Employment law stories in the news – 05.12.2016 to 11.12.2016

In 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 headlines between 5 December 2016 and 11 December 2016

  1. Tribunal win for beauty therapist unable to arrange weekend childcare – Emma Holt awarded £18,000 in unfair dismissal case following changes to flexible working arrangements. An employment tribunal has ruled that a beauty therapist was unfairly dismissed and suffered sex discrimination after she was made redundant following a row over childcare arrangements (CIPD)
  2. Birkenhead Shipbuilder fined £400,000 for safety failings – A Birkenhead ship builder and repairer has appeared in court after a worker suffered serious injuries whilst carrying out repair work. The 59 year old worker from Ellesmere Port suffered fractures and crush injuries to his right hand in the incident, which occurred on the 20 July 2015, which resulted in his being off work for 5 months (HSE)
  3. Gay canon Jeremy Pemberton loses tribunal appeal – A gay clergyman who lost an employment tribunal against the church has had his appeal dismissed. Canon Jeremy Pemberton had claimed the Church of England’s stance on same-sex marriage breached equality laws (BBC)
  4. Inquiry warns ‘inexcusable and unacceptable’ variation in progress for women on boards in FTSE companies – A major inquiry reveals that the headline progress of achieving 25% women across the boards of Britain’s biggest companies is masking a reality in which more than 60% of individual FTSE 350 companies (213) failed to meet the target (EHRC)
  5. London’s ‘gig’ economy sees 72% growth – London’s “gig” economy has grown by 72% in the transport and storage sector since 2010, research suggests. The New Economics Foundation think tank said the number of people employed in this sector had risen from about 38,000 in 2010 to about 65,300 in 2016 (BBC)
  6. Government eyes online dispute resolution for employment cases – The government yesterday began laying the ground for the online resolution of certain employment disputes, in the first sector-specific example of plans to transform the justice system (Legal Futures)
  7. BREXIT: UK universities seek legal advice to protect EU staff members – There has been a “large spike” in immigration law related inquiries from UK universities and colleges, who are seeking to reassure anxious staff members concerned about the impact of Brexit, an employment law expert has said (Out-Law)
  8. Employment tribunals last in line for reform – Employment tribunals will be among the last of the major arms of the courts service to be reformed as part of the government’s £1bn modernisation initiative. But the government remains tight-lipped about any prospect of relaxing fees (The Law Society Gazette)
  9. Employee Seriously Injured after Fork Lift Truck Overturns – A construction company has been fined after a 58 year old worker suffered serious injuries when the fork lift truck and attached man-riding cage that he was working from overturned and he fell to the floor (HSE)
  10. Number of UK agency workers ‘to reach one million’ by 2020 – The number of agency workers is set to reach one million by 2020 if current growth trends continue, according to Resolution Foundation research. Describing agency workers as “the forgotten face” in the debate around insecure work, the think tank estimates a full-time agency worker gets £430 less than an employee in the same role (BBC)