Employment law stories in the news – 23.01.2017 to 29.01.2017

In 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 23 January 2017 and 29 January 2017

  1. Tribunal fees blocking high-heels discrimination claims, MPs say – Employment tribunal fees pose an ‘obvious threat’ to the effectiveness of anti-discrimination law in challenging discriminatory dress codes such as those requiring women to wear high heels at work, MPs said today (The Law Society Gazette)
  2. Sports Direct modern slavery brothers jailed – Two brothers who trafficked 18 people from Poland to the UK and conned and threatened them have been jailed. Erwin and Krystian Markowski, both from Nottingham, recruited the vulnerable men to work at the Sports Direct warehouse in Shirebrook, Derbyshire (BBC)
  3. Law must be tougher over dress code discrimination, say MPs – Women who face demands at work to wear high heels, makeup or revealing outfits require a new legal framework to halt such discrimination, a parliamentary report has concluded (The Guardian)
  4. Ministry of Defence ‘destroyed the career of respected doctor because he was a whistleblower who opposed the Iraq War’ – The Ministry of Defence ‘destroyed the career’ of a well respected doctor because he was a whistle blower, an employment tribunal was told yesterday. Dr Stephen Frost, 69, was dismissed from his job as a locum at Weeton Barracks in Lancashire after an Afghan war veteran was prescribed with six times the normal dose of morphine tablets (The Daily Mail)
  5. Three construction companies fined after worker fall -Three companies from Essex have been fined after a worker fell over seven meters through a fragile roof he was replacing. Chelmsford Crown Court heard how Rafal Myslim was standing on the fragile roof at Dengie Crops Ltd in Asheldem, when the asbestos sheeting gave way and he fell 7.5m onto a concrete floor, hitting a number of pipes within the building on the way down (HSE)
  6. MoJ: employment tribunal fees review ‘imminent’ – The government’s long-awaited review into employment tribunal fees is ‘imminent’, MPs have been assured. However, the Ministry of Justice’s response to questions in the House of Commons today suggests the controversial fees will not be scrapped (The Law Society Gazette)
  7. Stronger rights considered for new and expectant mothers – Extra legal protection for new and expectant mothers who feel they are being forced out of their jobs is being considered by the government. A consultation will be launched “in due course” on strengthening the existing law against such discrimination (BBC)
  8. Union takes legal action against delivery courier Hermes – ITV News has learned that the GMB Union is set to launch legal proceedings against the delivery company Hermes. Hermes has 14,500 couriers in Britain which it says are self employed (ITV)
  9. Axed staff seek BHS payouts – A new row has broken out over the collapse of BHS as former head- office staff pursue compensation over the way they were made redundant (The Times)
  10. 4 in 5 managers have witnessed gender discrimination or bias in the last year – A CMI survey has found that inappropriate remarks, gender bias in recruitment and promotion decisions, and gender inequality in pay and rewards are still major barriers to gender equality in many organisations (CMI)