Employment law stories in the news – 26.05.2014 to 01.06.2014

MoJIn the latest of our series of posts on employment law stories in the news this week, we take a look at ten employment law stories that have made the news between 26 May and 1 June 2014.

  1. Stonyhurst College prosecuted after stonemason develops lung disease – A historic private school in Clitheroe has been fined £100,000 over health and safety failings after one of its stonemasons developed a potentially fatal lung disease (HSE)
  2. City broker who refused ‘to run across trading floor while people threw water at him as colleagues chanted “only real men run”‘ sues for unfair dismissal – A London trader who refused to take part in his company initiation ceremony of running across the office while colleagues doused him in water is suing his former firm for unfair dismissal. Robert Bou-Simon, a broker at BGC Partners, told an employment tribunal he was the victim of a campaign of abuse after he declined to participate in ‘the run’ after his first trade at the firm’s London office (The Mail Online)
  3. City regulator sees a 64% rise in whistleblowing – The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has seen a 64% increase in the number of whistleblowing reports, according to a Freedom of Information Request (FOI). Law firm Pinsent Masons obtained an FOI that showed that the FCA saw an increase from the average of 338 warnings per month in its final year as the Financial Services Authority to 556 a month since April last year (Citywire)
  4. GP whistleblowers should be protected from ‘reprisals’, court finds – A court has cleared NHS managers of failing to protect a whistleblowing GP – but said a similar case could be upheld in the future, giving greater protection for GPs who blow the whistle on their colleagues .The long-awaited employment tribunal ruling cleared Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University (ABMU) health board in Wales of failing to properly support Dr Margaret Ferguson after she raised concerns about a GP partner at her practice, the Grove Medical Centre in Swansea (Pulse)
  5. Top pay at FTSE 100 groups still rising despite restraint rules – Executive pay at the UK’s biggest companies is still rising despite new rules intended to encourage pay restraint, according to analysis by the High Pay Centre think-tank (The Financial Times)
  6. Former BA pilot loses £110,000 unfair dismissal claim after blowing whistle on colleague who he claimed risked ‘committing a criminal offence’ by flying damaged aeroplane – A former British Airways captain who blew the whistle on a pilot who took off despite having a collision on a runway, has lost his £110,000 claim that he was unfairly forced out by his new employer. Whistle-blower Captain Graham Howard said he was sacked for bringing an ‘unwelcome focus’ on Blink Ltd after taking his worries to the Civil Aviation Authority (The Daily Mail)
  7. Lincolnshire firm in court over worker’s life-changing injuries – A plastics recycling company has been fined for serious safety failings after a worker was stuck by a reversing forklift truck at its Hemswell site. Robin Eddom, a 63-year-old engineer from Scunthorpe, suffered severe back and tissue injuries in the incident at ECO Plastics Ltd’s processing plant on 10 March 2012 (HSE)
  8. Increase in school staff off sick due to stress – The number of school staff off sick with stress is on the rise in the North-east, the Evening Express can reveal today. A report for Aberdeenshire Council’s education committee showed the percentage of calendar days lost to “stress” went up by 3.51% in the last three months of the year compared to the preceding three months (The Evening Express)
  9. Vindication for a whistleblower: Police probe new claims after NHS boss who said patients are locked up is fired – Police are investigating claims that unreasonable force is being used to restrain vulnerable patients on NHS wards, it emerged last night. The allegations surfaced after whistleblower David Ore told the Mail that hospital security guards were ordered to lock up elderly patients and children for up to 12 hours with no food or drink (The Mail Online)
  10. Labour plans to automatically extend workplace pensions to 1.5m low earners – More than 1.5 million low earners could be automatically signed up to their workplace pension schemes to ensure they save for old age under plans being considered by Labour (The Guardian)