Aqua Interiors staff awarded protective award claim

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Following the unexpected dismissal of more than one hundred employees and subsequent insolvency of Huddersfield-based kitchen and bathroom installer Aqua Interiors in summer 2016, many of the employees instructed Morrish Solicitors to bring a protective award claim against the company for a failure to inform and consult them appropriately before they were dismissed. The family-run company, formed 40 years ago, … Read More

Employment Law Update – January 2017

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In Kellogg Brown & Root (UK) Ltd v (1) Fitton and (2) Ewer, the EAT considered whether employees who were dismissed when their employer had exercised a mobility clause to move them to another office, had in fact been dismissed by reason of redundancy, as decided by the employment tribunal. Background Mr Fitton and Mr Ewer worked at Kellogg’s office … Read More

Victory for gig-economy workers

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Not surprisingly following the decision in the landmark Uber case in October 2016, the Employment Tribunals have again been asked to consider the employment status of the gig-economy workers. The Uber case was of course the first of its kind in the UK. In this case the Tribunal found in favour of the Claimant in establishing that Uber drivers are … Read More

Employment Tribunal rules in favour of dismissed charity workers

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Following the unexpected dismissal of more than twenty employees and subsequent insolvency of London-based childcare charity 4Children in summer 2016, many of the employees instructed Morrish Solicitors to bring a protective award claim against the company for a failure to inform and consult them appropriately before they were dismissed. The charity provided thousands of low-income families with nursery, after-school clubs … Read More

Government’s long awaited reply to ET Fees review

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The government has released the outcome of its review of Employment Tribunal fees and launched a consultation on new proposals to change the ET fees remission scheme (called ‘Help with Fees’). The proposals are pretty small beer. The gross monthly income threshold to apply for a fee remission (reducing or cancelling out the ET fee) would be increased from £1,085 … Read More

Morrish strengthens team with three new appointments

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Morrish Solicitors have announced three key appointments at their West Yorkshire offices. Joining the firm’s Employment team in Leeds is Solicitor Hannah Boynes, who qualified in 2012 and obtained Higher Rights in 2014. Hannah also qualified as a Solicitor-Advocate after completing her training in civil litigation and employment and will be dealing with a wide range of employment matters including unfair dismissal and discrimination at Morrish. Employment Partner … Read More

Employment Tribunal rules in favour of sacked Phones4U workers

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An Employment Tribunal ruled on Friday in favour of former Phones4U workers based at the Head Office and Merry Hill Shopping Centre, who have established that Phones4U failed in their statutory duty to consult with them about impending redundancies. The former workers pursued claims against the mobile phone retailer when they were made redundant following the administration of the company … Read More

Employment Update – December 2016

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In this edition we look at whistleblowing and round up some of the legal happenings towards the end of 2016. Whistleblowing Eiger Securities LLP v Korshunova In this case the claimant alleged that she had been dismissed because she made a protected disclosure. Ms Korshunova complained to her manager that he had used a “chat” programme, whilst logged in as … Read More

When Christmas parties get out of hand

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It is the season for Christmas parties and many workplaces will hold events in pubs or hotels where alcohol is likely to fuel the proceedings. That is the context for the latest in a series of court decisions concerning the liability of employers for the actions of their employees. When I was first in practice my clients would often find … Read More

Employment Update – November 2016

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Reliance on final written warning In Bandara v BBC a tribunal held that the Claimant’s dismissal was fair in the context of allegations of bullying, intimidation and a failure to follow instructions. The Claimant had earlier (in the same year) received a final written warning relating to relatively minor incidents including a breach of editorial guidelines. This is another in … Read More

"Employee Shareholder” regime

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The Autumn Statement sees  the Chancellor phasing out the “employee shareholder” regime – initially by removing the tax advantages associated with it; but in due course it is expected to disappear altogether. This is no great surprise. We blogged about the scheme when it was introduced in late 2013.  You can read our reservations here:  http://morrishsolicitors.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/employee-shareholders.html Not for the first … Read More

Future world of work and rights of workers inquiry

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The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee has launched an inquiry into the ‘future world of work’ and in particular, the ‘gig economy’ – agency workers, zero-hours work, the use of ‘self-employment’, worker status, low pay and poor working conditions. They refer to the recent Sports Direct scandal and also other organisations with similar poor working conditions. This is good news. … Read More

Exit payments in the public sector

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Exit payments (or severance payments) in the public sector have been the subject of much media scrutiny in recent months. As employment lawyers acting for private and public sector employees, we regularly come up against these issues when it comes to trying to advise on and negotiate settlements or agree termination packages. As trade union lawyers, we are also opposed … Read More

