Employment law stories in the news – 14.07.2014 to 20.07.2014

In the latest of our series of posts on employment law in the news this week, we take a look at ten employment law stories that have made the news between 14 July and 20 July 2014.

  1. Blacklisted site workers offered ‘cheap’ pay-offs – Construction companies at the heart of the blacklisting scandal that saw thousands of workers secretly barred from building jobs are offering compensation “on the cheap”, MPs will be told today (The Independent)
  2. Camperdown Wildlife Centre worker claimed bullying – A keeper at Camperdown Wildlife Centre refused to return to work because she believed she was being bullied by her boss. Jennifer Hutchison said she would only go back if wildlife centre manager Aileen Whitelaw was removed from her post (The Courier)
  3. Ministry of Justice recruits redundant prison officers to ease jail crisis – The Ministry of Justice is trying to re-employ more than 2,000 prison officers who only recently took voluntary redundancy, in a move to avert a crisis triggered by the rising number of prisoners in Britain’s jails (The Guardian)
  4. Burberry defends payout to newly appointed chief executive – Burberry has made an eleventh-hour attempt to clarify why it has awarded a £440,000 allowance to chief executive, Christopher Bailey, issuing a supplementary note to shareholders. The move came as the fashion house braced itself for a protest vote from shareholders unhappy at pay arrangements for Bailey, who was promoted to chief executive in May. As well as his cash allowance (The Guardian)
  5. Priest wins £62,000 payout after working for less than £2 an hour – A priest has won a £62,000 payout after being paid less than £2 per hour while working a 65-hour week at a Birmingham temple. Dr Harish Chandra was awarded the cash figure following a judgment at Birmingham County Court after he sued Arya Samaj Vedic Mission, in Nechells (The Birmingham Mail)
  6. Tories outline strike law manifesto pledge – The Conservative Party has outlined plans to tighten the law on strike ballots if it wins the 2015 election. Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude said the Tory manifesto would include the requirement for at least half of eligible union members to vote in order for a strike to be lawful (BBC)
  7. Advocate General: severe obesity may be a disability – In Kaltoft v Municipality of Billund (C-354/13) the Advocate General has given the opinion that obesity may amount to a disability for the purposes of the EU Equal Treatment Framework Directive (No.2000/78) but only if it is ‘severe’. The Advocate General thought it probable that only obesity with a body mass index (BMI) of over 40 would hinder an individual’s participation in professional life to such an extent as to amount to a disability (ELAweb)
  8. Alresford Town Council settles employment case – Alresford town council have agreed to pay £5,000 to settle an employment tribunal case. Councillors heard that the case involving Heather Graham, which started in March last year, has now been settled (The Hampshire Chronicle)
  9. Airbus fined £200,000 over worker’s death – Aeroplane manufacturer Airbus has been fined following the death of an employee who was crushed between a tractor and a fertiliser spreader at the firm’s plant in Broughton. The company was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation found Donny Williams and his co-workers had received no training on how to work on the equipment when the incident happened on 16 November 2011 (HSE)
  10. Manufacturers seek limit on backdated bills for holiday pay – Manufacturers are urging the government to introduce emergency legislation to limit backdated bills for holiday pay that could cost smaller businesses an average of £2.5m as a result of a ruling by EU judges (The Financial Times)