Tag Archives: Unfair dismissal

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

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

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

He’s making a list, he’s checking it twice… the year’s best misconduct cases

As the Festive Season reaches its peak Down Under, we have taken a look back at the more ‘interesting’ cases of 2016 to help Santa prepare his Naughty or Nice List for Australian employers: First to be considered for Santa’s list is a labourer who, in the midst of a heated discussion, somewhat unchantably called … Continue Reading

Procedural leak sinks employer’s reliance on workplace drug tests

Although drug and alcohol testing is generally recognised in Australia as forming part of an employer’s armoury for managing its health and safety obligations, a recent Fair Work Commission decision has provided a salutary reminder that employers in Australia which fail to follow best practice when conducting such tests risk being on the wrong end … Continue Reading

Recent redundancy exercises – learning points for HR, part 5

Dealing with employee absences and grievances in redundancy consultation You’ve delivered the at risk letter and sent the employee home on pay pending the formal consultation meeting. As an HR professional it is possible that your faith in human nature has become a little corroded over time, so you are not completely surprised when what … Continue Reading

Employer representatives at French pre-dismissal meetings should be chosen carefully to avoid a finding of procedural irregularity

This is already established case law but sufficiently unusual as an issue that worth the reminder to employers with operations in France. The French Labour Code expressly provides for an employee to be accompanied by a colleague or in some cases by an appointed external advisor (mentioned on a list held by the Labour Inspector … Continue Reading

Mitigation of loss in Employment Tribunals- not a happy new year for UK employers

So you’ve lost the unfair dismissal or discrimination claim against you and are now staring down the barrel of the Employment Tribunal’s jurisdiction to award compensation for the employee’s losses. Never mind, you think – he could easily and immediately have got another job at a pay rate sufficient to extinguish his losses, so the … Continue Reading

UK Government consults on tax treatment of severance payments. Do you want the bad news or the bad news?

I know that over the years we have said some pretty harsh things in this blog about assorted government proposals and consultation exercises, but I take it all back.   There is a new kid in town, the HM Treasury/HMRC consultation document on Simplification of the Tax and National Insurance Treatment of Termination Payments https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/simplification-of-the-tax-and-national-insurance-treatment-of-termination-payments and … Continue Reading

UK sewer worker kicks up stink over health and safety dismissal

In Newbound –v- Thames Water the Court of Appeal has recently upheld the ruling of the Employment Tribunal that Mr Newbound had been unfairly dismissed for gross misconduct despite his breaching company health and safety rules. The case highlights the difficulties faced by employers trying to enforce compliance with new health and safety procedures, but … Continue Reading

Employer not driven to investigate all defences in UK disciplinary process

Some reassuring guidance for employers on the conduct of disciplinary investigations from the Court of Appeal last week – not new law but a clear and helpful analysis of just how far you have to go to investigate an employee’s defence. Mr Shrestha was employed by Genesis Housing Association as a support worker, a role … Continue Reading

A sorry state of affaires – sack your mistress or lose your family

Back in January 2013, my colleague David Whincup published a blog about an Iowa dentist who dismissed his assistant because of the threat which his wife considered her to pose to their marriage. For those happy few who have spent the last 17 months wondering what would happen in similar circumstances in the UK, wonder … Continue Reading

M5 or A303 – “unmanageable” public interest complainant runs out of road in UK Tribunal

It is rare that an employer wins its Tribunal case but still covers itself in so little glory as did Hampshire Police this month in its defence of a whistleblowing allegation brought by former policeman Mr Panayiotou.    Mr Panayiotou was a chap with a strong, not to say obsessive, sense of right and wrong.  He … Continue Reading

EAT decision leaves UK employers sitting on burning external appeal questions

A politician who refuses to change his mind, regardless of any change in relevant circumstances, is oddly often praised for being “principled”, “strong willed” and “resolute”. However, employers who take the same approach to their employees are almost invariably hauled over the coals in the Tribunals – circumstances alter cases, after all, for all but … Continue Reading
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