Employment Update

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The month of September has given us a couple of surprising EAT decisions and both are in favour of employees! The first one considers whether it might be a reasonable adjustment to offer a disabled employee pay protection and the second explores the scope of an ACAS EC certificate. We hope you find them useful.   G4S Cash Solutions (UK) Ltd … Read More

Influence of third parties such as HR in disciplinary procedures

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In Dronsfield v University of Reading the EAT looks at the involvement and influence of third parties such as Human Resources in disciplinary procedures. Mr Dronsfield was a Professor at Reading University and whilst working for the University he engaged in a sexual relationship with one of his students. Reading University provided guidance to employees in relationships with students which … Read More

Taxation on Termination – The Price of Simplicity

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HMRC has published a piece of draft legislation which attempts to simplify the current regulations surrounding taxation of termination payments. The legislation is due to come into force in April 2018 and is currently open to consultation until the 5th of October 2016. It has been suggested that the overall complexity of the current tax rules in terms of termination … Read More

Number of workers taking strike action at its second lowest year since 1891

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The Office for National Statistics confirms that the number of working days lost due to strike action in 2015 was 170,000 compared with 788,000 in 2014. The 2015 figure was the second lowest annual total since records began in 1891. See this link. Commenting on the figures, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said that strikes are far less common these … Read More

Poor treatment of disabled people in the workplace

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Two recent reports show how real the difficulties remain for disabled employees in the workplace. Citizens Advice has published research Working with a health condition or disability on the range of barriers facing disabled people at work. It shows that disabled people or those with a health condition are more than twice as likely to fall out of work in … Read More

Are we all becoming self-employed?

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With the increasing use of “self-employed” roles in today’s “gig economy”[1], there are more and more cases coming to Tribunal concerning employment status and basic employment rights. For example, this week there’s been much media reporting about Uber and Deliveroo. Currently, Uber says its taxi drivers, known as ‘partner drivers’, are genuinely self-employed. This is being considered at Tribunal – … Read More

Report calls for better whistle-blower protection in the UK

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UK whistleblowing law is inadequate and does not meet most international standards, according to a new report published by international NGO Blueprint for Free Speech and the Thomson Reuters Foundation (http://www.trust.org/publications). The report identifies the UK’s protection as scoring only a 37% grading in comparison with other countries. In particular, it highlights a narrow and complex scope of protection for … Read More

Ban on Islamic Headscarves – Indirect or Direct Discrimination?

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This issue has come to light in the media recently, with conflicting decisions from two Advocate Generals causing some controversy. In Bougnaoui and another v Micropole SA (Case C-188/15) Advocate General Sharpston considered whether a French employer’s ban on the wearing of Muslim headscarves by staff amounted to direct and/or indirect discrimination under the Equal Treatment Framework Directive (2000/78/EC). AG Sharpston’s opinion was in … Read More

Employment Rights Update – July 2016

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The Supreme Court handed down interesting Judgments on these two cases which involved two Nigerian nationals. Taiwo (Appellant) v Olaigbe and another (Respondents) and Onu (Appellant) v Akwiwu and another (Respondents) [2016] UKSC 31 Ms Taiwo is married and has two children and was living in poverty in Nigeria. She entered the UK lawfully in February 2010 with a migrant … Read More

Tattoos in the workplace

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For years, tattoos were considered taboo in the workplace; with some employees alleging that their employment has been terminated as a result of having a tattoo or they have simply not been offered a job because of it. Traditionally, tattoos were associated with bikers and gangs, but this has evolved, with tattoos gaining wider social acceptance. A recent study by … Read More

Courts and Tribunal Fees

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The Justice Committee, appointed by the House of Commons to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the Ministry of Justice and associated public bodies has very recently published its review into Court and Tribunal Fees. When tribunal fees were introduced on 29th July 2013 (under The Employment Tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal Fees Order 2013) there was an immediate, … Read More

Employment Rights Update – June 2016

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June has been a quiet month for new and interesting cases but there is some very good reading for Claimants in the House of Commons’ Justice Committee report released this month and, just a few days ago, the first Employment Appeal Tribunal case on the admissibility of ‘protected conversations’ are in the Tribunal. So we’ll deal with them here… Justice … Read More

Employment Tribunal Review of Fees

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The House of Commons Justice Committee has recently published its critical review of Court and Tribunal Fees. The review extensively covers the impact of Tribunal Fees and looks into the level of safeguards that the Fee Remission system realistically offers in regards to access to justice. The Main Points (Conclusions) Firstly the report acknowledges the fact that Employment Tribunal claims … Read More

The EU debate – Discrimination Law

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In this blog I want to look at the legal effect of EU membership from the perspective of discrimination law. I begin by quoting (again – I hope he does not mind) from the advice of Michael Ford QC to the TUC* on this subject: “It  is  difficult  to  overstate  the  significance of  EU  law  in  protecting against  sex discrimination.“ … Read More