Contents tagged with Discrimination

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

    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

  • Balancing religion in the workplace

    Tags: Eweida, Chaplin, Ladele and McFarlane, Faith Symbols, Equality Act 2010, Employment Law, Discrimination, Discrimination because of Religion and Belief, Employment Tribunals

    Balancing religious and philosophical needs of employees is becoming a challenge for employers, particularly as recent case law suggests that political beliefs may amount to being a philosophical belief. Therefore the pertinent question is - how far do employers have to go to accommodate an employee’s religious or philosophical belief?

     

    The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) recently dealt with this question in the high profile case of Eweida, Chaplin, Ladele and McFarlane.

     

    Background

     

    Ms Eweida’s and Ms Chaplin’s complaints related to restrictions placed by their employers on their wearing of a cross visibly around their necks. Ms Ladele and Mr McFarlane complained about sanctions imposed on them by their employers as a result of their … more

  • Are volunteers protected from discrimination?

    Tags: Employment Tribunals, Discrimination, Employment Status, Disability Discrimination, Volunteer, Employment Law

    Every industry attracts a diverse and vast range of volunteers usually for work experience, knowledge of a specific method, and Government run work schemes. The question which arises is whether volunteers are entitled to the same employment rights as employees?

    In April 2009 the House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee said they "strongly" believed that disability discrimination protection should apply to volunteers. However the Supreme Court in X v Mid Sussex Citizen Advice Bureau (CAB) disagreed.

    Background

    The Claimant, known as X was a volunteer at the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) in Mid Sussex. She was disabled and had been diagnosed with HIV.

    X signed a volunteer agreement on 12 May 2006. This agreement was described in writing as being 'binding in honour only and not a … more

  • Employer versus trade union

    Tags: Employment Tribunals, Discrimination, Recruitment, Employment Law, Trade Union Discrimination

    In many industries the battle of wills between employers and trade union officials can become difficult to maintain. A question which frequently arises for employers is whether they can refuse to be dictated to about whom to employ without breaking trade union discrimination laws.

    The EAT recently dealt with this issue in the case of Miller v Interserve Industrial Services Ltd.

    Background                           

    Interserve Industrial Services Ltd provided labour for “shut-down” projects at oil depots. It was a highly unionised business. A full-time trade union official from UNITE, Mr Card, attempted to pressurise the recruiting manager Mr … more

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  • Seasonal Workers: Key Contractual Issues for Employers

    Tags: Employment Status, ukemplaw, Seasonal Workers, Contractual Issues, Fixed-term, Pat-time, Casual workers, Agency workers, Young persons, EmploymentLaw

    In sectors such as hospitality, tourism, retail and agriculture, seasonal peaks can bring an influx of work at certain times of the year. A common solution for employers in these sectors is to recruit additional employees during these periods. Below we set out the key contractual considerations for employers to bear in mind when hiring seasonal employees. 

    Fixed-term employees

    An individual recruited to cover seasonal work may be taken on for a limited period of time. A fixed-term contract is therefore often used, with that contract ending on a specific date or on completion of a particular project.

    An individual employed on a fixed-term contract is protected against less favourable treatment compared to permanent employees. For example, if an employer excludes the fixed-term … more

    

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