Employment law stories in the news – 01.06.2015 to 07.06.2015

redmans-blog-newsIn the latest of our series of posts on employment law stories in the news, we examine ten employment law stories that have made headlines between 1 June and 7 June 2015

  1. Company fined £140,000 after worker crushed under forklift truck – A Leicestershire aluminium fabricator was sentenced today (3 June) after a worker was crushed under a lifting truck which tipped over while lifting extruder dies from storage racks. Stefan Durina, 33, of Beeston, Nottinghamshire, died following the incident at Boal UK Ltd in Shepshed, near Loughborough, on 23 June 2013 (HSE)
  2. Whistleblower banned from working after raising concerns over elderly woman ‘living like a dog’ – A former carer claims she was banned from working in Waltham Forest after raising concerns over the treatment of an elderly woman “living like a dog” in her own home. Donna Archer, 50, of Park Road, Leyton, has now called greater transparency and training for carers in Waltham Forest following an employment tribunal victory which overturned a suspension from Westminster Homecare (Epping Forest Guardian)
  3. Tribunal fees set to be reviewed after massive fall in cases – Employment tribunal fees are set to be reviewed by the Government following claims the charges are deterring employees taking legitimate action against rogue bosses. Fees were introduced in 2013, and claimants have to stump up more than £1,000 in a bid to get justice in cases in such as unfair dismissals, sexual discrimination and racial prejudice (The Huffington Post)
  4. Government brings forward plans to double free childcare for working families – Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that the government will bring forward plans to double free childcare for working parents – with some families set to benefit as early as next year. The Childcare Bill, introduced Tuesday 2 June 2015, will double free childcare available for all working parents of 3 and 4 year olds to 30 hours a week – available to up to 600,000 families and worth around £5,000 a year – including the £2,500 they can already save from existing free childcare offers (Gov.uk)
  5. Sentences after tree-felling incident leaves worker in wheelchair – A school operator and a cleaning contractor have both been fined, after a man sustained permanent spinal injuries while felling a tree on school grounds in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. The 59 year-old from Gerrard’s Cross, was using a chainsaw to fell a mature sycamore tree at Bassetsbury Manor on 22 April 2013 (HSE)
  6. Quinn Jnr gets €95k award for ‘unfair’ dismissal – Sean Quinn Junior has been awarded more than €95,000 after an Employment Appeals Tribunal determined he had been sacked by his former employers “under the cloak of redundancy”. The son of the country’s one-time richest man, Sean Quinn, had alleged that he was dismissed from his role as head of claims with Quinn Insurance as part of a “de-Quinning” process at the company (Independent.ie)
  7. Employment tribunal caseload rebounds after slump – The number of claims in employment tribunals is bouncing back following the slump after the introduction of fees, figures obtained by a law firm reveal today. Top-100 firm Hugh James said that the number of single claims in tribunal cases has jumped by 16% in six months, rising from 3,790 in the first quarter 2013/14 to 4,390 in the third quarter (The Law Society Gazette)
  8. Cost of suing rogue bosses must fall, ministers told: Fees for tribunals to be reviewed over fears they are stopping workers from bringing genuine claims – The fees for employment tribunals are to be reviewed by the government after concerns the cost was stopping workers bringing genuine claims against rogue bosses. It follows complaints that the £1,200 charge for suing sexist or racist employers was a ‘barrier to justice’ (The Daily Mail)
  9. Manufacturer in court after worker loses arm – An animal feed supplement manufacturer has been fined for serious safety failings after a worker lost his arm after it was pulled into machinery. Frederick Sharp, 71, of Stamford, had to have his right arm amputated after the incident at UFAC (UK) Ltd’s plant in Oakham, Rutland on 14 January 2014 (HSE)
  10. Pay battle by M&S distribution centre workers set to go to court – A Union representing workers at a Marks & Spencer distribution centre in South Marston are taking four employers to court over allegations of unfair pay. For months the GMB have protested on behalf of 400 workers at the DHL depot, which operates as part of Marks & Spencer’s distribution chain, who are employed by an employment agency, 24.7 Recruitment (The Swindon Advertiser)