Tag Archives: recent cases

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

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

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

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 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

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
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