Employer not liable for injury at Christmas party

An employer was not liable in negligence for an injury occasioned to one of its employees at the staff Christmas party; neither was it vicariously liable.

Personal liability of directors

Directors of a limited company can, in certain circumstances, be personally liable for inducing a company to breach an employment contract.

Sexual orientation and constructive dismissal

The adverse treatment of a gay head teacher amounted to constructive dismissal and sexual orientation discrimination.

Personal injury damages permissible for breach of WTR

Although a breach of the Working Time Regulations cannot lead to an injury to feelings award, compensation can reflect personal injury suffered as a consequence of the breach.

Disciplinary hearings and police investigations

An employer does not usually need to wait for the conclusion of criminal proceedings before starting or continuing with internal disciplinary proceedings.

Email to inaccessible work address during maternity leave could be unfavourable treatment

Sending an important letter about redundancies to a woman on maternity leave to a work email account which she could not access could be unfavourable treatment under the Equality Act. But whether it was also maternity discrimination depends upon the reasons why that treatment occurred.

What is 'long term' for disability purposes?

EAT clarifies how to interpret ‘long term’ for the purpose of the definition of disability.

Asserting a statutory right and automatic unfair dismissal

Protection from dismissal for asserting a statutory right only applies where the employee alleged an actual breach of statute, not a threatened one.

Compensatory rest break need not be uninterrupted

Where a worker is entitled, under the Working Time Regulations, to ‘compensatory rest’ instead of a 20-minute uninterrupted rest break, the rest need not, in every case, consist of an uninterrupted 20 minutes, even if it would, in principle, be possible to provide such a break.

Suspension of employee not presumed repudiatory breach

Suspension can be a breach of contract – but on each occasion it is a question of fact. A tribunal must consider whether the employer has ‘reasonable and proper cause’ to suspend, not whether it was ‘necessary’ to suspend the employee.

Dismissal for 'cohabitation outside marriage' was not religious discrimination

The dismissal of a teacher at an ultra-orthodox Jewish nursery who refused to lie about living with her boyfriend was not discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief.

Keeping records of all hours worked

European law obliges employers to establish a system for recording actual daily working time for full-time workers who have not expressly agreed to work overtime according to the Advocate General of the ECJ.

Equal pay and comparability of pay terms

For the purposes of equal pay law, two distinct parts of a workforce (here female shop floor workers and higher-paid male distribution centre workers) can compare their pay, even if they are located at different sites, in different parts of the organisation/group, and with very different pay arrangements/management structures.

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.

'Conduct' dismissal for failure to meet expectations of the job

A ‘conduct’ dismissal can encompass serious neglect, omission or carelessness - here a failure to meet the role’s requirements.

Short-time working and holiday pay

Whilst periods of short-time working may reduce the minimum period of statutory leave to less than four weeks, they cannot reduce the amount off pay due when leave is taken – and overtime doesn’t necessarily have to be included in the calculation of holiday pay.

Written particulars of employment

An employee with at least one month’s - but less than two months’ - continuous employment had a right to a written statement of employment particulars.

Disability discrimination and ill-health retirement

A disabled employee who had reduced his hours from full time to part time before taking ill-health retirement had not been treated ‘unfavourably’ when an element of his pension benefits was calculated by reference to his part-time salary at the date of retirement.

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