Automated Dismissal Decisions, Data Protection and The Law of Unfair Dismissal – by Philippa Collins – UK Labour Law

‘In Summer 2021, Bloomberg published a striking series of stories from working people who had been ‘fired by a machine’. Stephen Normandin had worked for several years for Amazon Flex as a member of a fleet of ‘contract drivers’ who provide same-day delivery services for groceries and packages. Like other members of Amazon’s significant workforce, Stephen’s work was monitored through a system of real-time data collection and algorithmic analysis. Stephen’s performance rating plummeted after a series of unfortunate incidents made his job more difficult: inaccessible gated communities and lockers, unresponsive recipients and unhelpful responses from the company. Shortly after, he received an email stating that his contract had been terminated. Stephen took up the opportunity to appeal the decision but received a series of emails, each with a different name attached, that took him no further. The final email that Stephen received stated that the difficulties he had cited had already been taken into account. His termination stood, even though he was never able to interact ‘live’ with another human being.’

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UK Labour Law, 19th October 2021

Source: uklabourlawblog.com

Martin v City and County of Swansea – Equality Law Blog

Posted October 14th, 2021 in disability discrimination, employment tribunals, equality, news by sally

‘The decision of the EAT in this case provides a useful reminder of the proper approach to the PCP in reasonable adjustment claims. EAT (judge James Tayler, sitting alone) ruled that an employment tribunal had erred in law in rejecting the claimant’s attempt to rely on, as a PCP, a Management of Absence Policy which included discretion which would have permitted, amongst other steps, the claimant’s redeployment to an alternative role. The Tribunal had ruled that the application of the policy to the claimant did not constitute the application of a PCP that placed her at a substantial disadvantage in comparison with non-disabled persons.’

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Equality Law Blog, 13th October 2021

Source: equalitylawblog.com

New Judgment: Anwar v The Advocate General for Scotland (representing the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Scotland) [2021] UKSC 44 – UKSC Blog

‘The Supreme Court unanimously dismissed this appeal concerning the petition for judicial review against the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy for failure to provide effective interim protection for successful workplace discrimination and harassment claims, in breach of EU law.’

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UKSC Blog, 13th October 2021

Source: ukscblog.com

Capability and conduct dismissals – Local Government Lawyer

‘Can the Employment Tribunal “go behind” a final written warning? Madeleine Shields reports on a recent Employment Appeal Tribunal ruling.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 8th October 2021

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Students used by law firm for agency advocacy are ‘workers’ – Legal Futures

‘A Bar student who handled agency advocacy work through a law firm was a worker with certain rights and not self-employed, an employment tribunal has ruled.’

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Legal Futures, 8th October 2021

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Calling women ‘birds’ is ‘plainly sexist’, judge rules as Barclays banker wins discrimination claim – The Independent

‘A UK judge has ruled that calling women “birds” is “plainly sexist,” and even using the term jokingly is “foolish” in a landmark discrimination case. The ruling came following a tribunal brought by a Barclays investment banker after her boss repeatedly called women “birds.” ‘

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The Independent, 22nd September 2021

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Law and the Culture War – UK Human Rights Blog

‘The judgment in Forstater v CDG Europe UKEAT/0105/20/JOJ has forced the courts yet again to grapple with the transgender debate. We have already seen the judiciary face up to the challenging issues of whether children with gender dysphoria can consent to receiving puberty blockers (see recent decision in Bell v Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust [2021] EWCA Civ 1363). In the present case, the issue was whether the Claimant’s belief that biological sex is real, important, immutable, and not to be conflated with gender identity was a “philosophical belief” within the meaning of section 10 of Equality Act 2010 (“EqA”).’

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UK Human Rights Blog, 21st September 2021

Source: ukhumanrightsblog.com

Tribunal declines to strike out pupillage discrimination claim – The Guardian

‘An employment tribunal has refused to strike out a claim that a chambers discriminated against a pupillage applicant even though it has “little reasonable chance” of succeeding.’

