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Constructive criticism – last straw dismissal decision overturned by EAT (UK)

Every so often there comes along a case which is not madly interesting on its own facts (stay with me here) but which still serves as a useful future touchstone on a particular issue. If your particular interest is constructive dismissal, and in particular, constructive dismissal through the route of the proverbial last straw, then … Continue Reading

Looking into workplace investigations, Part 8 – don’t skip the opening ceremonies (UK)

Right. You have now done all the prior preparation for your investigation which you can – identified the relevant policies, noted the points you need to get at, maybe heard what the complainant wants out of it all, understood the limits of your own brief and made sure that there is no avoidable reason why … Continue Reading

Looking into workplace investigations, Part 7 – the inclusivity imperative (UK)

The increased spotlight upon D&I matters which seems to be replacing covid as our clients’ dish of the day shines upon investigations too.  How you investigate employees’ disclosures or complaints (especially but by no means necessarily, of discrimination or harassment) can make a considerable difference as to how those employees and others sharing their protected … Continue Reading

Bogged down in pointless appeals? – The Law speaks (UK)

Periodically a case comes along to remind us that underneath all good dismissal practice, Acas guidance and the rest is The Law, and that The Law is sometimes less rigid in its requirements of a fair dismissal than all that guidance might suggest. Moore -v- Phoenix Product Development Limited is today’s such case, an everyday … Continue Reading

When Mummy doesn’t necessarily know best – mediation and maternity rights claims

At the end of my post on Maternity Action’s report on unfair redundancies, I mentioned a number of the reasons why many recent mothers do not raise complaints about their perceived treatment at the hands of their employer. These included a fear of creating bad feeling with their employer or colleagues, a lack of information, … Continue Reading

Mission Impossible? – Hospital’s obligations to cure dying relationship

Akinwunmi – v – Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust is the perfect example of when employment law reaches the limits of its usefulness in HR practice. For a fuller description of the facts, see Chris Lynn’s blog. For our purposes, however, Dr Akinwunmi fell out with five of his neurosurgeon colleagues over alleged … Continue Reading

Workplace mediation in the UK – not at all a pussycat

Proponents of workplace mediation often stress its confidential and voluntary nature and the ability to fail to agree without there necessarily being any adverse consequences.  It is all about listening and rapport and trust, say those commentaries, making the whole process sound as cuddly and unthreatening as your favourite puppy. In fact, there are a … Continue Reading

“I do not like war. It is costly and the outcome uncertain”

So said Queen Elizabeth I in a very early glimpse into English Civil Court proceedings.  Should we therefore be heartened by a possible sign of things to come in the modern employment world, thanks to Lord Justice Briggs earlier this week? Addressing the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators on 26 September, Briggs LJ told of his … Continue Reading

Sticks and stones – the real story

“Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me” goes the childhood rhyme.  Really?  Let’s not kid ourselves.  Words are powerful and can hurt just as much as the childhood alternative of a wrist-burn behind the bike sheds. But bullying is not just an issue in the playground. It is also … Continue Reading
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