Employment law stories in the news – 12.09.2016 to 18.09.2016

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 headlines between 12 September 2016 and 18 September 2016

  1. Firms join forces to tackle pregnancy discrimination – Some of Britain’s leading businesses are joining forces to help tackle pregnancy and maternity discrimination in the work place. Barclays, Royal Mail and BT group are among a number of companies forming an alliance to eradicate discrimination which affects around 390,000 pregnant women and new mothers annually (Sky News)
  2. Bosses could face jail for failure to prevent fraud – Company bosses could be prosecuted for failing to stop their staff committing fraud under new laws being considered by ministers. The plans, which have yet to be officially unveiled, follow similar plans to make company boards liable if staff facilitate tax evasion (BBC)
  3. West Midlands welding firm fined over worker injury – A Bilston engineering company has been sentenced after a worker was injured while operating a drilling machine. Wolverhampton Magistrates’ Court heard that Mr Deimantas Beinoras, a 23-year-old Lithuanian national was injured while working for KV Welding Limited, which manufactures equipment for the material handling and logistics sector (HSE)
  4. MPs probe excessive pay as L&G calls on boards to compare bosses to the average – MPs have launched a new inquiry into executive pay and corporate governance in the wake of high-profile hearings on Sports Direct and BHS, as Theresa May prepares major reforms, such as employee representation on boards (The Telegraph)
  5. Care workers sue council contractor in minimum wage battle – Seventeen care workers are alleging failure to be paid the minimum wage in the sector’s biggest ever legal claim.
    Payslips appear to show contractor Sevacare had some staff in Haringey, north London, on a rate of £3.27 an hour – less than half the then minimum (BBC)
  6. Government refuses to rule out cutting employment protections after Brexit – The Government has refused to rule out cutting or removing some workers’ rights when Britain leaves the European Union. The EU currently ensures UK workers have the right to annual leave, daily rest breaks, the right to equal treatment for agency workers after 12 weeks service, and protection against unfair dismissal upon a transfer of undertakings, according to research by the House of Commons Library (The Independent)
  7. TUC: ‘No place to hide’ warning over exploitation – The TUC has warned companies that there will be “no hiding place” if they exploit their workers. General secretary Frances O’Grady told delegates at its annual conference in Brighton that mistreatment is becoming more widespread in the UK (BBC)
  8. Refinery firm fined £400,000 after gangway fall – Valero Energy UK Limited has been fined £400, 000 following a serious accident at its Pembroke Refinery. Judge Peter Heywood sitting at Swansea Crown Court heard the Berth 6 access tower walkway that provided gangway access to a stationary tanker vessel on 5 March 2012 had dropped 3.5 metres, causing operator David Thomas to be trapped by a slack wire rope (HSE)
  9. Radical shake-up will force BBC to open its books to spending watchdog – The BBC will open all of its books to public spending watchdog for the first time in a radical shake-up of the organisation. The proposal put forward this morning as part of the draft royal charter will overhaul the way the BBC’s finances are scrutinised and make sure licence fee payers find out exactly how their money is being spent (Evening Standard)
  10. Sports Direct should cut ties with warehouse worker agency, MPs say – MPs have called on Sports Direct to end its relationship with Transline, which supplies workers for the retailer’s Shirebrook warehouse, over fears that the employment agency misled a parliamentary inquiry (The Guardian)