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Labour and European Law Review

Thompsons’ Labour and European Law Review (LELR) is recognised as an authoritative source of comment and discussion of rulings which fall under both UK and European law. Available to read here, and also via a weekly email bulletin, LELR offers considerable insight into the latest issues affecting trade unions and their members.

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Weekly issue 562
  • New health and safety standard
  • Unfair fixed-term
  • Immediate termination
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Weekly issue 561
  • Returning fund
  • Rest from work
  • Covert breach
Read Issue
Weekly issue 560
  • Firms not ready for privacy law changes
  • Inclusion/exclusion
  • Demoting disability
Read Issue

Agency workers

Weekly Issue 514

Impact of the NMW

In its analysis of the recent increase in the minimum wage, the Low Pay Commission has estimated that 8.5 per cent of workers are now on one of the minimum wage rates, up from 7.3 per cent last year.

Weekly Issue 514

A matter of interpretation

When trying to decide whether a claimant is an employee, a worker or a self-employed contractor, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has held in Capita Translations and Interpreting Ltd v Siauciunas and anor that it is an error of law for tribunals not to consider the doctrine of mutuality of obligation.

Weekly Issue 514

Exemplary record

When deciding whether a dismissal is unfair, tribunals have to consider whether “in the circumstances” the employer acted reasonably or unreasonably.


Weekly Issue 418

Contractual necessity

Courts will only imply a contract on the ground of necessity in certain circumstances. In Smith v Carillion the Court of Appeal held that, even in the case of a blacklisted worker, the question for courts was whether it was necessary to imply a contract between the worker in question and the end user by looking at how the parties conducted themselves.

Weekly Issue 330

Blacklisting at Crossrail

The business secretary Vince Cable last week referred evidence of ongoing blacklisting of trade unionists at a major building project to the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Weekly Issue 285

ICO "disappointed" about blacklisting

Following complaints by the GMB and human rights group Liberty about the failure to act against firms found to have been blacklisting trade unionists, the deputy Information Commissioner has said that there is nothing more his office can do.

Breach of contact

Weekly Issue 518

Construing the contract

The law says that tribunals can only hear breach of contract claims on termination of employment. In Agarwal v Cardiff University and anor, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) held that tribunals cannot therefore hear unlawful deduction of wages claims if they depend on construction of the claimant’s contract.

Weekly Issue 517

Receipt of letter

Although an employment contract has to state the length of notice of termination, it does not have to state how notice should be given.

Weekly Issue 476

Contractual check-off

In May 2015, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) ended their system of check-off for Public and Commercial Services union members' subscriptions. However, in Cavanagh and ors v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, the High Court held that the department was in breach of two PCS members' contracts when it withdrew the system and that the union had the right to enforce the arrangements.


Bi-annual LELR - Autumn 2012 [130]

Dismissal on grounds of capability

In the current climate of austerity and mass redundancies in both the public and private sectors, employers will often look for reasons other than redundancy to dismiss employees to avoid paying a redundancy payment.

Weekly Issue 283

Competency bar

It is important for employers to be consistent in a redundancy situation when deciding whether they can offer alternative employment instead of dismissing the employee.

Weekly Issue 253

Workers’ skills being underused

According to a report published this month by The Work Foundation, employers are underusing workers’ skills, resulting in lost productivity both for businesses and the economy as a whole.


Weekly issue 554

Long, hard road

In terms of assessing compensation for injury to feelings, courts have long followed the guidance provided by the “Vento bands”, which was updated in 2017. In Durrant v Chief Constable of Avon & Somerset Constabulary, the Court of Appeal held that the revised amounts can be used in cases prior to the update in circumstances where it is justified to do so.

Weekly issue 536

Pay ratios

Following a consultation on corporate governance, the government has said that it will introduce legislation to require listed companies to reveal the pay ratio between bosses and their workers.

Weekly issue 532

160 years to earn one year of top CEO pay

Despite a drop of almost a fifth in the pay of FTSE 100 CEOs in 2016, research has found that it would still take the average worker 160 years to earn what they are paid in just one year.

Conciliation and settlement

Weekly issue 545

Forms and certificates

Before starting tribunal proceedings, claimants have to submit separate early conciliation (EC) forms to Acas for each employer against whom they want to submit a claim. In De Mota v ADR Network and The Co-operative Group Ltd, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) held that even if the claimant fails to submit separate forms, that does not mean the EC certificate issued by Acas is invalid.

