Employment law stories in the news – 15.02.2021 to 21.02.2021

In the latest of our series of posts on employment law stories in the news we take a look at ten employment law stories that made the headlines between 15 February 2021 and 21 February 2021

  1. Ministers accused of treating pregnant women as an ‘afterthought’ in Covid crisis – Ministers have been accused of treating pregnant women as an afterthought after failing to directly respond to a series of letters from a charity and two medical royal colleges calling for more support for expectant mothers (The Independent)
  2. High Court urged to overturn PM’s decision to stand by Priti Patel – The High Court must overturn Boris Johnson’s decision that Home Secretary Priti Patel did not breach government rules on behaviour, a union says (BBC)
  3. Uber drivers entitled to worker rights, top UK court rules in blow to business model – A group of Uber drivers are entitled to worker rights such as the minimum wage, Britain’s Supreme Court ruled on Friday in a blow to the ride-hailing service that has ramifications for millions of others in the gig economy (Reuters)
  4. ‘Deafening silence’: UK government blasted over delays to employment reforms – The government has been accused of dragging its heels on promised reforms to zero-hours contracts and the gig economy as legislation to protect workers faces serious delays (The Guardian)
  5. Whistle-blowing Iraqi surgeon suffered racial harassment after raising alarm about safety of 25 patients at Hartlepool hospital trust where white and Indian colleagues were ‘untouchable’, tribunal finds – A whistle-blowing surgeon from Iraq suffered racial discrimination and harassment after raising the alarm about patient safety at a trust where he claimed ‘white and Indian doctors were untouchable’, a tribunal has found (The Daily Mail)
  6. Worker with fainting fits unfairly sacked from Cyberfort nuclear bunker job – A data specialist who had a fainting condition was unfairly sacked from his job in a former nuclear bunker because he could not be reached if he fell ill (The Times)
  7. Police watchdog inspector claims he was paid less than black female colleague because he’s a ‘white man’ – A police watchdog inspector claims the Home Office is paying him less than a black female colleague because he is a white man and to have reduced her salary would have caused his bosses “reputational damage” (The Telegraph)
  8. Senior UK fraud prosecutor unfairly sacked after US sabotage, tribunal finds – A senior prosecutor was unfairly sacked by the Serious Fraud Office after the US Department of Justice filed complaints against him in an attempt to sabotage his position at the agency, a judge has found (The Guardian)
  9. ‘I was sacked during lockdown, which was devastating’: Cancer centre boss awarded nearly £23,000 in unfair dismissal tribunal – The former manager of Maggie’s Cancer Centre has been awarded nearly £23,000 after an employment tribunal ruled she was dismissed unfairly by her employer (The Manchester Evening News)
  10. Actor loses tribunal claim over loss of Color Purple role after homophobic comments – An actor who sued a theatre and her former agents after she was sacked when a Facebook post resurfaced has had her claim for religious discrimination, harassment and breach of contract rejected at an employment tribunal (The Guardian)