Employment law stories in the news this week – 23.12.2013 to 29.12.2013

MoJIn the latest of our series of posts on employment law stories in the news this week, we take a look at news stories that hit the headlines over the Christmas week of 23 December 2013 to 29 December 2013. This includes an Employment Tribunal which may have uncovered evidence of theft from a bank, six workers who have won their unfair dismissal claim and criticism of Fife Council over its overtime payment policy

  1. Ulster Bank employee ‘may have stolen 500k’, tribunal reveals – An Ulster Bank employee who was known for his gambling and extravagant lifestyle may have stolen up to £500,000 from the bank’s vault, an employment tribunal has revealed. The details emerged in a successful case brought by a whistle-blower (BBC)
  2. Workers awarded more than £50,000 after Burslem joinery firm Downes and Williamson makes them redundant – Six workers have been awarded more than £50,000 in redundancy pay and unpaid wages after a building and joinery company suddenly closed (The Sentinel)
  3. Former Tamworth Drive Assist workers get festive pay-out – Twelve months ago Karen Dyer and Louise Wallace were facing an uncertain future. Fraught with worry about work, it certainly didn’t feel like the most wonderful time of the year (The Tamworth Herald)
  4. Ex-BBC reporter settles case – A former BBC Radio Scotland reporter has reached a settlement with the corporation after accusing them of racial discrimination. Business reporter Waseem Zakir was due to face BBC bosses at an employment tribunal last week (The Herald Scotland)
  5. Marketing company paid just 80p an hour for 70-hour week, workers claim – Britain’s biggest specialist door-to-door marketing company, whose clients include Vodafone and EDF, is being sued by two former workers who say it abused rules on self-employment to pay them the equivalent of 80p an hour for 70-plus-hour weeks (The Guardian)
  6. Fears over fees that have halved tribunal claims – Employment tribunals against companies have more than halved in number since fees were introduced to launch claims – but a leading law firm is questioning whether this trend will continue (The Telegraph)
  7. Religious freedom at work: M&S decision gets to the meat of the matter – With the news that M&S staff have been allowed to refuse to serve customers buying alcohol or pork products on religious grounds, interesting issues are raised about rights of religious freedom in the workplace (The Guardian)
  8. Fife Council promises action after being accused of playing ‘Scrooge’ to home carers – Home carers who provide essential services for some of the most vulnerable people in Fife have hit out at “Scrooge” council bosses who told them they would not be getting paid for overtime worked ahead of Christmas (The Courier)