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‘Anti-woke’ barrister loses employment tribunal claim

In Mr J Holbrook v Cornerstone Chambers an employment tribunal has thrown out a claim by an “anti-woke” barrister who was expelled from his chambers after tweeting about a “stroppy teenager of colour”. Jon Holbrook, formerly of Cornerstone Chambers, made the comment in relation to a news story about a young woman who took her school to court for racial discrimination over a uniform policy that banned afro hairstyles.

Article by: Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton 29 August 2022

Supreme Court orders former hospice chief executive to pay back nearly £100,000 after lying about qualifications on CV

In the case of R v Andrewes Jon Andrewes successfully applied for the role of CEO at St Margaret’s Hospice, Taunton, having claimed that he had university degrees, as well as significant relevant work experience. These claims were untrue. Mr Andrewes was appointed CEO in December 2004 and remained in post until March 2015 when his employment was terminated. It was clear that he would not have been appointed had the truth about his education and job experience been known.

Article by: Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton 26 August 2022

Whistle-blowers play key role in crackdown on furlough fraud

HMRC has received 13,775 whistle-blower reports regarding fraud against the furlough scheme, with more people reporting their employers and ex-employers to the authority. City A.M. reports that HMRC is now stepping up its enforcement activity with a view to recovery, issuing penalties and pursuing prosecution or directors’ disqualifications where appropriate.

Article by: Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton 25 August 2022

Workplace wellbeing – why it’s back on the agenda

Work-related stress is the single largest cause of lost working days due to occupational ill health. Events over the last two years have brought the issue into sharp focus, as a result of the pandemic. However, to what extent are companies responsible for the mental health and wellbeing of their employees?

Article by: Bill Dunkerley, Regulatory Lawyer - Pannone Corporate 24 August 2022

dismissal

ET rules that CPS entitled to cut pay of senior Crown prosecutor who worked from home and moved from Southeast to Northeast

In Mrs A McKenzie-Bayliss v The Crown Prosecution Service Ms McKenzie-Bayliss moved in January 2017 for family reasons to the North-east, where CPS pay was set at the national rate, but was assigned to a team working for the understaffed CPS South East, where she was paid according to the higher London rate, which covered Bedford.

Article by: Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton 23 August 2022

Shop worker wins harassment claim after boss ‘threw rotten fruit’ at her and told her to wear tight clothes

In the case of Ms H v Gizit Ltd T/a Elisa Organic and Whole Foods and Mr E Babur a Muslim shop worker has won nearly £30,000 after she claimed her boss at a posh greengrocer threw rotten fruit at her and told her to wear “tighter clothes”. The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, started working for Engin Babur at Elisa Organic and Whole Foods in Shepherd's Bush, West London, in June last year.

Article by: Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton 22 August 2022

Disabled HMRC worker barred from applying for promotion wins disability discrimination claim

In Mr H Drummond v Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs Hamish Drummond, from Dundee, was barred from applying for the more senior version of his existing role because he didn't have a driving licence. An employment tribunal has ruled that Mr Drummond should have been allowed to apply for one of ten senior tax investigator jobs being offered by the public body in 2020. Mr Drummond, a tax office employee for 20 years, was encouraged to go for the role only to be knocked back before he could finish the application process.

Article by: Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton 19 August 2022

Solicitor described as a ‘ballbreaker’ awarded more than £150,000 for sex discrimination and unfair dismissal

In the case of Ms HE Biggs v A Bilborough & Company Ltd and others Helena Biggs is a qualified solicitor specialising in shipping. She joined A Bilborough & Company Ltd as a claims handler in October 2004. The tribunal heard that when Biggs told the claims director of her firm that she was pregnant, he had gone directly to another female employee and told her to ‘keep her legs shut’. The same director had then commented that a friendship between Biggs and a female client might be because the client was a lesbian. He had claimed in his evidence he was pointing this out to 'protect' Biggs.

Article by: Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton 18 August 2022

Government extends power to make pro bono costs orders to the Employment Tribunal and the Employment Appeal Tribunal

Each year thousands of lawyers give their time and skills 'pro bono' to help people who cannot afford to pay for representation. Since 2007, the civil courts have been able to make 'pro bono costs orders' in favour of successful parties who are in receipt of pro bono representation. The losing party is required to pay the amount awarded to The Access to Justice Foundation, a charity which raises and distributes funds to advice agencies, pro bono projects, and national charities which help to facilitate access to justice. Pro bono costs orders therefore raise vital funds in support of access to justice.

Article by: Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton 17 August 2022

ET rules that London Underground union rep was subject to detrimental treatment after being suspended for raising health and safety concerns

In Mr K Dempsey v London Underground Limited an employment tribunal has ruled that an advanced train maintainer working for a division of London Underground was subject to detrimental treatment by his employer after being suspended for raising continued health and safety concerns relating to protected disclosures.

Article by: Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton 16 August 2022