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Weekly issue 95 - December 2004

Labour & European Law Review Download issue

In the news

The Health and Safety Executive has published guidance for employers on how to deal with work-related stress. And not before time.

Discriminating over porn

In an unusual sex discrimination case - Moonsar v Fiveways Express Transport Ltd - the EAT (employment appeal tribunal) has held that it was sex discrimination, in these circumstances, for a man to download porn at work.

Opting out

Under the Working Time Regulations 1998, employees have the right to work a maximum 48-hour week. They can opt out of the provision to work longer hours if they want, but employers must not put them at a disadvantage if they chose not to.

An update of trade union law

Following a review of the 1999 Employment Relations Act, a new and updated version of the legislation has just received royal assent.

Hope fades for recognition

Under the Employment Relations Act 1999 (updated in October 2004), trade unions can apply to the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) for recognition if they cannot reach a voluntary agreement with the employer.

Jurisdictional deductions

In two appeals about unlawful deductions of wages - Gill & ors v Ford Motor Co and Mr Wong & ors v BAE Systems Operations Ltd (2004, IRLR 840) - the employment appeal tribunal has decided that tribunals have to make findings of fact before looking at whether they have jurisdiction to hear the claims.

Unequal pay

Because women have more breaks in service during their working lives than men (usually to have children and raise a family), they often work for shorter periods. But is it then discriminatory for an employer to use length of service as a criterion for say, extra holidays or even pay?

Time of transfer

The Court of Appeal has decided yet another case arising out of the equal pay claims made by thousands of women (some more than a decade ago) that they had been unlawfully excluded from membership of their occupational pension scheme, because they worked part-time.