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
 
 

Restricting access to benefits for sick staff may be disability discrimination

A policy of cutting off e-mail and intranet access to an employee on long-term sick leave which led to a failure to ensure the employee was kept informed of changes to his terms and conditions was a discriminatory failure to make reasonable adjustments.
Chawla v Hewlett Packard Ltd
 
 

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, 28 April 2016

Take care when appointing volunteers


The number of volunteers has increased dramatically according to the National Council for Voluntary Organisations. And this seems to be particularly so amongst 16-25-year-olds. So what steps should you be taking to ensure you are doing the right thing from an employment law perspective? Because not adhering to specific terms and conditions in the appointment and management of volunteers could potentially be costly. 
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