Employment law stories in the news – 03.08.2015 to 09.08.2015

redmans-blog-newsIn the latest of our series of posts on employment law stories in the news, we take a look at ten employment law stories that have made the news between 3 August and 9 August 2015

  1. Union files pay claim to Sports Direct over zero hours contracts – Unions representing staff at Sports Direct’s main warehouse in Shirebrook have filed a pay claim asking the retailer to move thousands of zero-hours workers on to permanent contracts (The Guardian)
  2. Manufacturer fined after worker suffered head injuries – A Bath-based manufacturer, Rotork UK Ltd, was fined for safety failings on Thursday 6 August 2015. Mansfield Magistrates’ Court heard how on the 31 January 2014 a 30-year-old worker was struck in the face by a chuck key at their site in Huthwaite, resulting in serious injuries (HSE)
  3. Pizza chain’s angry staff launch protests over slice taken off their hard-earned tips – Indignant waiters are calling for public support in a battle to hold on to their tips. Pizza Express branches are to be targeted by protesters from Monday, as part of an attempt to get the restaurant chain to stop creaming off a proportion of tips for staff that have been paid on credit and debit cards (The Guardian)
  4. Automatic union fee payments ‘to end in public sector’ – Plans to stop public sector workers automatically paying subscriptions to trade unions through their salaries have been unveiled by the government. Ministers say the process is “outdated” and ending it would give workers more control and save more than £6m a year by cutting employers’ administration (BBC)
  5. Fired HSBC Executive Sues for $23 Million Amid Racism Claims – HSBC Holdings Plc was sued by a manager who said he was underpaid and ultimately dismissed because senior staff had a problem with the fact he was Turkish and a Muslim. Habib Kaya Biber, the former co-head of the bank’s industrials unit, was treated with “utter disrespect” after 10 years at the bank, his lawyers said in documents filed at a London employment tribunal Tuesday. He is seeking 15 million pounds ($23 million), HSBC said in its own filing (Bloomberg)
  6. Government proposes to abolish £30,000 relief on termination payments – Employers will be disappointed to learn that tax and NIC free termination payments up to £30,000 may soon become a thing of the past. The government proposes to replace the current tax and NIC treatment of termination payments with a “simpler” regime consisting of new exemptions on termination payments (Lexology)
  7. EU Kosovo mission accused of trying to silence whistleblower – The European Union’s biggest foreign mission has been accused of using its powers to try to silence a whistleblower who claims to have uncovered evidence of possible corruption. Eulex, the foreign mission in Kosovo, is being taken to an employment tribunal by the London-based lawyer Maria Bamieh. She claims she was forced from her job as a prosecutor after exposing evidence of bribery among senior staff (The Guardian)
  8. Gillingham and chairman Paul Scally fined £75,000 for ‘race victimisation’ – Gillingham and their chairman, Paul Scally, have each been fined £75,000 for “race victimisation” relating to the departure of the striker Mark McCammon in 2011. McCammon spent three years with Gillingham, and an employment tribunal in Ashford had previously ruled his departure was because of racial discrimination. McCammon claimed the club refused him treatment for an injury and docked his wages (The Guardian)
  9. Derbyshire NHS chief branded female colleague a ‘whore’ after she snubbed his sexual advances – A health watchdog is investigating an NHS trust after a sexual harassment employment tribunal identified “significant issues”. Government regulator Monitor is probing Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust to see if there are other problems with the way the organisation is run (The Derbyshire Times)
  10. Age discrimination: police officers to appeal against EAT decision on A19 retirement – An appeal has been lodged against the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) ruling that requiring police officers to retire after 30 years’ service to cut costs was not age discrimination. The EAT judgment in this case, which has wide implications for all police forces in England and Wales, was delivered on 8 July 2015 (Personnel Today)