Labour & European Law Review
06 January 2016
According to analysis by the TUC, almost one million workers are thought to have had to work on Christmas Day this year.
Based on official statistics, it estimated that the number of employees who worked on Friday 25 December in the UK was in excess of 900,000 this year – an increase of 42,000 (five per cent) over the last three years.
European law makes clear that, unless there are exceptional circumstances, it cannot be applied retrospectively. In O’Brien v Ministry of Justice; Walker v Innospec and ors, the Court of Appeal has confirmed that if employees are treated in a way that was lawful at the time, the treatment cannot become unlawful retrospectively.
Employees need to have at least two years’ continuous service as set out in section 218 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA) in order to bring a claim of unfair dismissal. In Schwarzenbach t/a Thames-Side Court Estate v Jones, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) held that if it is not clear who has legal control of a company, tribunals can draw an inference from the circumstances in order to determine the issue.