Employment Matters September 2017

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Employment Matters September 2017

Published 5 September 2017

This month has been much quieter in the world of employment law. Following last month's Supreme Court decision that tribunal fees are unlawful, the Government is set to announce arrangements for reimbursement of fees paid by Claimants and employers soon.

For a more in-depth look at the employment tribunal fees issue do read our article here which first appeared in the September 2017 issue of PLC Magazine.

Since this article was written we understand an employment tribunal has allowed an out-of-time discrimination claim to proceed where the claimant had previously presented her claim in time, but had her claim rejected due to her failure to pay the fee.

In this month's alert, we cover a case which makes clear that employers should be wary when suspending employees. We also look at a couple of recent pensions cases in which the Court of Appeal took a pragmatic approach when considering the issue of trust and confidence, and in one of the cases, the duty of good faith. Worker status is also covered this time in a case bought by a cycle courier. We also look briefly at data protection changes ahead.

Pensions: Court of Appeal takes pragmatic approach to changes affecting pensions

Religion or belief discrimination: disciplining an employee for quoting bible passages that caused offence was not religious discrimination

In two recent cases the Court of Appeal have taken a pragmatic approach when considering the issue of trust and confidence, and in one of the cases, the duty of good faith, in finding for the employer where the employer sought to make pension savings to its defined benefit pension scheme(s).

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The EAT has held that a prison employee disciplined for quoting bible passages which caused offence in a prison chapel service did not suffer direct or indirect discrimination, and that the tribunal was correct in requiring evidence of group disadvantage in the indirect discrimination claim.

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Constructive dismissal: suspension was not a neutral act but a repudiatory breach of contract

Worker status: Addison Lee cycle courier was a worker

The High Court has held that the suspension, pending investigation, of a teacher accused of having used unreasonable force against children was a breach of trust and confidence.

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In the latest case on worker status, an Employment Tribunal held that a cycle courier was a worker, not a genuinely self-employed independent contractor, and so was entitled to statutory paid holiday.

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The General Data Protection Regulation - what are the implications for employers as data controllers?

Last month the Government issued its statement of intent to publish a new Data Protection Bill. The Data Protection Bill will bring into law the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which takes direct effect in the UK on 25 May 2018 and will be the most comprehensive overhaul of data protection law in this generation. The new regime for handling personal data has particular challenges for employers in their capacity as data controllers with increased rights for individuals and enhanced fines for non-compliance.

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Authors

Ceri Fuller

Ceri Fuller

London - Walbrook

+44 (0)20 7894 6583

Zoë Wigan

Zoë Wigan

London - Walbrook

+44 (0)20 7894 6564

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