Employment Newsletter: Public Sector - May 2014 - DAC Beachcroft

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Employment Newsletter: Public Sector - May 2014

Published On: 8 May 2014

This month we've had a couple of helpful judgments concerning whistleblowing. Both look at the topic of whether an employee had been subjected to a detriment because they had blown the whistle. Both of the cases highlight that employment tribunals can and should make distinctions between alleged protected disclosures themselves and the steps taken by the employer to deal with the disclosures and/or to manage the employee who has made them.

In the past month we have also alerted you to a case looking at whether various pension changes which IBM sought to make were lawful. If you missed our alert click here.


Breach of contract

High Court grants order for imaging and inspection of ex-employee computers

In this case the High Court ordered that an employer could instruct an independent computer expert to inspect and take images from the personal computers of two former employees.

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Early conciliation – ACAS guidance

ACAS has published a leaflet, Early Conciliation explained, which explains how the new early conciliation procedure works. As we set out in our last alert early conciliation has been available for most employment tribunal claims presented on or after 6 April 2014. It is a mandatory first step from 6 May 2014.

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Trade Unions

UK's ban on sympathy strikes is not a breach of the European Convention on Human Rights

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has held unanimously that the UK's ban on secondary industrial action, colloquially known as "sympathy strikes", is lawful and not an unjustified interference with a union's right, under Article 11 of the Convention, to freedom of association.

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Employee liability information to be provided 28 days before the transfer

Although most of the 2014 amendments to TUPE came into force on 31 January 2014, the longer timeframe for providing employee liability information did not. This came into force on 1 May.

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Whistleblower was not subjected to a detriment as the detriment had not been properly identified

In this case the EAT took the opportunity to set out guidance for employment tribunals when assessing whistleblowing cases.

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Employee's detrimental treatment was not materially influenced by the fact he had blown the whistle but for other separate reasons

In this case the EAT held that it was possible to separate the fact that a policeman had made protected disclosures from the fact he was subjected to detriments and ultimately dismissed.

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