The term “officer” extends beyond the PCBU’s executives, directors and secretaries to any person who: … Continue Reading

Independent Contractor or Employee? Good Odds for Australian Wagering Group on Appeal

With the AFL Finals fast approaching, the office tips are bound to get a little heated! However, you may want to think twice before taking too big a punt on whether a worker in Australia is an employee or an independent contractor. In the recent appeal case of Tattsbet Limited v Morrow, the Full Court … Continue Reading

Who drove change of disciplinary direction? – When HR’s advice goes too far

Do you ever think that your line managers are making such a hash of a grievance or disciplinary process that it would be easier to do it yourself?  Do you watch in horror as they stumble blindly but unerringly towards what is clearly the wrong decision?  Are you tempted to give them a nudge in … Continue Reading

Helpful guidance on TUPE’s treatment of long-term sick employees

In almost every TUPE transfer, whether a business sale or a service provision change (SPC), you come eventually to the chap receiving permanent health insurance benefits.  The transferor has no need for him any longer and the transferee has no wish to bump up its own PHI premiums for someone who is seemingly never going … Continue Reading
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