Employment law stories in the news this week – 09.12.2013 to 15.12.2013

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-related stories that have made the news between 9 December and 15 December 2013.

  1. David Cameron offers fast-track UK visas to attract best international tech talent – British Prime Minister David Cameron will allow technology experts to be given fast-tracked visas in a push to attract the best international talent to the UK’s digital sector (HR Grapevine)
  2. Employment tribunal rules Perth College was right to sack lecturer who advanced own commercial work – A Perth College lecturer was fairly sacked for his “systematic dishonesty” in carrying out his own commercial work while on college time and receiving college pay (The Courier)
  3. Employment tribunal claims down after fee introduction – The number of employment tribunal claims has fallen by almost a fifth in 2013, following the introduction of fees. Official quarterly employment tribunal statistics, published today by the Ministry of Justice, showed a 17% reduction in claims submitted in the period between July and September 2013, compared with the same period in 2012 (HR Magazine)
  4. Boris Johnson under fire over zero-hours contracts at City Hall – Boris Johnson, has come under fire after it emerged that 40 people working at his City Hall headquarters are employed on zero-hours contracts (The Guardian)
  5. Construction firm fined after five roofers injured in school steelwork collapse – A Worcestershire construction company has been ordered to pay fines and costs of more than £200,000 after five roofing contractors were seriously injured when a heavy steel canopy for a new secondary school collapsed (HSE)
  6. Glencore oil trader Andrew Kearns loses wrongful dismissal claim after he was sacked for ‘heavy night’ of drinking – and is ordered to pay at least £150,000 –  An oil trader sacked because he was said to be not in a fit state after a heavy night out in Singapore has lost his damages action for wrongful dismissal and now faces having to pay at least £150,000 costs (The Independent)
  7. Labour party activist’s political views accepted as philosophical belief – A Labour party activist has succeeded in having his political views recognised as a philosophical belief under the Equality Act 2010 – the first time an employment tribunal has allowed such a claim to proceed (Personnel Today)
  8. Three police officers sue GMP for race discrimination – Three serving ethnic minority officers are suing Greater Manchester Police alleging racial discrimination by its internal affairs department, the M.E.N. can reveal. The police officers are known to have already begun legal proceedings against the force (The Manchester Evening News)
  9. Former Plymouth care home workers say they are owed thousands – A court has ordered a Plymouth care home company to pay more than £80,000 to ex-employees, The Herald has learned. Official documents show that Ashley Care Homes Ltd, run by Nick Chapman, which owned the Park View and Southview homes before they were shut down and sold earlier this year, did not contest a claim it unfairly dismissed staff members, withholding holiday pay and unlawfully deducting money from wages (Plymouth Herald)
  10. Pharmaceuticals firms fined for chemical incidents at Welsh plant – Two Flintshire pharmaceutical firms have been fined for multiple safety and environmental breaches which caused workers’ major health problems and resulted in releases to the environment – including failures to comply with two HSE enforcement notices (HSE)