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Keep up to date with the latest industry and company news from The HR Company

Government Report: Pandemic's impact on mental health

The Government’s Office for Health Improvement and Disparities recently published its updated COVID-19 mental health and wellbeing surveillance report. This report looks at population mental health and wellbeing in England during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Chell v Tarmac Cement and Lime Ltd - Vicarious liability

In this decision on vicarious liability, the Court of Appeal was called upon to consider the employer's liability for an employee's practical joke that resulted in hearing loss for the contractor involved. In particular, they had to consider to what extent an injury is foreseeable when the employer's materials are used to inflict injury.  

Johnson v Transopco UK Ltd - Employment status

In another status case, the Employment Appeal Tribunal was called upon to weigh the balance of the requirement to provide personal service against the degree of control held by the claimant, and decide which side of the self-employed / worker status debate this particular claimant fell.

Plaut v University of Exeter: Unfair dismissal and discrimination

In this decision on unfair dismissal and discrimination, the Employment Tribunal (ET) had to consider if an academic, who claimed her race and sex lead to inherent characteristics of being naturally loud and argumentative, and her body language demonstrative, was unfairly dismissed and discriminated against for the way she dealt with PhD students.

Preen v Cooling Ltd and Mullins

In this decision on unfair dismissal related to health and safety, as a result of an employee’s refusal to attend the workplace due to fear of serious or imminent danger from Covid, the Employment Tribunal had to consider if ‘something more’ than merely the existence of Covid was required for an employee's refusal to attend work to be reasonable and protected from dismissal. It also had to decide if the employer’s actions in dismissing rather than discussing the matter with the employee were fair.  

Walsh v Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd: flexible working decision periods

In this decision on flexible working decision periods, the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) had to decide if the Tribunal was correct in deciding that the three-month decision-making period under the flexible working rules had been extended by retrospective agreement, and therefore the claim before the Employment Tribunal (ET) was premature and as such outside of its jurisdiction to hear.  

Preen v Coolink Ltd and Mullins

In this decision on unfair dismissal related to health and safety, as a result of an employee’s refusal to attend the workplace due to fear of serious or imminent danger from Covid, the Employment Tribunal had to consider if ‘something more’ than merely the existence of Covid was required for an employees refusal to attend work to be reasonable and protected from dismissal. It also had to decide if the employer’s actions in dismissing rather than discussing the matter with the employee were fair.  

Hope v British Medical Association - Unfair Dismissal

In this decision on unfair dismissal, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) had to consider whether or not the Employment Tribunal (ET) conclusions were perverse in a case where numerous and vexatious grievances were found to be a fair reason for dismissal, and if it had erred in failing to consider whether the conduct relied upon was capable of amounting to gross misconduct in the contractual sense

Augustine v Data Cars Ltd - National Minimum Wn this decision on deductions and the national minimum wage (NMW), the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) overturned the decision of the initial Employment Tribunal (ET) in holding that wherage (NMW) deductions

In this decision on deductions and the national minimum wage (NMW), the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) overturned the decision of the initial Employment Tribunal (ET) in holding that where expenses are directly connected with employment, they fall within NMW legislation, even if the obligation resulting in the expenditure could have been met in another way.

Stuart Delivery Ltd v Augustiner

The Court of Appeal has upheld earlier decisions of the ET and EAT in another gig economy case, confirming that the ability to offer a piece of work to a substitute does not mean that the service is not provided personally, and therefore does not mean they cannot be found to be a worker.

Government proposes to extend flexible working rights

The Government has launched a consultation into changing current flexible working legislation. This is open until 1 December 2021, where the responses will then be reviewed and a decision on any changes confirmed. Until then, all current rules and processes will remain in place as usual.

Brightman v Tias Ltd - disability discrimination

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has decided that the Employment Tribunal had erred in law by relying on irrelevant medical records in a disability discrimination claim, and for not considering the claimant's challenge to the respondent’s justification defence.

What to do in a "Pingdemic"

Dubbed a “pingdemic”, as restrictions eased in England thousands have been notified by the NHS test and trace app that they must self-isolate for 10 days. This is due to them being identified as a close contact of someone who recently tested positive for Covid-19. The adverse effects have been most felt by employers, some of whom are now experiencing staff shortages and have had to close their businesses.

Khatun v Winn Solicitors Ltd

An employment tribunal (ET) has held that an employer unfairly dismissed their employee who refused to agree to proposed employment contract changes due to coronavirus.

End of virtual right to work checks postponed

Last week, we published the below article on virtual right to work checks, outlining plans for them to come to an end on 17 May 2021. However, the government have since confirmed that this will be delayed until 21 June 2021. Please read below for more. 

Price v Powys County Council

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has held that a man on shared parental leave (SPL) being paid less than a woman on adoption leave (AL) was not sex discrimination.

Latest on shielding

Due to the reintroduction of lockdowns across Britain, shielding returned in England, Scotland and Wales. However, it has now been confirmed that it will once again be paused in the coming weeks. 

Allay (UK) Ltd v Gehlen

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has upheld the Employment Tribunal’s (ET) decision in finding that an organisation did not go far enough in preventing racial harassment and was thus liable for the harassment faced by the claimant.

