This case illustrates how, in certain circumstances, an employee may still be able to bring a claim for constructive unfair dismissal where their employer has failed to follow a fair procedure or address all relevant issues at appeal stage.
Under the Equality Act 2010, discrimination arising from a disability occurs where: A treats B unfavourably because of something arising in consequence of B’s disability; and A...
When an employee designs something in the course of their employment, generally the intellectual property rights in that design are owned by the employer. Often employers require their employees to sign an agreement making it clear and unambiguous who holds...
In the case of Davies v Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service, Ms Davies was a court officer, employed for 20 years by the Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service (SCTS) with a flawless service record. Ms Davies was going through the menopause, which left her...
Under the National Minimum Wage Regulations 2015 (the NMWR), a worker who is not actually working, but is required to be available for the purpose of doing work, may be treated as working. There are two exceptions to this: Where a...
Much has been reported on the ‘gig economy’ and its effect on employment law. The classification of whether a person is an ‘employee’, ‘self-employed’ or ‘worker’ can have large ramifications for both the...
Ms James brought a claim under the Equal Pay Act 1970 (the Act) for arrears in pay dating back to 2002 when her employment began with Reading Borough Council (the Council). Section 1 of the Act provides that, if a term of a woman’s contract is less...
Ms G was employed by London General Transport Services (LGTS) as a bus driver in late 2013 - a heavily male-dominated industry, with approximately 90% of the 500 drivers being male. Ms G submitted two formal written complaints against other drivers who had...
Mr Smith worked for Pimlico Plumbers for five and a half years, until he suffered a heart attack; the contract was terminated four months later. Following this, Mr Smith brought claims to the Employment Tribunal (ET) for unfair dismissal, wrongful dismissal,...
Misconduct is a potentially fair reason for dismissal; in considering whether a dismissal for misconduct was fair, the tribunal will ask whether the employer undertook a fair investigation when they reached the decision to dismiss, and whether the misconduct...
Ms Kaur was employed as a nurse at The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (the Trust). They began disciplinary proceedings against Ms Kaur following an incident with a colleague in April 2013. Ms Kaur was issued with a final written warning in September...
Mr Grosset was a teacher at a school run by the City of York Council. He suffered from cystic fibrosis, which required that he spend up to three hours per day carrying out physical exercise to clear his lungs,a fact the council was aware of.
Canon Pemberton is a Church of England Priest in a same-sex relationship. When the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 came into force it was opposed by the Church of England. Canon Pemberton later became engaged, and informed several bishops of his intent to marry and received feedback stating that marrying his same-sex partner wouldn’t be appropriate. Despite objections from the Church, Canon Pemberton got married in April 2014.
Ms Lopez Ribalda and the four other applicants worked as cashiers at MSA, a Spanish supermarket chain. The manager noticed significant discrepancies between stock levels and what was supposedly being sold in store - in some months as much as €20,000.
Mr Ali was an employee of Telefonica until Telefonica transferred their employees and policies to Capita, and he became an employee of Capita. Female employees who had transferred from Telefonica were entitled to enhanced maternity pay. The maternity policy stated that female employees who had been employed for at least 26 weeks were entitled to 14 weeks’ enhanced maternity pay on full salary, followed by 25 weeks’ statutory maternity pay.
Mr Cockram participated in a Long Term Incentive Plan offered by Air Products. At age 50 Mr Cockram decided to retire, and at this age he was able to have benefits under the defined benefit pension scheme.
The Equality Act 2010 provides protection against discrimination which relates to certain listed characteristics which people may possess, including disability. Section 6 of the Act defines disability as any physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and a long-term adverse effect on a person's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
Ms Brazel was a visiting music teacher at a school run by the Harpur Trust. Employed under a zero hour’s contract, she worked mainly during school term-time, between 32 and 35 weeks a year. The contract provided for her to have 5.6 weeks' annual leave - her statutory entitlement.
In the case of Reilly v Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, Ms Reilly was head teacher at a primary school, and had failed to disclose her close personal relationship with a man (S), who had been convicted of making indecent images of children.
In case of Ville de Nivelles v Matzak, the European Court of Justice considered whether time spent by a firefighter, who was at home on ‘stand-by’, was considered ‘working time’ under the Working Time Directive (WTD).
