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Weekly Issue 87 - March 2004

Labour & European Law Review Download issue

In the news

Further to the decision in Durant v Financial Services Ltd (LELR 86, Feb 2004), the Information Commissioner has produced guidance on two main points. It covers what is meant by 'personal data' and clarifies when manual files are covered by the Data Protection Act 1998.

Older...but still normal

In the absence of any legislation against age discrimination, older employees face a problem when they're dismissed or made redundant at 65. They have, therefore, little or no chance (until legislation comes into force at the end of 2006) of bringing a successful claim against their employer. But it can - and does - happen in certain circumstances.

Take notice when you're dismissed

Although employees usually know exactly when they've been dismissed, there are times when that's not the case. Just look at what happened in Rai v Somerfield Stores Ltd (IRLR 2004, 124), in which the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) said that a letter from the employer telling Mr Rai to come back to work by a certain date did amount to a dismissal, but not a dismissal with notice.

It's a...baby!

Having a baby isn't always straightforward. Unfortunately, neither are the legal rights that exist for women who are pregnant or on maternity leave. And despite recent attempts by the Government to simplify maternity rights, the law remains complex.

Pay up equally

Despite having had equal pay legislation for many years, women are still having to bring long and complex claims - such as the case of Allonby v Accrington and Rossendale College & Ors (IDS Brief 750), which has just been heard by the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

But compared with whom?

In equal pay cases, applicants have to show (among other things) that the difference in pay that they're complaining about can be attributed to a 'single source' (Lawrence & Orsv Regent Office Care Ltd & Ors). In other words, that there is just one body that is responsible for the problem and which can do something about it.

A dressing down

The question of what to wear to work isn't necessarily about whether you look good in something, however important that may be. It may, at times, amount to sex discrimination. The question is when and under what circumstances?

Part-time pensions

It is now generally accepted that an employer can't exclude a worker from membership of an occupation pension scheme on the basis of their part-time status.