Chalmers v Airport Ltd

The EAT has dismissed a victimisation claim, ruling that wording used by the claimant in a grievance was not sufficient to amount to a ‘protected act’. As she was experienced in HR, her wording called into question whether she believed she was discriminated against at the time.   

FAQs on employing foreign nationals post Brexit

The below FAQs detail everything organisations need to know regarding the employment of foreign workers as a result of Brexit. In particular, they explore the position with EU citizens (which is the label used within it to refer to EU/EEA/Swiss citizens) who are already in the UK, who arrive until 31 December 2020 and who arrive in the UK from 1 January 2021.

Points-based immigration system opens

Applications for the new skilled worker visa opened on 1 December, meaning, Home Secretary Priti Patel said, that the brightest and the best from around the world can now apply to work in the UK from the end of the transition period (1 January 2021).

Tribunal statistics for April to June 2020

With the Ministry of Justice releasing the statistics for April-June 2020, we can take a look at employment tribunal numbers for this quarter alongside the largest amounts awarded from successful claims within financial year 2019/20.

Khorochilova v Euro Rep Limited

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has ruled that the tribunal did not err by finding a claimant had not demonstrated clear evidence that her ‘mixed personality’ disorder had a substantial adverse effect on her day-to-day activities.

HMRC v Ant Marketing Ltd

The EAT has provided guidance on situations where deducting wages for training costs and accommodation expenses could put organisations in breach of minimum wage law.

Traineeships to get government bonus

The government has pledged to provide 30,000 new traineeships through increased funding, as part of new plans expected to be unveiled on Wednesday to help the UK recover from the coronavirus crisis.

How to manage reopening the workplace

To counteract the spread of COVID-19, the UK government initialised country-wide lockdown in March 2020, which will be subject to review going forward. In short, the UK lockdown will eventually come to an end and it is important that you plan for a return to normal that helps to better protect the safety of your staff.

Changes to Contracts of Employment

Changes to the statutory scheme are due to take effect from 6 April 2020. These include extending the right to receive a statement to all workers, increasing the mandatory information and making this a day-one right.

Cadent Gas Ltd v Singh

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has ruled that managers who disrupt normal proceedings by ‘meddling’ in them can lead to organisations facing successful unfair dismissal claims.

Changes to Contract of Employment

Changes to the statutory scheme are due to take effect from 6 April 2020. These include extending the right to receive a statement to all workers, increasing the mandatory information and making this a day-one right.

New Year HR update

What employment law changes to expect in 2020. Also recent case law rules that managers who disrupt normal proceedings by 'meddilng' in them can lead to organisations facing unfair dismissal claims

Page v NHS Trust Development Authority

Employment Appeal Tribunal – June 2019 

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has ruled that a director’s removal, after giving high-profile interviews on his religious opinion, was not religious discrimination.

Mart v Assessment Services Inc

Employment Appeal Tribunal – May 2019 

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has ruled that the side effects from the treatment of a visual impairment did not need to be considered when assessing the employee’s disability.

June HR Update

Balancing work and family commitments, BAME employees being asked to use more 'western' sounding names at work and the nurse who was fairly dismissed after discussing religion with patients

iForce Ltd v Wood - Disability discrimination

Employment Appeal Tribunal – March 2019 

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has ruled in this case that there was no causal connection between an employee’s mistaken belief and her disability in order to prove discrimination arising from a disability, although this may not always be the case.

Preparing your workplace for Ramadan

Last Sunday (5 May 2019) signified the beginning of Ramadan, the holy month of the Islamic calendar in which Muslims often commit to a period of fasting during daylight hours. Here are some tips for organisations, unfamiliar with the practice, to help them support their staff during this time:

April HR Update

Whether it’s the right to a day off, double pay, or time off in lieu there are a number of common misconceptions when it comes to bank holiday working. As we approach the Easter weekend, let’s get some things ironed out.

Also, latest employment tribunal statistics and case law - automatic unfair dismissal.

March Update

Just a few weeks before April's statutory changes, Asda's ongoing equal pay dispute and burden of proof in a discrimination claim

Managing Long Term Sickness Absence

Handling long-term sickness absence is a delicate matter for a business: the illness may be serious, it may involve surgery and recovery time, or it could be a mental health problem. Managing such issues requires a sympathetic approach but you may also find yourself in the situation where you suspect an illness is being deliberately drawn out to delay a return to work.

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January Update

What is coming up in 2019, the government's 'Good Work Plan' and the latest in the Uber employment status case

Uber v Aslam - Employment status

Court of Appeal – December 2018 

The Court of Appeal (CA) has dismissed Uber’s appeal against the employment tribunal (ET) and Employment Appeal Tribunal’s (EAT) decision that drivers engaged by Uber were not self-employed contractors, but fell squarely within the legal definition of ‘worker’ under the Employment Rights Act 1996, the Working Time Regulations 1998 and the National Minimum Wage Act 1998.

Time to review your HR policies and procedures

It’s the start of a New Year, and moving on from reflecting on your business challenges in 2018, it’s time to review with renewed passion and zest the Challenges facing your business and what you need to achieve in 2019.
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