Employment law stories in the news – 30.11.2015 to 06.12.2015

redmans-blog-newsIn 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 the news between 30 November and 6 December 2015

  1. Worker sacked for photocopying rota wins £15,000 payout – A cook who was sacked for photocopying his staff rota has been awarded more than £15,000 at an employment tribunal. Managers at Eildon House nursing home in Edinburgh suspected Mark Knowles was passing on information about staffing levels to the care watchdog so dismissed him for gross misconduct (Herald Scotland)
  2. Construction company director fined after worker’s ladder fall – The director of a construction company has been fined for safety failings after a worker fell from a ladder, resulting in life-changing injuries. Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court heard an employee of MP Jacobs fell from a ladder whilst replacing guttering on a two-storey block of residential flats at Totton Walk, Havant, on 29 October 2014 (HSE)
  3. Firm makes ‘take all the leave you want’ policy permanent – An East Anglian firm that started a test policy of unlimited holiday earlier this year had confirmed that it will make the scheme permanent (The Law Society Gazette)
  4. Employers urged to prepare for minimum wage rise – Many employers are unprepared for next year’s sharp increase in Britain’s minimum wage, according to a government survey, prompting the business minister to urge them to act now to “avoid falling foul of the law” (The Financial Times)
  5. British Gas appeal in holiday pay case goes to employment tribunal – The issue of whether holiday pay should be bumped up to include additional benefits to go towards commission payments goes to an employment tribunal this week. The case focuses on a former sales employee of British Gas. In 2014, the European court of justice (ECJ) ruled that the salesman, whose salary included significant commission payments, should not be financially disadvantaged by the fact he could not earn commission during his holiday (The Guardian)
  6. Met Police to change workplace bullying procedures – The Metropolitan Police is to overhaul its internal grievance processes for all staff complaining of discrimination, bullying or victimisation, following recommendations made in a report. New procedures will be implemented and additional resources and training devoted to investigating and resolving complaints more effectively (The Wharf)
  7. Employers urged to avoid misconceptions about capabilities of disabled – The conciliation service Acas launched a new guide aimed at employers in a bid to tackle disability discrimination in the workplace. Around 12,000 calls were made to the Acas helpline over the past year on disability-related discrimination (The Express & Star)
  8. Riba investigates architect’s allegations of institutional racism – The Royal Institute of British Architects has launched an investigation into allegations of institutional racism made by a leading architect and member of its national council. Racist and sexist discrimination runs through architecture “like a stick of rock”, and it starts at the top with Riba, Elsie Owusu has claimed (The Guardian)
  9. Companies sentenced in HSE inspector’s “most horrific case” – Two North West companies have been fined following the death of two workers at a Merseyside woodchip factory. James Bibby, 25, and Thomas Elmer, 27, were both killed when carrying out maintenance work on a conveyor belt at the Sonae factory in Kirkby (HSE)
  10. Doctors’ strike called off after Hunt lifts threat to impose new contract – Junior doctors called off three days of planned strikes that would have seriously disrupted NHS services after a last-minute agreement to hold further talks with Jeremy Hunt to try to agree the details of a new contract (The Guardian)