General News, Articles and Information from The POA North of the Border:


Levy & McRae Newsbrief: September 2015


An employment tribunal has awarded a domestic servant who brought one of the UK’s first claims for caste discrimination £184,000 in unpaid wages

Ms Tirkey was in domestic service for Mr and Mrs Chandok, initially in India and later in the UK. She is from the Adivasi people, who some in India consider “low caste”. Ms Tirkey brought various claims in the employment tribunal, including that she was discriminated against because of her caste.


ECJ: Meaning of ‘transfer of a business’

Is it a TUPE transfer if a majority shareholder takes over its subsidiary’s activities after it is wound up? Yes, held the EAT in ‘Ferreira da Silva e Brito & Others v Estado Portugues’.


The required steps to establish discrimination arising from a disability

To establish discrimination arising from a disability under section 15 of the Equality Act 2010 a disabled person must have been treated unfavourably because of something arising in consequence of that disabled person’s disability.


Mother dismissed over absenteeism suffered sex discrimination

An insurance company committed sex discrimination against a mother dismissed over absenteeism linked to her daughter’s ill health, an employment tribunal has ruled.


Working Time - Travel Time to First Job of the Day

In the case of mobile workers, is the time spent travelling from home to customers’ premises to be regarded as ‘working time’ for the purposes of the Working Time Directive? Yes, held the Court of Justice of the European Union.


Whistleblowing disclosures: assessment of reasonable belief and good faith

When determining whether or not a worker has made a qualifying disclosure, the test is whether the disclosure of information, in the reasonable belief of the worker, tends to show one or more of the specified types of wrongdoing.


Disciplinary investigation heavily influenced by HR led to unfair dismissal

The EAT has allowed an appeal against the decision of an employment judge that an employee had been fairly dismissed in circumstances where the investigating officer’s recommendations had been heavily influenced by input from Human Resources.


Presentation of a Tribunal Claim

Was it open to an employment tribunal to find that it had not been reasonably practicable to present a complaint within 3 months where there had been a previous abortive (but timely) claim dealing with the same subject-matter? Yes, held the EAT.


Detriment spanning series of discrete fixed-term contracts could be a “series of similar acts”

The EAT has held that a tribunal erred in ruling that a number of alleged acts of detriment did not form part of “a series of similar acts” under the regulations protecting fixed-term employees and part-time workers from less favourable treatment.


Breach of contract: No six-year time limit in the tribunal

An employment tribunal has held that the time limit for bringing a breach of contract claim, as set out in the Employment Tribunals Extension of Jurisdiction Order 1994, is not subject to the general six-year time limit, set out in section 5 of the Limitation Act 1980.


Choice of Companion at Disciplinary Hearing

Was the denial of choice of representative for disciplinary investigation beyond statutory or contractual entitlement a breach of the implied term of trust and confidence? Yes, on the facts, held the High Court.


Social Media Dismissal: EAT declines to lay down guidance

Was it unfair to dismiss an employee for comments made on Facebook which he claimed were untrue? No, held the EAT.