Employment law stories in the news – 11.04.2016 to 17.04.2016

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 news between 11 April 2016 and 17 April 2016

  1. McDonald’s offer staff the chance to get off zero-hours contracts – McDonald’s is offering UK staff on zero-hours contracts the option of moving to fixed hours in a major development in the debate about employee rights. The fast food chain is one of the biggest users of the contracts in the country, with an estimated 80,000 workers on zero hours, which critics claim exploit workers (The Guardian)
  2. Three companies fined for safety failings arising from two accidents – Two incidents at the Haverhill site of Jan Cavelle Furniture Company have led to three companies being fined for health and safety failings. Ipswich Crown Court heard how in the first instance an employee of the company sustained serious injuries when operating a biscuit cutter and the rotating blade made contact with his hand, cutting his thumb to the bone (HSE)
  3. Bromley library worker claims council ‘victimised’ her in role as Unite the union branch secretary and for her ‘brave stance’ on privatisation and libraries – A Bromley Council worker is alleging her employer subjected her to a “sustained campaign of bullying and discrimination” because of her role as the local union representative (This is Local London)
  4. Firm fined after forklift truck operator killed – A large steel fabrication company based in North Yorkshire, has been fined after a forklift truck (FLT) operator was killed when the truck he was operating overturned. However, the offence to which the company pleaded guilty was not a significant cause of the fatal accident (HSE)
  5. NHS must pay out for ‘spoiling tactic’ over reference for worker – A health worker let down by a ‘fake barrister’ has finally won a legal claim against the NHS. Susan Simms was one of several people represented by Yvonne Turley, who was unmasked as having no legal qualifications (Portsmouth News)
  6. Employers claw back living wage in cuts to perks, hours and pay – From fish factories in Grimsby to coffee shops in central London and even Waitrose supermarkets, workers across the country are seeing perks and pay rates cut as companies try to offset the cost of George Osborne’s national living wage (The Guardian)
  7. Judge dismisses Croydon PE teacher’s claim he was forced to leave job because of bullying – A judge has dismissed a former PE teaching assistant’s claim that “years of bullying” left him no choice but to leave his job. Brett Kitchener had taken Cumnor House School to an employment tribunal claiming unfair constructive dismissal after he alleged he was bullied for years by other PE staff (The Croydon Advertiser)
  8. Undercover Yorkshire police officers “sidelined after blowing whistle about unsafe practices” – Yorkshire’s biggest police force has been told to pay compensation to two undercover officers who were moved into back office roles after raising concerns about sexism and unsafe practices in their unit. The two police constables were successful in their claim at an employment tribunal that they were sidelined by West Yorkshire Police after exposing wrongdoing at the force (The Yorkshire Evening Post)
  9. Jonas Gutierrez: Newcastle players congratulated me after tribunal victory – Jonas Gutierrez says his former Newcastle United team-mates phoned to congratulate him on winning an employment tribunal against the club. It ruled he was dropped by Newcastle because of his cancer diagnosis, with the 32-year-old suing for about £2m on grounds of disability discrimination (BBC)
  10. Pressure mounts on Jeremy Hunt over handling of junior doctors’ dispute – Jeremy Hunt is under mounting pressure over his handling of the junior doctors’ dispute after he unexpectedly abandoned his repeated threat to impose a new contract on them – a move that has led to four strikes by doctors so far (The Guardian)