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Need to Know: May 2023


In the latest edition of our ‘Need To Know’ employment and HR newsletter, we look at what factors a recent pregnancy-related discrimination case turned on, the proposed reform of non-compete clauses in UK contracts, and how to prepare for the new Allocation of Tips Act that recently passed.

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

HR Bullets

  • In Boohene and others v Royal Parks Ltd, a claim involving indirect discrimination, the tribunal compared the claimants who were directly employed by the respondent to outsourced cleaning staff. The EAT held that the pool for comparison was too narrow.
  • In Morris v Lauren Richards Ltd, a disability discrimination claim, the EAT held that a tribunal had erred in its finding that the claimant was not disabled, specifically in how it had determined that the effect of the claimant’s impairment (anxiety) was not likely to last for at least 12 months. The EAT noted that the threshold for likelihood was low and based on whether something ‘could well happen’.
  • In Trustees of the Barry Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses v BXB, a congregation member had been raped by an elder at his home. The Supreme Court subsequently held that the Jehovah’s Witness organisation was not vicariously liable for the elder’s act.
  • In Miles v Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, the claimant had a chronic kidney disease, and refused to return to work after the first COVID-19 lockdown due to health and safety concerns. The EAT agreed with the tribunal in rejecting the claims of health and safety detriment and unfair dismissal; the requirement that it be reasonable for the employee to believe there was a ‘serious and imminent’ danger to themselves had not been met.
  • In Lovingangels Care Ltd v Mhindurwa, the EAT agreed with the tribunal’s finding of an unfair dismissal where the respondent had not considered putting the claimant on furlough and instead dismissed her by reason of redundancy.
  • In Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd v Clark and others, the Court of Appeal held that a claim form (ET1) which involves multiple claimants is valid provided it quotes the early conciliation (EC) certificate number of at least one of the claimants.
  • In Mones v Lisa Franklin Ltd, the EAT held that where an employer and employee had reached an agreement as to how furlough pay was to be calculated, the employer was not required to then use the formula in the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
  • In Lasdas v Vanquis Bank Plc, the claimant was a litigant-in-person, and the tribunal understood the claims to be direct discrimination, rather than indirect discrimination. The EAT overturned the deposit order made against the claimant and held that in proceedings involving a litigant-in-person, the margin of appreciation for the tribunal was in relation to managing the proceedings, not matters of law.

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