Employment law stories in the news – 06.10.2014 to 12.10.2014

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 headlines between 6 October and 12 October 2014.

  1. Vince Cable to strengthen British workers’ rights – An overhaul of employment rights to strengthen entitlements of British workers is to be ordered by Business Secretary Vince Cable. The announcement will be made in Mr Cable’s speech today in what many expect to be his last as a Cabinet minister (The Scotsman)
  2. Warship captain sues the MoD for £300k…after he was exposed for bullying because he claims it was a breach of his human rights – A disgraced Royal Navy captain is suing the Ministry of Defence for more than £300,000 damages after a civil servant exposed his bullying in a newspaper. Former commander David Axon says his human rights were breached when a military press officer leaked the story of how his verbal abuse of junior officers led him to be relieved of the command of the warship HMS Somerset (The Mail Online)
  3. New date set for High Court hearing into tribunal fees – A new judicial review launched by UNISON over the introduction of Tribunal fees is set to be heard by the High Court on 21 and 22 October 2014, the union announced today. It follows the decision of the Court of Appeal last month to stay the appeal of the earlier High Court decision over tribunal fees, in light of new evidence showing a huge drop in tribunal claims (UNISON)
  4. Employment review launched to improve clarity and status of British workforce – Business Secretary Vince Cable has launched a wide-ranging employment review to help clarify and potentially strengthen the employment status of up to a million British workers. This follows the recent review and upcoming legislation of zero hours contracts, which revealed that an increasing number of people in the UK who could be on ‘worker’ employment contracts which have fewer basic rights (such as unfair dismissal or maternity pay) than the vast majority of people who are on ‘employee’ contracts (GOV.UK)
  5. Cable attacks Tories for ‘ruthless’ employment laws – Business secretary Vince Cable has used his keynote speech to the Liberal Democrat conference to announce an inquiry into employment rights. Cable said up to one million people employed in the UK are unrepresented by current legislation and accused the Tories of a ‘ruthless hire and fire’ agenda (The Law Society Gazette)
  6. Muslim worker claims she was not invited to Birmingham cinema’s Christmas party because of her race and religion – A Muslim woman is suing one of Birmingham’s biggest cinemas – claiming she was not invited to the staff Christmas party because of her race and religion. Amal Hussein Abdi, from Handsworth, has been cleared to proceed with legal claims for more than 40 allegations of racial discrimination against Odeon Cinemas (The Birmingham Mail)
  7. Retirement age to rise by as much as six months per year – Older people will be encouraged to work longer under a Government plan to increase the average retirement age by six months every year. Ministers believe that the retirement age needs to increase dramatically to reflect Britain’s ageing population and to avoid a health care crisis (The Telegraph)
  8. Stena Line docker homophobic abuse case to be reheard – A Belfast dock worker awarded £45,000 compensation after being sacked for reacting to alleged homophobic abuse is to have his case decided again. Senior judges granted Stena Line Irish Sea Ferries’ appeal against an industrial tribunal finding that Martin Sheil was unfairly dismissed (BBC)
  9. Charity launches age discrimination challenge against MoD – A charity is taking legal action against the Ministry of Defence (MoD), claiming it discriminates against young soldiers who enlist aged 16 or 17. Child Soldiers International (CSI) wants a judicial review of the system which requires minors to complete up to six years’ service before leaving (BBC)
  10. CWU lodge formal claim with Royal Mail over calculation of holiday pay under Working Time Directive – The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has announced it has lodged a formal claim for future entitlements and back pay with Royal Mail following three Employment Tribunal cases regarding the Working Time Directive. The cases relate to the calculation of statutory holiday pay, ruling that ad hoc overtime should now be included (The HR Director)