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Need to Know: March 2023


In the latest edition of our ‘Need To Know’ employment and HR newsletter, we look at what the new Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Bill means for employers and what it says about changing attitudes to harassment, plus a cautionary tale from the Employment Appeals Tribunal about ‘without prejudice’ privilege.

We also have included our usual HR Bullets – which cover other significant employment law updates from the past month.

HR Bullets

  • The EAT found that a provision, criterion or practice (PCP) had been applied to an employee when the employee’s application for flexible working had been determined (Glover v (1) Lacoste UK Ltd (2) Harmon)
  • An employment tribunal dismissed an employee’s complaint about a comment made about his national origin at a meeting. The EAT found the tribunal should have decided on the matter, and that just because the comment was found to be inoffensive, the employer’s failure to investigate could still be discriminatory (Wytrzyszczewski v British Airways)
  • The EAT agreed that an employment tribunal was justified in striking out a claim because of an employee’s scandalous, unreasonable or vexatious behaviour, where the employee would not cooperate with the list of issues and could not justify his lack of cooperation (Smith v Tesco Stores)
  • The EAT overturned an employment tribunal decision that it was not direct age discrimination to make an employee redundant before they reached 55 in order to prevent them qualifying for an enhanced pension (Cook v Gentoo Group Ltd)
  • The EAT found that without prejudice legal privilege did not apply at a meeting where the parties involved had discussed termination of employment and the employee’s holiday entitlement (Scheldebouw v Evanson)
  • The Court of Appeal found that an employee was not owed a duty of care by their employer to protect them against the financial losses stemming from a risk of criminal conviction due to the employee carrying out their duties (Benyatov v Credit Suisse (Securities) Europe Ltd)
  • The EAT held that an employment tribunal was correct in finding that a without prejudice letter referring to termination of employment agreed by both parties was an effective letter of termination, despite such an agreement not actually being made (Meaker v Cyxtera Technology UK Ltd)
  • The EAT held that when considering if there had been unauthorised deductions from an employee’s wages, the first question to ask was whether any sum was legally owed to the employee, before asking whether it was deducted without authorisation (Johnston v Veritas Technologies (UK) Ltd)
  • An employment tribunal was found to have erred in law when it made an unless order requiring further information about some of the employee’s claim, but said it would strike out the whole claim when only parts of the order were not properly particularised (Mohammed v Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust)
  • A school chaplain claimed he had been dismissed due to religion or belief discrimination following a sermon he gave in which he said the school’s ‘Educate and Celebrate’ programme, which aimed to tackle homophobia and transphobia, went against Christian teaching (Randall v Trent College Ltd and others)
  • The Claimant lodged an appeal 675 days out of time but said this was due to her mental health condition. The EAT refused to extend time as her health difficulties did not justify the extreme delay, especially since she had been able to articulate several legal complaints at the time (Palihakkara v The English Sport Council)

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