Charlesworth v Dransfields Engineering Services Ltd
Mr Charlesworth, a branch manager, took a period of sick leave after developing cancer. His employer had been looking to make cost savings, and during Mr Charlesworth’s absence the business identified the possibility of a restructure that would delete his job and save the business up to £40,000 a year.
Kinnear v Marley Eternit Ltd t/a Marley Contract Services
Mr Kinnear was taken on by Marley under a four-year apprenticeship during which he was trained in roofing.
A downturn in workload led to his dismissal for redundancy despite his contract having 122 weeks left to run. He could not find another company to take him on, and so was not able to finish his apprenticeship.
Gnahoua v Abellio London Ltd
Employees have the right to be accompanied by a colleague, or a trade union representative or official at a disciplinary hearing. An employer who breaches this could face a tribunal claim and the possibility of having to pay compensation of up to two weeks’ pay.
The Government Legal Service v Brookes
Psychometric testing has long been a way of assessing the aptitude of job applicants. But this tick-box test, marked by computers, doesn’t necessarily provide a level playing field.
Ms Brookes has Asperger’s Syndrome. She applied for a job as a trainee lawyer in the Government Legal Services (GLS). The first stage of the recruitment process was a multiple-choice test, known as a Situational Judgment Test (SJT). Ms Brookes asked if she could respond by giving short narrative written answers. (The tribunal went on to find that, as a person with Asperger’s, she lacked social imagination and would have difficulties in imaginative and counter-factual reasoning in hypothetical scenarios.) GLS refused.
Focus Care Agency v Roberts
Certain industries, perhaps most notably the care industry, rely on workers being on-call; sometimes even sleeping at work so that they’re on site and available to help if needed. The perennial question, for employment law purposes, is whether these workers are ‘working’ – and entitled to the rights that go with that (not least the National Minimum Wage) – for the entire time, and not just when they are awake and attending to duties.
Workplace dress codes have been hitting the headlines recently as a result of the challenging (and potentially discriminatory) demands some employers have placed on their female staff.
In late 2015 the press reported that Nicola Thorp had been sent home from her agency role as a Receptionist at PwC’s offices in London as a result of her refusal to wear high heels in the workplace. She was informed that the smart, flat shoes she was wearing were not acceptable under the dress code policy as it required heels of a specific height to be worn. The agency had a particularly detailed dress code policy which specified, amongst other things, that female staff must:
Fees were introduced into the Employment Tribunal system on 29 July 2013, with claimants being required to pay a fee to issue their claim and another fee in order to progress their claim to a final hearing before an Employment Judge. In addition, parties are now also required to pay fees for things like reconsideration of judgments or dismissal of claims after they have been withdrawn.