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Equality watchdog publishes new guidance to help organisations avoid breaches of equality law in the use of artificial intelligence

There is emerging evidence that bias built into algorithms can lead to less favourable treatment of people with protected characteristics such as race and sex. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has made tackling discrimination in AI a major strand of its new three-year strategy.

Article by: Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton 15 September 2022

Black teaching assistant wins £17,000 discrimination claim after being denied work from home request despite white colleague being allowed to

In the case of Ms A. Balogun v Cubitt Town Infants School Ms Balogun started working as a Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) 1:1 Teaching Assistant for a child with an Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP) from 6 January 2020 until 28 January 2021. An East London Employment Tribunal heard Ms Balogun, who is black British, is a single mother of two looking after a boy and girl, both school-aged.

Article by: Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton 14 September 2022

Navy officer opposed to nuclear weapons files discrimination claim against Ministry of Defence

In Mr Antonio Jardim v Ministry of Defence a Christian nuclear submarine officer has filed a claim for discrimination - because he objects to nuclear weapons on religious grounds. Sub-Lieutenant Antonio Jardim told Royal Navy superiors that he was opposed to the use of Britain's nuclear deterrent just days after being assigned to HMS Vanguard, a Trident missile-armed submarine.

Article by: Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton 13 September 2022

London Underground employee loses claims for race discrimination and unfair dismissal after £2,100 went missing from ticket machines

In Kachikwuo Amaechi-Onwukanjo v London Underground Ltd the Claimant was a Customer Services Assistant. He started with London Underground Ltd on 01 February 2016. Kachikwuo Amaechi-Onwukanjo said that TfL's HR team told him he should resign after the organisation found that there was a discrepancy of £2100 between the recorded cash amount and actual cash collected on its ticket machines on two occasions in the summer of 2019 at the station when he was working.

Article by: Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton 12 September 2022

City banker loses sex discrimination case after colleagues called her a ‘ladette’ and male boss asked her to babysit

In the case of Ms Z Wei v Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce Zhuofang Wei, a 'highly regarded' executive complained about an office 'quote book' in which amusing sexually suggestive comments were recorded and then voted on at Christmas parties - with the winner being awarded a trophy. However, this complaint was dismissed after Ms Wei, who earned £175,000 a year, admitted she had joined in and the tribunal ruled that was a 'willing participant'.

Article by: Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton 9 September 2022

HMRC to review IR35 off-payroll working legislation in response to the Public Accounts Committee’s claims of “structural problems”

The government has published its response to a Public Accounts Committee (PAC) review of changes made to off-payroll legislation – also known as IR35 which was originally introduced in April 2000, with the objective to prevent tax avoidance by ‘disguised employees’. These are people who do the same job in the same manner as an employee but avoid income tax and National Insurance contributions (NICs) by providing services through an intermediary such as a personal service company (PSC). The legislation therefore introduced a requirement for workers engaged through intermediaries to assess their employment status for tax purposes. If they are deemed to be a ‘disguised employee’ they will be subject to income tax and NICs at source in the same way as regular employees.

Article by: Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton 8 September 2022

Driver safety warning for fleets

Fleetworld reports that new research from Alphabet (GB) has revealed 33% of fleet managers have little to no knowledge of corporate duty of care to employees that drive company-owned or leased vehicles.

Article by: Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton 7 September 2022

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Swiss Re underwriter wins sex discrimination claim after boss leered at her

In the case of Ms H Sommer v Swiss Re Corporate Solutions Services Ltd a former underwriter at Swiss Re has won an employment tribunal against the world’s biggest reinsurance company, after a senior executive at the firm told her: “If I had breast like yours, I would be demanding too.”

Article by: Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton 5 September 2022