Weekly issue 533

Multiple Identities

The law requires prospective claimants to ensure that the employer’s name on the Early Conciliation (EC) Certificate is the same as on the ET1 claim form, but what happens when the employer has multiple names?

Weekly issue 530

Acas annual report

In its annual report for 2016/17 published last week, Acas has found that early conciliation notifications in order to resolve individual claims have stayed about the same level as the year before

Contract of employment

Weekly issue 540

Far from neutral

Although views might differ generally as to whether suspension of an employee is a neutral act, the High Court confirmed in Agoreyo v London Borough of Lambeth that, as far as the courts are concerned, it is not neutral. In the circumstances of this case, it amounted to a breach of the implied term of mutual trust and confidence.

Weekly issue 534

Property in emails

As part of an application for an injunction in Capita plc v Darch and ors, the question arose as to whether an employer had a claim to property in corporate emails.

Weekly issue 530

Truthful answers

The High Court has held in MPT Group Ltd v Peel and Birtwhistle and anor that although the duty of good faith includes the duty to answer questions truthfully, that does not mean that employees who have resigned from their job have to explain confidential and/or nascent plans to set up in lawful competition with their former employer

Deductions from wages

Weekly issue 531

Broken Chain

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has reaffirmed its earlier decision in the case of Fulton and Baxter v Bear Scotland Ltd that a gap of three months or more between two successive alleged under payments or non-payments of wages breaks the chain in a “series” of deductions as set out in the Employment Rights Act 1996.

Weekly Issue 525

Unpaid wages

Research carried out by Middlesex University into the non-payment of wages estimates that £1.2 billion of wages and a further £1.5 billion of holiday pay remain unpaid every year

Weekly Issue 523

Out of time particulars

In claims of unlawful deductions of wages (such as unpaid holiday pay), claimants can apply to amend their original applications in certain circumstances …

Definition of a worker

Weekly issue 553

In reality

When deciding whether drivers were workers in Uber BV v Aslam and ors, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) held that, although the relationship between the parties was presented in the written documentation as being one of agency, the tribunal was right to focus on what happened in reality between them.

Weekly Issue 522

Civil servant

According to the rules governing employment in the civil service, appointments have to be made on the basis of fair and open competition. In Secretary of State for Justice v Betts and ors

Weekly Issue 516

The fallacy of flexibility

An inquiry by the Work and Pensions Committee into self-employment and the “gig” economy has highlighted illegal and unintelligible clauses in the contracts issued by certain companies.

Disciplinary and dismissal

Weekly issue 560


The law states that evidence of pre-termination negotiations cannot be used in any subsequent tribunal proceedings except in limited, specified, circumstances. In Basra v BJSS Ltd, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) held that if the effective date of termination is disputed, tribunals first have to establish the date before considering what evidence can be included or excluded (…).

Weekly issue 556

Cake and eating it

The law states that evidence of pre-termination negotiations cannot be used in any subsequent tribunal proceedings. In Graham v Agilitas IT Solutions Ltd, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) held that an employer cannot rely on part of a protected conversation during a disciplinary hearing while at the same time arguing that the meeting was covered by without prejudice privilege (…)

Weekly Issue 521

Substantial conduct reason

If an employer can show they dismissed their employee for “some other substantial reason”, it will be fair. In Ssekisonge v Barts Health NHS Trust, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) upheld the tribunal’s decision that the dismissal of a nurse whose identity was being investigated by the Home Office could be fair for “some other substantial reason”, even though conduct played a part in the reason to dismiss.

Employment rights

Weekly issue 557

Responding to Taylor

Following the publication of the Taylor review last July which considered the impact of working practices in the “gig economy” on workers, the government has published its response, along with four consultations (…)

Weekly issue 552

Membership and activities

Section 137 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations Consolidation Act (TULRCA) 1992 makes it illegal for an employer to refuse someone a job because they are a trade union member. In Ltd v Denby the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) held that the reference to “membership” could include “activities” relating to that membership.

Weekly issue 537

E-mail monitoring breach

The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights has decided in Bărbulescu v Romania, that it was unlawful for an employer to monitor their employee’s professional email account...

