Employment Law Bulletin - Issue 142 – 19 February 2013

Tuesday 19 February 2013

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Employment news

Workplace stress affecting home life

Nearly nine out of 10 town hall employees are suffering from increased work pressures, a Unison survey reveals. Heather Wakefield, head of local government at Unison, said the impact of spending review cuts and 250,000 subsequent job losses meant 'impossible demands are being placed on stressed out council workers'. Click here to read the news article.

Employment case law

Supreme Court

Part-time workers | Pension rights

O'Brien v Ministry of Justice [2013] UKSC 6
The Supreme Court (Lord Hope and Lady Hale delivering judgment) had to consider two questions in a claim brought by a retired part-time judge in relation to his eligibility for a judicial pension which, as at the date of his retirement was only available to full-time judges. The first question was whether the relationship between judges and the Ministry of Justice is one that can be properly described as conferring worker status upon judges. The second was whether there was an objective justification for treating recorders, all of whom are non-salaried, differently from full-time or salaried judges for the purposes of access to the retirement pension scheme. The Court, finding in Mr O'Brien's favour held that the difference in treatment between part-time and full-time judges was not objectively justifiable and amounted to nothing more than a blanket discrimination between the different classes of worker. To read the full judgment click here.

Employment Appeal Tribunal

Judicial proceedings immunity | Scope & applicability

Singh v Reading Borough Council [2012] UKEAT 0540/12
During proceedings before the ET, the respondent served a witness statement to be relied upon at the full hearing. The Claimant asserted that some of the contents of the statement were untrue and that improper pressure had been placed upon the maker of the statement. The Claimant resigned and sought to add a claim of constructive dismissal to her ET1, based upon the statement and her assertion that it was improperly obtained. The ET held that the statement attracted judicial proceedings immunity and struck out her claim for constructive dismissal. The EAT held that the Tribunal's reasoning and conclusions were correct and dismissed the appeal. Click here to read the judgment.

Victimisation | Discrimination | Protected disclosure

Mr Onyango v Adrian Berkeley T/A Berkeley Solicitors UKEAT/0407/12/ZT
The EAT considered whether the Claimant could rely upon a protected disclosure made post-termination in a claim for 'whistle-blowing' under s.47B Employment Rights Act 1996. The EAT held that notwithstanding that the disclosure came after the conclusion of the employment relationship, the claimant could still rely upon it for the purposes of s.47B. His appeal was therefore successful on that ground. Click here to down-load the full judgment UKEAT/0407/12.

Notices & coming events

Struck Out: Why Employment Tribunals Fail Workers
Thursday 21 February 2013 at 6.00pm

Garden Court's David Renton will address a Manchester meeting of the Industrial Law Society on "Struck Out: Why Employment Tribunals Fail Workers", on 21 February at 6pm, in Lecture Theatre G35, Manchester Metropolitan University Business School, All Saints Campus. Click here for more information.

Haldane Human Rights Lecture
Thursday 21 February 2013

speakers Tessa Gregory, solicitor at Public Interest Lawyers who acted for Cat Reilly and Andy Greene from Disabled People Against the Cuts. Click here for more information.

New Rules
Wednesday 6 March 2013 at 6:00pm

The President of Employment Tribunals, Judge David Latham will be speaking on the New Rules on 6th March at the LSE New Academic Building in Lincoln's Inn Fields, starting at 6pm. The event is hosted by the employment law bar association. click here for more information.

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