We round up what caught Tribunal Watch's eye on Twitter in the week beginning 6 May 2013, during which the Queen's Speech included an announcement that the Deregulation Bill will make provision for the removal of the power in the Equality Act 2010 that allows employment tribunals to issue recommendations relating to the employer's whole workforce.
Recently in Discrimination: disability Category
A round-up of links to stories about employment tribunal rulings reported in the week beginning 22 April 2013, including a tribunal finding that six parking enforcement workers who were made redundant when the services they provided were outsourced to a private company and their jobs relocated from Barnet to Croydon and Lancing.
Unison wins unfair dismissal claim for workers transferred from Barnet to Croydon or Lancing (on the Unison website) Unison has won unfair dismissal claims in Besagni and others v NSL and RR Donnelly for six parking enforcement workers who were made redundant when the services they provided were sold off to a private company and their jobs relocated from Barnet to Croydon or Lancing.
Employment tribunal decisions reported on XpertHR (see also Podcast: Illegality-related dismissals)
Fair dismissal of foreign worker who could not prove right to work in the UK Employment tribunal case Winful v Whitbread Group plc arose from a situation in which the employer felt that it had no option but to dismiss a foreign worker who lost her right to work in the UK.
Fair dismissal of security supervisor who did not hold required security licence In Cook v Wilson James Ltd, a private security contractor, which needed most employees by law to hold a security licence, fairly dismissed an employee who did not have the required documentation.
A round-up of links to stories about employment tribunal rulings reported in the week beginning 8 April 2013, including a tribunal finding that a chef who has a serious allergic reaction when he comes into contact with all types of nuts has a disability and can proceed with his disability discrimination claim.
Chef with nut allergy can claim disability discrimination (on the Kidderminster Shuttle website) A chef has been told that he can go ahead with a compensation claim for disability discrimination against his employer - because he is allergic to nuts.
Employment tribunal decisions reported on XpertHR
Disability discrimination: tribunal considers when "learning difficulties" become a disability In Northern Ireland case O'Neill v Barnardo's and others NIIT/00201/12, the tribunal considered the dividing line between an individual having a learning disability and simply having difficulty with literacy or numeracy.
The employment tribunal in Cosgrove v Kuehne and Nagel Ltd found that a long-serving employee with a good record was unfairly dismissed after a drug test led to the discovery that she had been smoking cannabis the previous weekend. We look at five more examples of employment tribunal cases involving drug use and substance abuse.
New draconian drug policy led to unfair dismissal
Bedford v H Young Holdings plc t/a Animal ET/3102295/09
This employer's goals in carrying out drug testing for all staff were laudable, but the manner in which it sought to achieve them was unreasonable. It is one thing for an employer to outlaw the use of illegal drugs at work, but quite another to introduce spot-testing at work that could result in summary dismissal.
Employee was fairly dismissed for illegal drug use
Menshisteab v First South Yorkshire Ltd ET/2801306/09
This case is a short and clear example of how to deal with an employee suspected of taking illegal drugs, in a claim brought by a former First South Yorkshire bus driver. The company had a drug policy prohibiting, among other things, the use of khat, a legal drug that produces hallucinatory effects.
Dismissal for positive test for illegal drug was fair
Shepherd v Prismo Road Markings Ltd ET/2403360/09
This tribunal decision shows the value of having - and following - a drug and alcohol policy. The claimant was one of a number of employees selected for random drug testing. He tested positive for cannabis, and despite alleging that he had inhaled the drug passively, was fairly dismissed for gross misconduct.
Unfair dismissal of NHS worker who pleaded guilty to minor offences
Towart v Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust ET/2505486/2010
The NHS trust in this case unfairly treated two relatively minor criminal convictions, including one for cannabis possession, as an adequate reason to dismiss a worker, in a case that is a cautionary tale for employers that treat a criminal conviction as an automatic reason for dismissal.
Discrimination arising from disability: paramedic's theft of anesthetic gas not a consequence of depression
McGraw v London Ambulance Service NHS Trust ET/3301865/11
This case is a useful early example of how employment tribunals are approaching the new concept of "discrimination arising from disability" under the Equality Act 2010. The claimant fell at the first hurdle by failing to demonstrate a link between his disability and his treatment by the employer.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal decision in Heafield v Times Newspaper Ltd highlights again that the context of a remark can often be critical when assessing whether or not it constituted harassment. We look at 10 examples of employment tribunals considering the context in which alleged harassment has taken place.
Age discrimination: "joke" email from manager costs employer £1,500
Growcott v Home Office NIFET/85/09
A manager's joke about the claimant's age that might have been acceptable during a friendly chat was viewed very differently by the tribunal because it was made during a recruitment process.
"Ironside" nickname for wheelchair user was harassment
Davies v Remploy Ltd ET/2407487/09
This case is a good reminder of the difference between remarks that constitute unlawful harassment, and mere offensive language.
Discriminatory comments not directed at claimant were racial harassment
Morgan v Halls of Gloucester ET/1400498/09
A series of inappropriate comments about race by blue-collar workers, not necessarily directed at the claimant, were harassment, held this employment tribunal.
Manager's "sexual favours" remark was not sexual harassment
Dos Santos v Preview Services Ltd ET/2700170/10
In this case, the employment tribunal found that a manager's single remark, despite being of a sexual nature, was intended as a joke and did not amount to sexual harassment.
A round-up of links to news items on employment tribunal rulings in the week beginning 21 January 2013, including an employment tribunal's criticism of the Financial Times editor over the unfair dismissal of a journalist.
Financial Times editor criticised by tribunal over unfair dismissal (on the Guardian website) The Financial Times editor, Lionel Barber, has been criticised by an employment tribunal judge over the unfair dismissal of an award-winning journalist at the title.
A round-up of links to news items on employment tribunal rulings over the Christmas and New Year period, including an award of over £44,000 for an Arbroath bingo hall manager who was unfairly dismissed.
Arbroath bingo boss wins jackpot at employment tribunal (on the Courier website) An Arbroath bingo hall general manager has won over £44,000 for being unfairly dismissed.
XpertHR has published its round up of key employment law events in 2013, looking ahead to, among other things, the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill; the introduction of "employee-shareholder" contracts of employment; and the imposition of fees for bringing employment tribunal claims; and important decisions on redundancy, TUPE, religion or belief discrimination, and disability discrimination.
- Agenda 2013: Employment law key dates Among this year's key employment law changes are: the implementation of parts of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill; the introduction of "employee-shareholder" contracts of employment; and the imposition of fees for bringing employment tribunal claims.
- Agenda 2013: Forthcoming case law There are decisions pending on redundancy, TUPE, religion or belief and disability discrimination.
A round-up of links to news items on employment tribunal rulings in the week beginning 10 December 2012, including a former Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) worker defeated in a disability discrimination claim that he was denied the full amount owed under a disability-insurance plan when he lost his sight.
Blind banker loses RBS discrimination tribunal (on the Bloomberg Businessweek website) A blind former Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc banker, who had to quit after his sight deteriorated, lost a discrimination lawsuit seeking disability benefits worth about £500,000.
A round-up of links to news items on employment tribunal rulings in the week beginning 8 October 2012, including an employment tribunal deciding that a school fairly dismissed a teacher after he grabbed a pupil who threw a milkshake over him.
School was right to dismiss teacher for grabbing drink-thrower, tribunal rules (on the This Is Derbyshire website) A tribunal has decided that a city school's governors were right to sack a teacher after he grabbed a pupil who threw a milkshake over him.