Tag Archives: discrimination

EAT approves use of indiscriminatingly inappropriate banter? Not really (UK)

If I told you that calling a colleague with links to the Traveller community a “fat ginger pikey” might not be harassment, you would be forgiven for picking up the phone to the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority. That is, however, one of the points we can take away from the EAT’s decision in Evans v Xactly … 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

All the rage – should confidentiality agreements in harassment cases be allowed?

News out this week that a committee of MPs is to look into workplace harassment, and in particular the use of confidentiality wording in settlement agreements arising from harassment allegations. Critics allege, says the BBC New Online, that such clauses are “abused by employers and legal experts to cover up wrongdoing” and used to “buy … 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

The proper response to claims of historic sexual harassment by employees

Another day, another sex scandal. A Martian reviewing the Evening Standard could reasonably conclude that this is an issue limited to film, media and politics but there would undoubtedly be those in many less glamorous workplaces who also have stories to tell and hopefully feel empowered to do so by the flood of others coming … 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

New proposals for post-Brexit maternity protection – use German law

Back in March 2016 I posted a piece querying the headlines over an Equalities and Human Rights Commission report on maternity and pregnancy discrimination at work. The short point was that the report did not justify the apocalyptic headlines about the treatment of women who were pregnant or on maternity leave. Looked at close up, … Continue Reading

Webinar: Setting off on the right foot – key concerns about starting the employment relationship in the UK

Squire Patton Boggs and pre-employment screening specialists ADP present a webinar focussing on the common issues arising at the start of the employment process. On 10 October 2017 at 4.00 p.m. UK time, David Regan and Annabel Mace from Squire Patton Boggs and ADP Pre-Employment Screening Manager Kevin Stone will consider: Pre-employment screening Why do … 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

Sow the wind, reap the hurricane for UK Government in Tribunal fee fiasco

There was a great deal of entirely unfair schadenfreude directed at the Government last month over its abject failure to justify the Employment Tribunal fees regime in front of the Supreme Court. After all, apart from the report of its own Justice Committee, the views of everyone else from both sides of industry and all … Continue Reading

Context or causation – the role of race in unfavourable treatment

Statutory construction can be a bit like nuclear fusion – you take an atom of something relatively ordinary and then subject it to such pressure that it explodes into a million flaming pieces and lays waste to your entire afternoon.   Employment Tribunals and Courts do the same to words, taking perfectly mundane sentences and phrases … Continue Reading

Improving support in the workplace for employees with mental health issues

This post was prepared with the kind assistance of Andy Bell, Deputy Chief Executive of the Centre for Mental Health, a charity dedicated to changing the lives of people with mental health problems by improving support and bringing about fairer policies. Many employers have experience of dealing with prolonged, costly and challenging sickness absences of … Continue Reading

Testing times for employers in recruitment assessments

Hot on the heels of our post on indirect discrimination in employee tests for promotion 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 advance that … Continue Reading

A year late but worth the wait? – Tribunal fee impact reviewed

After the gestation period of an elephant, the Government Review of the impact of the fees for Employment Tribunal cases finally emerged squalling into the daylight earlier this month. Weighing in at a healthy 100 pages and with a foreword by proud father Justice Minister Sir Oliver Heald, the Review takes a detailed look at … Continue Reading
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