Employment Law Cases

Coronavirus, administration and the Job Retention Scheme

Administrators can place a company’s employees on furlough and claim for their wages under the Job Retention Scheme.

Employer not liable for employee's data breach

An employer was not vicariously liable for the actions of one of its employees who, to damage his employer, leaked personal staff data on a file-sharing website.

Automatic unfair dismissal: designation to perform health and safety functions

For an employee to have been ‘designated’ by their employer to carry out health and safety activities, he or she must have been selected by the employer to carry out specific activities in connection with preventing or reducing risks to health and safety at work, over and above their ordinary job duties.

PHI benefits and long-term disability

An employee was rightly compensated for loss of entitlement to benefits under a PHI policy when he was unable to ‘return to work’ following sickness absence. The ‘return to work’ was a return to the work he had been doing when he went off sick, not a return to any work.

One-off acts and discrimination

For a one-off act to amount to a ‘provision, criterion or practice’ in a discrimination claim, there must be some indication of consistency in how similar cases are generally treated or how they would be treated in the future.

Suspension and injunction

A suspended employee successfully obtained an injunction against her employer allowing her to resume most of her duties because there was no justification to restrict such duties.

Attribution of knowledge: relevance to fairness of dismissal

In an unfair dismissal case, an investigator’s failure to share a material fact with the dismissing officer could be relevant when assessing whether the employer had acted reasonably in dismissing.

Pending criminal changes and dismissal

An employee charged with a criminal offence was fairly dismissed due to the risk to the employer’s reputation.

Disability must be established at date of each discriminatory act

In a disability discrimination claim the existence of a disability must be established at the date of each discriminatory act upon which a claimant relies.

Detriment and employer's rebuttal of employee's whistleblowing allegations

An employer, seeking to defend its reputation, subjected an employee to an unlawful detriment in the manner in which it publicly denied his whistleblowing allegations but he failed to show that the employer’s actions were on the grounds that he had made a protected disclosure.

Philosophical belief discrimination and transgender issues

A refusal to accept that trans women are women is not a protected ‘philosophical belief’ under the Equality Act.

Unfair dismissal and investigations

A separate investigatory hearing and disciplinary hearing is not required in every case by right.

Ethical veganism and philosophical belief

Ethical veganism’ can be a ‘philosophical belief’ and therefore protected in law.

Worker status and substitution clauses

A delivery courier was a ‘worker’ despite his agreement containing what purported to be a substitution clause.

Constructive dismissal: procedural fairness during investigation

An employer’s unreasonable disciplinary investigation breached the implied term of trust and confidence which entitled the employee to resign and successfully claim unfair constructive dismissal.

Dismissal, reinstatement and detriment

Where someone has been dismissed and then subsequently reinstated, this does not prevent them from subsequently bringing a detriment claim under the Equality Act.

Salary information and confidentiality

There is no implied term that salary details are confidential.

Adequacy of investigation and appeal procedure

In upholding a tribunal’s decision to dismiss all an employee’s claims, the Court of Appeal provide useful guidance on fair conduct procedures and rescuing appeals.

TUPE covers 'workers'

In a potentially very significant departure from accepted orthodoxy, a tribunal has held that TUPE applies to ‘workers’ as well as to traditional ‘employees’

Whistleblowing and knowledge of the decision maker

Where the real reason for dismissal of a worker is because they made a protected disclosure and that fact has been hidden from the decision-maker by a person in the ‘hierarchy of responsibility above the employee’, the dismissal is automatically unfair, even though the decision-maker has relied upon an invented reason for dismissal in good faith.

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