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Archives / 2019 / February
  • 3 Things We Learnt In Law This Week (28 February 2019)

    Tags: Unfair Dismissal, Employment Law, Employment Tribunal, Workplace, Mental Health, Grievance, NHS, Trade Union, Topshop, Breastfeeding, Research, Slater and Gordon

    NHS Worker Who Reported Suicidal Thoughts Was Unfairly Dismissed

    Mr Flemming, who was employed by the East of England Ambulance Services NHS Trust, lost his job in 2015 after he failed to comply with requests to attend meetings and appointments with the organisations’ occupational health function after mental and physical health conditions prevented him from working for a significant period of time.

    In April 2012 Flemming suffered a heart attack following an “altercation” with his line manager, which left him feeling upset and stressed.

    He claimed that nobody from the organisation had contacted him to ask about his health and wellbeing following his illness. He told the tribunal this lack of contact had contributed to the manifestation of his mental ill-health as … more

  • The Do’s And Don’ts When Giving Witness Evidence

    Tags: Court, Dispute Resolution, Witness Evidence, Cross Examination, Oral Evidence, Oath

    You may be asked at some point in your life to attend court to give evidence in respect of any kind of matter. Although you will be called in support of one particular side, you have a duty to tell the truth to the court, and so you cannot change your evidence in order to suit the party calling you. It can be a daunting prospect, but here are some do’s and don’ts to help prepare you for giving evidence.

    Do’s

    Make sure you carefully read your witness statement prior to signing. You will be asked to sign a statement of truth, which is a declaration to the court that you believe the contents of the statement to be true. There could be a factual error in the statement which, if you contradict whilst giving oral evidence, could bring your credibility as a witness into … more

  • 3 Things We Learnt In Law This Week (21 February 2019)

    Tags: Unfair Dismissal, Sex Discrimination, Religious Discrimination, Harassment, Harassment, Victimisation, Employment Law, Employment Tribunal, Employment Appeal Tribunal, Sexuality, Direct Discrimination, Police Officers, Stressed, Anxious

    Prison Officer Was Unfairly Dismissed After Revealing Sexuality

    Forty-year-old Ben Plaistow was the victim of direct discrimination contrary to provisions of the Equality Act 2010, employment judge Michael Ord told the Cambridge Tribunal.

    Plaistow took on a prison officer role at HMP Woodhill in Milton Keynes in September 2014, having sought a transfer from Bullingdon prison.

    He was suspended from Woodhill in January 2016 and dismissed in August the same year.

    A week after starting his new job, Plaistow was asked by a colleague whether he was gay, because of his haircut. A few days afterwards, at his induction meeting, his boss, custody manager Laithwaite, asked him about his sexuality. Plaistow said he found the question odd but answered honestly by stating he was bisexual. … 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

  • 3 Things We Learnt In Law This Week (14 February 2019)

    Tags: ACAS, Employment Status, Age Discrimination, Employment Law, Human Resources, Guidance

    NHS Secretary Becomes Oldest Person To Win Age Discrimination Case

    An 88-year-old NHS secretary who was dismissed from her job over “frailty” claims has become the oldest person to win an age discrimination case.

    Eileen Jolly was fired from her role at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading in January 2017. She was 86 years old at the time.

    Her age came under scrutiny after she allegedly failed to upload details of cancer patients into a new electronic database, which meant that 14 women had to wait more than a year for non-urgent surgery.

    The error prompted Jolly’s colleagues to inform her boss that they were concerned her age was affecting her performance.

    Jolly, who had been working at the hospital for 25 years, felt “humiliated” and “ … more

  • 3 Dangers Of Non-compliance With The Pre-action Protocol

    Tags: Dispute Resolution, Civil Procedure Rules, Pre-action Protocols

    The pre-action protocols are an important part of the Civil Procedure Rules. Their aim is to prompt and encourage correspondence between the parties prior to any action being taken. This could ultimately lead to some agreements being made about facts or a compromise being settled before litigation is considered. In addition, the protocol aims to encourage an exchange of information at an earlier stage in proceedings. A crucial document could be exchanged which could prompt a settlement or compliance with the contract. It will also encourage better investigation into the facts as alleged by both sides in order to correspond with each other. Ultimately, the aim is to try and settle before litigation is required, but if it is required, it can enable the litigation proceedings to run to the … more

  • 3 Things We Learnt In Law This Week (7 February 2019)

    Tags: Government, Consultation, Maternity Leave, Redundancy, Brexit, Discrimination, Court of Appeal, Equal Pay, Equality Act, Modern Slavery, Modern Slavery Act 2015, Annual Report

    Consultation On Extending Redundancy Protection For New Parents

    A recent study by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy found that one in nine returning to work after maternity leave were fired, made redundant, or treated in a manner which forced them to leave their job. The study also found that as many as 54,000 women per year are losing their jobs as a result of their pregnancy or maternity leave.

    With Brexit fast approaching, Theresa May is said to be "determined to do even more as we leave the EU", including by building on the current EU requirements on maternity and paternity leave protection.

    The government is now seeking views on plans to help protect new mums returning to work from the risk of redundancy. Currently, new mothers have additional … more

  • What Does Dismissal For “Some Other Substantial Reason” Mean?

    Tags: Unfair Dismissal, Dismissal, Employment Law, Some Other Substantial Reason, Employment Rights Act 1996, Section 94

    Under section 94 of the Employment Rights Act 1996, an employee has the right not to be unfairly dismissed. If an employer wants to dismiss an employee with the necessary length of service, the employer needs to be able to show that they had a good reason to take that action and that they did so in a fair manner. 

    If an employee started work with the employer after 6 April 2013, they need to have built up two years’ continuous service before they’re protected by the law. Those who started work before that date need to only have one year’s continuous service to achieve the same protection. 

    If an employee enjoys protection under the law, the employer needs to be wary when considering dismissal.

    There are five potentially fair reasons for dismissing an … more

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  • 3 Things We Learnt In Law This Week (18 April 2019)

    Tags: Employment Law, Employment Tribunal, Unlawful Deductions, Overtime

    Holland & Barrett Employee Wins Overtime Case

    A tribunal has ruled that Holland & Barrett made unlawful deductions from the pay of an employee who was required to carry out tasks beyond his contracted hours.

    Mr Fitz was employed as a supervisor and was required to cover for the store manager if they were absent. This required opening the store in the morning and closing the store in the evening, among other tasks that needed to be completed during opening hours.

    Closing the store involved four stages: closing the tills on the shop floor; reconciling the tills in the back office; closing the register and locking up the store, all of which Holland & Barrett told the tribunal took a few minutes. However, Fitz claimed that he also had to undertake other additional tasks at the … more

    

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