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Employment Matters - October 2023 (PUBLIC HEALTH)

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By Ceri Fuller, Hilary Larter & Zoe Wigan


Published 06 October 2023


Many thanks to those of you who recently attended our annual update seminars in London. Thank you too, for the very positive feedback you gave the events. We are looking forward to seeing more of you at our future sessions. For details of our seminars in Manchester on 12 October 2023 and in Leeds on 17 October 2023, please click here.

In this month's alert we cover cases about indirect sex discrimination in the context of flexible working applications, whether an employee should have been dismissed for using racist language during a training session on race discrimination, and whether an employee was dismissed or whether he had agreed to the termination of his employment.

We have separately updated you about the Supreme Court's recent decision on holiday pay (Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland and another v Agnew and others) where it held that underpayments of holiday pay are not broken by a correct payment nor a gap of more than three months between underpayments. For more detail see our alert here.

Employment law is very much alive again: we look at new legislation giving workers the right to request a predictable working pattern which has been given Royal Assent. Readers should also note the increase in fees for visa applications from this month.

1. Immigration: Increase in fees for visa applications

The Home Office has announced an increase in the application fees for future visa applications for recruiting workers into the UK.

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2. Indirect sex discrimination: Turning down flexible working request not discriminatory despite "childcare disparity"

An employment tribunal has held that the dismissal of a nurse who refused to work at weekends because of childcare responsibilities was objectively justified and not discriminatory.

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3. New legislation: Predictable Terms Act

The Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Act 2023, to give workers and agency workers the right to request a predictable work pattern. Consultation on an ACAS Code of Practice supporting this new right is likely to start in the near future.

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4. Unfair dismissal and disability discrimination: Dismissal for using racist language in a training session was unfair and discriminatory

An employment tribunal has held that in very specific circumstances, it was unfair and discriminatory to dismiss an employee with dyslexia for using offensive racist language during an equality training session.

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5. Unfair dismissal: Employment was terminated by mutual consent

The EAT has upheld an employment tribunal's decision that an employee's employment had terminated by mutual consent and he had not been dismissed, even though the employer had referred to "dismissal" in a letter.

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