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Latest employment law developments

Court of Appeal holds that the label given to a misconduct dismissal is immaterial so long as the employee knows what s/he is accused of

Posted on 23 January 2015
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The Court of Appeal has held that an employer’s use of the word ‘fraud’ as shorthand for alleged gross misconduct was an immaterial consideration as to whether the subsequent dismissal was fair. It was merely a label.

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ECJ rules that effects of obesity may amount to disability

Posted on 23 January 2015
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The European Court of Justice has ruled that, whilst obesity is not of itself a ‘disability’, the effects of obesity on a worker’s life could be deemed a ‘disability’.

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EAT finds that dismissal for making offensive, personal tweets is potentially fair

Posted on 23 January 2015
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The Employment Appeal Tribunal has held that offensive tweets made by an employee on his personal Twitter account and which did not relate to the employer could be grounds for dismissal for gross misconduct.

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Deduction for repayment of training fees should be disregarded in calculating minimum wage where employee has voluntarily resgined

Posted on 23 January 2015
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The EAT has held that in circumstances where the employee had voluntarily resigned, an employer was entitled to deduct training fees from the employee’s final salary, even though this resulted in the employee receiving net pay less than the national minimum wage.

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UNISON's second challenge to employment tribunal fees is rejected

Posted on 23 January 2015
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The High Court has rejected UNISON’s second challenge to the imposition of fees to issue claims in the employment tribunal. It found no evidence to support the claim that the fee regime has a prejudicial effect on protected groups (women in particular) or on workers generally.

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Worker not entitled to holiday pay for untaken annual leave as, even though the employer wrongly refused to pay, he was not prevented from taking it

Posted on 23 January 2015
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The Employment Appeal Tribunal has held that a salesman was not entitled to claim for untaken annual leave on termination where he claimed he had not taken the leave because the employer said it would not be paid. He had been paid wages whilst at work during those periods and he had shown no evidence that he was prevented from taking the holiday.

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Depression not a foreseeable consequence of employer's decision to remove employee from his post

Posted on 23 January 2015
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The Court of Appeal has held that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s decision to withdraw a Commissioner from office amounted to breach of contract, but that the Commissioner’s subsequent development of clinical depression was not a foreseeable consequence of its decision. As such, it was not liable for losses the Commissioner suffered as a result.

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Director's duty of confidentiality did not include a duty to return confidential documents

Posted on 23 January 2015
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The High Court has held that a non-executive director was not obliged to return all documents he had received during the course of his appointment which related to the company.

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EAT considers whether prison officers had reasonable belief of danger arising from bad weather

Posted on 11 December 2014
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The Employment Appeal Tribunal considered the situation in which an employee is entitled to refuse to travel to work in bad weather. It found workers could refuse where travelling would cause serious and imminent danger.

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EAT holds that mentally ill employee dismissed for gross misconduct must be culpable

Posted on 11 December 2014
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The EAT has remitted a case to the tribunal to consider whether a mentally ill employee could be considered culpable for his actions which led to his summary dismissal for gross misconduct. It emphasised that the conduct must have been wilful and that the mitigating circumstances of the illness must be taken into account.

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