Labour & European Law Review
02 June 2004
Phillips is new ERU head
In its first - and very significant - ruling on workplace stress, the House of Lords has put the onus back on employers to take responsibility for the health and well-being of their staff.
In an unusual case - Mingeley v Pennock And Ivory t/a Amber Cars (2004, IRLR 373) - the Court of Appeal has decided that race discrimination legislation may not apply to private car hire drivers.
It's just over a year since new rights were introduced for working parents to ask to work flexibly. The mechanisms for making an application are laborious, so it's important for unions to make sure that members know what they have to do.
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has clarified an important point of EU law in Merino Gómez v Continental Industrias Del Caucho Sa (2004, IRLR 407 and LELR 89 for a summary). It has ruled that a pregnant worker does not have to take her annual leave during her maternity leave period, even if it coincides with a general shutdown of the entire factory.
It is well established in law that employers have to observe a number of implied, contractual terms - for instance, the duty to maintain a relationship of mutual trust and confidence - with their employees.
The Court of Appeal has just decided in Susie Radin Ltd v GMB & Ors (2004 IRLR 400), in a case backed by Thompsons, that the purpose of the protective award is to ensure that employers comply with the legislation and consult with their employees. If they fail to do that, they can expect to be penalised.
The Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act (TULR(C)A) makes it unlawful for unions to discipline a member for a number of specific reasons. And that includes expulsion.