Employment law in the general election

by Laurie Anstis on April 15, 2015

This week has seen the publication of most of the party manifestos for the general election.

Sean Jones QC, writing on the Hard Labour blog, has prepared a table setting out the proposals of the main parties in England for changes to employment law.

Employment tribunal decision in Lock v British Gas published

by Laurie Anstis on March 25, 2015

Following the decision of the ECJ in Lock v British Gas, the case returned to the employment tribunal on 4 & 5 February 2015 for consideration of how the ECJ’s decision should be applied.

The resulting employment tribunal judgment has now been published by Unison, who represented the successful claimants. Read the rest of this entry »

Does the Simmons v Castle 10% uplift apply to employment tribunal awards for injury to feelings?

by Laurie Anstis on February 27, 2015

As part of the Jackson reforms of civil litigation, in October 2012 the Court of Appeal announced in the case of Simmons v Castle that awards of general damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity were to be increased by 10%.

At the time I suggested that this could also apply to employment tribunal awards for injury to feelings, and thereby raise the so-called “Vento bands“. The Court of Appeal later revised their judgment, and it seemed to me that this revision made it even more likely that the judgment applied in the employment tribunal.

Since then, the Presidential Guidance on case management issued last year took it as uncontentious that the judgment applied (“remedy”, para 14), and the EAT has held: Read the rest of this entry »

2015 increase in employment tribunal compensation limits

by Laurie Anstis on February 16, 2015

The Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) Order 2015 has now been published, giving the compensation limits that will apply from 6 April 2015.

The most significant items are that the limit on the compensatory award for unfair dismissal will increase from £76,574 to £78,335 and the limit on a week’s pay for various purposes will increase from £464 to £475.

Caste discrimination

by Laurie Anstis on December 19, 2014

In Chandok v Tirkey the EAT has for the first time considered whether caste can fall within the protected characteristic of race for the purposes of the Equality Act.

Langstaff P expressly disavowed the creation of any new general point of principle in his judgment, saying “My focus has been on the appeal in this particular case, in its particular circumstances: I have not seen my role as being to resolve academic disputes, and establish more general propositions, of no direct relevance to the case in hand.

He found that “there may be factual circumstances in which the application of the label “caste” is appropriate, many of which are capable – depending on their facts – of falling within the scope of section 9(1) [race discrimination],  particularly coming within “ethnic origins”, as portraying a group with characteristics determined in part by descent, and of a sufficient quality to be described as “ethnic”“. Read the rest of this entry »