Is it an error of law to consider the requirements of s6 EQA in a sequential order? No, says the EAT in Khorochilova v Euro Rep Ltd UKEAT/0266/19/DA – 3PB

‘Following her summary dismissal for gross misconduct, the Claimant brought various claims against her former employer, including a claim of disability discrimination. A preliminary hearing was listed in July 2017 to determine whether she was disabled at the material time. The Claimant identified her disability as ‘Mixed Personality Disorder’, which she said, made her ‘somewhat obsessive’ and a bit of a ‘perfectionist’. She relied upon a report prepared by a Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr Schuff, which had been prepared at some point in 2010. Dr Schuff declined to diagnose the Claimant as having a multiple personality disorder but described her as suffering with ‘problematic personality traits’. There was no reference to mixed personality disorder within the Claimant’s GP records until after she was dismissed.’

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3PB, 3rd August 2020

Source: www.3pb.co.uk

Was an employee who resigned as a result of a restructuring exercise constructively unfairly dismissed? – 3PB

Posted August 11th, 2020 in constructive dismissal, news, redundancy, unfair dismissal by sally

‘In a restructuring exercise the Respondent employer had sought to “map” the Claimant into a new role and did not treat her as redundant. The Claimant did not agree that her original role mapped to the new role and did not believe the new role was suitable for her. She considered it a role with lower status, fewer senior responsibilities, and a change of job content; she did not believe that it was 70% similar to her existing job. She resigned in protest, claiming constructive unfair dismissal, wrongful dismissal and a redundancy payment. The ET found that the new role was significantly different to the old role, and that the Respondent had breached the implied term of trust and confidence when it failed to consult, failed properly to assess the roles, and failed properly to address the Claimant’s grievance and appeal. The employer appealed. The EAT found that the ET was entitled to find that the Claimant was constructively dismissed. However, in finding that the dismissal was unfair, the ET had failed to direct itself that this was a separate issue, failed to address the issue of reason for dismissal and fairness, and/or failed to give proper reasons for its conclusion that the dismissal was unfair. There was, in fact, no disagreement between the parties that, if there was a dismissal, the reason was redundancy. The case would be remitted to the ET (to the same Employment Judge) to determine whether the dismissal on grounds of redundancy was unfair. The claims of wrongful dismissal and for a redundancy payment remained to be heard in the ET.’

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3PB, 3rd August 2020

Source: www.3pb.co.uk

Worker Status Sent Spinning: Case summary of Varnish v British Cycling – 3PB

‘Ms Varnish (the Claimant) is a talented cyclist. She holds world records for track cycling and has won medals at the European Championships, World Cup and Commonwealth Games. She entered into an “Athlete Agreements” with British Cycling (the Respondent). This agreement expressly stated that it was not a contract of employment, that the Respondent would develop an Individual Rider Plan and provide the Claimant with support required, and that the Claimant would, among other things, train to the best of her abilities. The agreement provided for suspension and termination by the Respondent in certain circumstances.’

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3PB, 3rd August 2020

Source: www.3pb.co.uk

Partner fired for ‘topping up’ fees overturns tribunal ruling – Legal Futures

‘The Employment Appeal Tribunal has overturned a ruling that a law firm was entitled to fire a partner who was accused of “topping up” legal aid fees with cash from a client’s father.’

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Legal Futures, 7th August 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Young CICA solicitor was not unfairly dismissed – Legal Futures

‘A young solicitor at the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), who left only six months after completing her traineeship because her fixed-term contract (FTC) had expired, was not unfairly dismissed, an employment tribunal has ruled.’

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Legal Futures, 20th July 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Marriage discrimination: Gould v St Johns Downshire Hill UKEAT/0002/20/BA – 3PB

‘The Claimant, Mr Gould, was a vicar of an evangelical Christian church, St Johns, Downshire Hill, in Hampstead, London (the Respondent). In August 2016, he was dismissed from his role. The reason given by the Respondent was an irretrievable breakdown in relations between the Claimant and the Trustees, the Leadership Team, certain members of staff and other members of the congregation. The Claimant alleged that the reason for his dismissal was the breakdown of his marriage in May 2015. He brought a claim to the ET, alleging direct marriage discrimination, and that his dismissal was for a discriminatory reason and procedurally unfair.’

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3PB, 1st July 2020

Source: www.3pb.co.uk

Royal Mail postman caught urinating in public was unfairly dismissed, a tribunal has ruled – Daily Telegraph

Posted June 25th, 2020 in complaints, employment tribunals, news, postal service, unfair dismissal by sally

‘Royal Mail postmen should not be sacked if they are caught urinating during rounds, a tribunal has suggested, after one worker was dismissed for relieving himself in a lay-by.’

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Daily Telegraph, 23rd June 2020

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

Wrongful dismissal – how not to go wrong: Cameron v East Coast Main Line Company Limited UKEAT/0212/19/BA – 3PB

‘In Cameron v East Coast Main Line Company Limited UKEAT/0212/19/BA,1 the EAT dealt with the question of whether length of service is a relevant consideration when asking whether a dismissal is wrongful.’

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3PB, 2nd June 2020

Source: www.3pb.co.uk

Changing contractual terms (or not!) in a TUPE Transfer – Ferguson and ors v Astrea Asset Management Ltd [2020] UKEAT0139/19 – 3PB

‘This was EAT decision involving 4 individuals – Mr F, Mr K, Mr L and Mr P. They were all directors of Lancer; Mr F and Mr K were employees of that company, and Mr L and Mr P were employed by companies which contracted their services to Lancer.’

