Pay and benefits, Business principles

Court of Appeal – June 2019 In a landmark judgement, the Court of Appeal has ruled that voluntary overtime does need to be taken into account when calculating holiday pay if it is ‘sufficiently regular and settled’.  The Working Time Directive (WTD) is EU legislation that gives all workers in Member States the right to at least four weeks (20 days) paid leave per year for workers who work five days a week. This is adapted into UK law through the Working Time Regulations 1998 (WTR), which…

Equality

Employment Appeal Tribunal – May 2019 The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has ruled that a one-off act of discrimination does not limit tribunals to making an award in the lower Vento band for injury to feelings compensation. In the case Vento v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, guidelines were given on how an employment tribunal (ET) should determine the amount of money to be awarded for injury to feelings in successful discrimination claims. As a result, the Court of Appeal in…

Equality

Court of Appeal – March 2019 The Court of Appeal has ruled that a disabled employee was not discriminated against when his international job posting was blocked after a medical assessment deemed him ‘high risk’. Direct disability discrimination occurs where a person is treated less favourably ‘because of’ their disability compared with others who do not share the protected characteristic but are otherwise in circumstances that are not materially different. Indirect disability discrimination…

Judgement published:
Family friendly and flexible working rights , Equality

Court of Appeal – May 2019 In a conjoined appeal with Ali v Capita Customer Management, the Court considered whether enhancing maternity pay policies, but not shared parental leave policies, was sex discriminatory. Section 66 of the Equality Act 2010 operates to automatically insert a sex equality clause in contracts of employment which have the effect of inserting corresponding terms into a contract where their terms are less favourable than the terms in place for an employee of the…

Judgement published:
Family friendly and flexible working rights , Equality

In a straight-forward decision, the Court of Appeal confirmed that it is not direct sex discrimination to offer enhanced maternity pay but only statutory shared parental pay. Whilst this decision may bring relief to many organisations who offer these types of family friendly leave and can continue to do so lawfully, there are cultural calls for family friendly pay to be equalised to ensure all working parents are not required to make child caring decisions based on financial incentives or…

Discipline and grievance , Termination

Court of Appeal – March 2019 The Court of Appeal has ruled that a nurse was fairly dismissed on allegations she had engaged in inappropriate discussions with patients about religion. Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) provides that everyone has the right to freedom of religion and to manifest this religion. It also explains that this should only be subjected to limitations in the interests of public safety or protection of public order, health, morals or the rights…

Discipline and grievance , Termination

Employment Appeal Tribunal – April 2019 The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has ruled it was a breach of the implied duty of trust and confidence to serve an ‘informal improvement’ notice without first holding a meeting, as required under the disciplinary procedure. Facts The claimant, a nurse working for the Trust, was asked to switch on incubators in readiness for a procedure the following day. However, she had to leave work early due to a suspected mini-stroke and did not do this. The…

Discipline and grievance

Employment Appeal Tribunal – November 2018 The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has ruled that a dismissal was fair despite further investigations not being held into a late submission of alcohol dependence. Section 98(4) of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA) provides that in order for a dismissal for misconduct to be fair, the organisation needs to clearly outline that they acted reasonably in treating the misconduct as a sufficient reason for dismissal. Section 57A of the ERA also…

Equality

Employment Appeal Tribunal – January 2019 The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has ruled that a person who was otherwise a suitable comparator in a direct discrimination claim was not rendered unsuitable merely because a different decision maker was involved. Section 23 of the Equality Act 2010 instructs that an employee who claims race discrimination will need to show that they have been treated less favourably than a real or hypothetical comparator whose circumstances are not materially…

Judgement published:
Dispute resolution

Employment Appeal Tribunal The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has ruled that a claim for unfair dismissal was submitted out of time despite being posted before the limitation deadline as the tribunal did not receive it until one day after the deadline. Section 111(2) of the Employment Rights Act (ERA) outlines that, when bringing a claim against an organisation, claimants have a period of three months from their effective date of termination in which to submit this claim to the employment…

