Employment law stories in the news – 18.11.2013 to 25.11.2013

MoJIn the latest of our series of posts on employment law stories in the news this week, we take a look at ten employment law -related cases that have made the news between 18 November and 25 November 2013. This includes thousands of construction workers being offered payouts over blacklisting allegations, an MP winning his cases in the Court of Appeal over a worker’s dismissal and a company taking action in the High Court

  1. Blacklist groups in £100,000 payouts – Thousands of construction workers on an industry blacklist have been offered compensation payouts of up to £100,000 each, just as the government launches a review of malpractice by both unions and employers across all sectors (Financial Times)
  2. MP wins his case over worker’s dismissal – A man sacked by Colchester MP Sir Bob Russell after a confrontation with a colleague has had his case thrown out by the Court of Appeal. The protracted saga began when John Scott was dismissed as a part-time case worker for the Lib Dem MP in June 2009 (The Daily Gazette)
  3. Union to sue construction firms over blacklisting allegations – Some of Britain’s biggest construction firms are to face fresh legal action over the way in which they allegedly blacklisted union activists for years. Construction union Ucatt announced it was to sue the firms for breach of confidence and misuse of private information found in their files, the only option it says is available (The Guardian)
  4. Brighton workers threaten strike over redundancy fears – Sussex workers are considering strike action amid fears of redundancy. Unite the Union has sent an email to staff at Legal & General asking if anyone would consider taking industrial action amid the threat of redundancy and plans to restructure the company (The Argus)
  5. Council apologises to husband who was kept under surveillance – A council that has been criticised for keeping employees under surveillance has apologised to an ex-employee’s husband for keeping him under surveillance too. Kevin Shaw says he was outraged to discover that a firm hired by Caerphilly council to spy on his teacher wife Kim had also followed him (Wales Online)
  6. Govt orders union ‘leverage’ inquiry – An independent inquiry has been ordered after controversy over Unite’s practices during the row over the Grangemouth oil refinery to study whether legislation needs to be strengthened in order to prevent “inappropriate or intimidatory actions” in the course of such disputes (Politics Home)
  7. Canterbury College ex-faculty head Helen Topliss wins £24,000 for unfair dismissal after tribunal – Canterbury College has been ordered to pay an ex-employee £24,888 after she won her case for unfair constructive dismissal (Kent Online)
  8. Unions demand public inquiry over blacklisting workers – Unions demand public inquiry over blacklisting workers. Unions will demonstrate in Cardiff Bay later over the discovery, which had more than than 3,000 UK names including 111 from Wales (BBC News)
  9. More than 800 redundant Wirral Council staff signed compromise agreements – A leading Wirral councillor has defended a decision to force more than 800 redundant staff to sign controversial compromise agreements. The move has cost the taxpayer more than £62,500 since 2011 (The Wirral Globe)
  10. Repak takes case against sacked chief executive – Repak, which sacked its chief executive Andrew Hetherington earlier this year following alleged financial irregularities at the industry recycling group, has launched a High Court lawsuit against him and also British Polythene Industries (BPI), a plastics company listed on the stock exchange in London (The Irish Times)