Contents tagged with Discrimination

  • Zero Hours Contract Workers: Injury to Feelings Award

    Tags: Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, Employment Law, Employment Tribunal

    A zero hour’s contract worker who feared reporting allegations of sexual harassment by her line manager in case she lost work, has been awarded £19,500 for injury to feelings.

    The recent Employment Tribunal (ET) case of Southern v Britannia Hotels Ltd and another highlights the vulnerability of zero hours contract workers. In this case Miss Southern who was aged 22 with fragile mental health claimed that her line manager frequently touched her and asked her about her sex life. 

    At first, Miss Southern was reluctant to raise a formal complaint, for fear that her hours would be reduced. She nevertheless brought it to the attention of another line manager who failed to take any action. 

    The matter later resurfaced during a meeting with the hotel manager and Miss … more

  • Stress and Foreseeability of the Damage Done

    Tags: Discrimination, Employment Law, Employment Tribunal, Injury to Feelings, Personal Injury

    We at SCE have always received a large amount of queries relating to work related stress claims from employees that believe the events leading to their Employment Tribunal claim have inflicted psychiatric injury upon them. While we are not personal injury lawyers and so do not act in such matters, plainly there is a very clear overlap between the two areas of the law.

    The threshold for proving such claims however is extremely high, being centred in the main around the concept of foreseeability on the part of an employer. While many employees then may feel that they have been put to undue stress at work, turning such an accusation into a viable case against an employer is difficult to do.

    This point was recently re-emphasised in the High Court case of Easton v B&Q plc. Here the … more

  • Managing HR and Employment Law issues in your dental practice

    Tags: Employment Law, Employment Tribunal, TUPE, Discrimination, Restructure, Redundancy, Employment Contracts, Restrictive Covenants

    The inherent difficulties of operating a practice day to day are, of course, substantial. One area that can often be neglected in the pursuit of superior quality standards and patient care is HR and employment law issues.

    While this question may present no problems when all is running smoothly on the ‘Good Ship Dental Practice’, there is however a wealth of legal issues potentially lurking beneath the surface for the unprepared practice owner and associate alike. So what can go wrong?


    The Contract

    The starting point for avoiding problems is naturally when a new starter is issued with their contract of employment or services. This defines most contractual relationships however at present many practice owners provide associate dentists with a contract for … more

  • 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)?


    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


  • How To Manage Workplace Relationships

    Tags: Sex Discrimination, Victimisation, Sexual Harassment, Employment Law, Human Resources, Valentine's Day, Workplace Relationships, Romantic Relationships

    With Valentine’s Day making February the month for romance, this month we take a look at some of the potential risks to employers when romance blossoms amongst employees and the steps that can be taken to address these.

    Why Should An Employer Be Concerned About Its Employees Forming Romantic Relationships In The Workplace?

    Romantic relationships between employees in the same organisation can expose the employer to a number of legal risks. These are most likely to arise when one employee is pursuing another to start a relationship or, even more so, when the relationship breaks down. The most obvious legal risks are as follows:

    Sexual Harassment

    This occurs where one employee engages in unwanted conduct of a sexual nature which has the purpose or effect either of violating … more


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