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Legal Futures, 21st September 2021

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Woman refused 5pm finish wins £185,000 payout – BBC News

‘Alice Thompson wanted to work shorter hours to pick her daughter up from nursery, but ended up resigning.’

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BBC News, 7th September 2021

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

NHS child gender identity clinic whistleblower wins tribunal – BBC News

‘A woman who raised concerns about the safety of children at an NHS gender clinic has been awarded £20,000 in an employment tribunal case.’

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BBC News, 5th September 2021

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

PI claim to proceed despite tribunal settlement – Law Society’s Gazette

‘The High Court has allowed a PI claim to be pursued by an employee against his former bosses – even though the parties settled an employment tribunal claim over the same matter years previously.’

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Law Society's Gazette, 2nd September 2021

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Staying away from work because of Covid: a trap for employers? – Local Government Lawyer

‘Hari Menon looks at the problems that arise for employers where an employee stays away from work, pointing to the risks to his health from potentially contracting Covid.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 3rd September 2021

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

A constructive dismissal is, in principle, capable of constituting an act of harassment, within the meaning of section 26 of the Equality Act 2010 – 3PB

‘The EAT’s earlier decision in Timothy James Consulting Ltd v Wilton [2015] IRLR 368 had been decided per incuriam European Directives and domestic case law, in the light of which it was “manifestly wrong”. In so far as Wilton had decided that a constructive dismissal could not itself amount to an act of unlawful harassment within the meaning of section 26 of the Equality Act 2010 (“EqA”), it would not be followed.’

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3PB, August 2021

Source: www.3pb.co.uk

The ‘shifting’ burden and the drawing of adverse inferences – 3PB

‘The Supreme Court has unanimously dismissed this appeal concerning two questions of law:
(i) whether a change in the wording of equality legislation has altered the burden of proof in employment discrimination cases, and
(ii) when a tribunal may draw adverse inferences from the absence of a potential witness.’

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3PB, 9th August 2021

Source: www.3pb.co.uk

Determining the question of motivation in whistleblowing claims is not always as complicated as it seems – 3PB

‘Prior to her dismissal, the claimant was a senior employee with a continuous unblemished service record of 38 years.’

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3PB, 9th August 2021

Source: www.3pb.co.uk

PDS employee dismissed after work with murderer awarded £100k – Legal Futures

‘The Public Defender Service (PDS) has been ordered to pay £100,000 in compensation to an employee unfairly dismissed after suffering post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to her work debriefing a murderer.’

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Legal Futures, 23rd August 2021

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

UK academic sues university after losing role in critical race theory row – The Guardian

‘Aysha Khanom claims discrimination after Leeds Beckett accused her of using “racist language” in tweets.’

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The Guardian, 16th March 2021

Source: www.theguardian.com

Unfair dismissal and religion again: Ferguson v Kintail Trustees – Law & Religion UK

‘In Mr K Ferguson v Kintail Trustees Ltd & Anor [2021] ET 4103321/2020, the claimant was Director and Chief Executive of Kintail Trustees, a limited company that operates as the corporate trustee of the Robertson Trust, a charity. He was also an elder, the treasurer and a trustee of Stirling Free Church of Scotland’

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Law & Religion UK, 9th August 2021

Source: lawandreligionuk.com

Employer reasonable adjustment requirements highlighted in pay dispute – OUT-LAW.com

‘A recent ruling by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) provides useful guidance for employers about their obligations to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to pay to account for employee disability, an employment law expert has said.’

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OUT-LAW.com, 6th August 2021

Source: www.pinsentmasons.com

Menopause at centre of increasing number of UK employment tribunals – The Guardian

‘Growing numbers of women are taking their employers to court citing the menopause as proof of unfair dismissal and direct sex discrimination, researchers have said.’

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The Guardian, 7th August 2021

Source: www.theguardian.com