Employment law stories in the news – 06.11.2017 to 12.11.2017

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 6 November 2017 and 12 November 2017

  1. Two companies fined after worker crushed to death –  A vehicle recovery company and a recovery vehicles manufacturer have been fined after a worker died of crush injuries. Southwark Crown Court heard how, on 31 May 2013, John Wallace, an employee of Ontime Automotive Ltd, was jet washing a twin deck recovery vehicle at the company’s base in Hayes, Middlesex when the upper deck collapsed spontaneously, trapping him between the upper and lower deck. He died of his injuries at the scene (HSE)
  2. University professor accused of making ‘unwanted sexual advances’ to scholar – A University professor accused of making sexual advances to one of his scholars may be forced to give evidence after a judge said the case needs to be heard (The Oxford Mail)
  3. Cleveland Police to pay ‘substantial compensation’ to former officer after discrimination – Cleveland Police has apologised and agreed to pay ‘substantial compensation’ to a former officer who faced racial discrimination and victimisation (ITV)
  4. Government failing to protect jobs of new mothers, says charity – The government has been accused of failing to act on a pledge to review redundancy protections for pregnant women and new mothers, as a report warned current laws were insufficient (The Guardian)
  5. Whistleblowers deterred by fears over damaging career prospects, finds research – Nearly two-thirds of UK business managers would avoid whistleblowing at work for fear of damaging their career prospects, a new report has found (The Independent)
  6. Uber loses appeal in UK employment rights case – The ride-hailing firm Uber has lost its appeal against a ruling that its drivers should be classed as workers with minimum-wage rights, in a case that could have major ramifications for labour rights in the growing gig economy (The Guardian)
  7. Jess Varnish ‘told she can sue UK Sport and British Cycling’ – Jess Varnish has been told that she can sue UK Sport and British Cycling for sex discrimination, detriment suffered from whistleblowing, victimisation and unfair dismissal (The Telegraph)
  8. Union threatens industrial action over HMCTS job cuts – One of the largest trade unions in the UK has threatened to take industrial action if the government axes up to 700 jobs under plans to restructure the way criminal fines are collected. The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) says HM Courts & Tribunals Service’s centralisation plans are ‘a taste of what will happen’ across the whole of the department as the government forges ahead with IT-based reforms (The Law Society Gazette)
  9. Dr Michalak and the GMC – Individuals can bring discrimination claims against their regulators in the Employment Tribunal – In the case of Dr Ewa Michalak, the Supreme Court has held that an individual can bring a discrimination claim against the General Medical Council (GMC) in the Employment Tribunal (Lexology)
  10. Construction firm fined after employee suffered serious burns – A company undertaking excavation work has been fined for safety breaches, when a worker was burned after striking underground electrical cables (HSE)