Latest Legal News

Vegetarianism is Not a Protected Characteristic, ET Rules

People have all sorts of reasons for choosing not to eat meat, and that prompted an Employment Tribunal (ET) to rule that vegetarianism is a lifestyle choice, rather than a philosophical belief protected under the Equality Act 2010 . The case concerned a...

Employers Cannot Be Forced to Re-Engage Unfairly Dismissed Workers

Can Employment Tribunals (ETs) or the courts force employers to re-engage employees who have been unfairly dismissed? In a ground-breaking decision, the Court of Appeal has answered that question in the negative ( Mackenzie v The Chancellor, Masters and...

Employer Not Liable for Worker's Offensive Facebook Post

Under Section 109(1) of the Equality Act 2010 , anything done by a person in the course of their employment must be treated as also done by the employer. That is to say employers generally bear legal liability for misdeeds committed by their employees in...

Hospital Whistleblower Compensated for Detrimental Treatment

Workplace whistleblowers who act in the public interest by exposing wrongdoing are protected by the full force of the law. In a case on point, a hospital worker who endured detrimental treatment after making protected disclosures was awarded substantial...

Constructive Knowledge - Employer Defeats Claim Thanks to Reasonableness Test

Under Section 15 of the Equality Act 2010 , an employer's duty to make reasonable adjustments for an employee who is disabled is only triggered if the employer has actual knowledge or could reasonably be expected to know (has 'constructive knowledge') of...

Trust in an Employee Misplaced? The Law Will Help You Pick Up the Pieces

In spite of the obvious risks involved, a great many businesses have no choice but to entrust confidential information to their employees. A High Court case showed that, where such trust turns out to be misplaced, judges have a range of powers to deal...

Photographer Subjected to Racial Harassment Wins Substantial Damages

If you have been ill-treated at work, Employment Tribunals (ETs) have the power to award damages against your employer and to compensate you for the indignity or injury to feelings you have suffered. In one case, a hard-working photographer who was sacked...

What Counts as 'Time Work'?

A recent case illustrates that decisions as to whether time spent by a worker who is on call counts as 'time work' for the purposes of the National Minimum Wage (NMW) legislation are highly dependent on the individual facts ( Frudd and Another v The...

Phase Two of the 'Good Work Plan' - Protecting Vulnerable Workers

In July 2017, Matthew Taylor published his independent review on modern working practices, entitled 'Good Work' . The Government published its response to the review in February 2018 and launched consultations on how best to implement many of the...

Written Statement of Employment Particulars - Late Provision

The Employment Rights Act 1996 provides that all employees, whether part-time or full-time, are entitled by law to be given a written statement setting out the main particulars of their employment, provided their employment lasts for one month or more....

Disability Discrimination and the Meaning of 'Long-Term'

Employment disputes often arise because an employer does not consider that an employee's condition is a disability that qualifies them for protection under the Equality Act 2010 . It is therefore important that the definition of disability is understood and...

Gay Headteacher a Victim of Unconscious Discrimination, EAT Rules

Whether discrimination is subliminal or deliberate often makes little difference to the pain and distress it causes. The point was strikingly made by a case in which an openly gay primary school headteacher suffered the consequences of unconscious bias ( ...

Profoundly Flawed Disciplinary Process Costs Engineering Company Dear

Workplace disciplinary proceedings must be thorough, fair and impartial and a failure to meet those standards can be costly, both in reputational and financial terms. In a case on point, an engineer won almost £70,000 in compensation after the...

Accountant Who Worked Exclusively for One Client Became an Employee

The distinction between employment and self-employment is a continuing source of controversy and a ruling by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) that an accountant who worked exclusively for one client fell into the former category has added a new wrinkle...

Discrimination and the Burden of Proof - Court of Appeal Gives Guidance

Once an employee succeeds in establishing facts that arguably support a finding of discrimination, the burden of proving that there was no such discrimination falls upon the employer. The Court of Appeal has confirmed that approach in a guideline decision ( ...

Equal Pay Comparability - Supermarket Workers Win Important Victory

In Asda Stores Limited v Brierley , the question before the Court of Appeal was whether or not thousands of women who worked at Asda's retail stores could compare themselves with male members of staff who worked at the company's distribution depots for...

Even Highly Offensive Workplace Banter May Not Amount to Harassment

Irreverent and foul-mouthed banter is commonplace in some working environments and does not necessarily amount to harassment or victimisation. An Employment Tribunal (ET) made that point in rejecting a compensation claim brought by a salesman who gave as...

Judges and Firefighters Triumph in Age Discrimination Test Case

To defeat a claim of direct discrimination under the Equality Act 2010 , the employer must show that the treatment complained of is in pursuit of a legitimate aim and is a proportionate means of achieving that aim. The aim must be objectively and reasonably...

Untaken Paid Holiday - Does Failure to Request Leave Result in its Loss?

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has supported the opinion of the Advocate General that the mere fact that a worker did not apply to take annual leave cannot automatically mean the loss of the right to payment in lieu of untaken leave at the...

Deliveroo Riders Are Self-Employed, High Court Rules

The High Court has dismissed a claim by the Independent Workers' Union of Great Britain (IWGB) seeking to overturn a decision of the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) that Deliveroo riders are self-employed, not workers within the meaning of Section 296(1)...

Individuals Personally Liable for Whistleblowing Dismissal, Court of Appeal Rules

In a landmark judgment, the Court of Appeal has confirmed that individual managers can be held personally liable for dismissal in whistleblowing claims ( Timis and Another v Osipov and Another ). The case concerned the former CEO of an oil exploration...

Employee Copyright Agreement Achieved Legitimate Aim

Many employers require their staff to sign copyright agreements by which they give up their intellectual property rights to designs or other works created in the course of their employment. In an important decision concerning a luxury leather goods...

Job Interviews and the Risks of Asking Off the Cuff Discriminatory Questions

Questions asked of job applicants at interview should be carefully considered in advance and formulated with the benefit of legal advice. In one case where that signally did not happen, a 67-year-old man who was turned down for a park attendant's job...

Court of Appeal Rules Uber Drivers Are Workers

The Court of Appeal has ruled that drivers who use online taxi company Uber's app are 'workers' within the meaning of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA), rather than self-employed contractors, but has given the company permission to appeal to the...

Vicarious Liability - Impromptu Post Christmas Party Gathering

Employers can be found vicariously liable for the actions of their staff when these occur in the course of their employment, which can include during an office function, but what is the position when one employee suffers injury at the hands of another at an...
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