Dispute resolution

Employment Appeal Tribunal – January 2019 The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has ruled that tribunals will only have the power to remove a judgement from the online register, and that anonymity will only be granted, in very limited circumstances Rule 67 of the Employment Tribunals Rules of Procedure 2013 outlines that tribunal judgements and written reasons should be entered onto the public register subject to certain exceptions. Since February 2017, all judgements on the public register…

Equality

Employment Appeal Tribunal – March 2019 The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has ruled in this case that there was no causal connection between an employee’s mistaken belief and her disability in order to prove discrimination arising from a disability, although this may not always be the case. Facts This case concerned a warehouse worker who was classed as disabled for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010 due to osteoarthritis. The employee believed that her condition was worsened in damp…

Judgement published:
Equality

Employment Appeal Tribunal – March 2019 The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has outlined that the ‘reason why’ an organisation committed an act must be considered when establishing a claim for pregnancy discrimination. Facts In this case the employee, along with several colleagues, was aware she could be at risk of redundancy. An email was sent to them that confirmed they were being put on an ‘At Risk Register’ and instructed them to fill out a redeployment document. As the employee was…

Business principles

Employment Appeal Tribunal – September 2018 The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has ruled that a complaint of defamation of character could be considered a protected disclosure. Section 43B(1) of the Employment Rights Act 1996 defines a qualifying disclosure as any disclosure of information which, in the reasonable belief of the worker making the disclosure, is in the public interest and tends to show one or more specified types of wrongdoing. Whilst there is no definition of ‘in the…

Business principles , Discipline and grievance

Employment Appeal Tribunal – October 2018 The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has ruled protection against unfair dismissal following the assertion of a statutory right requires an allegation of an actual breach. In this case the employee, who has less than two years’ service, was dismissed following a disciplinary procedure that had considered, and upheld, allegations against him of sexual harassment and assault. At the disciplinary meeting, the employee claimed that he had tried to…

Discipline and grievance

Court of Appeal – March 2019 The Court of Appeal has ruled that the decision to suspend an employee will not necessarily amount to a breach of implied mutual trust and confidence depending on the facts of each case. Facts The employee was a primary school teacher engaged on a fixed-term contract. Although she had 15 years’ experience teaching children with special needs she had no prior training for children with behavioural difficulties. Allegations were made against the employee that she…

Business principles

Court of Appeal – March 2019 The Court of Appeal has ruled that shorter breaks can be aggregated to satisfy entitlements to a 20 minute rest break period, overturning the previous decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal. Under Regulation 12, workers are entitled to an uninterrupted rest break lasting at least 20 minutes if their daily working time is more than six hours. Regulation 21(f) states workers in railway transport roles carrying out activities relating to the continuity and…

Terms and conditions , Termination

Court of Appeal – October 2018 The Court of Appeal has ruled that mistakenly referring to a different termination date than specified in an employment contract will not vary the date if there is no basis for inferring this intention. In this case, the employee joined an insurance broker in 2005 under an ‘Executive Employment Agreement’. This agreement was subsequently varied pursuant to a written addendum in 2012, which outlined that his employment would not expire before 31 December 2016…

Equality

Court of Appeal – January 2019 This case confirmed that the initial burden of proof in discrimination claims lies with the claimant to present evidence of any alleged wrongdoings. Facts The claimant in this case worked as a postman. He made over 20 unsuccessful applications for IT-related jobs with his employer and claimed his rejections were because he was of Nigerian descent. He also alleged that a number of the employer’s other actions towards him – refusing to allow him to finish his…

Equality

Employment tribunal – December 2018 The employment tribunal (ET) has ruled that the dismissal of an 88-year-old employee was unfair and ‘tainted by discrimination’. This case concerned an employee who had operated as a medical secretary under a consultant since 2005. Her duties involved the maintenance of a list of patients waiting for breast cancer and non-urgent surgery and to inform the consultant if their time on it was approaching 52 weeks. In 2015, training was arranged to assist the…

