Is Section 40 of the Equality Act due a comeback? | Employment Law Blog

Section 40 of the Equality Act 2010 (EqA 2010) rendered employers liable to employees if they were subjected to harassment by third parties during the course of their work and if – despite knowing harassment had occurred on two previous occasions – the employer had not taken reasonable steps to stop it happening again. Some referred to this as the ‘three strikes’ rule.   As CBI director-general Carolyn Fairbairn explained in her recent speech to the Fawcett Society, most employers already believe they have a duty to protect their staff from…

Crushing terrorism online – or curtailing free speech? The proposed EU Regulation on online terrorist content

Professor Lorna Woods, University of Essex On 12th September 2018, the Commission published a proposal for a regulation (COM(2018) 640 final) aiming to require Member States to require certain internet intermediaries to take proactive if not pre-emptive action against terrorist content on line as well as to ensure that state actors have the necessary capacity to take action against such illegal content. It is described as “[a] contribution from the European Commission to the Leaders’ meeting in Salzburg on 19-20 September 2018”. The proposal is a development from existing voluntary…

EU Law Analysis: Analysis of the ECtHR judgment in Big Brother Watch: part 2

Lorna Woods, Professor of Internet Law, University of Essex (These comments on the judgment follow part 1 of the analysis, which explained the Court’s reasoning). The Big Brother Watch judgment is, depending on your point of view, a confirmation of the possibility of bulk surveillance (para 314) or a recognition of the fact that the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) regime was insufficient and that, to the extent that these weaknesses are copied over into the Investigatory Powers Act (IPA), that act is deficient also.  These two different views…

the CJEU rules on the execution of European Arrest Warrants issued by the UK prior to Brexit Day

Professor Steve Peers, University of Essex There’s a lot of legal debate about the consequences of Brexit, but the definitive word on the legal issues, as far as the EU is concerned, is the EU’s Court of Justice. Its first judgment on Brexit issues was released today, defining the legal position up until Brexit Day – and arguably influencing the approach to be taken after that date. Today’s judgment in RO concerned whether Ireland was still obliged to execute a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) issued by the UK, in light…

EU Law Analysis: The EU’s commitment to combatting violence against women: rhetoric or reality?

Catherine Briddick, Martin James Departmental Lecturer in Gender and Forced Migration at the Refugee Studies Centre of the University of Oxford – @CateBriddick The EU has, at its heart, a legal commitment to combat discrimination, including that based on sex, and to promote gender equality. It has however, been subject to sustained and justified criticism for its failure(s) to live up to these commitments, particularly in relation to its treatment of migrant and refugee women. The announcement by the Commission in 2016 that the EU would sign and conclude (ratify)…

What do the ‘no deal’ notices tell us about Brexit and health?

Sarah McCloskey and Professor Tamara Hervey, University of Sheffield The clock ticks towards Brexit Day and time to devise an agreement dwindles. The odds on reaching one are said to be at 50:50. This means increased incentives for both the UK and the EU to set out exactly what the implications of the UK leaving the EU without a legally binding Withdrawal Agreement (‘no deal Brexit’) would be. The EU began doing this in January 2018, through a series of ‘Brexit preparedness notices’. The UK issued its equivalents in August. Here…

EU Law Analysis: Analysis of the ECtHR judgment in Big Brother Watch: part 1

Lorna Woods, Professor of Internet Law, University of Essex This chamber judgment is the latest in a line of cases that deal with secret surveillance, a topic which seems to be appearing increasingly frequently in a post-Snowden world. This judgment is substantial (over 200 pages in length) and deals with three cases challenging the UK’s now mainly repealed Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) as regards to interception of communications in bulk, the acquisition of communications data and the sharing of intercepted communications and communications data between the UK…

the proposal to amend the EU’s Returns Directive

Steve Peers, Professor of Law, University of Essex One of the key EU laws regulating migration is the Returns Directive, now nearly ten years old, which regulates the main aspects of irregular migration by non-EU citizens. It requires Member States in principle to issue a return decision to every non-EU citizen not authorised to be on their territory, and to enforce that decision by removing the person concerned. In some cases, irregular migrants should be given a period for voluntary departure, so they won’t be subject to forced removal. Member…

Can employees be fired for getting divorced?

EU Law Analysis: Religious discrimination at work: Can employees be fired for getting divorced? Religious discrimination at work: Can employees be fired for getting divorced? Ronan McCrea, Professor of Constitutional and European Law at University College London The Framework Directive on Discrimination in Employment came into force in 2003 but it took 14 years for the Court of Justice to issue its first major decision on its religion-related provisions. However, we have now had four major decisions in the last year and a half so the precise impact of the…

How best to react to claims of sexual misconduct | Employment Law Blog

The media storm surrounding former SNP leader Alex Salmond has in many ways been fuelled by his confrontational approach to the sexual misconduct claims raised against him. These allegations came to the public’s attention when he commenced legal proceedings against the Scottish Government about their handling of investigations. Some consider this a smart move, others a political distraction from the underlying claims. It will be interesting to see how his case plays out given his very public profile.  The impact of such allegations can, of course, be devastating for career, marriage…