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Archive for the: Employment category

Whistleblowing is belief whether a disclosure protected important?

Posted by on June 1st 2017 in Blog Posts, Employment

Whistleblowing is belief whether a disclosure protected important?

Case Report - Beatt v Croydon Health Services NHS Trust [2017] EWCA Civ 401

Background:

In this case the Court of Appeal held that in a case concerning a whistleblowing dismissal, it does not matter if the employer genuinely believed that a disclosure was not protected. If the disclosure satisfies the objective test set out in Part IVA of the Employment Rights Act 1996, then it is a protected disclosure. To recap, the test relating to a protected disclosure (in brief) is as follows:

  1. It must be a qualifying disclosure. In order to be qualifying, the employee must have the reasonable...

Government Legal Service v Brookes

Posted by on May 16th 2017 in Blog Posts, Employment

Multiple Choice Assessment taken by Applicant with Aspergers Subjected Her to Indirect Disability Discrimination

In the recent ruling, Government Legal Services v Brookes UKEAT/0302/16, the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) upheld the decision of an Employment Tribunal that requiring a job applicant with Aspergers to take a multiple choice test as part of the recruitment process amounted to indirect discrimination.

The Facts

Ms Brookes applied for a position with the Government Legal Service (GLS) whose jobs are highly sought after and whose recruitment is notoriously competitive. Applicants are required to complete and pass a multiple choice situational judgement test in order to...

Achbita v G4S Secure Solutions: ECJ Rules that Banning Headscarves in the Workplace can be Legal

Posted by on April 4th 2017 in Blog Posts, Employment

According to the European Court of Justice (ECJ), employers can ban the wearing of any “political, philosophical or religious sign” including headscarves, without it being direct discrimination.

The ECJ has highlighted that so long as the ban is based on internal company policies outlining that all employees must dress neutrally, it will be acceptable for employers to ask that staff refrain from wearing clothing of a religious nature.  

Such ban must not however, be based on “subjective considerations” alone, for example, the wishes of a customer or supplier.

The ruling comes following a claim made by Samira Achbita - a receptionist who...

ACAS Early Conciliation and Limitation - How Is Early Conciliation Treated Before the Limitation Period Commences

Posted by on April 4th 2017 in Blog Posts, Employment

ACAS Early Conciliation and Limitation - How Is Early Conciliation Treated Before the Limitation Period Commences

In order for a Claimant to “institute relevant proceedings” (i.e a claim to the employment tribunal), the prospective claimant must comply with the duty to commence Acas Early Conciliation. In such cases, the limitation date is extended to take into account the period of conciliation. The primary limitation time period in order to bring a claim in a tribunal is three months less one day from the date of dismissal.

Normally, the period is extended by the time between the day the prospective claimant contacts Acas, (or when their EC form is received by ACAS), and the day in which the...

When Does Notice of Termination Take Effect?

Posted by on April 4th 2017 in Blog Posts, Employment

This case concerned the timing of contractual notice. An employment contract may contain an express clause which stipulates when notice under a contract is deemed to have been served and specifying when such notice is deemed effective. The case in question was Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust v Haywood [2017].

In this case, the notification of notice being served was important as it will have effected the pension payments Ms Haywood received after having been made redundant. Ms Haywood was out of the country on holiday when the employer sent notice of termination for redundancy via post.  The letter was...

Five Week Religious Festival Holiday Request Rejection = Held not Discriminatory.

Posted by on February 22nd 2017 in Employment

Five Week Religious Festival Holiday Request Rejection = Held not Discriminatory.

As an employer,  when faced with the task of approving or refusing leave for an employee to attend religious events or festivals,  it can often be difficult to establish what is, and what is not discriminatory.

The recent case of Gareddu v London Underground may carry some level of guidance for employers faced with such decisions.

Gareddu v London Underground

The claimant, G, a practicing Roman Catholic from Sardinia requested extended annual leave of 5 weeks each year in August to attend several consecutive religious festivals with his family in Sardinia.

G’s request for extended annual leave had been approved every year since...

Review of Fees in the Employment Tribunal

Posted by on February 6th 2017 in Blog Posts, Employment

Following the introduction of fees for Employment Tribunal claims, there has been a greater fall in the amount of claims being issued than was ever predicted. In an ongoing consultation, which will end on the 14th March 2017, the Ministry of Justice are proposing to raise the income threshold to £1250 per month, with anyone earning less being entitled to fee remission and potentially being exempt from fees. The proposal is to introduce types of proceedings which will be exempt from fees such as complaints relating to payment from an insolvent employer’s National Insurance Fund. A rise in the amount...

Gender Pay Gap Reporting

Posted by on February 2nd 2017 in Blog Posts, Employment

Gender Pay Gap Reporting

Subject to Parliamentary approval, gender pay reporting legislation looks likely to come into force in April 2017. The legislation will require private and voluntary employers with 250 or more employees (as of 5 April 2017) to publish calculations outlining the pay gap between their male and female employees in an attempt to start to address the gender pay gap. It is expected that the obligation to report will include the public sector by April 2017. Current Office for National Statistics figures show that the current gender pay gap in the UK for full time workers is 9.4%.

It is important to...

Sexist Workplace Dress Codes under Criticism by MPs

Posted by on January 26th 2017 in Blog Posts, Employment

Sexist Workplace Dress Codes under Criticism by MPs

London Receptionist, Nicola Thorp, brought a parliamentary petition which gained over 150,000 signatures when she was sent home without pay from her job at Price Waterhouse Coopers for refusing to wear high heels.  She was employed through Portico (an employment agency), which set out some stringent work wear guidelines, including those relating to thickness of hosiery and the shade of nail polish.

Following widespread public outcry, an inquiry was launched by the parliamentary committees for Petitions and for Women and Equalities. The inquiry produced a report entitled High Heels and Workplace Dress Codes (the ‘Report’).

The Report considers the work wear guidelines...

Dismissal fair despite being decided by reference to a history of expired warnings and future expectations (EAT)

Posted by on January 20th 2017 in Blog Posts, Employment

Dismissal fair despite being decided by reference to a history of expired warnings and future expectations (EAT)

It has been a generally accepted principle that once a warning for misconduct has expired, the employee’s slate should be wiped clean, and it would be unfair for an employer to take expired warnings into account when deciding to dismiss the employee.

However, in the recent case of Stratford v Auto Trail VR Ltd the Employment Appeal Tribunal, upholding the earlier decision of the Employment Tribunal, deemed it fair that the employer took into account prior expired warnings in deciding whether to dismiss the employee for misconduct. In this case the employee had 18 prior cases of misconduct, and although the...

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