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November's top five Employment Tribunal cases

1. Employment Tribunal finds that employee with Hepatitis C was dismissed in ‘sham redundancy’

An Employment Tribunal held that an employee was dismissed by her employer, a cosmetics wholesaler, not because of a genuine redundancy situation but because of her disability.

The Employment Tribunal accepted that the business was, at the time, in financial difficulties but that the explanation for making the employee redundant was not supported by any evidence and that the business had failed to convince it that there was a non-discriminatory reason for her dismissal.

Smith v Amalgamated Euro Products UK Ltd ET/2302302/2017

2. Failure to switch member of cabin crew with brain tumour from flight to ground-based role was discriminatory

An Employment Tribunal held that Ryanair, an airline, should have allowed an employee returning from work following treatment on a brain tumour to switch from a flight-based role to a ground-based role.

The Employment Tribunal also criticised the airline’s HR team for failing to enquire about Ms Dworak’s condition and for failing to refer her to occupational health – the Tribunal concluded that the airline had “chose not to consider any possible adjustments”.

Dworak v Ryanair Ltd ET/3201628/2018 & ET/3201987/2018

3. Retailer discriminated against disabled employee by failing to adjust her shift patterns after return to work from knee replacement surgery

The Employment Tribunal upheld the Claimant’s claim that Laura Ashley Limited, a large retailer, had indirectly discriminated against the Claimant after failing to consider whether the Claimant should have to work full-time shifts and late shifts (something that she found difficult due to the length of time that she had to be on her feet after recent knee surgery). The Tribunal also found that this constituted a failure to make reasonable adjustments.

The Tribunal also criticised Laura Ashley Limited for failing to make an occupational health referral; failing to consider taking any advice from the Claimant’s GP; failing to carry out a risk assessment; and failing to consider whether the Claimant may be disabled.

Iles v Laura Ashley Ltd ET/2503262/2018

4. Employee unfairly dismissed after he was arrested for possessing indecent images

The Employment Tribunal held that the decision of the employer, EUI Limited, to dismiss an employee who had been arrested for possessing indecent images was unfair – the Tribunal concluded that the decision was outside of the range of reasonable responses as any reasonable employer would have waited to decide to dismiss until the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) enquiries had concluded.

The Employment Tribunal also held that there were procedural failings in dismissing the employee, including failing to set out some of the allegations used to dismiss him.

Bosher v EUI Limited (ET/1601207/2017)

5. Sikh agency worker discriminated against after blanket “no beards” policy adopted

The Employment Tribunal held that an agency indirectly discriminated against a practicing Sikh when it refused to keep him on its books because he would not shave his beard for religious reasons.

The Employment Tribunal found that the discrimination was not justified as the policy was a ‘blanket’ policy and was therefore not a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.

The Employment Tribunal awarded the Claimant over £7,000 in compensation.

Mr R Sethi v Elements Personnel Services Ltd: 2300234/2018

About

Redmans Employment Team deal with employment matters for both employers and employees, including drafting employment contracts and policies, advising employers and employees on compromise agreements, handling day-to-day HR issues, advising on restructures, and handling Employment Tribunal cases for both employers and employees Call 020 3397 3603 to speak to one of the members of our employment team or email us on enquiries@redmans.co.uk. Redmans have offices in Richmond, Chiswick, Hammersmith, Fulham, Kingston, Wimbledon, Ealing, Kings Cross and Marylebone (meetings strictly by appointment only).

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