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Published 8 April 2014
Case law keeps coming thick and fast and this month has been no exception. One of the many interesting cases in this alert concerns covert recordings made by an employee of the private deliberations at her grievance and disciplinary hearings. The EAT decided that the evidence was admissible.
A number of legislative changes were made to employment law on 6 April 2014. One of these, ACAS early conciliation (EC), may turn out be nothing more than an administrative hurdle for prospective claimants, but where ACAS do get involved in negotiations a late change to the legislation means that prospective claimants will have to fill in a separate EC form in respect of each potential respondent. This means that if individuals are named as potential respondents in, for example, potential discrimination claims these individual employees will be called by ACAS about whether the claim can be settled. This late change makes it all the more important that all organisations put in place a structure for dealing with early conciliation and let their employees know what to do if they are called by ACAS. All the April changes are outlined below.
In this case the EAT found that an employee who had been dismissed after her maternity leave, because of long-term sickness absence arising from post-natal depression, had not been discriminated against either because of her pregnancy or her sex.
In this case the EAT decided that covert recordings of the private deliberations of a disciplinary and grievance panel should be admissible in evidence.
This case is relevant for NHS bodies who are putting in place alternative structures, such as a separate company, through which to provide services. The case makes it clear that those alternative vehicles may well be regarded as associated employers, so employing staff in them on less favourable terms and conditions than their NHS comparators is not without risk.
In this case the EAT confirmed it had been open to a tribunal to conclude TUPE applied where the responsibility for the distribution of goods transferred from a haulage company to a brokerage.
This case reminds employers that when deciding whether a whistleblower has suffered a detriment because they have "blown the whistle", tribunals must consider whether the disclosure materially influenced the decision or action taken against them.
In this case the Court of Appeal overturned an EAT decision and held that the Equality Act 2010 does provide protection against post-employment victimisation.
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