Employment law stories in the news – 05.10.2015 to 11.10.2015

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-related stories that made headlines between 5 October and 11 October 2015

  1. Sports Direct chief executive charged over USC administration – David Forsey, the chief executive of Sports Direct, has been charged with a criminal offence relating to the collapse of its fashion retailer USC. The 49-year-old businessman is accused of failing to notify authorities of plans to lay off warehouse staff in Scotland, around 200 of whom were given just 15 minutes notice by USC’s administrator in January that they were losing their jobs (The Guardian)
  2. Government planning £7bn assault on ‘gold plated’ final salary pension schemes – The Government is gearing up for a major raid on some of Britain’s most generous pension schemes which could see doctors’, teachers’ and senior executives’ retirement funds cut by more than a quarter, the Telegraph understands (The Telegraph)
  3. Blacklisted construction workers move closer to huge damages payout – More than 600 construction workers whose names appeared on an an industry-wide blacklist have moved closer to securing damages which could total tens of millions of pounds. Solicitors representing eight leading construction firms have submitted an “unprecedented” apology to the high court for anxiety and distress caused to the workers, unions said on Thursday (The Guardian)
  4. Guvera hit by £10 million lawsuit from ex-Blinkbox UK employees – Nearly 100 ex-employees of the music streaming service Blinkbox, formerly owned by Tesco, have issued a class action lawsuit for an estimated £10 million against Guvera Ltd and two of its UK-based subsidiaries. The Guvera group purchased the Blinkbox music service from Tesco in January 2015 (Music Business Worldwide)
  5. Part-time judge fails in appeal for pension entitlement to be backdated – A part-time judge who claimed that his pension should be calculated on the basis of his sitting days since he was appointed rather than the date on which an EU law protecting part-time-time workers from being treated less favourably than equivalent full-time workers came into force in the UK has had an appeal refused (Scottish Legal)
  6. Whistleblowers’ charter set out for banking staff – Banks and other financial companies will be forced to tell their staff how to blow the whistle on bad behaviour from next year as part of the regulators’ attempts to clean up the industry following several mis-selling and trading scandals (The Telegraph)
  7. Gay couple lose court fight for equal pension rights – A gay man has lost a legal bid for his husband to be recognised with the same pension rights as a wife would have in a heterosexual relationship. John Walker, 62, retired in 2003 before gay civil partnerships were introduced in the UK in 2005 (BBC)
  8. IT firm Wipro accused of breeding culture of ‘predatory’ sexism – Male workers at the London office of one of the world’s largest IT companies branded women colleagues “lesbians”, visited strip clubs and were encouraged to have affairs, an employment tribunal heard on Tuesday (The Telegraph)
  9. Contractor’s neglect of safety leads to £16,000 in fines – A specialist piling contractor has been fined after it was found to be operating a powerful rig without a safety guard around the rotating auger. Sevenoaks Magistrates’ Court heard how Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector Melvyn Stancliffe made an inspection of a site in Maidstone, Kent, in December 2014 and witnessed the piling rig in operation without a safety guard (HSE)
  10. Tories’ wage and leave reforms under fire from small businesses – The Conservative Party, gathering for its annual conference in Manchester this week, has come under renewed fire from British business for two of its recent policy proposals – the new national living wage and changes to paternity leave (The Telegraph)