Employment law stories in the news – 09.06.2014 to 15.06.2014

MoJIn the latest of our series of posts on employment law stories in the news this week, we take a look at ten employment law stories that have made the news between 9 June and 15 June 2014

  1. Sacking threat ‘just phrased wrongly’, Employment Tribunal told – Threats made to a Lidl employee over his job were a mistake, according to a store manager. Matthew O’Donnell, 28, from Kingswood, was told he could be sacked after taking complaints about “mouldy and degenerated” food at the Hanham store to senior company officials (Bristol Post)
  2. Rehired public workers will have to hand back redundancy cash – Highly paid public-sector employees who lose their jobs and are re-hired by the state shortly afterwards will have to hand back part of their bumper redundancy payments. The Chancellor, George Osborne, has moved to claw back millions of pounds of  taxpayer money in plans to be outlined in the Queen’s Speech this week (The Independent)
  3. Danish childminder’s discrimination case may redefine obesity as disability – An overweight Danish childminder, said to be unable to bend down to tie up shoelaces, may make legal history this week by calling for employers across Europe to treat obesity as a disability (The Guardian)
  4. North Lanarkshire Council told to ‘pay up on equal pay’ by union bosses fighting for money they say is owed to thousands of workers – Union officials this week slammed the council for “throwing council tax money away on defending the indefensible” in court and refusing to enter into settlement talks over payments due to low-waged workers whose salaries have been incorrectly graded for up to eight years (The Daily Record)
  5. MoD says another 1,060 military personnel have been made redundant – The Ministry of Defence has announced that a further 1,060 military personnel have been made redundant. The redundancies are the latest tranche of ongoing cutbacks in staffing. Since 2011, 12,130 military personnel have been made redundant (The Guardian)
  6. Llanelli firefighters go to tribunal over 96-hour shift system – Twenty-three firefighters are taking legal action against their employers amid claims a 96-hour shift system made them seek work elsewhere. The officers previously worked together at Llanelli fire station before changes to their working hours, an employment tribunal in Cardiff heard (BBC)
  7. Tribunal figures continue to record dramatic drop in claims – The number of individual claims taken to employment tribunal dropped by 59% in the first three months of this year, according to figures released by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) today. The fall echoes a similar drop in the previous quarter, which followed the introduction last summer of tribunal fees of up to £250 to lodge a claim and a further payment once the claim has been listed (Personnel Today)
  8. Family of dead workers entitled to claim holiday pay, rules ECJ – Employers are liable for claims of unpaid holiday pay even if a member of staff dies in service, following a ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) yesterday. The case was brought before the ECJ after a German court ruled a woman could not claim around 140 days of holiday pay following the death of her husband. She asserted that she was owed the equivalent of about £13,000 (HR Magazine)
  9. I knew this would happen, City boss told pregnant trader: Woman claims she was ‘bullied’ for taking maternity leave from her £150,000-a-year job – A trader at a £4billion Mayfair wealth management company claims her boss greeted news she was pregnant by saying: ‘I knew something like this was going to happen.’ Emilie Gregg told a tribunal she was ‘bullied, harassed, victimised and blatantly discriminated against’ for taking maternity leave from her £150,000-a-year job (Daily Mail)
  10. Ex-Comet staff win up to £25m compensation pay-out – Thousands of ex-Comet staff may be entitled to up to £25m compensation for not being collectively consulted before being made redundant by the company. A Leeds employment tribunal found that 275 of the employees were entitled to full compensation (BBC)