Employment law stories in the news – 11.05.2015 to 17.05.2015

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 May and 17 May 2015

  1. Sajid Javid: Significant changes to strike law – Newly appointed Business Secretary Sajid Javid has said there will be “significant changes” to strike laws under the new Conservative government. A strike affecting essential public services will need the backing of 40% of eligible union members under government plans, he said (BBC)
  2. Whistleblowing: complaint about line manager’s rudeness to colleague not “in the public interest” – An employment tribunal has struck out whistleblowing claims brought by an individual who argued that he made a protected disclosure when he complained that his line manager had been rude to a colleague. The claimant did not reasonably believe that he was making the disclosure “in the public interest” (Xpert HR)
  3. Mitie faces new minimum wage claims – The BBC has learnt that Mitie’s chief executive will meet government officials to respond to claims that it has not been paying the minimum wage. The company owns one of the largest care providers in the UK (BBC)
  4. Next could face legal claims over Sunday overtime decision – Retail chain Next could face unfair dismissal or even age discrimination claims after forcing employees who work on a Sunday to give up their overtime. Workers who joined the company before 2008 – when it stopped offering a premium for working on a Sunday – are currently entitled to up to £20 per week in extra pay for Sunday working, which amounts to around £1,000 per year (Personnel Today)
  5. Labour council under fire over zero hours contracts – he number of Glasgow City Council workers on zero hours contracts has increased by 18%, according to figures obtained by the SNP. The Labour-led local authority and its arms-length organisations (ALEOs) employ 1,689 people with no guarantee of regular work, up from 1,436 in the previous year (Evening Times)
  6. Animal feed company fined £80,000 after death of worker – An animal feed company was fined £80,000 after one of its employees died when he was buried under tonnes of wheat being unloaded from a lorry. Andrew Scott Harrold, 33, was working at Transpan (Scotland) Limited’s Tore Mill site, off Harbour Road, Inverness, when the incident happened in February 2011 (HSE)
  7. Prison guard wins unfair dismissal case over dinner row – A prison officer who was sacked for allegedly grabbing the neck of an inmate who was demanding second dinner helpings has won his case for unfair dismissal. Ross Callachan, a former guard at HMP Glenochil in Clackmannanshire, has been awarded almost £7,000 by an employment tribunal after bosses accused him of seizing the prisoner when he became aggressive in the middle of food service (Herald Scotland)
  8. Steel firm fined over death at foundry – A steel foundry has been sentenced after a South Yorkshire worker was killed when he was struck in the face by a shard from an abrasive disc that exploded from a hand-held grinding machine (HSE)
  9. Pregnant but screwed: the truth about workplace discrimination – 60,000 women a year lose their jobs as a result of having a baby. It’s time to hear their stories, says Joeli Brearley (The Guardian)
  10. Millionaire businessman wins gagging order over alleged sex parties – A multi-millionaire businessman has won a permanent ban on a former friend and business colleague from exposing details of alleged sex and drugs parties. The former associate tried to blackmail the man, the chief executive officer of a substantial group of companies, after he was accused of misappropriating company funds (The Telegraph)