Employment law stories in the news – 23.02.2015 to 01.03.2015

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 the news between 23 February and 1 March 2015.

  1. Cameron hits back at Tory MP’s ‘outrageous’ maternity leave comments – David Cameron has distanced himself from comments made by a Tory backbencher about plans by the shadow work and pensions secretary, Rachel Reeves, to take maternity leave immediately after the general election (The Guardian)
  2. Liverpool NHS Trust in court over deadly asbestos fibres – A Liverpool NHS Trust has been fined £10,000 after it emerged its workers may have been exposed to potentially-deadly asbestos fibres (HSE)
  3. Christian childcare worker claims she was unfairly sacked for talking about gay marriage with lesbian colleague – A Christian children’s worker who believes she was sacked because of her religious views is making an unfair dismissal claim against her former employer (The Belfast Telegraph)
  4. Farm worker’s death leads to prosecution over exposure to toxic gases – A Dorset farm owner and his two businesses have been fined for serious safety failings after a 29 year-old worker died following exposure to toxic gases (HSE)
  5. Kate Middleton’s former police officer wins unfair dismissal case against the Met – A decorated police officer who guarded Kate Middleton has returned to work after winning an unfair dismissal complaint. Ricky Haruna took legal action claiming harassment and wrongful dismissal after being sacked last June (The Mirror)
  6. Zero-hours contracts a reality for almost 700,000 UK workers, ONS figures show – Almost 700,000 people in the UK are on “zero-hours contracts” – a figure that represents more than 2 per cent of the workforce, according to official figures released today (The Independent)
  7. FCA sets out approach to non-executive directors and senior managers regime – Non-executive directors (NEDs) with specific responsibilities, such as chairman, will come under the new Senior Managers Regime (SMR), the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) confirmed today. Following a detailed consultation across industry and with stakeholders it was also decided the regime would not apply to those NEDs who do not perform delegated responsibilities (FTSE Global Markets)
  8. Government names firms flouting minimum wage – The government has named 70 companies that have failed to pay workers the minimum wage. The worst offender was care provider East Midlands Crossroads, which owed £37,500 to 184 workers (BBC)
  9. Church of England: Justin Welby says low pay ’embarrassing’ – The Archbishop of Canterbury has said it is “embarrassing” that the Church of England pays some staff less than the living wage, despite calling on employers to pay at least that amount. That wage, calculated from the basic cost of UK life, is currently £7.85 an hour outside London (BBC)
  10. Minimum Pay Recommended To Rise To £6.70 An Hour – The minimum wage should be increased by 20p to £6.70 per hour, the body tasked with setting it has recommended. Business Secretary Vince Cable said the Government would now decide whether to adopt the Low Pay Commission’s (LPC) recommendation and make an announcement later (Sky News)