Contents tagged with Discrimination

  • Cumberbatched: The Importance of Terminology

    Tags: Discrimination, Race Discrimination, Employment Law, Employment Tribunal

    Many readers will have come across the incident in the wider media last week involving the actor Benedict Cumberbatch, wherein he used the term “coloured” to describe black actors while giving an interview on an American talk show. While he has since apologised profusely for use of the term, the furore that followed immediately after the initial remark has shined a light on attitudes to such terminology on both sides of the Atlantic.

    The irony of Mr Cumberbatch’s ill-chosen words were that they were used while he was in the middle of conveying a very commendable message regarding the difficulties facing black actors in the UK as relates to their American counterparts.

    The incident as a whole gave rise to much discourse via mainstream and social media as to the issue of … more

  • New Right to Shared Parental Leave

    Tags: Discrimination, Maternity Leave, Employment Law, Parental Leave, Employment Tribunal

    The new Shared Parental Leave (SPL) right is touted as the final piece in the Coalition's family friendly policy puzzle. This right which is due to come into force on 1 December will for the first time enable parents and adopters to share statutory leave and pay after the birth of their baby or after having adopted their child, providing they meet the eligibility criteria. The new system will be applicable to parents whose babies are due from 5 April 2015.

    For health and safety reasons, mothers will still be required to take two weeks compulsory maternity leave, but the remaining 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of pay can be shared between parents. They will have the choice of taking leave at the same time and/or in turns to care for their child. Although the employer cannot refuse leave … more

  • ‘Accentism’: Discriminatory?

    Tags: Discrimination, Employment Law, Employment Tribunal, Accents

    On these British shores we speak in a bewildering multitude of accents, patois’, regional syntax and colloquialisms; it has ever been thus.

    How one is wished a good morning by another varies entirely on the basis of the geographical location. In Yorkshire you will get a “eh up luv”, while in Nottinghamshire it might be “alright duck?”

    Such speech designates those utilising it inextricably to the region from which they are originally from or have at least resided in for sufficient time to absorb the lingo. Many view their accents as badges of pride showing their heritage, however a recent study by the University of Manchester shows that a large section of society tones down or alters entirely their accent in certain situations; chief amongst these are job … more

  • Is caste protected by the Equality Act 2010?

    Tags: Discrimination, The Equality Act 2010, Race Discrimination, Employment Law, Employment Tribunal, Caste

    Avid followers of employment law will be aware that under the Equality Act 2010 (EQA) the Secretary of State retains power to make ‘caste’ a protected characteristic for discrimination purposes. However, the government has made it clear that it will not exercise this power until there has been wider public consultation.

    That having been said, quite interestingly earlier this year the employment tribunal in Tirkey –v- Mr & Mrs Chandok held that that ‘caste’ was already protected under the concept of ‘race’ (which includes ethnic group). The claimant in this case was of Indian nationality and also a descendant of the Adivasi people, who the tribunal were told could be either Christian or Hindu; the claimant was a Christian. Further, the … more

  • Legal round-up so far...

    Tags: TUPE, Employment Law Reforms, Flexible Working, Discrimination

    You will all agree with me when I say that last year was a busy year for employment law, so it will not come as any surprise that we will see much of the same in 2014! So what’s on the agenda (this side of the year)?

    TUPE

    On 31 January the revised TUPE regulations came into force. Here’s a summary of the changes:

    Collectively negotiated provisions will not bind a transferee (NewCo) if they are agreed and come into force after the date of the transfer, and NewCo was not a party to the agreement.

    A dismissal will only be automatically unfair if it is “by reason of the transfer” unless there is an Economical, Technical and Organisation (ETO) reason entailing changes in the workforce. The provisions relating to a reason connected to the transfer have been … more

  • Religious Discrimination: divide between ‘manifesting and ‘holding’ beliefs

    Tags: Discrimination, Employment Law, Discrimination because of Religion and Belief, Employment Tribunal

    Religious discussions, of whatever shade, are always a delicate and generally best avoided topic in the workplace. There is however obviously a need to ensure that workers are free to have their beliefs or lack thereof and that the relevant employer takes no umbrage at this fact. Naturally when a clash of ideologies occurs in the workplace, the employee is protected by virtue of religion and belief discrimination provisions of the Equality Act 2010.

