Employment law stories in the news this week – 03.02.2014 to 09.02.2014

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 3 February and 9 February 2014. This includes compensation for a policeman who damaged a pensioner’s car, criticism from Members of Parliament over payoffs to former BBC executives, and a Redditch recycling firm that has been fined £100,000 after the death of a worker

  1. Policeman who smashed up pensioner’s car receives £400,000 compensation – Pc Mike Baillon, who quit his job after becoming the butt of jokes from fellow officers over a YouTube video of him battering the Range Rover of a 74-year-old driver, awarded more than £400,000 compensation (The Telegraph)
  2. MPs scrutinise Fincham’s BBC payoff – A group of MPs has called on the BBC to provide more answers about the £500,000 payoff former BBC1 boss Peter Fincham received in 2007 (Broadcast Now)
  3. Redditch recycling firm fined £100,000 for worker’s death – A Redditch recycling company has been sentenced for safety failings after a worker was killed by a bale of waste weighing more than a tonne. Kenneth Swaby, 43, from Canvey Island, Essex, was struck by the falling bale as he walked past a stack of them, some five metres high, at R&S Recycling Ltd in Beoley on 11 February 2011 (HSE)
  4. Respected teacher takes school to tribunal – A Studley school is opposing legal claims for unfair dismissal and disability discrimination by a former teacher who is alleged to have been involved in issues with the school’s head (Redditch & Alcester Advertiser)
  5. Boys will be boys: Public school headmaster’s ‘generous view of pupils who skinned live cats and wrapped a younger pupil in duct tape before beating him with a belt’ – The head of a £30,000-a-year public school believed ‘boys would be boys’ after four pupils beat a schoolmate with a belt and another filmed himself skinning live cats, a whistleblower has claimed (The Daily Mail)
  6. Forcing police officers to retire after 30 years’ service is unlawful, tribunal rules – An employment tribunal has ruled that a measure used to force police officers to retire after 30 years’ service is unlawful and amounts to age discrimination (The Guardian)
  7. Union loses tribunal fees battle – A trade union has lost a High Court action over an order which imposed fees for the first time on workers wanting to bring tribunal proceedings against their employers (The Courier)
  8. Claimant faces record costs after tribunal –  An employment tribunal has ordered a claimant who unsuccessfully took a local authority to tribunal to pay record costs for an individual (The Law Society Gazette)
  9. New Health and Work Service to get long-term sick back to work – People off sick for more than four weeks are to be offered advice to get them back to work more quickly under a scheme being set up by the government (BBC)
  10. Bullying fears at Liverpool health trust – A damning report has revealed concerns about a “blame culture” at a Liverpool health trust. Health watchdog the Care Quality Commission made an unannounced inspection of Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust’s intermediate care service in November and December (The Liverpool Echo)