Employment Law Cases

Whistleblowing: material influence

Because a whistleblower’s behaviour after he’d blown the whistle was separate and distinct from his act of whistleblowing, his subsequent dismissal was not automatically unfair.

Indirect discrimination and the 'childcare disparity'

Tribunals must accept as fact that women still bear the primary burden of childcare responsibilities and this hinders their ability to work certain hours.

Deliveroo riders, union recognition and 'worker' status

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

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

The dismissal of an employee who’d expressed concerns about commuting during COVID-19 and who asked to be furloughed was not automatically unfair.

COVID-19: unfair health and safety-related dismissal

An employee was unfairly dismissed for raising health and safety issues about lack of PPE and other workplace COVID-secure measures.

Interim relief and discrimination claims

The power to grant an interim relief order is not available in discrimination claims.

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.

Equal pay: comparisons based on EU law

The treaty which forms the basis of the right to equal pay in European law has direct effect in respect of claims where work is said to be of equal value, and not merely in respect of other instances of ‘equal work’ under UK legislation (i.e. like work or work rated as equivalent). It therefore can be invoked in legal proceedings between individuals directly.

Establishing 'worker' status: no minimum obligation required

Mutuality of obligations, in the sense of an obligation to accept and perform some minimum amount of work, is not a prerequisite for ‘worker’ status.

TUPE and a substantial change in working conditions

A contractual right to vary contractual terms does not prevent a dismissal claim under TUPE.

Constructive dismissal and incorporated terms

An incorporated collectively agreed term was not apt for incorporation into an individual employment contract so as to enable an employee to rely on a breach of it as giving rise to a constructive dismissal claim.

Constructive dismissal: employer tries to make amends

Where the actions of an employer amount to a fundamental breach of contract, nothing that the employer does after that point can cure that breach.

Automatically unfair health and safety dismissals

An employee dismissed because of the friction caused in the workplace by the way he’d instituted a new health and safety regime had been automatically unfairly dismissed.

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 unfairly dismissed.

Re-engagement, loss of trust and confidence and capability dismissals

An employer’s genuine and rational lack of belief in an employee’s capability can render it not practicable for the employee to be re-engaged following an unfair dismissal.

Determining 'disability'

When considering whether an impairment has a substantial effect on someone’s ability to carry out day-to-day activities, it’s the statutory definition of ‘substantial’ which should be the focus and not the gloss on it provided in the statutory guidance.

Equal pay and comparability of pay terms

For the purposes of equal pay law, two distinct parts of a workforce (here female shop floor workers and higher-paid male distribution centre workers) can compare their pay, even if they are located at different sites, in different parts of the organisation/group, and with very different pay arrangements/management structures.

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’.

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