Employment tribunal judgments set to be placed online

The decision follows the publishing of a number of high profile cases concerning employment tribunals

Following the highly publicised employment tribunal cases brought against Asda and Uber recently, Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service have made a new announcement, stating that all employment tribunal judgments will be placed online in the very near future.

Employment tribunal judgments set to be placed online

© Copyright Colin Smith and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The new online judgement publishing is set to come into force sometime at the start of the new year, 2017.

The announcement has been made following a number of high-profile cases, in which the judgement concerning the companies involved had been published. Both Asda and Uber were taken to employment tribunals over issues within the workplace and members of staff.

Claimants and lawyers will have complete online access, with the ability to look up employment tribunal judgments against a specific company and topic, making it much more accessible for all.

The online service will be free to use and searches will be available to read instantaneously. No former knowledge of a particular case will prevent the user from searching for a specific judgement.

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Mental health charity in Dundee being taken to employment tribunal

Former employee taking her old firm to employment tribunal over unfair dismissal

A former employee of a mental health charity in Dundee, is taking her old employers to an employment tribunal over claims she was unfairly dismissed.

Christine Costello, aged 53, from Invergowrie, Dundee, worked for her former employers for almost eight years as a mental health advocacy worker. She resigned from the charity, Dundee Independent Advocacy Support (DIAS), last January.

Mental health charity in Dundee being taken to employment tribunal

Former mental health charity worker from Invergowrie, Dundee, takes her old employers to employment tribunal over unfair dismissal © Copyright Jim Bain and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

DIAS are based at Meadow Mill, on West Hendersons Wynd, in Dundee.

Ms Costello’s hearing will be held in Dundee later this month.

According to a spokeswoman at the Dundee Employment Tribunal Service, Ms Costello filed four different claims against her old employers for; unfair dismissal, sex discrimination, sexual orientation discrimination and disability discrimination.

Apparently, Ms Costello resigned from her position at the charity in January last year but had numerous periods of time off before leaving, as a result of alleged incidents.

If Ms Costello wins her employment tribunal case against her former employers, she could receive a five-figure sum.

A DIAS spokeswoman said there would be no comments made about the case whilst it was still ongoing.

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Employment Tribunal win and compensation set for sacked Gran

 

60-year-old Gran sacked by bosses because she had breast cancer set for employment tribunal win

A 60-year-old Gran is set for a £100,000 compensation payout after taking her old bosses to an employment tribunal after she was sacked from her job after 21 years because she had cancer.

Valerie Axon, who has worked for Coral Racing for the past twenty-one years, was sacked by her bosses after informing them she had breast cancer and that she would need some time off for treatment.

Mrs Axon carried on in her role but later on discovered another lump and informed the retail operations manager, Carol Chown-Smith.

60-year-old Gran sacked by Coral bosses after 21 years because she had breast cancer

Mrs Axon worked for Coral for 21 years before being sacked for having cancer © Copyright Paul Gillett and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The company then wrongly accused Mrs Axon of drinking whilst at work and was suspended from her retail manager role at Romford Greyhound Stadium, east London, which earned her £35,000 per year.

In November 2015, two months after she was suspended, the grandmother-of-five was sacked.

At the employment tribunal, it was heard that Mrs Axon was actually drinking cordial when she had finished her shift. The company was found guilty of disability discrimination and unfair dismissal.

Mrs Axon, of Romford, said whilst giving evidence at the tribunal: “I felt that the real reason for my dismissal was because I had breast cancer, which involved me taking sick leave of around six and a half months.”

Two Coral chiefs and Ms Chown-Smith denied the fact that cancer had played a part in Mrs Axon’s dismissal.

Judge John Goodrich ruled that Mrs Axon was not consuming alcohol whilst at work and that Ms Chown-Smith’s main motivation for Mrs Axon’s sacking was down to the fact that her cancer had returned and would need more time off work.

“My family and I have been devastated emotionally and financially by my dismissal and it was an ordeal going to the employment tribunal,” said Mrs Axon.

Valerie added how delighted she was to have received justice and hoped that her case would be an inspiration to other employees faced with the same discrimination in the workplace.

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Employment tribunal win for Thomas Cook pilot

Pilot takes employers to employment tribunal after dismissal threat for refusing to fly whilst fatigued

A Thomas Cook airline captain who took his employers to an employment tribunal, has won his case and accepted an apology from the company.

Captain Mike Simkins, who’s from the UK, was suspended for six months by Thomas Cook Airlines and threatened with dismissal for refusing to fly the Boeing 767 due to fatigue.

Mr Simkins took the company to an employment tribunal after being threatened with dismissal and won his case.

Pilot takes employers to employment tribunal after dismissal threat for refusing to fly whilst fatigued

Employment tribunal win for Thomas Cook pilot © Copyright Mike Kirby and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

 

Mr Simkins is a member of the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA), who said that Mr Simkins refused to fly “after three extremely early starts in a row, including one 18-hour day, and what would have been a 19-hour day to follow.”

