Employment law stories in the news – 23.10.2017 to 29.10.2017

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 October and 29 October 2017

  1. Hospital worker sues NHS for £140,000 after being sacked over his fear of blood – A hospital worker is suing the NHS after being sacked over his phobia of blood and needles. Andrew Brangwyn, from Coventry, is seeking £140,000 after claiming hospital bosses did not do enough to help him with his disability, despite years of complaints (Coventry Telegraph)
  2. Builder fined after father and son seriously injured in fall from height – A builder was sentenced today after three workers, including a father and son, fell almost five metres when a work platform became disconnected from a telehandler (HSE)
  3. Mears Group to face legal action over holiday pay – Housing maintenance organisation Mears Group is to face legal action for failing to pay Wigan and Leigh-based employees holiday pay. Trade union Unite is bringing the legal action on behalf of approximately 30 of its members who perform housing maintenance work for Mears Group on homes owned by Wigan and Leigh housing (Employee Benefits)
  4. Ryanair pilots to be balloted on group legal action – Ryanair’s UK pilots are being balloted on launching group legal action to challenge their agency employment status, in what could be a further blow to the low-cost airline’s battle to overcome its escalating pilot problem (The Financial  Times)
  5. Unite takes legal action against Optivo on behalf of members – Mergers and restructurings are pushed through across the housing association sector, often with scant regard to the views of staff. Unite is pursuing a legal claim against Viridian Housing and Optivo on behalf of members who have not been properly consulted and informed (Housing Workers)
  6. Builder fined after worker fell from height – A builder has been fined after a worker suffered serious injuries after falling from height from a scaffold. Derby Magistrates’ Court heard that on 22 April 2017, a worker for Nicholas Lawrence Birkin fell five metres from scaffolding at a construction site in Heanor, Derbyshire (HSE)
  7. Christian magistrate fined for saying it was better for children to be brought up by a mother and father rather than a gay couple loses battle to win back his job – A Christian magistrate who was sacked for saying it was better for children to be bought up by a father and mother rather than a gay couple has lost a legal battle to keep his job with the NHS (The Daily Mail)
  8. Public ‘backs ban on long unpaid internships’ – There is strong public support to ban unpaid work experience that lasts more than four weeks, new research suggests (BBC)
  9. Absent officer ‘felt forced to resign after being over-scrutinised’ by force – An overweight police officer who resigned after repeatedly failing a ‘bleep’ test has lost her disability and sex discrimination case against Surrey Police. Detective Constable Rebecca Tiffin claimed she was forced to resign in February 2016 as she felt “over-scrutinised” after failing an Annual Fitness Assessment (AFA) (The Police Professional)
  10. BP employee claims she was sacked for her sense of humour and told ‘women aren’t funny’ – A female employee at BP was sacked from her £87,000-a-year job for her sense of humour and was told “women simply aren’t funny” by her female boss, a tribunal has heard (The Telegraph)