Employment law stories in the news – 27.10.2014 to 02.11.2014

redmans-blog-newsIn the latest of our series of posts on employment law stories in the news this week, we take a look at ten stories relating to employment law that have made the news between 27 October and 2 November 2014.

  1. Former general manager of market in Bradford wins £13,800 payout at employment tribunal – The former general manager of a Bradford market has won his claim for more than £13,000 of unpaid wages, notice and holiday pay at an employment tribunal. Bradford Bazaar Limited, which denied ever employing Ubaid Mughal as general manager, has been ordered to pay him £13,800 (The Telegraph and Argus)
  2. Brokers ‘swapped Kim Jong Il pictures’ during Asian client call, court hears – A British Asian City worker suing one of the UK’s biggest brokers for alleged racial discrimination and harassment helped create an atmosphere where racially offensive jokes went unpunished, a court heard today (The Independent)
  3. Avon & Somerset Police Commissioner ‘breached her own code of conduct’ naming whistleblower – Police Commissioner Sue Mountstevens breached her own code of conduct by revealing the identity of a whistleblower, her own police and crime panel has concluded. Ms Mountstevens had already apologised for telling Avon and Somerset Chief Constable Nick Gargan the name of a woman employee who had made a complaint against him (Yeovil Express)
  4. BBC rehires staff after paying £10m in redundancy packages – The BBC has rehired nearly 300 employees after paying more than £10 million in redundancy packages to them. About 80 returned in the past four years, despite the corporation embarking on a cost-cutting programme (The Times)
  5. Pay rise for 60,000 workers after surge in firms signing up to living wage – More than 1,000 companies are now committed to paying the living wage or above, securing tens of millions of pounds in extra pay for the working poor, it will be announced on Monday. The surge in numbers, and the burgeoning campaign to lift the pay of the worst-off, means that about 60,000 people will be given a pay rise on Monday when a new higher living wage rate is announced. The current rate is £8.80 in London and £7.65 elsewhere (The Guardian)
  6. Court of Appeal says Christian worker has no discrimination protection – The Court of Appeal has today (28 OCT) ruled that a Christian worker who lost her job at Heathrow airport after spurious ‘anti-Islam’ complaints were made against her, has no employment protection rights (Christian Concern)
  7. County Durham firm fined over worker’s severe burns – A County Durham firm has been sentenced after a worker suffered serious burns to his face, hand and arm when he was struck by a jet of hot molten plastic. John Calcutt was helping clear solidified plastic from a large plastic injection moulding machine at Ebac Ltd, in Newton Aycliffe, when the incident happened on 9 September 2013 (HSE)
  8. Nick Clegg blasts press ‘dinosaurs’ after rightwing attacks on parental pay – Nick Clegg has lambasted the “misogynists” and “dinosaurs” of the rightwing British press and establishment following criticism of his plans to offer civil service employees equal parental pay from April next year. In an article for the online forum Mumsnet, the deputy prime minister said: “Let’s bankrupt Britain’s businesses and, once we’re done, burn the buildings to the ground” (The Guardian)
  9. Oldham factory sentenced over worker’s death – An Oldham manufacturer has been ordered to pay £125,000 in fines and costs after an employee was killed when he was struck by a three-tonne piece of steel being lifted by an overhead crane. Michael Wickstead, 63, from Radcliffe, was working for Refinery Supplies Ltd on the Greengate Industrial Estate in Chadderton when two overhead cranes collided. The impact sent a steel container toppling, striking Mr Wickstead and causing fatal crush injuries (HSE)
  10. Sports Direct settles zero-hours legal case – Sports Direct is updating the terms of its zero-hours contracts for more than 20,000 staff after settling a case brought by a former employee who claimed to have suffered panic attacks. According to law firm Leigh Day, the retailer controlled by Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley agreed to a number of legally-binding changes to its recruitment and policy practices for zero-hours workers (Sky News)