Recent Cases Archives - Goldenleaver
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  Silent Witness is a TV show where key characters actively search for forensic evidence.  But don’t take this approach in an Employment Tribunal! I was recently part way through a case where one of my witnesses thought it might be a good idea to find some extra evidence overnight to assist the Judge.  He knew he wasn’t supposed to discuss the case with us or the other witnesses, but didn’t think that he also had to keep mum generally while under...

Private emails at work - the latest twist “Furtive” is how many employers feel when they look at the private emails of a staff member who is the subject of a disciplinary investigation. The reason is the tension between an employer’s wish to check on what their employees are doing, and what those employees regard as their right to privacy,  even when using a work-related email account for private messaging. This tension was illustrated by the recent case of - Barbulescu v Romania...

Are you liable if you dismiss an employee working abroad? Once again the Courts have gently moved the goalposts that determine whether someone working abroad can bring an unfair dismissal or discrimination claim in the UK Employment Tribunals.  Is the recent Olsen v. Gearbulk case below the final position (or just the latest nudge)?   Or will there be more nudging to come?  The last word probably hasn't yet been written. I advise quite a few UK organisations that have an international brand and...

Have faith - final warnings are useful. They are easily given, difficult to appeal and can be relied on.  A tribunal can't generally look behind a final warning and if an employee with a final warning steps out of line again, even in a relatively minor way, they can legitimately be dismissed for misconduct. But what happens if the final warning was given in bad faith?  Surely, the process is unfair? The answer is:  yes, it is. However it took two appeals and for the...

Collective redundancies just got more complicated… again. It's a shame, because they had become simpler after the Woolworths case confirmed that you only have to focus on establishments within a business (rather than on a business as a whole) when deciding whether to consult collectively in a redundancy situation. Problem:  the trigger point for when an employer has to start consulting about collective redundancies may have been brought forward to a time that many employers would regard as being no more than an...

.. made for a fair dismissal in the case of Game Retail Ltd v Laws - although it was the content and context of Mr Laws’ tweets that were the problem, not their number. This was one of them: ‘This week I have mainly been driving to towns the arse end of nowhere… shut roads and twats in caravans = road rage and loads of fags smoked’. "Not so bad", you might say.  "I've heard worse on daytime TV", you might also say. And...

Varying terms and conditions of employment can be a risky business. How often have you, as an employer, wanted your employment terms and conditions to be just a little bit different? How often has this wish led you to decide that you needed to change those terms and conditions, but were concerned about how to go about doing it effectively? Faced with this situation, some employers just "do it" and see what happens. It's not a particularly bad ploy if the changes are...

This is an important update to a warning we gave on restrictive covenants in our blog of 22 April 2014 "Can a court rewrite a non-compete restriction in favour of an employer?", when my colleague Jonathan Golden wrote about the unusual case of Prophet v. Huggett, in which the High Court re-wrote a badly written restrictive covenant, in order to make it "work" in a business context. The case was surprising, because the High Court didn't follow the usual principles that (1) a...

It is unusual for a case by an Employment Tribunal to be reported, since published decisions tend to be by the higher courts.  However Tirkey v Chandok and another has been widely reported as pre-empting a proposed change to legislation that is not expected to be made until after public consultation is completed in 2015. The reason for reporting this particular decision was that the Tribunal decided to include “caste” in the definition of race in the Equality Act 2010 (the...