Mr Carreras was employed by United First Partnership Research (United) from October 2011 to February 2014, where he would typically work 12-13 hour days. In July 2012, Mr Carreras suffered a serious bike accident and had to take several weeks off work. Following his return he continued to suffer from physical symptoms of the accident – dizziness, headaches, fatigue and difficulty in concentrating and working late.
Ms Alexandra De Souza, worked as a Retail Assistant in Primark’s Oxford Street store.
Sometimes education leads to destitution… In Ali v Petroleum Company of Trinidad and Tobago (Petronin) Mr Ali had worked for Petrotrin for 11 years when he was awarded a scholarship to study abroad for a degree. Petrotrin also paid Mr Ali a monthly living allowance in the form of a repayable loan.
Dr Malik worked for Cenkos Securities Plc as a Securities Analyst. He made several disclosures, some of which were found to be protected by the Employment Tribunal (ET).
Ms Bickerstaff was employed by the Royal British Legion as a Case Officer. Issues in the workplace began when another member of staff went on long term sick leave. Ms Bickerstaff was concerned that she would be unable to cope with the increase in workload.
Mr Rawlinson joined Brightside Group Ltd as Group Legal Counsel in December 2014. When Mr Wallin was appointed as CEO of Brightside in January 2015, he expressed concerns with Mr Rawlinson’s performance and started an internal investigation. Mr Rawlinson was aware that senior management had concerns which needed to be addressed, but the details were not shared with him.
Mr Creighton commenced his employment with Together Housing Association Ltd (THA) as an engineering apprentice in 1987. During his employment he was promoted to Lead Gas Engineer in 2014, which involved managing gas engineers.
Mr Schofield, a security officer at Manchester Airport (MAG plc), was diagnosed with four learning difficulties: dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia and dysgraphia, classifying him as disabled under the Equality Act 2010.
Ms Pinaud joined British Airways on 24 June 1985 and was promoted to Purser in 1993 where she worked on a full-time basis. In 2005 she returned to work after maternity leave working on a part-time basis. She continued working part-time until she took voluntary redundancy on 30 April 2015.
Ms Pillar was a Nurse Practitioner employed by NHS 24. Her role consisted of taking telephone calls from members of the public and triaging them by asking appropriate questions to determine their medical priority and the appropriate clinical outcome. In December 2013 Ms Pillar directed a patient describing symptoms of a heart attack to an out of hours GP rather than the emergency services. She was dismissed for gross misconduct following a Patient Safety Incident (PSI).
Working in the sales team at BMC Software Ltd since 2004, Ms Shaikh was considered a good worker who performed well, and therefore received various promotions during her employment. Ms Shaikh was awarded two pay rises on “merit” and by July 2013 her basic pay was £60,000.
Mr Osipov became CEO of International Petroleum Ltd (IPL), an oil and gas exploration company doing work in Niger in 2014. Within days of commencing his role as CEO he discovered serious wrongdoings by his predecessor that put the business in a precarious position with the Government of Niger.
Mr Efobi, a black African born in Nigeria, worked as a postman for Royal Mail. He hoped to secure a role in IT and submitted approximately 33 job applications for internal IT roles but was unsuccessful.
Mr Barbulescu, a Romanian national, was employed by a heating company as an engineer in charge of sales. At the request of the company, he was asked to create a Yahoo Messenger account to deal with client enquiries. The company’s policies strictly prohibited any personal use of its IT equipment, including computers and internet access.
An astonishing 126 claimants sought damages against Barclays Bank for sexual assault. The claimants were job applicants and existing employees who were required to undergo medical assessments, most of whom were young women. As part of the bank’s application process, they were required to attend a medical assessment with a doctor nominated by the bank.
In order to prevent unfair competition after employment ends, it is advisable for an employer, where it is possible, to insert a restrictive covenant into the employee’s contract. In the absence of an effective restrictive covenant, an ex-employee may compete with the ex-employer, solicit the former customers of the ex-employer and poach its staff.
Getting good performance from staff requires more than rebukes – it’s where proper procedure is essential. The case of Williams v Meddygfa Rhydback Surgery illustrates how not to do it, especially when a manager is himself the object of many complaints.
A topic that has featured in the news lately is whether suspension amounts to a breach of trust and confidence. This was considered by the High Court in the case of Agoreyo v London Borough of Lambeth where the claimant - a teacher - was suspended as result of the force she used on two children.
