Employment Law Cases

Whistleblowing time limits: one-off act or continuing act?

A change to or the imposition of a new employment contract is a one-off event with continuing consequences - not a continuing act for the purposes of bringing a whistleblowing detriment claim. Also, the tribunal should have considered an uplift in compensation because of a failure to follow the ACAS code of practice as the making of a protected disclosure was a grievance.

Employer not liable for injuries caused by practical joke

An employer was not liable for injuries inflicted on one of its contractors by one of its employees playing a practical joke.

Gender reassignment: gender fluid/non-binary employees

A gender fluid/non-binary employee was covered by the definition of gender reassignment in the Equality Act 2010.

Paranoid delusions and disability

An employee who suffered paranoid delusions was not disabled because although these had a substantial adverse effect, they were not long term or likely to recur.

Re-engagement and loss of trust and confidence

A breakdown in trust and confidence is relevant to the practicability of re-engagement, even if the dismissal was for capability and not for misconduct.

Bank workers and redundancy

An employer had not acted unreasonably by failing to place a redundant employee on a list of workers whose services could be called on if required – because doing so would not have avoided the redundancy.

Dismissal and internal appeals

If an internal appeal against dismissal overturns the dismissal, then in law it’s as if there was no dismissal – even if the employee makes it clear when appealing that they have no intention of returning to their job whatever the outcome of the appeal.

Equal pay: duration of the material factor defence

A ‘material factor’ defence continues to operate until a new pay decision.

Dismissal and absence of procedure

Where there has been an irretrievable breakdown in a working relationship, a complete lack of any procedure may not render a subsequent dismissal unfair.

Agency Workers Regulations: 'temporary' work requirement

A worker who had an open-ended contract of employment with an agency was nonetheless supplied to work ‘temporarily’ for an end user.

TUPE: employment contract can be split between transferees

In a transfer to multiple transferees under the Acquired Rights Directive, the contract of a transferring worker can be split between each of the transferees in proportion to the tasks performed by the worker, provided that such a division is possible and does not adversely affect the worker’s rights and working conditions.

Causation and discrimination arising from disability

For a claim under s. 15 of the Equality Act  a claimant cannot argue that ‘but for’ their disability they would not have been put in a situation that led to unfavourable treatment – rather the focus is on the reasons for the treatment itself.

Witness anonymity and unfair dismissal

A dismissal based on anonymous witness evidence will not necessarily be unfair, even where that witness declines to participate in the disciplinary process.

Employer undertaking as a reasonable adjustment

Giving an undertaking not to make an employee work with those she claimed had bullied and harassed her, or to offer her a severance package if this wasn’t feasible, was a reasonable adjustment.

Objective justification of discrimination arising from disability

In assessing justification where discrimination arising from disability is concerned, it’s the balance between the employer’s needs and the discriminatory impact on the employee that is relevant, not the process by which the employer settled on the unfavourable treatment.

Continuous employment: working before start date

Work carried out before a formally agreed start date may not count for continuity of employment purposes.

Redundancy and competitive interview process

Although an employer can take a ‘forward thinking’ approach using a competitive interview process when considering redundant employees for alternative employment, especially where the role is at a high level and involves a promotion, in this case, where the employees were not consulted with and were essentially applying for their own jobs, rather than applying a scoring matrix, this rendered their dismissals unfair.

TUPE and pre-transfer changes to T&Cs

When employees improved their contractual benefits in view of a pending TUPE transfer these variations were void.

COT3 agreements and confidentiality clauses

An employee’s breach of a confidentiality clause in a COT3 settlement did not free his employer of its obligation to continue making instalment payments of the agreed settlement sum.

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