Employment Law Bulletin - Issue 138 - 12 December 2012

Wednesday 12 December 2012

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Employment news

Muslim women face an uphill battle against prejudice to find work

Sadly it seems that prejudice still hinders sections of our society in their quest to find employment. Myriam Francios-Cerrah writing on the Guardian online notes that South Asian Muslim women have the highest rate of unemployment in terms of both religion and ethnicity in the UK. Click here to read the news story.

Free pass to work?

In a scheme set out on Monday 10 December by Ian Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, unemployed people are to get free bus travel in attempt to help them find work. It seems that the cost of travel is a major problem for the young in particular when attending interviews. Click here to read the news story.

Hey, put that biro back!

A business ethics survey shows increased pressures at work are having an effect upon workers' views on what sort of behaviour is unethical at the workplace. Two surveys published on 6 December 2012 by the Institute of Business Ethics shows, among other things that 41% of full-time UK workforce think taking stationery from work is acceptable. Click here to read more.

Employment case law


Unfair dismissal |Article 10

The Applicant was a journalist hosting a weekly radio show in Bulgaria. During one of her shows, she, along with other journalists discussed the political issues of the day. The Applicant was ultimately dismissed from her job on disciplinary grounds for allowing a fellow journalist to take part in the show, despite resolutions from her employer disallowing this. She brought claims before the European Court of Human Rights asserting that her dismissal amounted to a breach of her Article 10 Rights. The ECHR found that even though the facts of the case concerned an employment dispute, Article 10 was engaged as her status as an employee did not deprive her of protection under Article 10. However the ECHR ultimately found that the interefrence was in accordance in law, proportionate and so there was no violation of Article 10. Click here to read the full decision.

Court of Appeal

PHR powers | List of issues

Parekh v London Borough of Brent [2012] EWCA Civ 1630
The Appellant appealed on the ground that at the PHR the employment judge erred in law in the way in which he drew up the list of issues for determination at the substantive hearing of his unfair dismissal claim. The Appellant argued that in so doing the employment judge made an error of law. The Court held that the employment judge was not, in drawing up the list of issues, making an order under Rule 10 of the Employment Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) Regulations 2004. Click here to read the full judgement.

Employment Appeal Tribunal

Unfair dismissal | ET did not substitute own decision

Bryant v Saga Care Homes Ltd [2012] EAT 0453/12 (11 December 2012)
The Claimant who was an experienced nurse, was dismissed by the Respondent after she had delegated the administration of a drug to a care assistant in the Respondent's care home. The care assistant gave the drug to the wrong patient. The Employment Tribunal found that her dismissal for her admitted breaches of the guidelines and her failure to appreciate the seriousness of what had occurred fell within the band of reasonable responses. The EAT held that the ET had not failed to consider either the Claimant's case that the Respondent had dismissed her for economic or other reasons and used the incident as a pretext or the other elements of her case (ii) that it was not the task of the ET or the EAT to decide whether the dismissal was fair (iii) that the ET had correctly applied the law and (iv) that perversity was not demonstrated. Click here to read the judgment.

Trade union rights | blacklisting

Miller & Ors v Interserve Industrial Services Ltd [2012] EAT 0244/12 (5 December 2012)
The ET found as a matter of fact that a trade union official pressured an employer to recruit three named employees with a view to their acting as shop stewards. The ET also found that the relevant manager declined to recruit because he resented being "bullied" by the union and does not wish to be dictated to about whom to employ. The EAT decided inter alia that, on those findings as to the employer's motivation, it had not refused employment because of the Claimants' trade union membership, contrary to section 137 (1) of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992. Click here to read the judgment.

Unfair dismissal | reasonableness of dismissal

SPS Technologies Ltd v Chughtai [2012] UKEAT 0204/12 (03 December 2012)
The EAT found that the majority lay members of ET substituted their view for that of the employer and so the EAT set aside the finding of unfair dismissal. In any event, had the decision remained, a finding of 100 per cent contribution and a similar Polkey deduction would have followed. Click here to read the judgment.

Notices & coming events

Practitioner Group Meeting
Wednesday 12th December 2012 at 6.00pm

The DLA will host a Practitioner Group Meeting at 6:00pm. The speaker will be Catherine Rayner of Tooks Chambers who will speak on the topic of employment status. The meeting will be held at Slater & Gordon (formerly Russell Jones & Walker), 50-52 Chancery Lane, WC2A 1HL. Click here to go to their website for further information.

Employment law in 2012 and 2013: The Game Changers
Thursday 13 Dec 2012 at 6.30pm

The ELA will host an evening session tomorrow. The topic will be Employment law in 2012 and 2013: The Game Changers; a round up of the important employment law decisions this year and the likely big issues in 2013. The speakers will be Bruce Carr QC of Devereux Chambers and Marian Bloodworth, Partner at Berwin Leighton Paisner. The session will take place at Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP, Adelaide House London Bridge London EC4R 9HA. There are 1.5 CPD points available. Click here for more details.


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