Employment law stories in the news – 08.12.2014 to 14.12.2014

redmans-blog-news In the latest of our series of posts on employment law stories in the news, we take a look at ten stories relating to employment law that have made the news between 8 December and 14 December 2014

  1. Fuel firm fined after tanker explosion causes horrific burns – A national oil and environmental services company has been fined £25,000 after two workers were badly burned in a tanker explosion. One of the men suffered life-changing injuries that left him in a critical condition and mean he is now unable to expose his skin to direct sunlight. The 32-year-old from Eccles, who has asked not to be named, spent three and a half months in hospital and is unlikely ever to be able to return to work (HSE)
  2. Coalition row erupts as workers are ‘priced out’ of tribunals – A major political battle was brewing last night over the 70 per cent fall in the number of people suing through employment tribunals since the Government started charging for them (The Independent)
  3. Low pay and zero-hours contracts rise dramatically, figures show – New figures have revealed the dramatic spread of low-paid, insecure and casual work across the British economy since the financial crash of 2008. In that year, one in 20 men and one in 16 women worked in the casualised labour market. Now, one in 12 of both men and women are in precarious employment, which includes zero-hours contracts (ZHCs), agency work, variable hours and fixed-term contracts, according to new TUC data (The Guardian)
  4. Employee died from crushing injuries at Gloucester works yard – Gloucester-based contractor Complete Utilities Ltd has been prosecuted for safety failings after an employee died from crushing injuries sustained at work. Spencer Powles 62, from Coleford, returned to the company’s works yard in Maisemore to collect a road saw. While there, he was pinned between a telehandler and a metal shipping container when the vehicle lurched forward (HSE)
  5. Bosses who exploit cheap foreign workers to undercut British wages face being jailed, under new Labour plan – Ed Miliband will today launch a major attack on company bosses who ‘exploit’ migrant workers, warning they could face jail under a Labour government. In a speech on immigration, Mr Miliband – who famously forgot to mention the subject in his conference speech this year – will propose a new criminal offence for rogue employers who undercut the wages of domestic workers (The Daily Mail)
  6. Croydon NHS Trust lodges appeal against ruling it sacked cardiologist for whistleblowing on patient safety – Croydon’s NHS trust has appealed against a tribunal ruling that it fired a senior doctor for whistleblowing on patient safety. Dr Kevin Beatt, a leading cardiologist, was sacked two years ago in a calculated attempt to ruin his reputation after he raised serious concerns about nursing standards, staff bullying and ageing machinery at Croydon University Hospital (The Croydon Guardian)
  7. FCA’s Wheatley forfeits £115k bonus following closed book blunder – Martin Wheatley, chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority will lose his £115,000 bonus for 2013/14 as a result of the regulator’s closed book blunder. As a result of the independent investigation into the FCA’s closed book blunder conducted by Simon Davis, senior commercial litigation partner at Clifford Chance, the FCA has decided not to give bonuses out to its executive staff (City Wire)
  8. Saatchi & Saatchi reimburses cleaners missing wages – Advertising firm Saatchi & Saatchi has found itself weathering some bad PR after 35 unpaid cleaning staff go to court in an effort to claw back £40,000 in unpaid wages, forcing the media firm to act. A mystery donor stepped forward to finance employment tribunal proceedings against the advertising firm which stood accused of abandoning its contract workers (The Drum)
  9. Gay officer sues Met over ‘Barrymore sex taunts’: PC claims he was teased over friendship with shamed star – A Gay policeman is suing Scotland Yard claiming he was taunted for ‘having sex with Michael Barrymore’. PC Dan Lichters said he was embarrassed when fellow officers asked if he had relationships with ‘any other celebrities (The Daily Mail)
  10. Payout for Furness General Hospital ‘Cover Up’ Row CQC Chief – A former official at an NHS watchdog who was accused of covering up failings at Furness General Hospital has been awarded £60,000 in compensation. A report last year found that Jill Finney, the former deputy chief executive of the Care Quality Commission (CQC), had ordered a damning internal review to be deleted following a spate of baby deaths at FGH (North-West Evening Mail)