BALPA said that Thomas Cook’s fatigue monitoring system revealed that due to the number of duties Mr Simkins had already carried out, if he had taken the flight he refused, he would have landed and his performance loss would have been estimated to being something similiar to that of a person four times over the legal alcohol flying limit.

Head of flight safety for BALPA, Rob Hunter, said: “Not only is it reasonable to refuse to fly when fatigued, it is absolutely necessary.”

It is against the law for a pilot to operate an aeroplane whilst suffering from fatigue, or feels that they may become fatigued.

According to Mr Hunter, Captain Simkins ought to have been applauded by Thomas Cook for informing them of his fatigue, rather than disciplined.

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Employment tribunal victory for beauty therapist struggling with childcare arrangements

The woman took her former employees to an employment tribunal over unfair dismissal and sex discrimination

 
A former employee at a fitness centre in Carlise, who took her old firm to an employment tribunal for unfair dismissal following changes made to flexible working hours, has won her case and been awarded over £18,000.

The employment tribunal ruled that Emma Holt, who was a beauty therapist at the Bannatyne Fitness Centre in Carlisle, was unfairly dismissed and suffered sex discrimination, after she was made redundant over a disagreement about childcare arrangements.

The woman took her former employees to an employment tribunal over unfair dismissal and sex discrimination

Employment tribunal victory for beauty therapist struggling with childcare arrangements © Copyright Colin Smith and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Emma had worked at the centre for nearly 10 years and had a flexible working arrangement with her employers. She worked Monday to Friday for childcare reasons and would only work on a weekend if it was to cover for a sick colleague, or for other special circumstances, as she struggled to arrange childcare for her son.

At the start of 2016, Emma was told by senior managers that she had to work weekends but she refused. She did however look into paid childcare options but none were available in her area for weekend care.

The employment tribunal heard that Emma made a formal complaint but no meaningful investigation was carried out by senior managers and she was eventually made redundant.

“Enforcing a change to my work pattern is breaching my flexible work agreement. I do feel this is unfair on the grounds that I have worked continually for the company and with very little absence over the 10 years, for either myself or my child,” Emma told her former employer.

Holt won her tribunal case on the grounds she was unfairly dismissed and suffered sex discrimination but her claim that she was victimised by her former employers was refused.

Holt was awarded £18,399 in total – £10,399 for unfair dismissal and £8,000 for injury to feelings.

Her former employer admitted unfair dismissal but refused to accept the sex discrimination charges.

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Sacked for not bowing to boss, hears employment tribunal

Financial manager takes former employers to employment tribunal over the claims

A former financial manager of a company in the UK has taken her old firm to court over claims she was sacked from her position after refusing to bow to her boss.

Misook McDonald, aged 43, who worked for the Korean firm Dongbu Daewoo Electronics, based in the village of Winnersh, in Wokingham, Berkshire, claims she was demoted from her position at the firm after her “furious” director boss challenged her about not bowing to him in the morning and at the end of the working day.

Financial manager takes former employers to employment tribunal over the claims

Wharfedale Road, Winnersh Triange – where the electronics sales company are based © Copyright Colin Bates and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Mrs McDonald claims that the director made her make coffee instead and says that after confronting her boss, Ho Seung Yoo, he replied: “Isn’t that what female workers should do?” She is suing the firms UK headquarters for age, sex and racial discrimination.

Mrs McDonald informed the managing director of the company, Mr Chong Park, in August 2015 about her issues with Mr Yoo. She was eventually signed off work because of stress.

Mr Yoo and the firm have denied all claims made by Mrs McDonald. Mr Yoo said: “The suggestion raised by Mrs McDonald as to me demanding that she bow to me is simply not true.”

During the tribunal, it was heard that Mrs McDonald, who is from the village of Sonning, in Berkshire and has an English father and a South Korean mother, believes that her position at the firm was taken from her because she is not a British white male.

The tribunal continues.

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Employment tribunal for CitySprint over freelance workers rights

The company faces an employment tribunal over demands to treat freelance couriers as workers

 

The UK’s leading delivery company CitySprint, are the latest British firm to be taken to an employment tribunal over demands that freelance couriers should be treated the same as workers.

A number of other disputes relating to the growing ‘gig economy’ in the UK have come to light recently, including the UK’s largest sports retailer Sports Direct and the taxi-hailing company Uber, whose drivers won their case.

Employment tribunal for CitySprint over freelance workers rights

CitySprint courier vehicle on Kingsley Close © Copyright Burgess Von Thunen and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The case against CitySprint has been brought by Mags Dewhurst, who has made deliveries for the courier company for over two years. At the tribunal, her argument will be that she should be granted worker status at the firm along with workers rights, including the national minimum wage and holiday pay.

This case against CitySprint is the first out of four concerning courier firms, all of which will be held in front of the same judge. Cases against Addison Lee, eCourier and Excel are due to be heard in 2017.

Head of the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB), Mr Jason Moyer-Lee, who’s backing the riders, says that the cyclists only worked for one firm and were duty-bound to accept the work given to them during the day.

