Employment law stories in the news – 04.05.2015 to 10.05.2015

redmans-blog-newsIn the latest of our series of posts on employment law stories in the news this week, we take a look at ten employment law stories that have made headlines between 4 May and 10 May 2015

  1. Police will not challenge race discrimination ruling – Wiltshire Police have confirmed that they will not appeal against a decision by an employment tribunal which found they had racially discriminated a black police officer. A decision earlier this month found that PC Ronnie Lungu had been turned down for promotion due to the colour of his skin (The Salisbury Journal)
  2. Food company fined £170,000 after worker electrocuted – A fresh produce manufacturing company has been fined £170,000 after a worker was killed after coming into contact with a live 240V electrical cable. Chichester Crown Court was told that, Bradley Watts, a 21 year old sub-contractor, was lagging pipes in the loft space of Natures Ways Foods premises in Chichester, on 2 June 2011. He came into contact with a 240V live electrical cable and was electrocuted. He was pronounced dead at the scene by the ambulance crew (HSE)
  3. Court of Appeal to hear Judicial Review of unfair dismissal compensation cap – Compromise Agreements Ltd instigated a Judicial Review against the Government’s decision to introduce a statutory cap of 52 weeks’ pay for unfair dismissal compensation, i.e. it is the lower of 52 weeks’ gross pay or the statutory maximum cap in force at the time (currently £78,335) (The HR Director)
  4. Policeman wrongly accused of data protection breaches sues Police Scotland for £1m – A police officer wrongly accused of data protection breaches is suing Police Scotland for more than £1million. Constables Andrew Reid, 36, and former partner Amanda Daly, 34, were charged over claims they looked at police computer records after being attacked while off duty in 2009 (The Daily Record)
  5. Pharmaceutical firm failed to protect worker from hazardous substances – Macfarlan Smith Limited of Wheatfield Road, Edinburgh pleaded guilty to safety failings after an employee was exposed to hazardous substances. The company, that manufactures basic pharmaceutical products, appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court and was fined £27,000 after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HSE)
  6. Care charity criticised in minimum wage row – The biggest social care charity has been criticised for refusing to issue backdated pay to workers who were not paid the minimum wage. Trade Union Unison says it is furious with the Richmond Fellowship Scotland (RFS) over its treatment of staff who receive a set payment for sleepover shifts (Herald Scotland)
  7. Paralegal barred by SRA for taking client information – A former paralegal has been barred from the legal profession having already been fined £300 for illegally taking client information. James Pickles, who worked as a paralegal at Jordans Solicitors in Dewsbury, Yorkshire, was prosecuted last September for taking information about more than 100 people before leaving for a rival firm in 2013 (The Law Society Gazette)
  8. Flawed redundancy consultation with BT staff – An employment tribunal has awarded compensation to the former employees of a BT subsidiary for the failure to carry out proper redundancy consultation when their site closed. Stephen Simpson rounds up employment tribunal decisions reported in the past week (Personnel Today)
  9. Fresh twist in whistleblower Kevin Beatt’s legal battle as Croydon NHS trust wins right to appeal unfair dismissal ruling – The NHS trust that runs Croydon University Hospital has won the right to appeal a damning judgment on its sacking of a whistleblower doctor, in a fresh twist in a protracted three-year legal battle. A judge in January had previously found Croydon Health Services (CHS) had no prospect of overturning a ruling directors unfairly dismissed consultant cardiologist Kevin Beatt (The Croydon Guardian)
  10. ‘He’s just a P***’: Firearms cop who guarded Tony Blair claims ‘racist’ superiors wanted him out of unit – A firearms officer who guarded the Royal family claims his ‘racist’ superiors wanted him out of the unit, saying “he is just a P**i”. Pc Nadeem Saddique also said he found out an inspector had referred to him as a “black c***”. His employer denies the comments were made (The Mirror)