Archives / 2014 / March
  • Pregnancy and discrimination: Nunki Pippin

    Tags: The Equality Act 2010, Pregnancy Discrimination, Employment Law, Employment Tribunal

    From a lay objective, when it comes to pregnancy and discrimination, employers always seem to be skirting a fine line with virtually any alteration to the work situation of the relevant pregnant lady.

    It can then occasionally be surprising as to what may constitute a ‘detriment’ within the meaning of section 18 of the Equality Act 2010 (EQA).  In the recent case of Metropolitan Police v Keohane, the question was asked as to whether a police dog handler suffered a detriment by having her dog removed from her when she ceased to be operational due to her pregnancy.

    The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) found that the removal of the dog, named Nunki Pippin, would indeed amount to a detriment. The overarching reason for this finding was that the removal of dear old Nunki … 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

  • Covert Employee Recordings: How admissible are they?

    Tags: Employment Law, Employment Tribunal, Covert Recordings, Admissibility

    Covert recordings taken by an employee during a disciplinary or grievance hearing have for some time been a bugbear for employers and a potential ace in the hole for employees.

    Many of you can doubtless imagine the scene in such hearings; ‘Doreen from HR’ frantically scribbling down (in her best shorthand) the heated exchanges between a disgruntled employee and perhaps an even more disgruntled manager, both doing their utmost to keep some semblance of professionalism and decorum as the accusations (and ubiquitous denials) fly.

    While that may at first appear to be a somewhat stereotypical view of how such hearings are conducted in the modern UK workplace, our personal experience on hearing the covert recordings taken by some Claimants, paints a someone different picture. … more

  • Are Associate Dentists Workers under the Equality Act 2010?

    Tags: Associate Dentists, Pregnancy Discrimination, Employment Law, Workers, Employment Tribunal

    The long standing debate amongst lawyers in respect  of whether ‘Associate Dentists’ were workers under the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA) has had some clarification over the last couple of years.

    For those of you who are unfamiliar with the legislation, a worker under the 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 to someone who is not a client or customer of any profession or business undertaking carried on by the individual.

    The recent Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decision in ‘Community Dental Centres Ltd –v- Dr G Sultan-Darmon’ dealt with the definition of worker under the ERA and it was … 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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