Monday, 31 January 2011

Use of compromise agreements on the rise

Research has indicated that the use of compromise agreements is on the rise, but what is a compromise agreement and who does it really benefit?

Monday, 24 January 2011

London’s oldest gay pub is successfully sued for constructive dismissal

An Employment Appeal Tribunal has found London’s oldest gay pub guilty of discrimination and constructive dismissal after former employee Charles Lisboa quit after experiencing discrimination on the grounds of his sexual orientation. Interestingly, Lisboa is gay.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Employment tribunals need reform, says BCC

The British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) has announced that the employment tribunal system is in “dire” need of reform and that employees should be charged a fee in order to deter spurious employment claims.

Monday, 10 January 2011

2011 brings new changes to parents’ employment rights

Every New Year brings with it changes to employment law. 2011 will see parents acquiring additional employment rights when new legislation comes into effect in April. The rights in question are the right to maternity, paternity and adoption leave, and the right to request flexible working.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Sky axed women editors with young children

BSkyB is facing a potential £200,000 compensation payout to two female editors after an Employment Tribunal has ruled that the media company axed the women in a “sham redundancy” and therefore unfairly dismissed them.

The Employment Tribunal in Croydon, South London, ruled that Natalie Stone, 34, and Victoria Waterson, 31, were dismissed from their jobs at Sky Movies because they were mothers of young children and that the head of networked media, Mike Taylor, had a “mindset adverse to pregnancy and maternity leave”.

The two women who job-shared a role as video producer were passed over a promotion for the job of video producer. The role went to the then personal assistant of Mike Taylor, Dee Lakhan.

Natalie Stone and Victoria Waterson were then given notice of a 30-day consultation period for possible redundancies following BSkyB’s restructuring. However, after only eight days, they were told the consultation was over.

During the consultation, Mike Taylor questioned both women about whether they intended to have any more children. The women believe they were forced out of the organisation to save on future maternity leave payments.

The Employment Tribunal ruled that Sky Movies had “exaggerated” the difference between the women’s role and the new role created after the restructuring. It said there was “no redundancy situation as there had not been a reduction in need for employees to do work of the kind the claimants had been doing”.

BSkyB was criticised for its “opaque” process of allocating jobs after the reorganisation.

Under employment law, if an employer dismisses an employee (including making them redundant) because of their gender, and they cannot reasonably justify it, the employee will have a claim for automatic unfair dismissal. The dismissal is automatically unfair because the reason behind the dismissal is discriminatory.

The women, represented at the Employment Tribunal by their lawyer husbands, will find out the level of their compensation at a hearing next year. They can each be compensated up to £65,300 for unfair dismissal and unlimited damages for sex-discrimination.

BSkyB issued a statement saying “we’re disappointed with the outcome of this case as we take responsibility to our employees very seriously”. The statement also said that the organisation has recently doubled its maternity provision.