Employment law stories in the news – 30.01.2017 to 05.02.2017

In the latest of our series of posts on employment law stories in the news, we examine eight employment law stories that have made headlines between 30 January and 5 February 2017

  1. Guarantee minimum wage for gig economy workers, says Frank Field – Theresa May should guarantee the minimum wage for self-employed workers for companies such as Uber and Hermes and prevent them from losing work with no notice, the Labour MP Frank Field has said (The Guardian)
  2. Fencing business owners receive suspended sentences after worker injury – The two owners of Kidderminster based fencing firm Hoo Farm Fencing have been given suspended sentences after a worker was hit by timber posts and frames which fell from a fork lift truck (HSE)
  3. Anger as employment tribunal cases plummet after Tories introduce £1,200 fees to get justice at work – The number of cases taken to employment tribunals has plunged “sharply and substantially” since ministers introduced new fees, a government review has revealed. Unions and Labour called for costs to be axed after claims slumped by 78% in the first year of fees – mainly affecting low-paid women (The Mirror)
  4. Turning Point withdraws appeal in case of unfair dismissal of IT director – Turning Point has withdrawn its appeal against an employment tribunal ruling that found the social care charity had unfairly dismissed its former IT director. AB was dismissed in August 2013 after accessing staff emails and complaining about insulting messages she found there. The emails, sent by David Hoare, the charity’s deputy chief executive, referred to her as “Looney Tunes” and mocked her Christian faith (Third Sector)
  5. Unions blame 70% fall in employment tribunal cases on fees – The number of cases taken to employment tribunals has fallen by 70% since fees were introduced, a government review has found. Unions called for the fees of up to £950 to be scrapped, saying the slump in claims mostly affected low-paid women (The Guardian)
  6. Disgraced former Derriford Hospital boss should face ‘strongest possible punishment’ – Investigators who helped to convict a former boss of Derriford Hospital of fraud have warned they will press for the strongest possible sentence when she comes back to court (The Plymouth Herald)
  7. Overhead crane worker suffers life threatening injuries – A Cleckheaton engineering firm was sentenced today for safety breaches after a worker suffered life changing injuries. H E Realisations Ltd (now in liquidation, formerly Hogg Engineering Ltd) of pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and Reg 8(1) of the Lifting Operation and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (HSE)
  8. RMT suspends strikes on London Underground – Two strikes which were set to cause major disruption on the London Underground (LU) for four days have been suspended. Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers Union (RMT) had been due to walk out from Sunday evening in a row over staffing on the network (BBC)