Contents tagged with Discrimination

  • Are ‘Associate Dentists’ Workers under the Equality Act 2010?

    Tags: Discrimination, The Equality Act 2010, Employment Law, Workers, Dentists, Employment Tribunal

    The question of whether ‘Associate Dentists’ are workers under the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA) is one that is often put to us as Employment Lawyers and is particularly pertinent when looking at whether discrimination claims can be pursued. 

    For those of you who are unfamiliar with the legislation, a worker under the Employment Rights Act 1996 (“ERA”) is defined as someone who has entered into or works under: 

    (a) A contract of employment or 

    (b) Any other contract (express or implied) to perform personally, any work or service for someone who is not a client or customer of any profession or business undertaking carried on by the individual. 

    After the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decision in ‘Community Dental Centres Ltd & … more

  • 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

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  • What To Do When An Employee On Maternity Leave Wants To Go Part-Time?

    Tags: Maternity Leave, Employment Law, UKEmpLaw, Flexible Working Request

    A full-time employee on maternity leave has requested to return part-time. How do you handle the situation and what are the risks if you refuse? 

    Remember that all eligible employees can make a flexible working request. The right is not limited only to parents and carers. However, requests from employees on maternity leave will need to be treated carefully because of the risk of a sex discrimination claim. 

    The statutory scheme is set out in the Flexible Working Regulations 2014 and the Employment Rights Act. It is supported by an ACAS Code and by an ACAS Guide.

    First Steps

    Check that the employee’s request contains all the information necessary to amount to a formal request and that the employee has worked for you continuously for 26 weeks at the date on which they … more

    

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