Employment law stories in the news – 16.10.2017 to 22.10.2017

In the latest of our series of post on employment law stories in the news, we take a look a ten employment law stories that have made headlines between 16 October 2017 and 22 October 2017

  1. Peers call for tougher modern slavery reporting rules – Peers yesterday called for modern slavery reporting rules to be toughened up, as they put forward concerns that the level of compliance with the legislation to date was not up to scratch (CIPD)
  2. Contractor receives suspended prison sentence after worker seriously injured – A sole trader from London has today been given a six month prison sentence suspended for eighteen months after an employee fell from height (HSE)
  3. Employment tribunal fee refund scheme opens – The Government has launched the first stage of a refund scheme for employment tribunal fees, following the Supreme Court’s judgment in R (on the application of UNISON) v Lord Chancellor (Brief 1075) on 26 July 2017 that the fees regime was unlawful (ELAweb)
  4. Employment tribunals missing targets and haemorrhaging judges – Employment tribunals are failing to hit basic targets and judges are departing without being replaced, users have revealed. Minutes of the National User Group Meeting on employment tribunals report that tribunals are falling short of targets for completing and disposing of claims (The Law Society Gazette)
  5. St Helens Council pays out £3.5m to union members following long-running equal pay dispute – St Helens Council has paid out £3.5million to members of a union following a long-running equal pay dispute. Members of the GMB union have received the payout, with some winning five-figure sums (St Helens Star)
  6. 15 million people forced to work until they drop as they don’t pay into a pension – Millions of people face the prospect of working into their 70s or 80s to make ends meet amid a pensions timebomb. A probe by the Financial Conduct Authority reveals a third of workers – roughly 15 million people – are not saving towards retirement (The Mirror)
  7. Judge sues over lack of whistleblowing protection – A judge who has spoken out over the impact of austerity on the justice system has taken a test whistleblowing case to the appeal court. Claire Gilham, a district judge, who warned about courtroom dangers including death threats, violent claimants and hostage-taking, is fighting employment tribunal rulings that do not class judges as “workers” (The Guardian)
  8. Sellafield firefighters strike in dispute over pay – Firefighters at the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant in Cumbria have begun the first of two strikes in a dispute over pay (BBC)
  9. Recycling company fined £100,000 after worker struck by moving machine – A recycling company has today been fined after a worker was left with life changing injuries after he was struck by a moving machine. Shrewsbury Crown Court heard how, on 5 December 2014, the employer was working as a litter picker at Lodgewood Farm, Telford, when he was struck by a shovel loader as he was standing next to a brick wall on the site (HSE)
  10. Supreme Court deals state immunity blow in embassy row – Foreign nationals working at embassies and high commissions in the UK can bring employment claims, provided their complaint is based on EU law, the Supreme Court has ruled in a judgment that clarifies rules surrounding state immunity (The Law Society Gazette)