Dismissal of doctor with a long-term medical condition amounted to disability discrimination | Employment Law Blog

The case of Ali v Torrosian and others (t/a Bedford Hill Family Practice) serves as a reminder to employers that the dismissal of employees with long-term medical conditions amounting to disability should be the last resort and less discriminatory alternatives should be considered first. Background Dr Ali was employed by the four partners of Bedford Hill Family Practice (the Practice). He was signed off work on long-term sickness absence having suffered a heart attack. Medical advice from the employee’s GP and treating cardiologist indicated that it was unlikely that he…

What effect does a successful appeal against dismissal have on an employment contract? | Employment Law Blog

Mr Patel was an assistant working for Folkestone Nursing Home. His contract of employment incorporated an employee handbook which contained a contractual right to lodge an appeal in the case of any disciplinary action taken against him.  Patel was charged with two disciplinary offences which were said to amount to gross misconduct.  Firstly, that he fell asleep while on duty and, secondly, that he had falsified records of certain residents by pre-recording that they had slept through the night.  A disciplinary hearing was held and the charges were found to…

Facing a sexual misconduct allegation at work: the importance of your first account | Employment Law Blog

Facing any accusation of misconduct at work is difficult, but allegations of sexual misconduct are particularly distressing.  Such complaints not only have an impact on your professional life, but by their very nature can affect your personal and family life too.   It is not uncommon for a suspect to be told about any allegations for the first time at an impromptu meeting, or “chat”, with a manager or member of HR.  This leaves little, or often no, time to prepare.  But any account given is crucial and can have wide…

Fair investigation of sexual harassment claims in the workplace | Employment Law Blog

If allegations of sexual harassment are raised in the workplace, what particular difficulties arise and how can employers act fairly to all concerned?  The death of Welsh minister Carl Sargeant – who apparently took his own life after being accused of sexual harassment and sacked from his job without having been told the particulars of what he is supposed to have done – is undoubtedly a tragedy. But his story also highlights the challenge that many employers will face in the current environment. What do you do if the victim…

When is a data controller liable for the criminal acts of a rogue employee? | Data Protection Blog

The acquisition from organisations of large databases of personal data by external parties (usually hackers) is an increasingly modern phenomenon – think Ashley Madison, PlayStation, TalkTalk. Less common, and perhaps of greater concern for employers, is the ‘inside job’ where a trusted employee is responsible for a major breach of data security. The High Court case of Various Claimants v Wm Morrisons Supermarket PLC [2017] EWHC 3113 (QB) has shown that a data controller can be held vicariously liable for the misuse of data by one of its employees even where…

Maternity Action report finds ‘unfair redundancies are forcing new mothers out of work’ – is it time for legislative change? | Employment Law Blog

Maternity Action is the UK’s leading maternity rights charity. They have recently released an important report entitled Unfair Redundancies During Pregnancy, Maternity Leave and Return to Work, as part of their campaign to end unfair redundancies for pregnant women and new mothers.   The statistics they report are alarming.  They say one in every 20 women who take maternity leave are made redundant during their pregnancy, on their maternity leave or on their return. The report cites EHRC research, which found that 77% of pregnant women and new mothers experienced discrimination…

The pitfalls of employee immigration status | Employment Law Blog

What can employers do if they discover a staff member’s status is not what it appeared? Richard Fox and Marcia Longdon report in light of a recent Employment Appeal Tribunal ruling Employers are rightly keen to make sure there are no mistakes so far as their employees’ immigration status is concerned. Usually, these issues are sorted out at the point of recruitment – but not always. So what should businesses do if they subsequently discover that their employees’ immigration status is not what they had assumed? And if they do…

Dealing with complaints of sexual harassment at work | Employment Law Blog

Practical tips to employers on how to handle claims of sexual harassment in the workplace. What should an employer do if it receives a complaint of sexual harassment at work? The first step should be to listen to the complainant’s account carefully. They should be referred to a colleague who has been properly trained to deal with complaints of this type, normally an experienced member of the HR team. The temptation to offer unnecessary assurances of confidentiality should be resisted as the employer will also haveresponsibilities to other staff and will usually…

Diplomatic and state immunity – landmark Supreme Court judgments | Employment Law Blog

There is an old saying that goes “You wait ages for a bus, then two come along at once”. State and diplomatic immunity are only rarely the subject of consideration by the highest court in the land. After waiting ages for one case, in October we saw two Supreme Court judgments on diplomatic and state immunity arrive on the same day.  These test cases concerned the impact of state and diplomatic immunity on employment claims by domestic workers. They have established that diplomatic and state immunity in the employment context…