Employment law stories in the news – 16.11.2015 to 22.11.2015

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 made the news between 16 November 2015 and 22 November 2015

  1. Government censured over ‘one-sided’ consultation on Bribery Act – The government undertook a “widespread, secret and one-sided consultation” that was “hugely damaging to the UK’s reputation”, according to an anti-corruption campaigner who has released emails revealing that key businesses were polled on whether to alter guidance on the Bribery Act (The Financial Times)
  2. Producer to sue BBC and Jeremy Clarkson for race discrimination – The producer who was punched by Jeremy Clarkson is suing the presenter and the BBC for race discrimination. Oisin Tymon’s legal team and the BBC attended the central London employment tribunal on Friday for a preliminary, closed hearing about the case (Personnel Today)
  3. Employment lawyers urge caution over online court – Employment claims must be handled with ‘real caution’ should an online court to deal with lower-value disputes be established, specialist lawyers have warned. Responding to a review of civil courts in England and Wales by Lord Justice Briggs, the Employment Lawyers Association said ‘modest’ sums were likely to be at stake for the majority of employment law disputes (The Law Society Gazette)
  4. Workplace bullying on the rise in UK, says Acas – Bullying in the workplace is growing, with many people too afraid to speak up about it, according to the conciliation service, Acas. Over the last year, Acas said it had received about 20,000 calls about harassment and bullying at work (BBC)
  5. Worker suffered fatal crush injuries after being hit by lorry – A commercial vehicle company was ordered to pay £212,500 in fines and costs after one of its workers was killed when a lorry travelling at less than 5km/h crushed him. Warwick Crown Court heard Imperial Commercials Limited failed to provide a safe place for its staff to work, failings which led to the death of one its employees, Craig Stewart Dunn, in January 2014 (HSE)
  6. New protections for workers on zero-hours contracts – Earlier this year, we reported on the Government’s ban on the use of exclusivity clauses in “zero-hours contracts”. The ban, which came into force in May, renders unenforceable a contractual provision which prohibits an individual working under a zero-hours contract from working elsewhere (Lewis Silkin Employment)
  7. Tribunal fees deny thousands justice, union tells MPs – Employment tribunals have considered 70% fewer claims since the government introduced fees – meaning that thousands of workers are being denied justice, UNISON told MPs this week. Legal officer Shantha David gave oral evidence to the House of Commons justice select committee, as it investigates the effects of tribunal fees, and their size, in England, Wales and Scotland (UNISON)
  8. London Zoo meerkat keeper who glassed monkey handler love rival was unfairly dismissed, tribunal rules – A London Zoo worker sacked after glassing a female colleague in a love triangle clash over a llama keeper was unfairly dismissed — but she will not receive a penny in compensation. Meerkat keeper Caroline Westlake hit monkey handler Kate Saunders in the face at a work Christmas party last year after they came to blows over fellow animal expert Adam Davies (The Evening Standard)
  9. Stone masonry boss failed to protect his workers’ health – The owner of a stone masonry company has been fined for failing to protect the health of his workers, exposing them to preventable risk of suffering life-changing conditions. Working in an industry where health risks from silica and vibration are well-known but manageable the required actions were not taken, despite Thomas Bushby having received previous advice from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE)