Employment law stories in the news – 15.08.2016 to 21.08.2016

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 15 August and 21 August 2016

  1. Labour launches workplace review to prevent repeat of Sports Direct ‘scandal’ – Labour has launched a campaign asking workers and good employers how to ensure scandals such as the mistreatment of staff at Sports Direct can never be repeated. It also follows the collapse of retailer BHS, which a damning inquiry by MPs found was subjected to “systematic plunder” by former owners Sir Philip Green, Dominic Chappell and their respective “hangers-on” (Chronicle Live)
  2. Construction firm sentenced after worker falls down a lift pit – Cardiff-based construction company, Jehu Project Services Ltd, has been sentenced after a worker was seriously injured falling down a lift pit. The incident happened on 8 July 2015 at a construction site in Pontcanna, Cardiff. Stephen Harrison, a specialist drilling contractor, was employed by Jehu to help refurbish a 73-bed care home when he fell into the basement of a lift pit that was under construction (HSE)
  3. Uber to fight TfL plans forcing drivers to take written English test – Uber, the American taxi-hailing app giant, has started a legal battle with London’s transport authority over plans to force private hire drivers to pass a written exam in English (The Telegraph)
  4. Deliveroo abandons plan to force ‘absurd’ new contract for staff – Deliveroo riders have been celebrating after the company confirmed it would not force them to sign new contracts agreeing to a trial pay scheme that could see them earn barely half the National Living Wage (The Independent)
  5. Human rights watchdog calls for urgent action on Britain’s ‘deep-rooted’ inequality – Britain can expect widening social divisions and increased racial tensions unless the government takes urgent action to tackle deep-rooted inequalities, the new chair of the UK’s equalities watchdog has warned (The Guardian)
  6. Changes to tax on termination pay in April 2018  – The Government has cut back proposed changes to taxing termination payments, issuing new draft legislation that is expected to come into force in April 2018. The proposed legislation keeps the current £30,000 income tax exemption for non-contractual termination payments, which are meant to compensate employees for loss of employment (Personnel Today)
  7. Rise in women facing discrimination on taking maternity leave – New mothers are facing increasing discrimination when they take maternity leave including being made redundant and switched to zero-hours contracts. Citizens Advice has recorded a nearly 60% rise in the number of women seeking advice about maternity leave issues this year. Just over 3,300 came to the charity with such issues in the year to June compared to 2,099 last year (The Guardian)
  8. Whistleblowers being ‘blacklisted by NHS’ as staff records state they were ‘dismissed’ even after being cleared at tribunal – It has been revealed that former NHS employees who have won unfair dismissal claims against the NHS have been effectively ‘blacklisted’ by the NHS because of incorrect employment records (The Telegraph)
  9. Women facing ‘impossible’ tribunal fees barrier to challenge workplace harassment – Women are facing “impossible” barriers to challenge workplace harassment with the number of sex discrimination cases falling sharply after the introduction of fees for employment tribunals, say campaigners in Scotland (Herald Scotland)
  10. Worker suffers serious burns after clothing catches fire –  A foundry based in Batley has been fined after a worker suffered serious burns when his clothing caught fire. Bradford Crown Court heard how an employee of Batley Foundry Limited was undertaking work involving the use of isopropanol and a paint-like solution. The bucket containing the solution caught fire which then set light to his clothes, causing serious burns (HSE)