No obligation to inform employer about allegations

An employee was under no express – or implied – obligation to tell his employer about allegations of sexual misconduct made against him.
Basildon Academies v Amadi
 
 

Collective redundancy consultation – ‘as you were’

The European Court of Justice has endorsed the orthodox and generally understood position as regards an employer’s consultation duties were mass redundancies are involved. This effectively reverses a controversial EAT decision which required consultation where when 20 or more employees were to be dismissed as redundant - irrespective of where they worked.
USDAW v WW Realisation 1 Ltd and Ethel Austin Ltd
 
 

Inadequacy of health and safety training led to liability for personal injury

An employer’s over-reliance on inadequate e-learning training and its failure to follow up contributed directly to a subsequent serious injury for which the employer was liable.
Milroy v BT plc
 
 

Whistleblowing ‘in the public interest’

The test of whether a whistleblowing disclosure is ‘in the public interest’ is one of belief not of fact - in that a disclosure need not actually be in the public interest as long as the whistleblower reasonably believes it is.
Chesterton Global Ltd v Nurmohamed
 
 

Employee affirmed her contract whilst off sick

An employee who claimed unfair constructive dismissal based on events before her long-term sick leave had delayed too long before resigning and had, by virtue of her conduct whilst on sick leave, affirmed her contract and thus lost the right to claim.
Mari v Reuters Ltd
 
 

Caste discrimination may be covered by existing equality law

Caste can be protected under the Equality Act but only where caste is part of a protected characteristic, usually ethnic origin.
Chandhok v Tirkey
 
 

Depression after withdrawal of office wasn’t reasonably foreseeable

While the employer breached the employee’s contract by withdrawing his post without investigation or allowing him to respond to allegations against him, the employee’s subsequent stress-induced depressive illness was not reasonably foreseeable such so as to make the employer liable in damages for personal injury.
Yapp v Foreign and Commonwealth Office
 
 

Carrying over holiday for reasons other than sickness

Does the principle of carrying over holiday if prevented from taking it due to sickness extend to other reasons? Maybe.
The Sash Window Workshop Ltd v King
 
 

Time off for dependants: failure to contact employer as soon as reasonably practicable

The dismissal of an employee who took time off work to take his wife to hospital was not automatically unfair as he had not contacted his employer to explain the reason for his absence as soon as reasonably practicable.
Ellis v Ratcliff Palfinger Ltd
 
 

Employer justified in not paying enhanced additional paternity pay

An employer did not discriminate by paying only the statutory rate of additional paternity pay to a male employee on additional paternity leave when a female employee on maternity leave would have been entitled to full basic pay. Although the policy was indirectly discriminatory, it was objectively justified by the need to recruit and retain women in a male-dominated workforce.
Shuter v Ford Motor Co Ltd
 
 

Court refuses to re-write non-compete covenant

A court should not rewrite a restrictive covenant which has been poorly drafted to bring it in line with commonsense. Just because something had ‘gone wrong’ with its drafting, a court should not recast the chosen language of the restriction to give effect to what is said to have been the likely commercial intention.
Prophet plc v Huggett
 
 

Downgrading as a form of harassment?

The gradual diminution over a period of years in the responsibilities of a long-serving and senior employee’s role was capable of being harassment related to her disability.
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board v Hughes
 
 


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Thursday, 04 August 2016

Let’s not be colour blind but colour brave

The aftermath of the Brexit referendum gave rise to a chain of racist and xenophobic incidents. The 57% increase in reports of hate crime following the vote reminds us that we must not become complacent in our continued efforts to achieve equality, inclusion and acceptance for all. Ethnicity and colour are among the most uncomfortable subjects for anyone, including those working in diversity and inclusion, to confront. This discomfort, however, should not and cannot allow us to shy away from discussing big subjects that have a profound impact on society at large and our workplaces. 

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