Employees and workers, Termination

Employment tribunal – October 2018 The employment tribunal (ET) has ruled that dismissing an apprentice prior to the completion of their apprenticeship was in breach of contract. This case concerned an apprentice who entered into an arrangement with an organisation in Scotland, Express Joinery, under the auspices of the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB). This outlined an apprenticeship with an end date of January 2020. During his time working for Express Joinery the apprentice took…

Discipline and grievance , Termination

Employment tribunal – October 2018 The employment tribunal (ET) has ruled that the decision to dismiss one employee and not another when their conduct was ‘similar’ was fair as their actions were not ‘identical’. The claimant in this case had been unhappy because the annual Christmas gift provided to employees was of less value than previous years. A colleague, Mr Minshull, posted a Facebook status criticising this and comparing management to Ronald McDonald. Commenting on the status, the…

Pay and benefits, Equality

Court of Appeal upholds decision that retail workers can compare pay terms to distribution workers due to common terms applying at the establishments. Facts Around 30,000 predominately female retail employees have submitted equal pay claims against the organisation, alleging there are not receiving equal pay in comparison to the pay terms afforded to predominantly male distribution employees. As set out within s79(4)(c) of the Equality Act 2010, claimants can rely on comparators where “…

Equality , Discipline and grievance

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has ruled that a failure to consider how a disability can be the operative cause of an employee’s misconduct amounted to unfair dismissal. This case concerned a lorry driver who suffered from type 2 diabetes. After a period of driving he returned to the organisations’ premises, parked near a loading bay to the store and felt an extreme need to urinate. Not believing he would make it to the building’s facilities in time, he urinated in the yard. The…

Termination

Employment Appeal Tribunal – October 2018 The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has held that not holding a meeting with an employee before making a decision to dismiss for SOSR did not amount to unfair dismissal. In this case, the employee operated as a voluntary reservist with the Royal Marines whilst maintaining his role within an organisation. As he needed additional time off for this commitment he had successfully negotiated a further week of unpaid leave upon acceptance of the role.…

Equality

Employment tribunal – September 2018 The employment tribunal (ET) has ruled that an organisation’s failure to assist in the implementation of reasonable adjustments amounted to a breach of their duty In this case the employee, whose role as a clerical assistant involved a significant amount of keyboard and mouse work, was classed as disabled due to carpal tunnel syndrome and repetitive strain injury. Following the recommendation of an Occupational Health report the employee started to…

Terms and conditions , Pay and benefits

Employment Appeal Tribunal – September 2018 The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has ruled that an employee was entitled to a written statement of terms despite only working for the organisation for six weeks. This case concerned three European claimants who were employed by a hotel as waiting staff and claimed they were poorly treated. Following a complaint to management about numerous issues, such as shortfalls in their wages, falsification of their wage slips and late payments, they were…

Equality

Supreme Court – December 2018 The Supreme Court has agreed with the earlier decisions of the Court of Appeal (CA) and the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) that an ill-health retirement pension scheme did not amount to unfavourable treatment despite it being potentially more advantageous to other employees.  This case concerned an employee who suffered from several psychological problems including Tourette’s Syndrome. Due to the progress of his illness, he had reduced his hours and salary to…

Employees and workers

Court of Appeal – December 2018 The Court of Appeal (CA) has dismissed Uber’s appeal against the employment tribunal (ET) and Employment Appeal Tribunal’s (EAT) decision that drivers engaged by Uber were not self-employed contractors, but fell squarely within the legal definition of ‘worker’ under the Employment Rights Act 1996, the Working Time Regulations 1998 and the National Minimum Wage Act 1998. This case concerns the claim from two London-based Uber drivers that they should be…

Employees and workers

Employment Appeal Tribunal – November 2018 Were private-hire drivers classed as workers when logged into an app? Facts Private-hire drivers for the organisation took on work under a driver contract which expressly stated they were “independent contractors” and would act as sub-contractors for Addison Lee (AL) where bookings were made by AL account holders. The contract went on further to state that there was no obligation on the organisation to offer work to the driver, or for the driver…