Employment law stories in the news – 19.10.2014 to 26.10.2014

redmans-blog-newsIn the latest of our series of posts on employment stories in the news this week, we examine ten employment law-related stories that have made the news between 19 October and 26 October 2014.

  1. Businessman who gave Ukip £1m arrested and slapped with official police warning over harassment of female worker – A multi-millionaire who pledged £1 million to Ukip after defecting from the Tories was at the centre of a harassment row with a female employee. Insurance tycoon Arron Banks, 48, was arrested over given an official warning over his pursuit of 33-year-old Jo Featherby, who he first hired as an 18-year-old waitress (The Mail Online)
  2. Council worker wins payout after he was unfairly sacked for giving out tomato plants – A former council clerk has won a compensation payout after he was unfairly sacked from his job – for giving colleagues tomato plants. Richard Chapman was dismissed by Malvern Town Council in April this year after it was claimed the fruity gifts showed favouritism towards some members of staff (The Mail Online)
  3. Oldham factory sentenced over worker’s death – An Oldham manufacturer has been ordered to pay £125,000 in fines and costs after an employee was killed when he was struck by a three-tonne piece of steel being lifted by an overhead crane (HSE)
  4. Asda faces mass legal action over equal pay for women – Asda, the UK’s second largest retailer, is facing a mass legal action by women who work in their stores. The women claim they are not paid the same as male workers in the distribution warehouses – despite their jobs being of “equivalent value” (BBC)
  5. Simmons & Simmons appoints Olympus whistleblower Michael Woodford as non-exec board member – Simmons & Simmons has signed up former Olympus chief executive and whistleblower Michael Woodford as a non-executive director to sit on its board. Woodford was named president and chief operating officer of Japanese camera and medical equipment manufacturer Olympus Corporation in April 2011, and was made CEO in October of the same year (Legal Week)
  6. Burnley College in court over employee’s life-long injuries – Burnley College has been fined £20,000 after an employee was severely injured when he fell three metres while changing an air filter on an extraction system. The sixth form and further education college was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation found it had failed to ensure the work was carried out safely, despite specialising in teaching health and safety courses (HSE)
  7. Blacklisted workers refuse to back down – Anti-blacklisting campaigners will hit the streets of Wolverhampton today to demand an apology from a notorious blacklister, who denied work to a pipefitter because he had given the Morning Star a quote 22 years previously (The Morning Star Online)
  8. Council boss loses fight on sacking – A council boss who was sacked for selling sportswear on the side while he was at work has lost his case for unfair dismissal. Hugh Kinsella, a risk, wellbeing and safety manager with Scottish Borders Council, had been selling the sporting goods – including football and rugby strips – for almost nine years at times when he was supposed to be carrying out his council duties (Herald Scotland)
  9. Prison whistleblowers in England and Wales being threatened with dismissal – Whistleblowers in the Prison Service in England and Wales are being threatened with dismissal for raising serious concerns about their ability to keep inmates safe and their fears over soaring levels of violence (The Guardian)
  10. Theatre critic Mark Shenton loses unfair dismissal case – Mark Shenton, former theatre critic of the Sunday Express, has lost his employment tribunal against the paper for unfair dismissal and sexual discrimination. The tribunal ruled that Shenton “was not an employee within the meaning of the Employment Rights Act” and that consequently it had “no jurisdiction to hear the claim for unfair dismissal” (The Stage)