Employment law stories in the news – 15.12.2014 to 21.12.2014

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 December and 21 December 2014

  1. Caerphilly Council warned after employee surveillance – A council that ordered covert surveillance on a sick employee must review its approach after an Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) investigation. The ICO found the Council breached the Data Protection Act when it ordered the surveillance of an employee suspected of fraudulently claiming to be sick (ICO
  2. Rock singer who claimed he was forced to quit day job after ‘hostile’ female colleague slapped his buttocks and sent him rude texts loses sex discrimination case – A rock singer who claimed that he was forced to quit his day job after a female colleague sexually harassed him by slapping his bottom and sending him lewd texts has lost his sexual discrimination case. Tom Ford, 31, said Lucy Myers constantly complimented his looks, gave him gifts and bought cooked food into work for him to win his affection (The Mail Online)
  3. Tribunal fees deter four out of five employees pursuing claims – Employment tribunal fees have been branded “a barrier to justice”, the high charges discouraging four out of five workers from pursuing claims against their employers, according to Citizens Advice. The charity has found that nearly half of workers with employment issues would have to save for six months in order to afford employment tribunal fees, which in some cases can reach £1,200 (The Independent)
  4. Catholic midwives can’t object to abortion on moral grounds – The UK’s highest court has overturned a ruling made in favour of two Catholic midwives who object to any involvement in abortion procedures. Five justices at the Supreme Court in London allowed an appeal by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde against a decision of the Court of Session in Edinburgh last year in the case of Mary Doogan and Connie Wood (Herald Scotland)
  5. University of Kent lecturer’s age discrimination claim to be reheard – An employment tribunal was wrong to dismiss a lecturer’s claim that he suffered age discrimination when his department made it essential for all new staff to have a PhD, a judge has ruled (Times Higher Education)
  6. Doctor loses racial discrimination case against hospital trust that demoted him following colleague bust-up – A top doctor who was demoted following an extraordinary bust-up with a surgeon at Manchester Royal Infirmary has lost his racial discrimination case against the hospital. Consultant anaesthetist Dr Kamran Abbas and consultant surgeon Jarrod Homer were both given final written warnings after the furious altercation in front of colleagues on the hospital’s main theatre corridor (The Manchester Evening News)
  7. Union loses legal bid to crush ‘punitive’ employment tribunal fees – A legal attempt to overturn the fees charged to claimants taking their employer to tribunal has been rejected by the High Court. Unison, the union, has been fighting to have the fees, which range from £160 to £250 to issue a claim, and £230 to £950 for a tribunal hearing, abolished (The Telegraph)
  8. Coalition row erupts as workers are ‘priced out’ of tribunals – A major political battle was brewing last night over the 70 per cent fall in the number of people suing through employment tribunals since the Government started charging for them (The Independent)
  9. 21-stone man wins job case – A British man won a landmark case against the company that dismissed him, after a High Court judge ruled the effects of obesity can be classed as a disability. John Walker, 49, weighed more than 21 stone when he lost his job as an IT manager. He was sacked after spending seven years off work with a plethora of ailments including asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic fatigue and knee problems (The Sunday Times)
  10. UNISON to appeal High Court decision over tribunal fees – UNISON has today been granted permission to appeal the High Court’s decision turning down the union’s second Judicial Review application over the government’s decision to introduce employment tribunal fees (UNISON)