Employment law stories in the news this week – 25.11.2013 to 01.12.2013

In the latest of our series of posts on employment law stories in the news this week, we take a look at a number of employment-related stories that have made the news between 25 November 2013 and 1 December 2013. This includes a firm fined £1.7 million over a workplace accident, a Union threatening to sue over blacklisting allegations and potential plans for the employers to be “named and shamed” if they do not pay the NMW

  1. Firm fined £1.7m over tug boat deaths – The owner of a tug boat which sank in the River Clyde in 2007, killing three crew members, has been fined £1.7m. Three crew members died when the Flying Phantom capsized in thick fog on 19 December 2007, and Tug owner, Svitzer Marine Ltd, pleaded guilty to offences under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (Workplace Law)
  2. Union to sue construction firms over blacklisting allegations – Some of Britain’s biggest construction firms are to face fresh legal action over the way in which they allegedly blacklisted union activists for years (The Guardian)
  3. Fringe director appeals actors’ minimum wage tribunal ruling – A director who was ordered to pay five actors the national minimum wage for their work on a fringe show he produced, which had been advertised as profit-share, has lodged an appeal against the employment tribunal ruling (The Stage News)
  4. Woodford: Whistleblowing should be made ‘easier’ – Michael Woodford, who exposed a $1.7 billion fraud at Olympus while being president and CEO of the company, has received the inaugural Contrarian Prize, which recognises individuals who do the right thing (BBC)
  5. Met pays out £666,000 to settle 56 racism claims – Almost £666,000 in compensation has been paid out by Scotland Yard to settle racism claims. The majority of the payouts, which were made between 2009 and 2013, were out-of-court settlements (The Evening Standard)
  6. Tribunal rules dismissal of shop worker who called colleague a ‘whore’ on Twitter fair – A Cupar shop assistant, who called a colleague a “whore” on Twitter, was not unfairly dismissed. An employment tribunal in Dundee has rejected the wrongful sacking claim of Doreen Reilly, of West Port Place, against the Co-operative Group of Manchester (The Courier)
  7. Leamington patisserie found guilty of not paying wages to worker – An employment tribunal has found a French patisserie owner in Leamington guilty of not paying a former employee the wages she was owed and breaching her contract (The Leamington Spa Courier)
  8. Lesbian forklift truck driver forced to watch naked women on Babe Channel by abusive boss wins £7,500 discrimination payment – A lesbian forklift truck driver has been awarded £7,500 damages after her boss bombarded her with pornography and made crude comments about her sex life (The Mail Online)
  9. Fathers will be able to share parental leave from April 2015 – Men are too often mocked in the work place for wanting to go part time or leaving early to pick up their children, the Liberal Democrat equalities minister has said, as she announced detailed plans for new mums and dads to share a year of parental leave after the birth of a child (The Guardian)
  10. Rogue employers who fail to pay NMW: named and ashamed? – The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) announced during the course of the summer that it was going to name and shame employers who fail to pay the National Minimum Wage under “revamped plans to make it easier to clamp down on rogue businesses” (The Information Daily)