Employment law stories in the news – 03.11.2014 to 09.11.2014

redmans-blog-newsIn the latest of our series of posts on employment law stories in the news, we take a look at ten cases related to employment law that have made headlines between 3 November and 9 November 2014.

  1. Employer sentenced after elderly worker crushed to death – A Kilmarnock employer has been fined for safety failings after a worker was crushed to death when a heavy gate came off its hinges and fell onto him. Malcolm Macdonald Kennedy, 69, of Riccarton, Kilmarnock, a retired fitter, had been working on a casual basis for Alistair Thomas Corrie, who trades as A Corrie Skip Hire, for around eight years when the incident happened on 12 December 2011 (HSE)
  2. Lonmin directors ‘should be charged as accomplices to murder over Marikana’ – Executives at a London-based mining company should be investigated and charged as accomplices to murder for their role in a police massacre of 34 striking mine workers in South Africa, a judicial commission of inquiry will be told (The Guardian)
  3. Polish workers at Lidl told to stop speaking their native language or they will be sacked – A row has broken out in a Lidl supermarket where Polish workers were told to stop speaking their native language and address customers in English. Staff at the store in Kirkcaldy, Fife, say they were banned from conversing in Polish during their breaks and told to only speak English on the shop floor (The Daily Mail)
  4. Police ‘covered up’ links with union blacklisting – Scotland Yard has been accused of seeking to cover up its involvement in the blacklisting of more than 3,200 construction workers following the emergence of minutes of a meeting between a senior officer in its anti-extremism unit and the organisation running the list (The Guardian)
  5. The top City firm ‘awash with racist and sexist jokes’: Tribunal hears how broker bringing £1.5m harassment claim was called ‘brown boy’ by investment head – Racist and sexist jokes were common currency at a top City brokers, a tribunal has been told. Department head Neil Campbell – who can earn more than £500,000 a year – is accused of receiving a string of derogatory jokes about black people, women, the French and even the Dutch, and displaying no concern at the content (The Daily Mail)
  6. Black teacher wins discrimination tribunal against academy – A school racially discriminated against a maths teacher with more than ten years experience by refusing to consider her for a job. Perena Polius-Curran, 42, took Basildon Acadmies to an employment tribunal after they failed to interview her properly for a head of department role and instead gave the job to a newly-qualified teacher (Echo-News)
  7. Overtime should count in holiday pay – Workers have won a ground-breaking case at the Employment Appeal Tribunal to include overtime in holiday pay. This means some people working overtime could claim for additional holiday pay. Currently, only basic pay counts when calculating holiday pay (BBC)
  8. Taskforce to assess judgment in holiday pay ruling – Business Secretary Vince Cable has today announced he is setting up a taskforce to assess the possible impact of the ruling on holiday pay from the Employment Appeal Tribunal. The taskforce will consist of a selection of government departments and business representative groups. The taskforce will provide a forum to discuss how the impact on business can be limited (Gov.uk)
  9. Compass subsidiary accused of paying bribes to Kazakhstan officials – A subsidiary of Compass Group, the FTSE 100 catering firm, paid bribes to Kazakhstan government officials and has been reported to the Serious Fraud Office, according to allegations made public by a whistleblower (The Guardian)
  10. Pay rise for 60,000 workers after surge in firms signing up to living wage – More than 1,000 companies are now committed to paying the living wage or above, securing tens of millions of pounds in extra pay for the working poor, it will be announced on Monday. The surge in numbers, and the burgeoning campaign to lift the pay of the worst-off, means that about 60,000 people will be given a pay rise after Monday when a new higher living wage rate is announced. The current rate is £8.80 in London and £7.65 elsewhere (The Guardian)