Small Change Nearly Has Big Consequences

When a seemingly small change was made to a lease document, it could have had a drastic impact…and needed a court appearance to put matters right.

The landlord's practice was to grant short leases in a simple form. The tenant was offered a one-year term but wished to lease the property for three years. The landlord said the lease would in that case have to be professionally drafted, but…

Vicarious Liability - Impromptu Post Christmas Party Gathering

Employers can be found vicariously liable for the actions of their staff when these occur in the course of their employment, which can include during an office function, but what is the position when one employee suffers injury at the hands of another at an impromptu get-together some hours after a planned works event has finished? The High Court had found that a recruitment company was not liable…

Unreasonable or Unfair Treatment at Work is Not Always Discriminatory

Unreasonable or unfair treatment of disabled employees can only amount to discrimination if they are subjected to greater detriment than able-bodied colleagues would have been. The Court of Appeal made that point in the case of a sick prison inspector whose medical retirement was inordinately delayed (Dunn v The Secretary of State for Justice and Another).

The man, who worked for the Ministry…

Time Limits for Lodging Appeals in the EAT

It is normally essential at all stages of an employment law claim to provide the necessary documentation and to meet the requisite deadlines. It is therefore sensible to put your case in the hands of solicitors, who have systems in place for ensuring time limits are met.

An appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) against a decision made by an Employment Tribunal (ET) must be lodged…

The Redundancy Process - Get it Right

The process of making staff redundant needs careful handling, as was illustrated by a recent case in which a charity that failed to consult an IT support worker before terminating his contract only narrowly defeated his unfair dismissal claim (Colquhoun v Independent Living Support Limited).

The man worked for the charity for about seven years before a decision was taken to outsource its…

Supreme Court Rules in "Gay Cake" Case

In a unanimous judgment, the Supreme Court has ruled that a bakery in Northern Ireland's refusal to make a cake bearing a slogan in support of same-sex marriage was not discriminatory (Lee v Ashers Baking Company Limited and Others).

The legal battle began four years ago after Ashers Baking Company, a family-run business based in County Antrim, refused to make a cake decorated with the Sesame…

Received an Employment Tribunal Complaint? Do Not Delay Seeking Advice

If you receive notice of an Employment Tribunal (ET) complaint against you, we strongly advise that you seek professional legal advice as soon as possible. A recent case that reached the Court of Appeal shows the potentially dire consequences of any delay (Office Equipment Systems Limited v Hughes).

A woman who worked for an office equipment company complained to an ET that she had, amongst…

Morrisons Vicariously Liable for Rogue Employee's Data Leak

In a workplace context, an employer can be found liable for the acts or omissions of its employees, provided it can be shown that they took place in the course of their employment – i.e. where there is sufficient connection between the employee's position and the wrongful conduct to make it right for the employer to be held responsible.

In a landmark decision in the first class action in…

Job Interviews and the Risks of Asking Off the Cuff Discriminatory Questions

Questions asked of job applicants at interview should be carefully considered in advance and formulated with the benefit of legal advice. In one case where that signally did not happen, a 67-year-old man who was turned down for a park attendant's job succeeded in an age discrimination claim (James v Coedffranc Community Council).

The man was one of 13 people who had applied for the local…

Corporate Manslaughter and Gross Negligence Manslaughter

The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 established a new statutory offence of corporate manslaughter (corporate culpable homicide in Scotland).

An organisation is guilty of the offence if the way in which it manages or organises its activities causes a death and amounts to a gross breach of a relevant duty of care to the deceased. A substantial part of the breach must…