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Apprenticeship levy in numbers

Recently released statistics indicate that the apprenticeship levy introduced by the government in April 2017 needs a radical rethink.
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Apprenticeship levy in numbers

Uber loses appeal on worker status

In the continuing worker status saga, Uber's recent appeal against the Tribunal ruling that its drivers are workers, rather than self-employed individuals, has been dismissed by the EAT.
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Uber loses appeal on worker status

Greek government’s imposition of height restrictions on its police force falls short of equal treatment

In the recent case of Ypourgos Ethnikis Pedias kai Thriskevmaton v. Kalliri, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) held that the requirement for candidates for the Greek police academy to be at least 170cm tall amounted to indirect sex discrimination which could not be objectively justified.
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Greek government’s imposition of height restrictions on its police force falls short of equal treatment

Supreme Court rules that embassy staff are not excluded by state immunity

In the recent case of Benkharbouche v. Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs & Anor the Supreme Court agreed with the EAT and the Court of Appeal and unanimously held that sections 4(2)(b) and 16(1)(a) of the State Immunity Act 1978 (SIA) cannot protect embassies from Employment Tribunal claims brought by domestic staff in the UK.
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Supreme Court rules that embassy staff are not excluded by state immunity

Court of appeal rules that gender segregation at school amounts to unlawful discrimination

In the recent case of HMCI v. The Interim Executive Board of Al-Hijrah School, the Court of Appeal overturned the High Court's finding that a school's complete gender segregation of pupils from year five onwards was not direct sex discrimination.
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Court of appeal rules that gender segregation at school amounts to unlawful discrimination

Parental bereavement leave bill published by the government

On 13 October 2017, the government published the Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Bill. This will offer two weeks' paid leave to any employed parent who loses a child under the age of 18.
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Parental bereavement leave bill published by the government

EAT finds that Asda retail store workers are comparable to higher paid distribution workers

The EAT upheld the previous Tribunal ruling that female employees who work in Asda's retail stores are entitled to compare their work to that of the higher paid male employees that work in its distribution centres. The EAT agreed that the value of work between these two groups of staff is of equal value and, therefore, that their pay should be comparable.
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EAT finds that Asda retail store workers are comparable to higher paid distribution workers

GDPR: time to start thinking about the new rules coming into force from 2018

The EU's General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) will apply in the UK from 25 May next year. With increasingly tighter requirements around how employers must maintain and process personal data, and with the number of fines issued for breaches of UK data protection laws on the increase, many employers are already looking to employ permanent staff dedicated to ensure compliance with the new rules.
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GDPR: time to start thinking about the new rules coming into force from 2018

Tribunal awards £2 for employer’s refusal of unsuitable companion at disciplinary hearing

Mr Gnahoua was a bus driver at Abellio London Ltd (Abellio). He was dismissed for gross misconduct at a disciplinary hearing. On appeal, Mr Gnahoua told Abellio that he wished to be accompanied by two brothers, who had formed the PTSC union, of which Mr Gnahoua was also a member. Abellio refused this request stating it had banned the brothers from representing its staff at hearings due to their “threatening behaviour” and “dishonesty”. Therefore, Mr Gnahoua attended the appeal unrepresented and the decision to dismiss him was upheld.

Mr Gnahoua subsequently brought various claims in the tribunal, which included that Abellio had denied him the opportunity to be accompanied at his disciplinary appeal hearing. The employment tribunal accepted that, by refusing to allow the two brothers to attend the appeal, Abellio was in breach of Mr Gnahoua’s statutory right to be accompanied. Notwithstanding this finding, the tribunal accepted that Abellio had “strong grounds” for refusing Mr Gnahoua’s choice of companion. It also appreciated that Mr Gnahoua had not suffered any loss because of the breach because Abellio had conducted the appeal hearing in a fair and thorough manner. Therefore, the tribunal considered that a nominal award of £2 was appropriate in the circumstances.

The full case report can be found here: Mr M Gnahoua v. Abellio London Ltd 

Tribunal awards £2 for employer’s refusal of unsuitable companion at disciplinary hearing

Can employees doing different work bring their equal pay claims on the same claim form?

In the recent decision of Farmah & ors v. Birmingham City Council & ors, the EAT held that claimants could not bring equal pay claims on the same ET1 form where they were carrying out different work. Rule 9 of the Employment Tribunal Rules 2013 (the Rules) states that two or more claimants “may make their claims on the same claim form if their claims are based on the same set of facts”.

Three of the appellants were retail staff doing different jobs in supermarkets and claiming that they were performing equal work to men working in distribution centres. The women all included their claims in the same claim form. Some of the affected men argued in the same ET1 that, if the women were successful, they did equal work with the female claimants. The remaining two appellants undertook different jobs in local government and claimed their work was equal to that of men performing a variety of jobs. The respondents argued that the claims should be struck out on the basis that they did not comply with Rule 9 of the Rules.

The EAT found the fact that the claimants were performing different work and, even if based on the same comparator, did not satisfy the definition under Rule 9 of the Rules. Therefore, the use of a single claim form was in breach of Rule 9. Under Rule 6 of the Rules, wrongly including claims by two or more claimants in the same claim form is an irregularity and the Tribunal is a permitted to “take such action as it considers just” as a consequence, up to and including striking out the claims.

The full case report can be found here: Farmah & ors v Birmingham City Council & ors.

Can employees doing different work bring their equal pay claims on the same claim form?