According to Mr Moyer-Lee, independent contractors could send other people to carry out their work but Mags Dewhurst and the other CitySprint riders could not do this.

Mr Moyer-Lee said: “Even though the courier firms say Mags can send a substitute, she can’t really, as there are restrictions that prevent that.”

The whole purpose of the cases, says Moyer-Lee, is to test the workers status within these companies.

CitySprint has 3,500 self-employed couriers. If the employment tribunal finds for the riders, the company may face further claims.

Mags Dewhurst says she is taking action against CitySprint over personal experiences regarding earnings and because she has a number of courier friends who earn less than the national minimum wage. She also said that financial difficulties arise when she wishes to go on holiday.

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Number of employment tribunal cases fall by 73%

Slump blamed on introduction of employment tribunal fees of up to £1,200

A new study has revealed that the number of employees taking claims out for discrimination or unfair dismissal to employment tribunals, has fallen by 73% since the introduction of charges were put in place.

According to the Trades Union Congress (TUC), there’s been a massive reduction in cases of discrimination; on grounds of sex (71%), race (58%) and disability (54%), since the introduction of charges of up to £1,200.

In 2012-13, the number of employees taking claims to an employment tribunal was around 16,000 per month, falling drastically to just 7,000 over the past year.

Frances O’Grady, TUC general secretary, said: “These figures show a huge drop in workers seeking justice when they’ve been unfairly treated. Now bosses know they can get away with it, discrimination at work can flourish unchecked and people can be sacked without good reason.”

Ms O’Grady added that the evidence was in front of all of us. Fees of up to £1,200, for all workers, not matter what they earn, meant that many employees were being priced out of taking their case to a tribunal.

She said that employment tribunal fees should be abolished, so that workers treated unfairly by their employers can take them to court.

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Former VIP protection officer awarded over £450,000 by employment tribunal

The ex-officer took Cleveland Police to an employment tribunal over race discrimination

A former VIP protection officer who took Cleveland Police to an employment tribunal over claims of racial discrimination, has won his case and been awarded £457,664 in damages.

The employment tribunal ruled last year that Nadeem Saddique, who in the past was responsible for guarding members of the Royal Family, George Bush and Tony Blair, was subjected to race discrimination and victimisation from colleagues and senior officers with whom he worked with.

Former VIP officer wins employment tribunal case over race discrimination

Scales of Justice © Copyright Mike Kirby and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Over the past two days, a remedy hearing has been underway in Teesside, to determine how much compensation PC Saddique should be awarded.

Mr Saddique’s barrister, Joanne Woodward, argued that the case was one of the worst to be brought before the court, partly down to the conduct of Cleveland Police when Mr Saddique fist complained to his superiors and as a result tried for £628,000 in compensation.

“There was a professional standards old guard who didn’t think race discrimination was important and branded all complainants as liars, money grabbers or deluded,” said barrister Woodward.

Richard Oulton, for Cleveland Police, claims that the force has listened to the findings of the tribunal and efforts are being made to change things. He said: “There was a sincere and full and early apology.”

“We have reviewed many of our policies as a result of this case and as part of our Everyone Matters project have delivered training sessions on equality, diversity and human rights and cultural awareness to the wider organisation,” said a spokesperson for Cleveland Police.

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Man, 75, wins employment tribunal case following unfair dismissal

Judge awards 75-year-old man £6,800 following age discrimination employment tribunal case

A 75-year-old man who was dismissed from his gift shop job in Wanstead because of his age and told by his former boss to “go and find a job at B&Q”, has won his employment tribunal case.

Brian Smith, of Leytonstone, had been working at the Bennetts of London gift shop in Wanstead High Street, London, for 10 years when his former manager and owner of the gift shop, Veronica Bennett, started treating him unfairly.

The issues began following a summer refurbishment in 2015 when the shop was closed for a period of time. Ms Bennett failed to notify Mr Smith when the shop reopened and she did not include him on any of the shop’s rotas.

Man, aged 75, wins his employment tribunal following age discrimination dismissal

Mr Smith was dismissed from Bennetts of London in Wanstead High Street

The situation worsened when Ms Bennett cut Mr Smith’s working hours before finally making him redundant in March 2016, when she apparently made “offensive and personal” comments, including telling Mr Smith to look for work at B&Q.

The case went before an employment tribunal on October 7 when it was ruled that Veronica Bennett had unfairly dismissed Mr Smith due to age discrimination.

Judge Brown, a specialist employment law judge, told Ms Bennett that her actions had been “wounding and humiliating” and had led Mr Smith to feeling unwell and seeking advice from the Citizens’ Advice Bureau.

Ms Bennett was also judged to have breached her employment contract with Mr Smith because she had failed to pay him or offer him any working hours in accordance with his contract between September 2015 and March 2016.

Judge Brown ordered Veronica Bennett to pay a total of £6,822.23 to Mr Smith for unfair dismissal.

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