Employment law stories in the news – 20.07.2015 to 26.07.2015

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 have made headlines between 20 June and 26 June 2015

  1. NHS spends £1.8bn on staff redundancy pay-offs following Government restructuring – About £1.8bn has been spent on NHS staff redundancy pay-offs since the Government’s restructuring of the health service, according to new figures. More than 44,000 people have been laid off in the last five years with some 5,500 re-employed by the NHS in another job, Sky News reported (The Independent)
  2. Firm prosecuted following the avoidable death of a roof worker – A Darwen firm have appeared in court after one of their employees, Graham Readfern (56 yrs old from Bacup), died after falling from the roof of a partly completed loft conversion project in January 2012 (HSE)
  3. Redundancy payouts decline as pressure to cut costs eases – Redundancy payments have fallen to their lowest level since the recession, according to new figures published today. Redundancy payouts to workers totalled £3.5bn in the 12 months ending April 2015, down 10 per cent on the year before, commercial law firm EMW said (City AM)
  4. Teacher who had arm twisted by head awarded £1.5m bullying compensation – A cash-strapped council has been ordered to pay £1.5m to a teacher who was found to have suffered ‘continuous and relentless bullying’ by an employment tribunal. Karen Hall has been awarded the damages after an 11-year battle with Durham County Council which began when she blew the whistle on bullying at a village primary school (The Northern Echo)
  5. Ikea adopts the living wage for UK staff in ‘massive breakthrough’ – Campaigners challenging big businesses over low pay have received a major boost after Ikea became the first large national retailer to commit to paying its UK staff the living wage. The announcement that the home furnishing retailer will pay its staff a minimum of £9.15 an hour in London and £7.85 across the rest of the UK from April next year was described as a “massive breakthrough” by the living wage campaign. It will mean a pay rise for more than 4,500 staff (The Guardian)
  6. Dad accused of bid to use leaked data to blackmail Jaguar Land Rover owners – A former Leamington restaurant owner faces losing £300,000 after being accused of attempting to use sensitive data to blackmail one of the world’s biggest companies. Tata Consultancy Services, part of the India-based Tata Motors Group which took over Coventry’s Jaguar Land Rover, has gained a temporary injunction against Prashant Sengar of Solihull (The Coventry Telegraph)
  7. Maternity leave discrimination means 54,000 women lose their jobs each year – Women returning from maternity leave are more likely to face discrimination in the workplace than they were a decade ago, according to a report published today by the Equality and Human Rights Commission. The study by the EHRC estimates that around 54,000 new mothers are losing their jobs across Britain every year – almost twice the number identified in similar research undertaken in 2005 (The Guardian)
  8. Devon hospital chief-quit whistleblower awarded payout – A Devon hospital whistleblower whose claims led to a chief executive quitting her job over ‘nepotism and favouritism’ has been awarded £230,000 compensation by a tribunal. Dr Paula Vasco-Knight was not only the chief executive of Torbay Hospital in south Devon but was also the national lead on equality and diversity (The Exeter Express and Echo)
  9. Tribunal dismisses security guard’s claim that his Quran was thrown “in the bin” by his employer – An Employment Tribunal has ruled against a Muslim security guard who claimed his employers had thrown away his Quran and “challenged and disrespected” his religion. The claimant, identified as Mr Hussain, alleged that his copy of the Quran had been taken from his personal locker at his workplace and “discarded in the bin” by his employer (Secularism)
  10. Bullied County Durham teacher gets £1.5m compensation payout – A teacher who suffered “sustained and deliberate acts of victimisation over a lengthy period” has been awarded £1.5m. Karen Hall was awarded £59,000 in 2008 by an employment tribunal after she was bullied at a West Cornforth Primary School in County Durham (BBC)