Employment tribunals and tribunal fees

Weekly issue 557

Out of time

When deciding whether to grant an amendment to extend time to introduce a new claim to existing proceedings, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has held in Galilee v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis that tribunals do not always have to determine limitation points at that time (…)

Weekly issue 548

Tribunal fees, mark two

Following its announcement last month that the first people eligible for a refund of tribunal fees could apply, the government has now opened up the scheme to everyone who is eligible.

Weekly issue 548

Claim forms

According to a decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) in Ministry of Defence v Dixon, claimants can validly amend their initial claim forms (ET1) using case management procedures, even if it introduces another cause of action that arose after the first ET1 was lodged.

Equal pay

Weekly issue 557

Arrears of pay

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has held in Graysons Restaurants Ltd v Jones that potential compensation awards arising from equal pay claims can constitute “arrears of pay” under the law, meaning they form debts to be paid from the National Insurance Fund in the event of an insolvency. This is the case even if the claims still have to be determined (…)

Weekly issue 552

Gender pay gap sanctions

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has warned businesses that they could face a number of sanctions if they fail to comply with gender pay gap reporting regulations, such as unlimited fines and convictions.

Weekly issue 547

Gender pay gap reporting

Government research has found that, despite the introduction of the gender pay gap reporting regulations in April 2017, a third consider reducing the gender pay gap a low priority.

Equality, discrimination and harassment

Weekly issue 561

Returning fund

The government has launched a £1.5 million fund offering grants to projects that help people who want to return to work after a long break (typically two years or more) for caring or other reasons. Not surprisingly, perhaps, 90 per cent of these returners are women (…).

Weekly issue 560

Demoting disability

The Court of Appeal has held in Rochford v WNS Global Services (UK) Ltd and ors that it is misconduct for an employee to refuse to work even if they have been demoted for a reason related to their disability. Dismissing the employee in these circumstances is therefore fair (…).

Weekly issue 559

Barriers At Work

The government last week commissioned research to look at what employers are doing to remove barriers to workplace progression for black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) workers (…).

European Law

Weekly issue 551

EU equivalence

The Supreme Court has held in P v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis that police officers must have the right to bring claims of treatment contrary to EU law to a tribunal in order to comply with the principles of effectiveness and equivalence. Likewise, national rules in relation to judicial immunity have to be consistent with EU law.

Weekly issue 546

Home base

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has decided in Nogueira and ors v Crewlink Ireland Ltd and Osacar v Ryanair Designated Activity Company (formerly Ryanair Ltd) that, in order to decide where a cabin crew member habitually carries out their work, a number of different factors have to be considered, not just the place that has been designated as their “home base”.

Weekly Issue 503

Temporary incapacity

To come within the definition of disability under EU law, the physical or mental impairment has to be “long’term”.

Fixed-term, flexible and part-time workers

Weekly issue 562

Unfair fixed-term

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has held in Royal Surrey County NHS Foundation Trust v Drzymala that it is not automatically fair to dismiss an employee when their fixed-term contract expires, just because the employer complied with the Fixed-Term Employees Regulations (…).

Weekly issue 544

Half and Half

The law says that part-time workers cannot be treated less favourably than full-timers. In British Airways v Pinaud, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) held that it is less favourable treatment for an employer to require a part-timer to work more than half of the hours of a full-timer but only pay them half of the salary.

Weekly issue 538

Flexible working for parents

In a study looking at the uptake of flexible working by new parents, Acas has found that organisations treat mothers and fathers differently…

Freedom of information and data protection

Weekly issue 562

Immediate termination

The law says that if a contract is terminated by notice, then the effective date of termination (EDT) is the date on which the notice expires but if no notice is given, then it is the date on which the termination takes effect. In Cosmeceuticals Ltd v Parkin, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) held that in a summary dismissal that is communicated to the claimant straight away, the effective date of termination is immediate (…).

Weekly issue 561

Covert breach

Under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, individuals have the right to respect for their private life. In López Ribalda and ors v Spain, the European Court of Human Rights (ECrtHR) held that by installing covert surveillance in the workplace, the employer had breached the rights of their former employees under Article 8 (…).

Weekly issue 560

Firms not ready for privacy law changes

According to a recent study, only a minority of small businesses are prepared for the introduction of new data protection regulations which come into force at the end of May (…).

Health and Safety

Weekly issue 562

New health and safety standard

The TUC has published a guide to a new health and safety standard published last week to try to ensure that it does not turn into yet another piece of “pointless paperwork” (…).

