Dismissal of military reservist was fair

A volunteer reservist was fairly dismissed for committing to a seven-week training exercise without obtaining his employer’s approval.

Employer liable for injury to employee at impromptu work party

An employer was vicariously liable for life-changing injuries inflicted by its managing director on one of its employees at a Christmas party.

Bakers did not discriminate against gay man

A bakery did not discriminate against a gay man on the grounds of his sexual orientation or political belief when it refused to supply a cake with a message on it supporting gay marriage.

Ill-health retirement and disability discrimination

A flawed ill-health retirement process will not, by itself, amount to direct disability discrimination or discrimination arising from disability.

Tribunals can interpret contracts in unauthorised deductions claims

Faced with deciding whether a sum is ‘properly payable’ for the purposes of an unauthorised deduction claim, a tribunal does have jurisdiction to interpret contractual terms.

Tribunal claims increase

There has been a marked rise in the number of employment tribunal claims being lodged.

Removing a contractual benefit post-transfer

The withdrawal by a transferee of a contractual entitlement to a travel allowance was not void under TUPE.

Immigration post-Brexit: MAC report

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has published proposals for a future immigration system for the UK after Brexit.

August 2018 inflation data

The UK’s main inflation measure in August 2018 rose to 2.7%.

Ambiguous resignations

An employee’s letter giving ‘notice’ wasn’t an unambiguous resignation.

Bereavement leave and pay

From 2020 employees who suffer the death of child will become entitled to two weeks paid leave.

Test for 'bad faith' in victimisation claim is honesty not motivation

An employee will be protected from victimisation if they wrongly but honestly believed the allegations they made to be true, even if they had an ulterior motive for making those allegations.

Enforcing post-termination restrictions and unsigned employment contracts

An employer wanting to vary an employment contract to incorporate more onerous post-termination restrictive covenants must ensure it has evidence of valid consideration for the change and should always obtain proof of agreement from the employee; ideally in the form of signature.

Resigning on notice may amount to affirmation

When an employee resigns and claims wrongful dismissal (not constructive dismissal), but does so on notice, where there is a lengthy notice period, they have affirmed the contract and so lost the ability to claim wrongful dismissal. However, if further breaches occur after affirmation, they are entitled to count the earlier affirmed breaches and claim that cumulatively they have caused the employee to resign without notice. Their restrictive covenants also do not apply.

Extending sick pay for a disabled employee

Taking a flexible and individualised approach to reducing sick pay for a disabled employee will help employers make out a justification defence to a disability discrimination claim.

Refusal to postpone disciplinary hearing may make a dismissal unfair

A refusal to postpone a disciplinary because of the unavailability of the worker’s chosen companion may make a dismissal unfair.

Long-term sickness absence and failure to consider part-time working

An employer seeking to justify its discriminatory dismissal of an employee on long-term sick leave should have considered part-time working.

Zero-hours contracts and pay while suspended

Is a zero-hours contract employee entitled to pay whilst they are suspended and thus not working any hours?

Effect of a successful appeal on the employment contract

Where a contract of employment provided for a disciplinary process and a right of appeal against dismissal, it was implicit that a successful appeal would, without more, revive the employment relationship and extinguish the dismissal.

Sanctity of copyright was not a protected philosophical belief

An employer did not discriminate when it dismissed an employee who refused to sign a copyright agreement because she held a ‘philosophical belief’ that she should own the rights to her work.

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