In the case of Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust v Akinwunmi, Mr Akinwunmi (‘Mr A’) was a consultant neurosurgeon for the NHS trust. Mr A had poor relationships with a number of fellow surgeons, and had previously complained that he was being bullied - and bought a race discrimination claim to the Employment Tribunal, which was settled.
Sometimes the best laid HR plans can backfire with unfortunate results. What HR professional would ever want to unhouse and impoverish a new mother and baby?
It has been an accepted fact that every employee is under an implied duty of good faith towards their employer. However the case of MPT v Peel has tested this idea in the High Court. The Court had to consider whether employees had to answer honestly when asked by their employer whether they had plans to set up a competing business when leaving the company.
Some cases of redundancy seem cut and dry… but they rarely are. The case of Green v London Borough of Barking and Dagenham illustrates that you can never be too thorough on procedure. Ms Green was employed by London Borough of Barking and Dagenham as a Senior Regeneration Professional. She was one of three employees performing broadly similar roles.
You may well have seen news coverage on the case of Walker v Innospec Ltd and others. This was a landmark case involving a worker and his same-sex partner. The claimant, Mr Walker, retired from Innospec in 2003 after working there for 23 years. In 2006 he asked Innospec whether in the event of his death, they would pay a spouse’s pension to his civil partner.
Social media issues aren’t going away any time soon. Here’s another cautionary tale in the case of Plant v API Microelectronics Ltd.
There has been an abundance of case law on how employers should calculate pay during annual leave and the result in Flower and others v East England Ambulance Trust has added to this. Ambulance staff are often shift workers taking turns to be on duty.
In the case of Ali v Capita Customer Management Ltd, Mr Ali was a former employee of Telefonica. He transferred to Capita when Telefonica transferred all their employees, and Telefonica’s policies also transferred with them.
In Beatt v Croydon Health Services, Mr Beatt was a consultant cardiologist and there were strained relationships between him and some of his colleagues. Whilst performing an invasive operation in 2011, his head nurse, Sister Jones, was suspended and the patient tragically died.
Thousands of claimants in a long running equal pay claim against Glasgow City Council have now welcomed a victory in the Court of Session (the Supreme Civil Court in Scotland).
Good organisational skills don’t stop at your desk. Getting your dismissal procedures in order can tighten up your response to a claim. How it can stretch on into further tribunal time is illustrated in the case of Temitope Adeshina v St George’s University NHS Foundation Trust.
In the case of Government Legal Service v Brookes, Brookes was a prospective trainee solicitor applying for a trainee solicitor role with Government Legal Services. GLS recruited approximately 35 trainee solicitors each year and they received thousands of applications for these roles.
Focus Care Agency v Roberts is the leading case in three appeals which revolved around the question of whether employees who ‘sleep-in’ in order to carry out duties if required engage in ‘time work’ for the duration of the sleep in shift - or if they are working for National Minimum Wage payment purposes only when they are awake.
In the case of Hayward v Noel Chadwick Ltd, Mr Hayward bought a claim of unfair dismissal and breach of contract against his ex-employer, family butchers firm Noel Chadwick Ltd. The respondent had accepted that due process was not followed and consequently the dismissal of Mr Hayward constituted unfair dismissal.
Should use of ‘womanly wiles’ be encouraged in a sales environment? Maybe not, if this week’s case tells us anything.
In the case of Alrajjal v Media 10 Ltd the claimant was part of a sales team. She was encouraged by her line manager, Mr Nicholson, to use her ‘female allures’ to improve her sales performance and was encouraged to wear a low cut top.
In the case of Kuteh v Dartford & Gravesham NHS Trust, the claimant was a committed Christian employed by the Trust as a nurse. In 2012 the claimant was promoted to ‘Sister’ and then in 2015 was transferred to a position which required her to carry out between six and 12 pre-assessment checks on patients due to undergo surgery. A standard checklist was used for these checks and it included a question on the patient’s religion.
In the case of Ssekisonge v Barts Health NHS Trust, the claimant was a nurse who had obtained indefinite leave to remain in the UK by the Home Office on 27 October 2000, and British citizenship on 23 April 2006.
