Employment Law Bulletin - Issue 149 - 28 May 2013

Tuesday 28 May 2013

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Employment News

UK workers report being under pressure at work

The early findings of the 2012 Skills and Employment Survey, a government-funded study of 3,000 workers conducted every six years, found (amongst other things) that Britain's employees are feeling more insecure and under pressure at work than at any time in the past 20 years. For the first time, public sector workers are more worried than those in the private sector about losing their jobs. They are also substantially more anxious about losing their status at work. Click here to read the news article and click here to read the results of the Survey

Employment case law

Supreme Court

Methodist Conference v Preston (Rev 1) [2013] UKSC 29 (15 May 2013)
Definition of "employee" | Standing to bring a claim

The Respondent to this appeal, a Minister in the Redruth Circuit of the Methodist Church until 2009, brought a claim against the Church in an employment tribunal for unfair dismissal. Under section 94 of the Employment Rights Act 1996, only an employee has the right not to be unfairly dismissed. Section 230 defines an employee as someone who has entered into or works under a contract of service or apprenticeship. The question at issue in this appeal was whether the Respondent was an employee within the terms of the relevant legislation. The tribunal below held that she was not an employee. That decision was overturned by the Employment Appeal Tribunal in a decision subsequently upheld by the Court of Appeal. Lord Sumption, delivering the judgment of the court dismissing the Respondent's appeal said at paragraph 26:

"The question whether an arrangement is a legally binding contract depends on the intentions of the parties. The mere fact that the arrangement includes the payment of a stipend, the provision of accommodation and recognised duties to be performed by the minister, does not without more resolve the issue. The question is whether the parties intended these benefits and burdens of the ministry to be the subject of a legally binding agreement between them."

Click here to read the judgment

Employment Law Events

Religion and Belief Discrimination after Eweida and Ladele

ELA, 4 June 2013, 18.30
Dinah Rose QC (who represented Lillian Ladele, in her claim before the European Court of Human Rights alleging that the UK failed to protect her right to freedom of religion/manifestation of religion in the workplace) will give her perspective on the decision and its implications for protection against discrimination on grounds of religion and belief in the UK. The event will be held at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, 65 Fleet Street London EC4Y 1HS. Click here for further details



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