Employment Law Cases

COVID-19: dismissal for refusal to return to work

An employee dismissed for leaving work and refusing to return because of COVID-19-related concerns was not automatically unfairly dismissed.

Reasonable adjustments and fairness of dismissal

A failure to make reasonable adjustments as part of a dismissal process doesn’t mean that the dismissal itself is necessarily unfair.

Voluntary redundancy and unfair dismissal

An employee who requests voluntary redundancy does not necessarily have no reasonable prospects of success in a claim for unfair dismissal.

Industrial action and protection from detriment

Workers are not protected against being subject to a detriment by their employer for participating in industrial action.

Resignation, dismissal and PILONs

Where an employee resigns and the employer brings forward the termination date by exercising its right to make a contractual payment in lieu of notice, there is no dismissal.

Establishing 'worker' status: no minimum obligation required

An ‘irreducible minimum of obligation’ is not a prerequisite of ‘worker’ status. Such a status will exist when an individual undertakes to do work personally for someone who isn’t a client or customer.

Agency workers: right to be informed of vacancies

Regulation 13 of the Agency Workers Regulations 2010 gives agency workers a right to be informed of vacancies in the same terms as permanent workers: it does not give them a right to apply.

Work outside the contract and unauthorised deductions

An employee could not make a claim for an unlawful deduction/underpayment of wages where he took up a more senior position but did not receive a contractual salary increase.

Fire and rehire: implied terms and injunctions

An employer has been prevented from firing and rehiring staff to remove a contractual entitlement to enhanced pay.

Holidays: carry-over of right to payment

A worker who took unpaid holiday because his employer refused to pay for it accumulated the right to paid annual leave for which he was entitled to compensation on termination.

Menopause and harassment

An employer’s derogatory and inappropriate remarks about a female employee’s age, in particular that she might be menopausal or be experiencing stereotypical menopausal symptoms, amounted to harassment on the grounds of sex and age.

Employee status and franchisees

Owner-driver franchisees who carried out delivery and collection services for DPD were neither employees nor workers.

Employer not liable for injuries caused by practical joke

An employer was neither directly or vicariously liable for injuries inflicted on one of its contractors by one of its employees playing a practical joke.

Raising grievances and impact on the fairness of dismissal

An employee’s dismissal for using a grievance process in a frivolous and vexatious manner was fair.

COVID-19: automatic unfair dismissal and refusal to allow homeworking

An employee had not been automatically unfairly dismissed because of her employer’s refusal to allow her to work from home during the pandemic. Her belief that there were circumstances of serious and imminent danger was not objectively reasonable given that her employer had assessed the risks and addressed the need for increased levels of hygiene and social distancing.

COVID-19: redundancy and failure to consider furlough

An employee’s dismissal for redundancy was unfair, in part because the employer hadn’t considered continuing her employment on furlough. If a genuine consultation had taken place which considered furlough and the available project work, she may not have been made redundant.

Flexible working and agreements to extend

An employee had not agreed to an extension to the normal three-month time frame for deciding flexible working requests when he agreed to attend an appeal outside that three-month period.

NMW and expenses

Payments made by a driver to rent his vehicle and uniform should have been taken into account when working out whether he had been paid the National Minimum Wage (NMW).

Direct pay offer to employees was an 'unlawful inducement'

An employer who directly offered its employees a package of revised terms and conditions - going over the head of the recognised trade union – unlawfully induced them to cease collective bargaining.

Associative indirect discrimination: returning to work full time

An employee who cared for her disabled mother was indirectly discriminated against on the grounds of disability, despite not having a disability herself.

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