In the case of Dunne v Colin & Avril Ltd the Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal were tasked with applying the two-fold test for suitability and unreasonable refusal of alternative employment disentitling an employee to a redundancy payment.
When is a disability not a disability? And who needs to know? As Gallop v Newport City Council illustrated – it’s not always clear and the confusion can be costly in a tribunal.
An Employment Tribunal has awarded the sum of £25,000 for breach of contract to an employee whose apprenticeship was ended early.
In the case of Kinnear v Marley Eternit Ltd t/a Marley Contract Services, Mr Kinnear was an apprentice roof tiler with Marley Eternit. His contract for this apprenticeship was due to run for a fixed period from October 2014 - November 2018.
In the case of Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust v Haywood, Ms Haywood was employed by Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust. On the 1 April 2011 she was notified as being at risk of redundancy. During a consultation meeting about the redundancy, Ms Haywood informed the Trust she’d be on annual leave between 19 April and 3 May 2011, holidaying in Egypt.
In the case of Kenbata v Westminster City Council, the claimant, who described himself as Black British African, was contracted to work for the respondent, Westminster City Council.
In the case of O’Brien v Bolton St Catherine’s Academy, Ms O’Brien was head of a department at the school. She was attacked by a pupil and although her injuries were not serious, on her return to work she felt unsafe and dissatisfied with the school’s lax approach to dealing with aggressive pupils. Consequently, she later went off work with stress.
Tribunals can be unexciting. Shame, then, that the quite interesting details of Chidzoy v British Broadcasting Corporation have been cruelly snatched away from us by a technicality that the claimant really
should have known about.
The European Court of Justice has recently given judgment on two cases regarding claims of religious discrimination where employees refused to remove their Islamic headscarves.
Does your staff hand book work properly in conjunction with employee’s terms and conditions? If not, you could run into claims. In Department for Transport v Sparks and ors the Court of Appeal upheld the decision of the High Court - that a provision set out in the staff handbook had been incorporated into the contract of employment.
In Pimlico Plumbers Ltd and Mullins v Smith the Court of Appeal has upheld the Employment Appeal Tribunal decision that a plumber was a worker for the purposes of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA 1996).
In Gareddu v London Underground Ltd the EAT upheld a tribunal’s decision that a Roman Catholic was not discriminated against when his employer did not allow him to take five weeks leave to attend religious festivals in Sardinia.
Gone are the days when you could move your staff around like tiddlywinks on a Ludo board, without so much as a 'would you mind?' - and rightly so.
But the EAT has now confirmed that employers can rely on an express contractual mobility clause to move an employee to a different workplace rather than making the employee redundant.
In City of York Council v Grosset the EAT upheld the Employment Tribunal’s decision that an employer who had dismissed a disabled employee, not knowing that the misconduct arose from the disability, had committed of an act of discrimination arising from disability.
Unless you didn't watch the news yesterday, you won't have missed the discussions surrounding dress code and the latest report highlighting the inequalities still existing in the workplace. The report, entitled High Heels and Workplace Dress Codes, has found that the Equality Act 2010 should ban discriminatory dress rules at work, but in practice the law is not applied properly to protect workers of either gender.
In Lόpez v Servicio Madrileño de Salud the European Court of Justice recently ruled that the use of successive fixed-term contracts to cover permanent needs in the Spanish healthcare sector are contrary to EU law.
In Bellman v Northampton Recruitment Ltd, the High Court held that a company is not vicariously liable for injuries caused by an employee after a work Christmas party has ended. Mr Bellman was employed by Northampton Recruitment Ltd and was recruited by Mr Major, the Director of Northampton Recruitment, in 2010.
The Employment Tribunal held that an employee was fairly dismissed after failing to produce evidence of his right to work in the UK when his employer ran checks on its workforce’s immigration status.
Ms Majid was undertaking her legal practice course in order to become a solicitor. She started work in 2013 at AA Solicitors. Ms Majid was employed by the practice for a period of six weeks and in that time claimed that she was subjected to 40 or more acts of sexual harassment by Mr Ali, the sole solicitor in the practice.
The Employment Tribunal held that an employer had fairly dismissed an employee because she had refused to do overtime in the run up to Christmas and her protests at being asked to do extra hours threatened to disrupt the business.
In Aslam and others v Uber BV the Employment Tribunal has stated that Uber drivers should be employees rather than self-employed.