Employment law stories in the news – 10.04.2017 to 16.04.2017

In the latest of our series of posts on employment law stories in the news, we examine ten employment law stories that have made headlines between 10 April 2017 and 16 April 2017

  1. Barclays whistleblower case sparks calls for more protection – Whistleblowing charities and law firms have called for companies to offer more protection to workers who flag up internal problems after the chief executive of Barclays attempted to track down the author of anonymous letters (The Guardian)
  2. Jeremy Corbyn announces Labour would raise legal minimum wage to £10 an hour by 2020 – Labour would raise the legal minimum wage to £10 an hour by 2020 if it wins the next general election, Jeremy Corbyn has said. The Labour leader said employees on basic earnings would be better off by thousands in 2020 compared to the current expected rate under the Government’s national living wage (The Telegraph)
  3. Sports Direct appoints first elected employee representative – Sports Direct workers have elected their first representative to attend the retailer’s board meetings as it looks to counter criticism of poor working conditions (Sky News)
  4. Zero-hours contracts: firms could be forced to pay more for short notice – Businesses who employ people on zero-hours contracts could be forced to pay a premium rate for short-notice work, the government’s employment tsar has said, in an effort to stop “lazy” employers exploiting staff (The Guardian)
  5. Compensation soars for teachers suffering injuries or discrimination – Compensation payouts to teachers have soared during the past 12 months amid accusations the government has given “little incentive” to employers to improve the working environment (The Guardian)
  6. 200 KWM Europe staff bring employment claim – An employment claim brought by around 200 former employees of King & Wood Mallesons’ European arm has been given the green light. The claim, handled by regional firm Herrington Carmichael, is understood to relate to the firm’s alleged failure to enter a formal consultation process before making redundancies. Firms are required to do this if they make more than 100 redundancies at any one time (The Law Society Gazette)
  7. Firm fined after worker injured when pipe fell into trench and struck him – An Essex company who are specialists in gas infrastructure have been fined after an employee suffered serious injury when a pipe fell into the trench he was working in and struck him (HSE)
  8. Government consults on new trade union fines – Trade unions are facing fines of up to £20,000 for breaking governance rules, under plans being consulted on by the Government. Under the proposals, the Certification Officer – the body responsible for statutory functions relating to trade unions and employers’ associations – will be able to issue fines of up to £20,000 for serious breaches of election rules or mismanagement of their political funds (Personnel Today)
  9. Engineering firm fined after worker crushed in machinery – Moy Park Ltd has been fined after a worker was injured at the company’s site in Anwick near Sleaford, Lincolnshire Lincoln Crown Court heard on the an engineer was checking the blades on the cutting line when the machine restarted and he wasn’t able to move his hand away from the blade he was inspecting when the machine started up (HSE)
  10. Green light for employment tribunal reforms – The government has said it will bring forward measures to reform the employment tribunal system ‘as soon as parliamentary time allows’, after publishing the outcome of a consultation on the plans (The Law Society Gazette)