Weekly Issue 17 - December 1997

Labour & European Law Review Download issue

Ombudsman challenges lower earnings limit

The pensions ombudsman has ruled that it amounts to unlawful indirect discrimination to refuse to allow an employee earning less than the lower earnings limit (LEL) to join a pension scheme and to fail to pay benefits on amounts earned under the LEL, currently £62 a week.

Tribunals can demand exchange of statements

The Employment Appeal Tribunal has ruled that Industrial Tribunals can order the exchange of witness statements before an IT hearing. An IT can also order that neither side can call a witness whose statement has not been exchanged beforehand, except with leave of the tribunal.

Disability discrimination

The disability Discrimination Act 1995, the employment parts of which came into force on 2 December 1996, is just over a year old. About 1,000 Industrial Tribunal claims have been lodged, and of the 23 decisions issued of which we are aware, only eight have been successful. Can any conclusions be drawn? We review some of the cases below.

Changing hours: the limits of flexibility

The current debate on employment law centres on "flexibility" versus "regulation". This can be stylised as the American unregulated model as against the social protection laws of the European Union.

Automatic for the workers

At the heart of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 1981 (TUPE) is the automatic transfer of staff to the new employer. This is usually the outcome which the majority of employees would prefer, but not always.