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Workplace Bans on Religious Symbols and Dress

It has been widely reported that the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), in determining a question raised by the Belgian Court of Cassation, has ruled that an employer has the right to ban staff from wearing an Islamic headscarf. However, the ruling only applies in specific circumstances. The employer, a private company that provides services to...

Mother Suffered Discrimination after Part-Time Return From Maternity Leave

Many mothers resume work on a part-time basis after having children and employers must be very cautious to ensure that they are not subjected to any unfair detriment. In one case, a woman won the right to substantial compensation after her return to the office was blighted by less favourable treatment. On returning from maternity leave, the software engineer had...

Territorial Scope of UK Employment Laws – Guideline Decision

British Employment Tribunals (ETs) can in some circumstances hear claims brought by foreign nationals or those who work abroad. However, as one case concerning a merchant seaman revealed, their territorial scope is not without limit. The mariner was employed by a company based in Aberdeen. Although his original employment contract had lapsed prior to his...

Rules May Be Rules but Blanket Policies Are Unwise

Some forms of misconduct may appear so serious that dismissal is the only option. However, one case in which a hospital radiographer was sacked for mishandling confidential patient information showed that blanket policies are rarely a good idea and that room should be left for considering each case on its own facts. The woman had used confidential information in...

What is a Worker? Court of Appeal Plumbs the Issue

Many companies that deal with the public like their operatives to appear to clients as their representatives whilst maintaining that they are self-employed. However, such business models will be much harder to maintain after a Court of Appeal ruling. The case concerned a plumbing company that used 125 operatives to supply services to householders on its behalf....

Agency Workers – Are You Paid Less than Directly Employed Colleagues?

Agency workers are entitled to the same basic working and employment conditions as their directly employed colleagues. Where that does not happen, however, the assessment of compensation can be a tricky matter, as one Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decision revealed. The case concerned a group of workers who were employed by an agency to work for a public...