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Piqued by an Employee’s Departure? Don’t Do Anything Hasty!

The departure of trusted workers who set up in competition is a frequent source of fury to employers. However, as one High Court libel case showed, the sensible course is to take legal advice rather than resort to hasty action. The case concerned two men who were formerly employed by a company that produced safety products for commercial vehicles and machinery....

Can Civil Servants Step Into Ministers’ Shoes? High Court Test Case

To what extent can civil servants stand in the shoes of their ministerial masters and make decisions on their behalf? The High Court tackled that issue in an important test case concerning the criminal prosecution of an employer who was accused of making 84 warehouse staff redundant without informing Central Government. By Section 194 of the Trade Union and...

Supreme Court Outlaws Pensions Discrimination against Gay Partners

The Supreme Court has struck a ground-breaking blow against discrimination in the case of a gay employee whose husband was denied the right to a full survivor’s pension in the event of his death. The Court’s decision to disapply a discriminatory provision of the Equality Act 2010 underlined the primacy of European law. The man’s employer had informed him...

‘Good Work’ – The Taylor Review

In October 2016, the Prime Minister commissioned Matthew Taylor, a former policy chief to Tony Blair, to look at how employment practices need to change in order to keep pace with modern business needs. The Review, entitled ‘Good Work’, has now been published and makes many recommendations. These focus broadly on three challenges. These are Tackling...

Whistleblowing in the Public Interest – Court of Appeal Test Case

Workplace whistleblowers only enjoy the protection of the law if the disclosures they make are in the public interest – but what exactly does that mean? The Court of Appeal has analysed that issue for the first time in a vital test case. The case concerned an estate agent who feared that his earnings would be gravely depleted by a change in his employer’s...

Car Repair Shop Manager Pays for Health and Safety Incompetence

Health and safety in the workplace must be taken seriously and a failure to do so can have severe consequences. In one case, a car repair shop manager’s woefully inadequate performance in that respect meant that he was entitled to zero compensation, notwithstanding his unfair dismissal. The man had worked for the same company for more than 40 years and its...