Age Discrimination & Permanent Health Insurance

Since the abolition of the default retirement age some time ago, questions have arisen regarding what happens to employee benefits should they decide to remain in employment over a certain age. In the recent case of Smith v Gartner UK Ltd, Ms Smith (the Claimant) was absent from work on the grounds of sickness and…

An employee’s right to privacy – are your emails protected?

One of the most common issues encountered by employers today is whether emails sent by employees are able to be used in disciplinary proceedings against them.  Are they the private property of the employee or can an employer use them as evidence if they have an effect on their employees/the workplace? In the case of…

Government minister attacks “scandal” of non-payment of tribunal awards

Business minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe has described as scandalous the fact that so few tribunal awards are paid promptly by employers. However, perhaps she should have looked to her own Government before criticising others. The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill includes provisions that employers who do not pay awards when they are due will receive…

insufficient investigation made dismissal unfair

Employers should take care to investigate allegations of dishonesty involving breach of trust particularly carefully, suggests the Employment Appeal Tribunal in Stuart v London City Airport. Mr Stuart was one of 430 ground services employees at London City Airport who was dismissed for gross misconduct. It was alleged that he had gone to a duty…

just how far can the concept of philosophical beliefs extend?

As originally drafted, the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003 prohibited discrimination on grounds of religion or "similar" philosophical beliefs. Then the Equality Act 2006 removed the requirement for such similarity, and extended the protection to any philosophical belief: the Equality Act 2010 s.10 continues with that wide definition. Removal of just one word…

400,000 pounds award for disability discrimination

Jonathan Jones was dismissed by his employer, Jewson, five months after he suffered a stroke. He was the branch manager of their Cardigan branch and had worked for the company for 22 years. His employer relied on incapacity as a potentially fair reason for dismissal. Unfair dismissal law provides that employment may be terminated on…

It turns on the words – “theft of money” or “loss of money”

Celebi -v- Scolarest Compass Group UK & Ireland Limited is a decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal which emphasises the importance for employers of ensuring that they use the right terminology when taking disciplinary action against employees. The case is also a good example of how an apparently straightforward dismissal can keep an employer occupied…

Associative discrimination – when a “gay pub” becomes a “gastropub”

In Lisboa -v- Realpubs Limited and others the Employment Appeal Tribunal was asked to consider whether the employer’s policy of encouraging a wider clientele at what was previously recognised as a gay pub led to less favourable treatment of gay customers which in turn caused Mr Lisboa to resign in circumstances amounting to discriminatory constructive…