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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

Informal not casual in new Acas guidance on responding to discrimination complaints in the UK

New Acas guidance on handling discrimination allegations in the workplace has been issued this week.  This is particularly interesting because of the degree of prominence which it gives to informal resolutions of discrimination complaints in place of the often process-driven guidance which Acas has issued in the past. Seeking an informal resolution of a discrimination … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Rules EEOC Conciliation Efforts Are Subject to Oversight

On April 29, the US Supreme Court held unanimously that courts may review the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) efforts to informally resolve disputes between employers and employees. The EEOC, which is charged with policing compliance with employment discrimination laws, is required by statute to first try informal mediation methods to resolve disputes between employers … Continue Reading

Yes, but what if they stay? – the aftermath of covertly recording your colleagues

Some thorny issues for employers arise from the reported settlement last week of a sexual discrimination and harassment claim brought against Goldman Sachs by Sonia Pereiro-Mendez. This case hit the news not because of the nature of her allegations (big City house treats pregnant woman as suddenly of much less value – all relatively usual … Continue Reading
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