Employment Law Cases

Volunteers and employment status

A volunteer in the Maritime and Coastguard Agency was a worker when undertaking remunerated activities, despite copious references in his documentation to him being a volunteer.

Whistleblowing and detriment claims

In whistleblowing detriment claims, a tribunal should not look behind the motive of the decision maker to consider whether a third party was manipulating the situation.

Industrial action and protection from detriment

The Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, which protects workers from detriment for taking part in trade union activities, does not provide protection from detriment for participating in lawful strike action – and this lack of protection is incompatible with the right to strike under art. 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Whistleblowing dismissal and detriment

A whistleblowing claim cannot succeed if the employer doesn’t know at least something about the substance of the protected disclosure that’s been made.

Trial periods and reasonable adjustments

Where a disability places an employee at the substantial disadvantage that they cannot continue in their present job, and are at risk of imminent dismissal, there is no rule of law that it cannot be a reasonable adjustment to give them a trial period in a new role.

Seeking to take parental leave

On a straightforward reading of the relevant regulations, there was no absolute requirement that an employee must have given notice to take parental leave for them to have ‘sought’ to take parental leave.

COVID-19: appropriate steps in the face of serious and imminent danger

A tribunal wrongly rejected a claim for automatic unfair dismissal brought by an employee who was dismissed after demanding to be allowed to work from home and be furloughed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Working from home and the return to the office

A senior employee’s request to work permanently from home was justifiably rejected by her employer, despite the fact that she had successfully been doing so since the start of the pandemic.

Settlement agreements and future claims

Unknown future claims arising under the Equality Act 2010 may be waived in a settlement agreement provided that the types of claims are clearly identified.

Constructive dismissal and affirmation

The passage of time before an employee resigns will not necessarily by and of itself amount to the employee affirming their contract and therefore losing the right to claim unfair constructive dismissal.

Redundancy consultation must be with the workforce at the formative stage

Irrespective of whether proposed redundancies are collective or individual, consultation in a redundancy situation should take place with a workforce at a formative stage to explore ways of avoiding redundancies. And selection criteria imposed by a parent company in another country are not necessarily going to pass the same tests of reasonableness in the UK.

Deliveroo riders, union recognition and 'worker' status

Riders for Deliveroo are not in an ‘employment relationship’ for the purposes of European law such as to enable them to seek compulsory union recognition.

Resignation in the heat of the moment

The EAT re-examines the current legal position surrounding the retraction of a resignation made in the heat of the moment. Subjective intention is irrelevant and a reasonable bystander test applies.

Bonus clawback and restraint of trade

A contractual clause requiring an employee who had given notice to repay a discretionary bonus was not a restraint of trade, and the employer was entitled to rely on it and receive the repayment.

Menopause and disability

An employer treated an employee unfavourably because of something arising from her disability of menopause and failed to make reasonable adjustments.

TUPE: transfer of share incentive plan

The right to participate in a share incentive plan transferred to a new employer under TUPE, even though the employee’s entitlement to participate in the plan arose under an agreement separate from and not referred to in his contract of employment.

Reasonable adjustments: scope of duty to enquire

An employer’s failure fully to enquire into a dyspraxic job applicant’s needs when he was applying online led to a finding of disability discrimination for failure to make reasonable adjustments.

Postponement of employee's termination date

An employee was not unfairly dismissed when his employer extended his termination date multiple times to give him a chance to return to work from sickness absence.

Whether contract was varied or terminated

An employee’s contract had been terminated by the employer’s unilateral imposition of new terms and conditions.

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