Unfair dismissal can blight your career indefinitely but, with the right legal advice, you can be compensated for every penny you lose in earnings. One case that proved the point concerned a finance director who was persecuted for whistleblowing and found herself out of a job in middle age.
Many medical conditions amount to disabilities for the purposes of employment law, but matters can become more complicated when the combined effect of more than one condition is considered. The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) tackled that issue in the case of a man who suffered from both hearing loss and impaired movement in his arm and shoulder.
All workplace disciplinary investigations must be fair, but even greater vigilance is needed where alleged misconduct is very serious and credibility is in issue. The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) made that point in boosting the compensation hopes of a care assistant who was sacked after 25 years’ service.
Companies are legally responsible for the misdeeds of their workers – but only if they are committed in the course of their employment. In one case that strikingly made the point, a recruitment company was held not liable for catastrophic injuries inflicted by its managing director on the night of the office Christmas party.
In an important test case concerning a bus driver who claimed to have been forced to work eight-hour shifts without a break, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has warned employers that they are required to take a proactive approach to compliance with the Working Time Regulations 1998 (WTR).
As any sensible employer knows, it is essential to check workers’ credentials before taking them on, particularly if they will be handling money. In one case where that did not happen, a company employed a crooked accountant who had fraud convictions and who proceeded to help himself to almost £650,000.
In a case that broke new legal ground, a former company director has been granted permission to pursue a wrongful dismissal claim in conjunction with unfair prejudice proceedings under Section 994 of the Companies Act 2006.
Workplace disciplinary processes often have a number of distinct phases and legal errors in any one of them can be enough to infect the whole. That point was made in the case of a BBC producer who was summarily dismissed after being issued with a manifestly inappropriate final written warning.
Discrimination in the workplace comes in many guises, not all of which are obvious at first sight. In one case, an Employment Tribunal (ET) identified an unusual example in the form of a policy that resulted in workers who were perceived as having uncertain immigration status being paid less than their peers.
Any business, however small, that deals with the public would be wise to seek legal advice on how to ensure compliance with anti-discrimination laws. In one case that made that point, a retail bakery was found to have discriminated against a gay customer when it refused to ice the message ‘Support Gay Marriage’ onto a cake.
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