Employment Law Cases

Holidays: carry-over of right to payment

There is no right to carry over annual leave where annual leave was taken but was unpaid and therefore no right to payment for that annual leave on termination.

Standby periods and 'working time'

Where a worker must be contactable and attend work in a specified response time, he or she will only be working for the purposes of the Working Time Directive if such constraints ‘objectively and very significantly’ affect the worker’s ability to devote that time to his or her own interests.

When does sleep count as 'work' for NMW purposes?

‘Sleep-in’ residential care workers are only entitled to the National Minimum Wage (NMW) when they are awake and ‘actually working’, not when they are asleep and therefore simply ‘available for work’.

Specificity required to be a qualifying disclosure

Deciding whether a disclosure attracts protection under whistleblowing law involves looking at the context in which it was made, rather than simply the words used. And it is not necessary for such a disclosure expressly to identify the specific type of wrongdoing alleged on the part of the employer.

TUPE: splitting liability between transferees

An ECJ decision that EU law requires contracts of employment to be split where there is a transfer to multiple transferees applies to ‘service provision changes’ under TUPE.

Employee - not employer - carrying out surveillance in the workplace

It was unreasonable for an employer to dismiss an employee for gross misconduct because the employee had installed a camera in his office whilst he was suspended from duty.

Fair dismissal for refusal to wear a face mask

A lorry driver was fairly dismissed for refusing to wear a face mask while on a client’s premises but still in his cab.

Uber drivers are 'workers' says Supreme Court

Drivers for Uber are workers and therefore entitled to paid holiday, minimum wage and rest breaks.

Whistleblowing: 'public interest' despite private purpose

Even though a whistleblower’s primary purpose in making a disclosure was private in nature, it could still pass the test of showing that it was ‘made in the public interest’ and thereby acquire legal protection.

Defending discrimination - 'all reasonable steps'

When considering an employer’s defence that it took ‘all reasonable steps’ to prevent an employee discriminating against another employee, it is legitimate to consider how effective the steps that have been taken were likely to be when they were taken and how effective they have proved to be in practice.

Protected acts: specificity of alleged discrimination

An employee’s comment in a written grievance that her employer’s actions ‘may amount to discrimination’ was insufficient to amount to a protected act under the Equality Act for the purposes of her victimisation claim.

Affirmation of contract: grievance procedure

For the purposes of a constructive dismissal claim, an employee did not affirm his contract by engaging in his employer’s grievance procedure.

Trade union activities and detriment

When considering whether an employer has subjected a worker to a detriment with the sole or main purpose of penalising them for taking part in the activities of an independent trade union, the question of the employer’s ‘sole or main purpose’ is a subjective question, i.e., what was in the mind of the employer at the time.

Settlement agreements and misrepresentation

Where COT3s or settlements are concerned, the protection afforded by the ‘without prejudice’ rule may fall away where there is an allegation of misrepresentation.

Agency workers' rights: EAT clarifies various aspects

The EAT has clarified the scope of certain rights under the Agency Workers Regulations 2010, principally the right to be informed of vacancies (reg.13) and the right to the same basic working conditions as directly employed hires (reg. 5).

Redundancy: reference period for collective consultation

In a collective redundancy situation, if the threshold number of dismissals is reached at any point across the 30- or 90-day period, consultation obligations apply in respect of those dismissals - and dismissals that occur before or after the given dismissal count towards the threshold.

Health and safety protections and 'workers'

‘Workers’ and not just employees should have protection from being subject to detriments on health and safety grounds and the right to be provided with PPE.

Cost considerations and justifying indirect discrimination

While saving costs can never of itself justify indirect discrimination, a need to reduce expenditure to live within budgetary constraints can be a legitimate aim for the purposes of justifying indirect discrimination.

Constructive dismissal: acceptance of breach

An employee’s failure to return to work after her maternity leave amounted to acceptance of a repudiatory breach for the purposes of an unfair constructive dismissal claim.

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