Employment law stories in the news – 19.05.2014 to 25.05.2014

MoJIn the latest of our series of posts on employment law stories in the news this week, we take a look at ten stories related to employment law that have made the news between 19 May and 25 May 2014

  1. HSE to target company directors for prosecution – Businesses that see health and safety as an area for cost-cutting are at increasing risk of inspection as stats show the Health and Safety Executive is acting on more tip-offs, a law firm has warned. Figures from Pinsent Masons show that up to the end of March 2014, 4,097 inspections were carried out by the HSE as a result of information from the public and whistle-blowers, which amounts to an 18 per cent rise from the previous year (The Solicitors Journal)
  2. Sacked Lotus boss Bahar settles out of court – Former Lotus head Dany Bahar has settled a claim for unfair dismissal with the sportscar company’s Malaysian owners a month before the case was due to come to court (The Telegraph)
  3. UK Supreme Court rules that LLP members benefit from whistleblower protection – The UK Supreme Court has ruled in Clyde & Co LLP and another v Bates van Winkelhof that members of Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) are to be treated as “workers” and therefore are covered by the protections which UK law provides for whistleblowers (Lexology)
  4. Firms must include commission in holiday pay, EU rules – The European Court of Justice has ruled that employers must include commission when they calculate holiday pay. The new rules mean any worker whose pay is either wholly or partly in commission will be entitled to have this reflected in their holiday pay when they take annual leave (BBC)
  5. Construction firm sentenced after basement fall paralyses worker – A Southwark construction company has been ordered to pay more than £126,000 in fines and costs after a worker was left paralysed from the waist down when he fell eight metres from an unguarded window space into a basement (HSE)
  6. UNISON granted permission to appeal High Court decision on tribunal fees – UNISON has been granted permission to appeal the High Court’s decision turning down its Judicial Review application over tribunal fees. The Court of Appeal decided yesterday that the basis of the issue is of “sufficient general importance to merit permission to appeal” (UNISON)
  7. Belief in public service protected by Equality Act – In the case Anderson v Chesterfield High School, an employment tribunal had to decide whether a commitment to public service was a protected belief and whether it played a part in an employee’s dismissal (CIPD)
  8. Assistant with HIV victimised by M&S – Marks & Spencer harassed and victimised a female employee who became HIV positive after being allegedly raped by a colleague, an employment tribunal panel has ruled. Charmaine Wakelin, 42, was working as a personal assistant in the retailer’s head office in northwest London when she alleges that she was raped after a work party in July 2008 (The Times)
  9. Swansea City reach settlement agreement with Michael Laudrup – Swansea City have announced that the club have reached a settlement agreement with former manager Michael Laudrup. The Danish pro, who took charge of the South Wales club in 2012, was sacked from his position and replaced with Garry Monk in February (Sports Mole)
  10. Statutory holiday pay should include commission – The European Court of Justice has ruled that British Gas had been in breach of the Working Time Directive by limiting Mr Lock’s holiday pay to his basic pay, despite the fact that a significant proportion of his total earnings came from commission (Lexology)