Employment law stories in the news – 22.01.2018 to 28.01.2018

In the latest of our series of posts on employment law stories in the news we take a look at ten employment law-related stories that have made headlines this week

  1. Theresa May: I will fine greedy bosses who betray their workers – Irresponsible company bosses who “line their own pockets” while failing to protect workers’ pension schemes are to be hit with huge fines, under plans to be announced by Theresa May’s government within weeks (The Guardian)
  2. UK sick pay is found to breach international legal obligations – Statutory sick pay and government assistance for jobless and self-employed people in the UK have been found to breach international legal obligation. The amount of money available to those claiming statutory sick pay and employment support allowance is “manifestly inadequate”, according to the guardians of an international charter ratified by the UK in 1962 (The Guardian)
  3. District judge not covered by ‘whistleblowing’ provisions – A district judge was an office-holder and not a worker within the meaning of the Employment Rights Act 1996 and thus was not protected by the “whistleblowing” provisions under that Act. However, the ability to bring proceedings under section 7 of the Human Rights Act 1998 afforded adequate protection for such office holder’s right to freedom of expression (The Sunday Times)
  4. ‘My life is ruined’: Benefits office worker called a ‘whinger’ by bosses cries as tribunal hears bullying claims – A benefits office worker cried at an employment tribunal as he claimed his life and health were ruined by bosses who called him a “whinger” who didn’t deserve to be treated nicely (The Daily Post)
  5. Ex-staff take action over unpaid wages and ageism at celebrity hotspot Beach Blanket Babylon – The Ham&High can reveal that under its former ownership Beach Blanket Babylon, and its founder and ex-owner Hampstead restaurateur Robert Newmark, were subject to a number of allegations including unpaid wages, poor staff treatment and poor hygiene (Ham High)
  6. Employment tribunal fee refunds total £1.8m in two months – More than £1.8m in refunds have been processed since employment tribunal fees were ruled unlawful, according to the Ministry of Justice. The MoJ said it had made 2,151 employment tribunal fee refunds, totalling £1,808,310, between 20 October and 18 December 2017. Over 4,600 refund applications had been received (Personnel Today)
  7. Vattenfall ‘drug abuse’ whistleblower awarded tens of thousands in wrongful dismissal case – A whistleblower sacked after raising concerns about drug abuse and significant health and safety breaches on a major construction project fell victim to “character assassination”, a tribunal has ruled (The Press and Journal)
  8. Sex abuse victim sues HMRC after being sacked over ‘too many sick days’ in run up to trial – The victim of a serial sex attacker is taking legal action against the HMRC after she was sacked by the agency weeks after she gave evidence against him. The 48-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was one of three women targeted by rapist Jason Okwara in Dundee between 2004 and 2012 (The Evening Telegraph)
  9. Female manager, 40, who quit her financial services job because she was paid £7,500 less than a male colleague in the same role more wins £12,000 for discrimination –  A female manager who was paid £7,500 a year less than a male colleague for doing the same job has won her employment tribunal case today. Michelle Smith, 40, quit after her boss allegedly told her that although she was best suited to the post, her colleague John Tucker would receive higher pay (The Daily Mail)
  10. Parish council which sacked cleaner for whistleblowing closes office – A parish council, which sacked its cleaner for whistleblowing about fire safety, claims it has been forced to close its office because of “animosity” shown towards it in the wake of the case (EDP24)