Employment Law Cases

Discrimination and 'gender critical' philosophical belief

A barristers’ chambers discriminated against a barrister due to her protected belief that a woman is defined by her sex (a ‘gender critical’ belief).

Whistleblowing: relevance of conduct when making protected disclosure

An employee was not automatically unfairly dismissed after making protected disclosures because her dismissal was for conduct reasons that were separable from the disclosures themselves.

Dismissal for failure to disclose bankruptcy

An employee was fairly dismissed for failing to disclose his bankruptcy, despite the absence of an express contractual requirement or policy requiring him to do so.

Benefits under long-term sickness scheme

An employer was liable to pay the level of income protection payments set out in an offer letter and summary of benefits provided by the employee’s original employer prior to a TUPE transfer, even though those benefits were no longer covered under the employer’s insurance policy.

Fire and rehire: implied terms and injunctions

An employer was entitled to dismiss and offer to re-engage employees on new terms (fire and rehire) to remove pay protection it had originally referred to as ‘permanent’. An earlier injunction preventing it from doing so was overturned.

Holiday pay for those with irregular hours

Entitlement to holiday pay under the Working Time Regulations 1998 does not need to be pro-rated for part-year workers

Philosophical belief discrimination and transgender issues

‘Gender-critical’ beliefs, including a belief that biological sex is real, important, immutable and not to be conflated with gender identity, are protected under the Equality Act and the European Convention on Human Rights.

Philosophical belief: employee's refusal to use preferred pronouns in the workplace

An employee’s belief that a person cannot change their sex/gender at will, and his lack of belief in ‘transgenderism’, were protected under the Equality Act 2010. However, a tribunal had correctly held that his employer’s response to his refusal to use transgender service users’ preferred pronouns was not direct or indirect discrimination or harassment.

Justifying discrimination arising from disability

A failure to give a disabled employee a reasonable trial in a role at a different location meant that the employer could not show that her dismissal was objectively justified.

Constructive dismissal and the fundamental breach

A fundamental breach of contract can be established even where the employer’s actions do not indicate an intention to end the employment relationship.

Unlawful inducements and collective bargaining

An employer’s imposition of a pay award, at a time when negotiations with the union were stalled, was an unlawful inducement.

COVID-19: redundancy, furlough, consultation, and Facebook

A complete lack of any consultation or selection process, allied to notifying staff of redundancies via a Facebook post, led to unfair dismissal.

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.

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