MoJIn the latest of our series of posts on employment law stories in the news this week, we take a look at ten stories relating to employment law that have made the news between 27 January 2014 and 2 February 2014

  1. Outgoing Acas chair: fees could hamper conciliation process – Acas chairman Ed Sweeney recently stepped down from his role after six years at the helm of the employment advisory service. HR magazine caught up with Sweeney to discuss tribunal fees and the future of Acas (HR Magazine)
  2. Union demand after Mersey lecturers claim pay was illegally deducted – A union is demanding the return of pay it claims was illegally deducted from Merseyside lecturers during a strike by their colleagues. The University and College Union (UCU) at the University of Liverpool said more than 50 of its members – and possibly many more – lost a day’s wages for December 4 (The Liverpool Echo)
  3. Cameron pledges to cut red tape for small business – Thousands of rules affecting business are to be scrapped or amended, David Cameron has told a Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) conference. More than 3,000 rules will be dropped or changed, saving more than £850m a year, he told the FSB (BBC)
  4. Vince Cable: companies still not doing enough to get women on boards – The secretary of state for business, innovation and skills on the importance of changing business culture and why he fears the FTSE100 won’t meet Lord Davies 2015 target (The Guardian)
  5. Court told Sheffield firm failed to pay national minimum wage – A Sheffield renewable energy product company has been ordered to pay £4,995.15 for failing to meet its legal obligations as an employer to pay the National Minimum Wage (The Star)
  6. Bullying fears at Liverpool health trust – A damning report has revealed concerns about a “blame culture” at a Liverpool health trust. Health watchdog the Care Quality Commission made an unannounced inspection of Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust’s intermediate care service in November and December (The Liverpool Echo)
  7. BBC Arabic ‘civil war’ runs up £65,000 bill – The BBC has spent more than £65,000 on legal wrangles with staff at BBC Arabic, according to figures seen by Broadcast. The Global News division was hit by 10 employment disputes from nine individuals between 1 April 2010 and 15 July 2013, which resulted in compensation and settlement payments of £48,363. It paid a further £16,727 in barrister fees (Broadcast Now)
  8. Optical Express manager ‘asked colleague to rate attractiveness of female workers’ – A senior manager at Optical Express alleged to have branded a disabled employee a ‘fat ugly size 22 cripple’ asked a colleague to rate the attractiveness of female colleagues on a scale of one to ten, a tribunal heard (The Manchester Evening News)
  9. Arbroath bingo boss wins jackpot at employment tribunal – An Arbroath bingo hall general manager has won over £44,000 for being unfairly dismissed. Marie Watkins (44), of Commerce Street, had worked for the Gala Coral Group for 20 years and was sacked because she was not thought by the company to be capable of fulfilling new responsibilities (The Courier)
  10. Former employee claims ex-MP Jim Devine made defamatory statements about her to ‘cover up his own actions’ – A former politician’s employee accused the ex-MP of making defamatory statements about her to “cover up his own actions”. Marion Kinley told a court: “They were vindictive. They were just set out to cover up for himself with absolutely no regard for what effect it would have on me.” (Herald Scotland)

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