Weekly issue 551

Risk assessment

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has held in the case of Eida Otero Ramos v Servicio Galego de Saude and anor that employers must carry out a specific risk assessment for workers who are breastfeeding. If they fail to do so, they will be guilty of direct sex discrimination.

Weekly issue 542

Mental ill health at work

Conciliation and workplace experts, Acas, published guidance last week to help employers manage mental ill health in the workplace. The advice is equally helpful to trade union reps who can draw on it as a good practice guide. Emphasising the crucial role that managers play in supporting employee well-being, Acas recommends that they should be as approachable as possible; should monitor staff workloads, set realistic targets and be clear about priorities; and have regular one-to-ones and catch-ups to check on how work is going, identify upcoming challenges and the support that may be required.

Human rights

Weekly Issue 515

Protect workers’ Human Rights

The European Convention on Human Rights and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights place duties on the State to protect against human rights abuses by businesses and provide access to remedy for victims.

Weekly Issue 513

A fair Brexit

Britain’s leading equality organisation, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, has warned the government that its Brexit plans reflect a lack of ambition for equality and human rights standards.

Weekly Issue 455

UK ratifies forced slavery agreement

The UK has ratified a landmark ILO agreement to combat forced labour, people trafficking and other forms of modern slavery. Along with Niger and Norway, it is one of the first nations to sign the international convention.

Industrial Action

Weekly Issue 527

Strike Payment

Employers are entitled to withhold payment when their employees go on strike, but how should it be calculated?

Bi-annual LELR - Autumn 2016 [138]

Industrial action and picketing

The Trade Union Act 2016, which received royal assent on 5 May, represents the most significant changes to the law on industrial action and picketing in a generation.

Weekly Issue 375

Union detriment

Workers have the right not to be subjected to a detriment by their employer when taking part in the activities of an independent trade union.

Information and consultation

Weekly issue 547

Employment unit

The law says that when an employer proposes to dismiss as redundant 20 or more employees at one “establishment”, they have to consult with the appropriate representatives. In Seahorse Maritime Ltd v Nautilus International, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) held that the territorial scope of the obligation to collectively consult was dependent on the individual employee’s connection to the UK.

Weekly issue 546

Changes without consultation

A poll carried out by the TUC earlier this month has found that workers do not generally feel that they are listened to at work.

Weekly Issue 489

Effective management

The law states that if an employer does not agree a valid request for recognition for collective bargaining purposes from a union, the union can ask the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) to decide whether the proposed bargaining unit is appropriate. In R (on the application of Lidl Ltd) v CAC and GMB, the High Court held that the union’s proposed bargaining unit was compatible with the need for effective management and therefore was appropriate in nature.

Maternity/Parental rights

Weekly issue 558

Shared parental leave

The government has launched an advertising campaign to encourage more parents to take up Shared Parental Leave in their baby’s first year (…)

Weekly issue 543

Parental Bereavement Leave

New legislation published earlier this month will entitle employed parents who have suffered the death of a child under the age of 18 to two weeks’ paid leave. The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Bill gives employed parents the right from the first day of employment to parental bereavement leave to allow them time to grieve. The leave has to be taken within 56 days of the date of the child’s death. In the event of the death of more than one child, the parent is entitled to leave in respect of each of them.

Weekly Issue 526

Blanket Policy

It is directly discriminatory under the Equality Act to treat a woman unfavourably “because of” her maternity leave

National minimum wage and National living wage

Weekly issue 545

Sleep-in payments

Following a recent key judgement on payment for sleep-in shifts (LELR 525), the government has launched a scheme to ensure that social care providers now pay workers what they are owed.

Weekly Issue 525

Time work

The law states that “time work” includes time when the worker is available at or near their place of work unless they are at home

Weekly Issue 509

Check your pay

The government this week launched a nationwide campaign to increase awareness among low paid workers about their rights in relation to pay.


Weekly Issue 515

Objective justification

The Supreme Court has held In the matter of an application for judicial review by Denise Brewster that the requirement for a cohabiting partner to be nominated by a scheme member in order to be eligible for a survivor’s pension cannot be objectively justified.

Weekly Issue 505

Survivor pension

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has held in Parris v Trinity College Dublin that it was not discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and/or age for a pension fund to refuse a retrospective claim for a survivor’s pension to the surviving spouse or civil partner.

