Employment law stories in the news – 16.02.2015 to 22.02.2015

redmans-blog-newsIn the latest of our series of posts on employment law stories in the news we examine ten employment law stories that have made the news between 16 February and 22 February 2015

  1. Barclays, RBS and Lloyds Bank risk bonuses row over £3bn payout in run-up to election – Three of Britain’s biggest banks are preparing to pay bonuses worth nearly £3billion in the coming weeks – sparking a new row ahead of the General Election. Barclays is thought to be lining up a bonus pot of just under £2billion for its bankers – below the £2.4billion it paid last year (thisismoney.co.uk)
  2. Apprentices get ‘exploitative wages’ – Apprentices are paid “exploitative” rates and must receive higher wages if the programme is to solve youth unemployment, a report says. The National Union of Students says apprentices cannot afford to travel to their place of work or study, or take time off sick (BBC)
  3. 2,500 Leicester textile workers paid half the minimum wage – More than 2,500 Leicester textile workers are paid just £3 per hour – well below the minimum wage – it has been claimed. A new study has found the majority of the people employed in the city’s garment sector earn less than half the legal hourly rate, which is £6.50 for those aged 21 or over (The Leicester Mercury)
  4. Firm in court after man died in roof fall – An Aberdeenshire business has been fined for serious safety failings after a man died when he fell more than five metres through a fragile roof. Latvian national Nikolajs Naumovs, 57, had arrived in Scotland only two weeks before his fatal fall. He had been working on a roof at premises in College Bounds, Fraserburgh, owned by local butchery company Bruce of the Broch 1886 Ltd (HSE)
  5. Tata sentenced over workers’ burns in molten metal fire – Global steel giant Tata has been prosecuted after three employees suffered serious burns when tonnes of molten metal spilled onto the factory floor and ignited. Swansea Crown Court heard today (16 Feb) that trainee crane driver Kelvin Watts and two colleagues escaped from the top of a crane and over the boom when a huge ladle dislodged spilling the molten metal, which then caught fire, at Tata Strip Products in Port Talbot on 2 April 2013 (HSE)
  6. Nurse sacked after whistleblowing on colleagues – A nurse who was sacked after blowing the whistle on staff at a care home where an elderly patient is believed to have choked to death has been awarded more than £23,000 at an employment tribunal (Herald Scotland)
  7. UK’s Labour says would extend bank bonus clawback to 10 years – Britain’s opposition Labour party has said it would extend to at least 10 years the length of time over which miscreant bankers face having their bonuses clawed back, if it wins a national election in May (The Daily Mail)
  8. Leeds Utd entitled to fire top exec – Leeds United was entitled to fire a senior executive for using the club’s email to send obscene and pornographic images of naked women in the shower. Gwyn Williams, 66, who was summarily dismissed for gross misconduct in July 2013, had asked the High Court to award him up to £250,000 in compensation for breach of contract (The Harrowgate Advertiser)
  9. Prison staff redundancy payouts topped £56m in 2013 – More than £56 million of public money was spent on redundancy payments to prison staff in England and Wales in one year, a minister has said. The severance bill for prison staff in 2013 was £56.5m, compared with £5.7m in 2012 and £4.1m in 2011 (BBC)
  10. Nuneaton company in court after worker pulled into unguarded machine – A Nuneaton company has been fined after an employee broke his neck when he was drawn into an unguarded machine. Nuneaton Magistrates’ Court heard (17 Feb) that the 60-year-old machinist from Bedworth was machining a piece of nylon when his overalls got tangled in a spindle moulder at Nuneaton Precisions Ltd on 18 September 2013 (HSE)