Employment Matters April 2018

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Employment Matters April 2018

Published 13 April 2018

This month, the world of employment law has produced a rich variety of cases, as covered in this alert. These range from a Supreme Court decision that it was fair to dismiss a head teacher who had not disclosed a relationship which presented a potential risk to children, a TUPE case on fragmentation, a decision that a “pre-cancerous” condition was a deemed disability, the EAT’s decision that an employer cannot discriminate against someone for being pregnant if it doesn’t know that they are pregnant, a case on working time rest breaks, one about cost orders, and, finally, a Court of Appeal decision relating to reasonable adjustments.

In wider developments, the Low Pay Commission has opened a consultation on national minimum and living wage rates, more details on which are in this alert. The Equality and Human Rights Commission has also published a report “Turning the tables: Ending sexual harassment at work” calling for changes to the law to ensure more effective protection from sexual harassment at work, including limits on the use of non-disclosure agreements and confidentiality clauses relating to sexual harassment. The lawyers among our readers should note the SRA’s notice on the use of non-disclosure agreements, (see link here), which will be of particular relevance to those drafting confidentiality provisions in settlement agreements.

Unfair dismissal: It was reasonable to dismiss a head teacher for not disclosing a relationship which presented a risk to children

The Supreme Court has upheld a tribunal decision that a school acted reasonably in dismissing a head teacher who did not disclose her relationship with a person convicted of making indecent images of children.

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TUPE: Service provision changes and fragmentation

In this case, the EAT considered whether there had been a service provision change where the provision of adult care packages for a local authority was fragmented and allocated to multiple providers.

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Working time: Rest breaks and injury to feelings awards

The Court of Appeal has held that compensation for injury to feelings is not available where there has been a failure to provide rest breaks under the Working Time Regulations 1998.

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National minimum wage: Consultation on new national minimum wage rates and national living rates

The Low Pay Commission has opened a consultation seeking views on existing national minimum wage and national living wages rates and the rates that should apply from April 2019.

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Disability discrimination: Is a “pre-cancerous” condition a disability?

The EAT has held that a tribunal was wrong to decide that a form of skin cancer described as “pre-cancerous” was not a deemed disability.

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Employment tribunals: Costs orders

The EAT has confirmed that costs orders can be awarded in respect of costs incurred before the claimant received the ET3.

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Pregnancy discrimination: An employer cannot discriminate on the grounds of pregnancy if it does not know about the pregnancy

To be liable for automatic unfair dismissal or discrimination on the grounds of pregnancy, the employer must know, or believe, that the employee was pregnant when it decided to dismiss.

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Disability discrimination: Long working hours

The Court of Appeal has confirmed that an expectation that a disabled employee would work long hours amounted to a provision, criterion or practice for the purposes of a claim of failure to make reasonable adjustments.

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Authors

Ceri Fuller

Ceri Fuller

London - Walbrook

+44 (0)20 7894 6583

Joanne Bell

Joanne Bell

Manchester

+44 (0) 161 934 3179

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