Archives: Unfair dismissal

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“Proselytise” (vb): (1) to advocate, persuade, cause to adopt; (2) to take material risks with your continued employment (UK)

Here is another case about how far doing your God’s bidding in the workplace protects you from disciplinary action by your employer or, put more prosaically, about the relationship between the unfair dismissal regime and your rights to freedom of religion under Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights.… Continue Reading

Extending redundancy protection for new parents (UK)

The UK government last week issued a consultation on “extending redundancy protection for women and new parents”. The proposals would mean that women who have recently returned to work after a period of maternity leave would have the same protection as women on maternity leave in a redundancy situation.  The government’s provisional view is that … Continue Reading

Completing UK right to work checks – top tips for employers

Last week I was proud to speak at Business Forums International’s ‘Vetting and Screening’ Conference regarding the challenges faced by employers when completing right to work checks. I was delighted to share the platform with speakers from Reed Screening, The Forward Trust, Nick Mann Associates, Credence Background Screening, The Security Watchdog and NSL, who covered … Continue Reading

UK trade union representative unfairly dismissed despite unlawful misuse of confidential information. Really?

Apparently, said the Court of Appeal, the unlawful retention and circulation of confidential material by a union representative “was not a sufficient departure from good industrial relations practice” to justify his dismissal, a conclusion which initially seems little short of perverse, let alone an alarming comment on the state of industrial relations in the UK’s … Continue Reading

Employee pregnancy – is ignorance the best defence?

They do say that maternity in the workplace can be an unsettling and confusing time, leaving you confronting new questions and situations that no one has really prepared you for, and where the guidance comes at you from a range of sources as wide as they are inconsistent. Anyway, enough about employers.… Continue Reading

ECHR keeps an eye on covert workplace surveillance, but for whose benefit?

Judge Dedov is the one to watch here.  He was the only one out of the European Court of Human Rights panel not responsible for a recent decision on employee surveillance which many may feel tilts European law around workplace monitoring altogether too far towards the interests of the employee. Ms Ribalda and her four … Continue Reading

When taking a stand on discrimination becomes misconduct

Rochford – v – WNS Global Services is a small (9 page) but perfectly formed UK Court of Appeal decision around when you can stand on your principles in the face of discrimination by your employer and when it just gets you sacked. Mr Rochford had been absent for an extended time with a bad … Continue Reading

UK Government’s not entirely unworthy sickness reduction scheme fails through lack of employer interest

Ah well, there you go.  Already slipping into history along with 2017, and your New Year’s Resolutions is the UK Government’s Fit for Work Scheme. This was a scheme with the laudable aim of reducing costly staff absence by focussing the minds of both employer and employee on the therapeutic and economic benefits of getting … Continue Reading

When a little knowledge is a dangerous thing – reliance on immigration law to justify dismissal

Every employer knows that UK law relating to illegal workers is big and fierce and that you take liberties with it at your peril. However, here is what can happen when you take it too seriously. In Abellio London Limited – v – Baker, the EAT has this month taken a look at whether an … Continue Reading

The politics of tragedy – new employment rights proposed for bereaved parents

You know it’s time to re-issue your employment legislation when the nearest available section number for the insertion of an amendment into the Employment Rights Act is Section 171ZZ. Though it might sound like a bottom-rank Star Wars droid, that little fellow is actually the proposed product of a new Bill on time off work for … Continue Reading

Looking into disciplinary investigations – EAT’s lessons on when enough is enough

It is a basic plank of a fair disciplinary dismissal that it be preceded by a reasonable investigation.  But what is that, exactly?  How much detail must you include in your enquiry, how many witnesses must you grill, how far back do you have to go, how far must you challenge or test the evidence … 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
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