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3PB, 2nd June 2020

Source: www.3pb.co.uk

Professional Regulation – Case Comment: Caroline Reilly V Teaching Regulation Agency and Secretary of State for Education (2020) EWHC 1188 (Admin) – Park Square Barristers

‘The appellant was the head teacher of a primary school in the West Midlands. She was dismissed from her post in July 2011 following disciplinary proceedings which arose in consequence of her failure to disclose the fact of her personal relationship with a man who had been convicted of offences involving the making and possessing of indecent images of children.’

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Park Square Barristers, 15th May 2020

Source: www.parksquarebarristers.co.uk

The Implied Term of Trust and Confidence and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: a Reply – Old Square Chambers

‘On 14 April 2020, our colleague Stuart Brittenden published an article arguing that the implied term of mutual trust and confidence (“the implied term”) requires employers to make use of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (“CJRS”) for agency workers, zero-hour contract workers, and employees, generally.’

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Old Square Chambers, 19th May 2020

Source: www.oldsquare.co.uk

The Scope of the Last Straw Doctrine: Identifying The Camel’s Back. Williams v The Governing Body of Alderman Davies Church in Wales Primary School UKEAT/0109/19/LA – Parklane Plowden Chambers

‘After a period of mistreatment at the hands of his employer, encompassing a number of different acts or omissions, an employee resigns. The “trigger” for the resignation, the most recent incident (often identified as “the last straw”) has however been misinterpreted by the employee and is “entirely innocuous”; the employer did nothing wrong. The claim of constructive unfair dismissal fails, right?’

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Parklane Plowden Chambers, 12th May 2020

Source: www.parklaneplowden.co.uk

Shut-down firm ordered to pay former staff £375,000 – Legal Futures

‘A law firm shut down by its regulator last year has been ordered to pay former staff £375,000 for multiple employment law breaches.’

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Legal Futures, 22nd May 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Reilly v Secretary of State for Education – Blackstone Chambers

‘This decision exemplifies the stricter approach the courts are now taking in disciplinary cases where the regulated person fails to attend a hearing.’

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Blackstone Chambers, 13th May 2020

Source: www.blackstonechambers.com

British lawyer sues EU over her removal from its court due to Brexit – The Guardian

Posted May 1st, 2020 in barristers, brexit, citizenship, courts, EC law, employment, news, unfair dismissal by sally

‘The UK’s last judicial member of the European court of justice is suing the council of the European Union and the EU court over her removal from office because of Brexit.’

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The Guardian, 1st May 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Covid 19 Employment Law Series: Covid-19 and Loss of Earnings – Parklane Plowden

‘It is to be expected that the current pandemic will result in employers seeking to rely on economic hard times with a view to curtailing employees’ claims for loss of earnings and financial benefits. This will typically be through reliance on the contention that the employees would have been dismissed in any event and any compensation for loss of remuneration should therefore, be extinguished or reduced. In some cases, there will be genuine grounds for such a stance, whilst opportunism could be the driver in others. Thus far, there is no indication that significant job losses are predicted in central and local government and in public services sector. What is said hereafter is applicable principally to employment outside the public sector. This article deals both with ordinary unfair dismissal claim and claims in Great Britain based on protected status where there is no cap on compensation.’

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Parklane Plowden, 7th April 2020

Source: www.parklaneplowden.co.uk

Tribunal “incredulous” after firm secretary ends up in client’s will – Legal Futures

‘An employment tribunal has expressed its “incredulity” at the way a solicitor’s former secretary befriended one of his clients and ended up in the client’s will.’

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Legal Futures, 21st April 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Can dismissal for self-isolating be automatically unfair? – St John’s Buildings

Posted April 20th, 2020 in chambers articles, coronavirus, employment, equality, news, unfair dismissal by sally

‘Most of us are now up to speed (as far as possible) with the principle, and maybe practice, of furlough, but one thing that has yet to be tested is the ability of unfair dismissal protection to safeguard employees that are unable to attend or carry out work in line with current guidelines. At one point (specifically, 23.03.2020), there was a proposal to introduce provisions creating an automatic unfair dismissal where that dismissal was for ‘coronavirus-related’ reasons, and where the employer was entitled to reimbursement of statutory sick pay or payment under the coronavirus job retention scheme. That would have been to ensure that businesses being forced to close would also not result in mass job losses when funding to retain those jobs was available as an alternative to dismissal. At the date of writing, that proposal has not progressed, nor is there any other proposal to safeguard employees from any other ‘coronavirus-related’ dismissal. Whilst ordinary unfair dismissal principles will assist those employees with at least two years’ continuous employment, I wanted to consider a couple of options potentially open to employees not qualifying for that protection.’

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St John's Chambers, 16th April 2020

Source: stjohnsbuildings.com

Employee Dismissal Rights when Shielding: An Overview – Doughty Street Chambers

Posted April 20th, 2020 in chambers articles, coronavirus, employment, equality, news, unfair dismissal by sally

‘If your employer dismisses you as a result of you being unable to work due to you being in the shield group then you may have a claim for automatic unfair dismissal under s100(1)(d) or (e) of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (“ERA”), no minimum qualifying period of employment is required to bring this claim.’

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Doughty Street Chambers, 14th April 2020

Source: insights.doughtystreet.co.uk

Illegality and separating a PD from an underlying dispute – 3PB

‘Tracey Robinson (‘C’) was hired by Mr Cathcart on behalf of the Crown Prince Ras-alKhaimah (‘the Sheikh’) in 2007 to carry out a number of duties including looking after the Sheikh’s children and properties in the UK. The contract clearly stipulated that C was responsible for paying her own tax.’

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3PB, 2nd March 2020

Source: www.3pb.co.uk