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Need to Know: February 2023


In the latest edition of our ‘Need To Know’ employment and HR newsletter, we look at where we are now after the Supreme Court’s Holiday Pay decision last year, a cautionary tale about the dangers of unilaterally varying contract terms, get an update on the Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Bill going before parliament soon, as well as our usual HR Bullets which cover other significant employment law updates from the past month.

HR Bullets

  • A law firm was found to have been in breach of contract for attempting to put in place a written employment contract which varied the terms of an offer, which had already been accepted by a job applicant and was not stated to be ‘subject to contract’.. The damages available were, however, only equivalent to the employee’s notice period, as the loss stemmed from the constructive dismissal itself (Osvald v Holden and Co LLP)
  • The EAT found that an employment tribunal was incorrect in concluding that a requirement for full-time employees to work 40 hours a week was not a provision, criterion or practice when it was applied to an employee who was disabled (Davies v EE Limited)
  • A female employee with grey hair who worked for a bank, and who was subjected to the nickname “Christine Lagarde”, was found not to have been discriminated against because of age or sex (Maugars v DB Group Services (UK))
  • The EAT overturned an employment tribunal’s decision that a term-time salaried hours employee should not be entitled to the national minimum wage for hours she did not work, such as during the holidays (Lloyd v Elmhurst School Limited)
  • The EAT agreed to extend time for an appeal as documents which had been emailed by the appellant to the Tribunal had not been received due to a problem with the appellant’s server and the appellant had not received an email ‘bounceback’ informing him of the problem (Hawkes v Oxford Economics Ltd)
  • An employer only provided female employees with access to a toilet cubicle in male toilets if needed for urgent use, which required employees to walk past the urinals and contained no sanitary bins. The EAT held that this was inherently less favourable treatment resulting in sex discrimination (Earl Shilton Town Council v Miller)
  • An employment tribunal is not obliged to either grant or refuse an application to amend a statement of case: it is also able to suggest changes to a proposed amendment (Veizi v Glasgow City Council)

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