Employment law stories in the news – 29.05.2017 to 04.06.2017

In the latest of our series of posts on employment law stories in the news, we take a look at eight employment law stories that have made the news between 29 May and 4 June 2017

  1. Sentence following multiple deaths on excavation site – Two companies have been fined a total of £700,000 and a director has received a suspended prison sentence following the fatal crushing of four workers at an excavation site in Norfolk (HSE)
  2. Women win equal pay fight against Glasgow City Council – Thousands of women will now be able to proceed with equal pay claims against Glasgow City Council after winning a legal fight in the Court of Session. The council had appealed against a ruling by the Employment Appeal Tribunal that it had continued to discriminate against women through the introduction of payment protections (STV)
  3. Holiday pay: ambulance workers win overtime claim – An employment tribunal has held that ambulance workers’ compulsory overtime in respect of “shift overruns” should be included in the calculation of their holiday pay, in the latest decision to apply the abundant case law on how employers should calculate pay during annual leave (Personnel Today)
  4. One in 13 ethnic minority workers are in insecure jobs, says TUC – Members of the black, Asian and ethnic minority communities are a third more likely to be in insecure work than white workers, says the TUC. One in 20 white employees are on zero-hours or temporary work contracts (BBC)
  5. Construction firm Mears bans workers from having beards – The construction firm Mears has banned its workers from having beards, citing health and safety grounds. Staff were told of the decision at a “tool box talk” in Tower Hamlets, east London, that beards were now banned so that workers could “wear appropriate dust masks effectively” (The Guardian)
  6. Engineering company fined after worker crushed – Pipework Engineering Services Limited (PESL) has been fined after a worker suffered life changing injuries as a result of a crush incident. Birmingham Magistrates’ Court heard that on 21 March 2016 the worker was operating a foot pedal saw when he came into contact with the rotating blade (HSE)
  7. Union membership has plunged to an all-time low, says ONS – Trade unions have experienced the biggest membership drop since records began, losing 275,000 members last year to slip to 6.2 million. Union leaders blamed the loss of “good-quality jobs”, cuts to the public sector workforce and the rise of the gig economy for the 4.2% drop, the biggest annual cut since records began in 1995, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said (The Guardian)
  8. Foster carers who ‘step out of line’ fear being deregistered – Foster carers who ‘step out of line’ are in fear of being deregistered from their jobs, an employment tribunal has heard. James Johnston, from Knightswood, told a hearing in Glasgow yesterday that being deregistered was a “serious threat” to members of his profession (Glasgow Evening Times)