    The question recently posed to the Employment Appeals Tribunal (“EAT”) in the case of Grave v Places for Children was whether there was a clear dividing line between the holding and manifesting of a religious belief.

    The Claimant, Ms Grace, was a Nursery Manager at the Respondent business and had been such for only a short period … more

  • When is indirect age discrimination legal?

    Tags: Employment Tribunals, Discrimination, Indirect Age Discrimination

    Some of you may recall the well-publicised case of Mr Seldon. He was a partner in Clarkson Wright & Jakes solicitors (‘the Firm’) who claimed age discrimination when he was forced to retire at 65 under his partnership agreement.

    The case was last reported in 2012 after the Supreme Court ruling that the case was to be remitted to the Employment Tribunal for it to consider whether the Firm were justified in having a compulsory retirement age of 65 and/or whether another age such as 68 or 70 should have been adopted.

    Last month the Employment Tribunal (ET) has found that the Firm’s aim for (a) retention and planning and (b) collegiality were all legitimate aims, which were proportionately achieved by the firm having in place a mandatory retirement age. Hence their … more

  • Employment Law News Roundup

    Tags: Employment Law, Employment Tribunals, Employment Law Reforms, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013, Whistleblowing, Political Belief, Unfair Dismissal, Discrimination, Financial Penalties on Losing Employers

    With so many serious changes planned to the tribunal system and employment law generally this year, it is well worth pointing out some of the key alterations that may have escaped your attention in anticipation of their being implemented via the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013. With that in mind the following roundup provides a handy summary of what is coming into force and most importantly, when.

    Changes to Whistleblowing Provisions

    From 25 June 2013 there will be alterations to the provisions relating to whistleblowing, also known as the making of a protected disclosure. This is an important aspect of employment law as where the principal reason for a dismissal is because a worker made a protected disclosure then the two year qualifying period for claiming unfair dismissal … more

  • Facebook comments several weeks apart can amount to a continuing act!

    Tags: Social Media, Discrimination, Disability Discrimination, Harassment because of disability, Facebook

    Facebook is a social media forum which has over a billion members; therefore the odds of employees not having an account are slim. Hence over the last couple of years we have seen a rise in allegations of discrimination arising from comments made on Facebook (as well as other social media forums).

    The general time limit for bringing a discrimination complaint to the employment tribunal is three months from the date of the last discriminatory act. However for the purposes of discrimination when do social media comments amount to being a continuing act?

    The EAT recently looked at this as a preliminary issue in Novak –v- Phones 4 U Limited.

    Background 

    Mr Novak, an American manager at Phones 4 U (“the Company”), sustained injuries when he fell down some … more

  • Huge sum for getting your recruitment wrong!

    Tags: Discrimination, Recruitment, Interview, Victimisation, Vicarious Liability, Employment Law, Employment Tribunals

    It is a well-established principle that employers are vicariously liable for the conduct of their employees. However does this mean that compensation can be apportioned between the employer and the individual responsible for the discriminatory acts?

    The Court of Appeal (CA) has recently provided us with some clarity on the issue in London Borough of Hackney v Sivanandan & Ors.

    Background

    This discrimination case has been in dispute for the last 12 years. The Claimant had applied for a job with Hackney Action for Racial Equality (“HARE”), which was funded partly by the Hackney Borough Council (“the Council”), but was a separate body. Ms White, an employee of the Council, sat in on the interviews as was required in her role with the Council

    Ms Sivanandan had … more

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  • Clearing the Air on Commercial Disputes

    Tags: Commercial Litigation, Commercial Disputes, Contract, Time Limits, Breach of Contract, Court, Remedies, Damages, Specific Performance, Rescission

    Navigating your way through a commercial dispute can be time consuming and stressful. Disruption caused to your business and the impact on managerial time can be costly.

    Commercial disputes are becoming increasingly commonplace, and therefore it is essential that businesses obtain strategic advice as soon as possible in any dispute so that they can minimise the impact on the business.

    Generally speaking, the law takes the view that a contract is formed between parties when one party makes an offer to another who accepts the offer. The parties have to be certain as to the terms of the contract, there has to be an intention to create a contract and there has to be ‘consideration’ i.e. there has to be some value.

    A contract does not need to be in writing or signed for it to … more

    

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