Bereavement leave and pay

Employed parents - and primary carers - who suffer the death of child under 18 (or a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy) will, from 6 April 2020, become entitled to two weeks’ bereavement leave and, subject to qualifying conditions, two weeks bereavement pay.

Philosophical belief discrimination and transgender issues

A refusal to accept that trans women are women is not a protected ‘philosophical belief’ under the Equality Act.

Unfair dismissal and investigations

A separate investigatory hearing and disciplinary hearing is not required in every case by right.

Worker status and substitution clauses

A delivery courier was a ‘worker’ despite his agreement containing what purported to be a substitution clause.

Constructive dismissal: procedural fairness during investigation

An employer’s unreasonable disciplinary investigation breached the implied term of trust and confidence which entitled the employee to resign and successfully claim unfair constructive dismissal.

Dismissal, reinstatement and detriment

Where someone has been dismissed and then subsequently reinstated, this does not prevent them from subsequently bringing a detriment claim under the Equality Act.

Salary information and confidentiality

There is no implied term that salary details are confidential.

Adequacy of investigation and appeal procedure

In upholding a tribunal’s decision to dismiss all an employee’s claims, the Court of Appeal provide useful guidance on fair conduct procedures and rescuing appeals.

TUPE covers 'workers'

In a potentially very significant departure from accepted orthodoxy, a tribunal has held that TUPE applies to ‘workers’ as well as to traditional ‘employees’

Whistleblowing and knowledge of the decision maker

Where the real reason for dismissal of a worker is because they made a protected disclosure and that fact has been hidden from the decision-maker by a person in the ‘hierarchy of responsibility above the employee’, the dismissal is automatically unfair, even though the decision-maker has relied upon an invented reason for dismissal in good faith.

Worker's defamation complaint could be a protected disclosure

A worker’s complaint to HR that he was being defamed by rumours that he had breached confidentiality was capable of amounting to a protected disclosure under the whistleblowing provisions of the Employment Rights Act.

Investigating manager's anti-union motivation could be attributed to employer

An employee was automatically unfairly dismissed because of his union activities even though neither the manager conducting the disciplinary hearing nor the manager who dismissed the appeal were motivated by prejudice against the employee because of his union activities.

Redundancy trial period and dismissal

Whether notification that a role was being deleted amounted to a communication that the contract was being terminated on that date had to be determined in light of the wider context and all the facts of the particular case.

CCTV surveillance and the right to privacy

Shop workers’ right to privacy was not breached when a supermarket relied on covertly recorded CTV images to dismiss them for theft.

Race discrimination: false reason for dismissal shifted burden of proof

Lying about the reason for dismissal and later amending one’s defence to include the true reason is likely to shift the burden of proof in a discrimination case.

Sanctity of copyright was not a protected philosophical belief

An employer did not discriminate when it dismissed an employee who refused to sign a copyright agreement because she held a ‘philosophical belief’ that she should own the rights to her work.

Whistleblowing protection extended to office holders

Excluding judges – and all office holders – from whistleblowing protection is a breach of their human rights.

Changes to investigation report did not make dismissal unfair

Changes to an investigator’s report into potential misconduct, made at the suggestion of an in-house lawyer, did not render an employee’s subsequent dismissal unfair

Redundancy pay - contractual, statutory and the £25,000 cap

Statutory redundancy pay doesn’t count towards the £25,000 cap on contractual claims in the employment tribunal as it is a separate cause of action – one is contractual and subject to a £25,000 cap and the other is statutory which is not subject to the cap.

Rest breaks: threat to dismiss was unlawful detriment

A worker, who had been denied a rest break and who was subsequently threatened with dismissal following his refusal to return to work, suffered an unlawful detriment.

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