Employment Law Cases

Meeting with employee prior to dismissal

The lack of a meeting between an employee and the dismissing officer will not in and of itself, in all circumstances, make a dismissal unfair.

Discrimination: perception of harassment

Only unwanted conduct of which a claimant is aware can be taken into account in a claim for harassment.

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.

Religion or belief: manifestation of and assessing proportionality

Employers cannot discipline an employee for manifesting a protected belief because someone else may be offended - unless they have also considered whether the action is both necessary and proportionate.

Discriminatory dismissals: identifying decision maker

A decision to dismiss based on tainted information given by a line manager to the dismissing manager could not make the dismissal discriminatory unless the dismissing manager was motivated by the relevant protected characteristic (here pregnancy).

Holiday pay on termination: 'relevant agreement'

When calculating pay for accrued but untaken statutory holiday at the end of employment under the Working Time Regulations, an employment contract (or other agreement) cannot stipulate a formula for calculating that holiday pay which would result in a worker being paid less than the usual amount they would have been paid for working.

Redundancy and the duty to consider furlough

An employee made redundant in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic was unfairly dismissed because her employer hadn’t considered furloughing her as an alternative to redundancy.

Calculation of furlough pay and CJRS

An employee’s furlough pay can be calculated in accordance with the terms agreed upon by the employer and employee through a variation in the employee’s contractual terms. The formula set out in the Treasury Directions governing the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) was not mandatory for employers to use and did not supersede existing employment law rights and obligations.

Vicarious liability: close connection

A congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses was not vicariously liable for the rape of a member of its congregation by a former elder. While the relationship between the elder was akin to employment, the rape was not so closely connected with what the elder was authorised to do that it could fairly and properly be regarded as committed by him while acting in the course of his quasi-employment.

Dismissal and 'without prejudice' letter

A letter amounted to an effective letter of termination for the purposes of an unfair dismissal claim, despite the letter being marked ‘without prejudice.’

WhatsApp messages and misuse of private information

The High Court has refused to strike out a claim for misuse of private information which was brought by an employee against her former employer. In so doing, the court considered the extent to which there can be a reasonable expectation of privacy in private WhatsApp messages that had been found at work.

Dismissal, disability and long-term sickness

A disabled employee’s dismissal was not discrimination arising from a disability because it was a proportionate means of achieving the employer’s legitimate aim of maintaining good staff attendance.

Disciplinary process and double jeopardy

It was not unfair to dismiss an employee after reopening a previously concluded disciplinary process that had led to a final written warning.

Marital status discrimination

A director who was dismissed while divorcing her husband, a director at the same company, was not subjected to marital discrimination.

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.

PCP: disability and non-compliance

It was not a reasonable adjustment simply to slot a disabled employee into a new structure as part of a redundancy exercise.

Internal appeals and 'vanishing' dismissals

A successful appeal against a dismissal will automatically result in reinstatement back into employment unless the employee objectively and unequivocally withdraws their appeal against dismissal before the appeal is decided. This remains the case even where the employee expressly says to the appeal decision maker that they do not want to return to work.

Redundancy consultation and selection criteria

An employer acted unfairly when it did not consult on redundancy selection criteria, where the sole selection criteria inevitably led to a redundancy pool of one.

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).

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