As 2022 draws to a close, we reflect back on some of the key employment cases that have impacted upon the employment law landscape during 2022. Here is the ViewHR team’s countdown…
In this case, which resulted in a former Marks and Spencer employee being awarded £53,855.99 in compensation, the employer was found to have failed to make reasonable adjustment for an employee with dyslexia during a redundancy selection criteria process, instead discriminating against her “because of things arising in consequence of her disability”. The employer was criticised by the judge for not seeking expert Occupational Health input regarding the employee’s condition, highlighting the need for employers to take appropriate measures to ensure the fairness of any redundancy selection process.
This interesting case clarified what happens when a disciplinary decision to dismiss an employee is overturned at appeal. In this case, the employee’s appeal against their dismissal was successful and they were reinstated. However, this is not what they had wanted (seeking “apologies and compensation” instead), and so did not return to work, eventually being dismissed six months later because of failure to attend work. The Employment Appeal Tribunal found that the original decision to dismiss had in effect “vanished”, and as such did not provide the grounds for an unfair dismissal claim.
In this case involving an employee who was dismissed after taking home unclaimed food at the end of his shift, the Employment Tribunal found that senior managers “did not carry out a reasonable investigation into the circumstances” of the incident, instead relying on CCTV footage. But surely the camera doesn’t lie? Find out more about this case in our earlier blog here: https://viewhr.co.uk/case-law-update-august-2022/.
In this case, Morrisons was ordered to pay £60,442.25 to an employee after her role was changed from part-time to full-time while she was on maternity leave. Patterson represented herself at the Employment Tribunal, and was found to have been discriminated against.
What constitutes a belief for the purpose of being recognised as a Protected Characteristic under the Equality Act? According to this interesting case, not football! You can read why in our earlier blog available here: https://viewhr.co.uk/case-law-update-september-2022/.
In this case, a former University of Exeter academic was awarded £100,000 for unfair dismissal, relating to her treatment of PhD students, which centred around her having a loud voice. Is this a discrimination issue? You can read more in our earlier blog here: https://viewhr.co.uk/case-law-update-march-2022/
This case relates to the dismissal of an Asda Deputy Store Manager and the “harassment of a young girl and the start of a grooming process”. The details of this case are troubling in terms of the actions taken by the individual towards a 15-year-old. However, what is most interesting from an employment law perspective is the finding that “The claimant argued that he was not at work at the time of the conversation, but … his actions reflected on the respondent. He was in a position of trust, was wearing his uniform, and … was displaying his work badge.” This highlights that in some circumstances it may be appropriate for employers to bring disciplinary proceedings against employees relating to events that occur outside of work hours.
In July, the Supreme Court ruled that employees who work part of the year should receive the same amount of paid holiday as those working a full year. This case impacts on employers who have employees working on a term-time or other part-year basis. For more details, please review our earlier blog on this ruling here: https://viewhr.co.uk/what-does-the-supreme-court-ruling-on-part-year-workers-and-holiday-pay-mean-for-employers/.
In this case, a vexatious litigant who brought more than 40 discrimination cases in a decade has been banned from bringing claims in the Employment Tribunal. The Employment Appeal Tribunal found that the individual had “habitually and persistently” filed claims against companies that refused to offer him a job in order to place “undue pressure on the would-be employers to enter into low-value settlements with him”, which amounted to “a weaponization of the employment tribunal process”. The individual sought to argue that this would breach his human rights, however, the ruling fond that the ban was “necessary for public protection”.
In this case (which you can read more about in our earlier blog here: https://viewhr.co.uk/case-law-update-march-2022/), an employee was awarded £2.1m having been subjected to sexist behaviour. This case provides an important reminder that there is no cap on the amount of money an employment tribunal can award in cases of discrimination!
From all of the ViewHR team, we would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our blog readers. We hope you find our writings through-provoking and useful and would like to take this opportunity to wish you all of the best for 2023!