Weekly Issue 494

Gendered pension

Up until 2014 when same-sex marriage became legal, anyone with a full certificate of gender recognition was entitled to a state pension according to the rules relating to their acquired gender, unless they were married. In MB v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, the Supreme Court asked the Court of Justice of the European Union whether EU law precludes national law from requiring a transgender person to be unmarried to qualify for a state pension.

Personal Injury

Weekly issue 541

Injury liability

The law says that employers are liable for any harm that results from discrimination caused at work. The Court of Appeal has held in BAE Systems (Operations) Ltd v Konczak that the job of the tribunal is to identify the harm caused by that discrimination and (broadly) the part of the suffering that results from it.

Weekly Issue 507

Long-term stress

A person has a disability if they have a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

Weekly Issue 504

Christmas assault

Although employers can be held vicariously liable for conduct carried out by their employees, it has to be closely connected with the acts that the employee was authorised to do.


Weekly issue 559

Direct Offer

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has held in Kostal UK Ltd v Dunkley and ors that employers cannot go over the heads of unions recognised for collective bargaining purposes and make offers directly to the workforce, if the purpose and effect is so that the workers’ terms will not be determined by collective agreement negotiated by the union.Thompsons was instructed by Unite the Union’s Strategic Case Unit to act on behalf of its members. (…).

Weekly issue 555


When considering an application for union recognition in Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain v RooFoods Limited T/A Deliveroo, the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) held that, as the drivers had a genuine right to substitute which operated in practice, they could not be workers under section 296 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 (TULRCA).

Weekly Issue 526

Fragmented Bargaining

The law states that unions can request recognition for collective bargaining purposes if the proposed bargaining unit is deemed to be “appropriate”

Redundancy and Protective Awards

Weekly issue 537

Consultation rights

The Court of Appeal has decided in Vining v London Borough of Wandsworth that the right to be consulted is one of the essential elements protected by article 11 (freedom of association) of the European Convention on Human Rights…

Weekly Issue 522

Redundancy testing

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has held in Green v London Borough of Barking & Dagenham that the test in unfair dismissal cases by reason of redundancy is always the same even if

Weekly Issue 501

Insensitive consultation

When carrying out a redundancy consultation prior to dismissing an employee, employers have to ensure that the consultation is meaningful and not a sham.

Social media

Bi-annual LELR - Spring 2016 [137]

Social media and the employment relationship

Social media refers to online networks that enable individuals to share and exchange an extremely broad range of information and ideas, the most well-known being Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Weekly Issue 407

Offensive tweets

Although employees have a right to use social media, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) held in Game Retail Ltd v Laws that it has to be balanced with their employers’ need to minimise any risk to their reputation from communications that could be read by customers and other employees.

Weekly Issue 309

Facebook views

The growing use of social media has inevitably raised questions about whether employees who post their political or religious views on their Facebook page can be found to have brought their employer into disrepute.

Trade union information

Weekly Issue 500

Reason for detriment

If a worker complains that they have been penalised for taking part in the activities of an independent trade union, the employer has to establish the main purpose for what they did (or did not do).

Weekly Issue 467

Workers' Memorial Day

The theme of this year’s Workers’ Memorial Day, which takes place on 28 April, is “Strong Laws, Strong Enforcement and Strong Unions”. The purpose behind the annual event is to raise awareness of the number of workers who lose their lives every year as a result of their work by “remembering the dead and fighting for the living”. In other words, to remember all those killed through work, while at the same time ensuring that such tragedies are not repeated.

Bi-annual LELR - Spring 2016 [137]

Case law on social media

Because so many employees now have access to social media, whether through the internet on workplace computers or on their own smart phone, many employers have written policies setting out what employees can and cannot do during work time in terms of accessing the internet and networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

Transfers of Undertakings

Weekly issue 552

Transfer of equipment

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has held in Securitas v ICTS Portugal and anor that there can be a transfer of an undertaking in circumstances where the activity carried out by a new contractor is done by utilising the same equipment as the previous contractor..

Weekly issue 532


When an insolvent business is sold, the contracts of existing employees do not automatically transfer under the European Acquired Rights Directive to the buyer…

Weekly Issue 515

Principal purpose

Section 3(3) of the TUPE regulations state that immediately before a service provision change (SPC), there has to be an organised grouping of employees whose “principal purpose” is to carry out the client’s activities.

UK Law

Weekly issue 554

Loss of rights after Brexit

A group of equality organisations and human rights experts, including the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), has warned the government that the EU (Withdrawal) Bill will not protect workers’ rights.

