Discrimination 'arising from' disability and unfair dismissal

Where an employer dismisses a disabled employee for misconduct caused by his or her disability, the dismissal can amount to unfavourable treatment because of something ‘arising from disability’ - even if the employer did not know that the disability caused the misconduct.

Harassment related to religion - the role of context

The context of unwanted conduct is important when deciding whether the conduct is ‘related to’ a protected characteristic.

Cycle courier was a 'worker'

The EAT reject an appeal by a courier company against a tribunal decision that one of its cycle couriers was a ‘worker’ entitled to paid holiday.

Affirmation of contract and 'last straw' constructive dismissal

The ‘last straw’ doctrine in constructive dismissal cases allows a claimant to rely on the totality of an employer’s acts, even though earlier breaches by the employer may have been affirmed, so long as the final act forms part of a series.

Continuing to work and affirmation of contractual changes

Employees who continued to work following their employer’s imposition of a pay freeze did not thereby agree to a variation of contract, despite the fact that their tribunal claim wasn’t begun until two years later.

Shared parental leave: door opened to indirect sex discrimination claims?

While men on shared parental leave cannot directly compare themselves with women on maternity leave, enhancing maternity pay but not shared parental pay may give rise to an indirect discrimination claim.

Date when notice of termination is effective

Where a contract is silent on when notice takes effect, it is effective when it’s actually received by the employee and they have read it (or had a reasonable opportunity to do so).

References and negative opinions

Except where there is a ‘red flag’ prompting further inquiry, such as an obvious error in the material or where information has come to light which casts a doubt on the reliability or integrity of the facts or opinions in the underlying material, there was no duty to examine the procedural fairness of investigations upon which facts and opinions in a reference were based.

Dismissal of pregnant employee and what the employer knows

An employer was not obliged to revisit its decision to dismiss when it became aware that the employee was pregnant.

To bump or not to bump - that is the question

An employer’s failure, in a redundancy situation, to consider the ‘bumping’ dismissal of a more junior employee to make way for a more senior employee may, or may not, make the dismissal of the senior employee unfair, depending upon the circumstances.

Failure to disclose relationship outside work justified dismissal

A school was entitled to summarily dismiss a head teacher for her failure to disclose a personal relationship with a sex offender outside of work.

Holiday pay for those with irregular hours

A zero hours, term-time employee’s holiday pay should not have been capped at 12.07% of her annualised hours as suggested in ACAS guidance.

'Pre-cancerous' condition was a deemed disability

A diagnosis of cancer in situ (i.e. a pre-cancerous condition which is present but not yet at an invasive stage) is still a deemed ‘disability’ under the Equality Act.

Expectation that employee work long hours was a PCP

An expectation or assumption that someone will work late may be sufficient to amount to a ‘provision, criterion or practice’ (PCP) for the purposes of a claim of failure to make reasonable adjustments in disability discrimination.

Transgender discrimination

High Street retailer liable for substantial award for discriminating against a transgender employee.

Higher pay cannot offset inferior holiday entitlement under AWR

Providing an agency worker with 28 days’ holiday and half-hour rest breaks when comparable permanent employees were entitled to 30.5 days’ holiday and rest breaks of one hour breached the Agency Workers Regulations (AWR).

'On call' at home and whether working time

The nature of the restrictions that are placed on a worker will determine whether ‘on-call’ time qualifies as ‘working time’.

Failing to consult 'promptly' leads to protective award

A charity breached its collective redundancy consultation obligations when it failed to start consultation ‘promptly’.

Constructive knowledge of disability: reasonable, not perfect effort required of employer

While an employer hadn’t explored every conceivable avenue, it had done enough to avoid a finding that it had constructive knowledge of an employee’s disability and thus be liable for having to make reasonable adjustments.

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