Labour & European Law Review
02 September 1998
Smith v Gardner Merchant Ltd CA
Times Law Reports 23.7.1998
The Court of Appeal has held that a gay man, who claimed he had been discriminated against because he was a gay man, may have a claim for discrimination under the Sex Discrimination Act if he can show that a gay woman would have been treated differently.
ECM (Vehicle Delivery Service) Ltd v Cox, EAT15 May 1998
The EAT has had previous opportunities to consider the implications of the Suzen decision, but this is the first time that the President, Mr Justice Morison, has got his hands on the issue. He deals with it head-on in a welcome decision where a vehicle delivery contract had been transferred.
London Underground Ltd.v Noel (unreported) Employment Appeal Tribunal 13 May 1998
The three month time limit for presenting a claim of unfair dismissal is strictly applied in employment tribunals. There is however an escape clause in that the Employment Tribunal has a discretion to extend the time for presentation of the claim "within such further period as [it] considers reasonable in a case where it is satisfied that it was not reasonably practicable for the complaint to be presented before the end of the period of 3 months." (The Employment Rights Act 1996 Section 111(2)(b)).
The waiting is nearly over. The Advocate General has delivered his opinion on Seymour-Smith and the judgment of the European Court of Justice is likely to follow shortly which is likely to confirm the Advocate General's views
A man sustains an injury at work. He has a physically demanding job and, because of his injury, has to take several months off work. The doctors cannot predict when he will be able to return, but they think it unlikely that his condition will improve much over the next 12 months. In the light of this uncertain prognosis, his employers dismiss him.
Where an Industrial Tribunal is considering a complaint of unfair dismissal involving an internal appeal process the Tribunal should have regard to the overall process of the termination of the contract of employment in deciding whether the dismissal was unfair. This cannot be decided simply on the basis of pigeon-holing the type of appeal (a review of the case or a re-hearing) to decide whether the appeal process corrected unfairness at an earlier stage.