Weekly issue 551

Unpaid overtime

Although half of UK employees who did overtime last year received a premium of 10 per cent or more, 14 per cent reported that they were not paid any overtime at all in their main job, according to a report by the Resolution Foundation.

Weekly Issue 498

Government flip flops on workers' rights

Branded at the time as a way of creating a flexible workforce, the government quietly shelved its plan for creating so-called owner-employees in last week’s Autumn Statement.

Unfair dismissal

Weekly issue 554

Live and work

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has held in Baker v Abellio London Ltd that it is unfair to dismiss an employee for contravening an immigration statute if they already had the right to live and work in the UK but were unable to provide the correct documentation to prove those rights.

Weekly issue 547

Past events

Although a dismissal for misconduct will usually be found to be procedurally unfair if the employer cannot show that they carried out a reasonable investigation (among other things), the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) held in NHS 24 v Pillar that it is not necessarily unfair to include additional information (such as past incidents) in an investigatory report even if it is not relevant.

Weekly issue 543

Reasonable conduct

In the unusual case of Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust v Akinwunmi and ors, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) held that where an employee was dismissed for refusing to follow a reasonable management instruction the tribunal was entitled to consider whether the employee was acting reasonably or not in refusing to obey the instruction.

Vulnerable and migrant workers

Weekly issue 549

Diplomatic claims

Although foreign diplomats in the UK enjoy diplomatic immunity from a range of potential claims, the Supreme Court has held in Reyes v Al-Malki and anor that a Saudi diplomat and his wife could not claim immunity from employment law claims brought by a former domestic servant as they did not relate to his “official functions”.

Weekly issue 533

Upsurge in Modern Slavery

The National Crime Agency (NCA) announced last week that modern slavery and human trafficking in the UK is far more prevalent than previously thought.

Weekly Issue 507

Big increase in insecure work

Research published by the TUC last week found that the number of people in insecure work has gone up by more than a quarter over the past five years.


Weekly issue 558


In order to succeed in a claim of unfair dismissal for making a protected disclosure (blowing the whistle), claimants have to show a reasonable belief that it was in the public interest. In Parsons v Airplus International Ltd, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) upheld the tribunal decision that if a disclosure is made solely in self-interest it cannot qualify as a protected disclosure (…)

Weekly issue 550

Poor performance

Under section 103A of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA), it is automatically unfair to dismiss a worker because they made a protected disclosure (blew the whistle). In Royal Mail Group Ltd v Jhuti, the Court of Appeal held that it was not a whistleblowing dismissal if the dismissing officer believed it was for another reason, in this case poor performance.

Weekly issue 543

Disclosure of interests

Following an amendment in 2013 to the 1998 Public Interest Disclosure Act, workers making a qualifying disclosure have to show they have a reasonable belief that it was “in the public interest”. In Chesterton Global Ltd and anor v Nurmohamed, the Court of Appeal held that they did not, however, have to show that that was their predominant motive.

Working time and holiday pay

Weekly issue 561

Rest from work

The Working Time Regulations (WTR) 1998 state that if a worker is not able to take the 20-minute rest break to which they are entitled after working six hours, they should be allowed a period of “compensatory rest”. In Crawford v Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) held that a compensatory rest break must entail a break from work and be at least 20 minutes. Thompsons was instructed by the RMT to act on behalf of their member (…).

Weekly issue 555

Carry over holidays

The Working Time Regulations (WTR) state that leave can only be taken in the year when it is due and cannot be carried over. In King v The Sash Window Workshop Ltd and anor, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) held that employers who do not allow workers to take paid holiday during their employment will be liable for unpaid European holiday pay up to and including when the employment relationship ends.

Weekly issue 553

Day of rest

The working time directive states that every worker is entitled to an uninterrupted rest period of 24 hours plus 11 hours’ daily rest, per each seven-day period.

Zero hours contracts

Weekly issue 553

Bill to define workers’ rights

A bill eliminating zero-hours contracts and providing greater protection for workers in precarious work is due to have its second reading in parliament tomorrow.

Weekly issue 550

Zero hours, zero choice

A new TUC poll has found that the reason that so many workers remain on zero-hours contracts is because it is the only type of work available to them.

Weekly Issue 487

Yet more people on zero hours

According to figures published last week by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the number of people on zero-hours contracts has increased by a fifth compared to a year ago.