Tag Archives: recent cases

Take time to understand Court Orders; do time for ignoring them

“The system will not work if people think they can ignore court orders and destroy evidence. Those who so can expect terms of imprisonment.”   Mr Dadi was an employee of OCS, an aviation cleaning contractor working at Heathrow for (amongst others) British Airways. OCS lost the British Airways contract to a competing firm Omni Serv … Continue Reading

Restrictive covenants clauses: consistency is the key

Restrictive covenants in employment contracts are a bit like lifejackets: it’s nice to have them there and you hope that they will fit you in an emergency but you would really prefer not to have to use them. That said, if the time comes and your employees are approached by a competitor in breach of … Continue Reading

UK Employment Appeal Tribunal confirms that statutory holiday pay should include voluntary overtime

One of the last remaining pieces in the jigsaw of what constitutes “normal pay” for the purpose of calculating statutory holiday pay was slotted into place by the Employment Appeal Tribunal on Monday when it confirmed that such calculations should include voluntary overtime. Willetts and Others v. Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council is a claim for … Continue Reading

Whose lie is it anyway? Not for employer to decide if whistleblowing disclosure is protected

For a whistleblower to benefit from the statutory protections, his disclosure must be protected, i.e., be (usually) about the breach of a legal obligation and reasonably believed by him to be true and in the public interest.  If he deliberately lies or makes his disclosure only to advance his own interests or prejudice somebody else’s, … Continue Reading

Unclear and present danger – incorrect use of “Independent Contractor” arrangements may have expensive consequences

The ever-vexed question of whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor has once again come before the Australian courts. The recent decision of Balemian v Mobilia Manufacturing Pty Ltd & Anor provides a reminder to employers of the potential financial ramifications of getting this wrong.… Continue Reading

Testing times for employers in recruitment assessments

Hot on the heels of our post on indirect discrimination in employee tests for promotion   http://www.employmentlawworldview.com/indirect-discrimination-you-know-what-they-say-about-statistics/ comes another decision posing similar challenges for employers. Government Legal Service –v- Brookes concerned the Situational Judgement Test (SJT) which forms part of the recruitment process for lawyers wanting to join the Service. Ms Brookes told the GLS in … 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

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
LexBlog