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Legal Updates: Legal Updates 2022

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Shop worker wins disability discrimination claim after suffering paralysing migraine at work and being told ‘tough’ by boss

In Miss M Doran v Pearl Holdings NW Limited Mary Doran has, since 2003, suffered from intermittent chronic migraines. A letter from her consultant neurologist confirms this diagnosis and how her condition has been gradually deteriorating over the last 10 years. Her symptoms include visual disturbance and numbness from the shoulders down giving rise to her collapsing. An attack also affects her ability to speak and she becomes uncoordinated and confused. Miss Doran takes medication to control this condition, but still suffers attacks approximately once a week.

Article by: Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton | Published: 1 July 2022

In landmark ruling caretaker successfully claims that ‘long COVID is a disability’

In the case of Mr T Burke v Turning Point Scotland Mr Burke was employed by Turning Point in the role of caretaker/security in the period from 23 April 2001 until his employment was terminated on 13 August 2021. The reason for his dismissal related to Mr Burke’s continuing absence from work.

Article by: Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton | Published: 29 June 2022

Financial advisor loses age discrimination claim after being told he was ‘not getting any younger’ in bid for CEO role

In Mr C Rowan v DWFS Services Limited, an experienced financial adviser has lost an age discrimination case after he was overlooked for a CEO role and told he was "not getting any younger". Managing director David Wylde explained to 58-year-old Paul Rowan he had instead decided to appoint Daniel Tylerman, who was in his mid-40s, because he was "younger and more energetic", an employment tribunal heard.

Article by: Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton | Published: 28 June 2022

Cleaner wins unfair dismissal claim after making protected disclosures about working conditions

In Mr P Hernandez v Swiftclean Ltd Mr Hernandez was employed by Swiftclean Ltd as a cleaning operative from 4 September 2018 until his dismissal (with effect from 21 September 2020). At the time of his dismissal, he earned £9 per hour and worked 48 hours per week. He was dismissed on grounds of poor performance but claimed not to have been warned about poor performance prior to his dismissal and maintains that no process was followed in dismissing him.

Article by: Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton | Published: 27 June 2022

New Look shop assistant wins unfair dismissal claim after being berated for wearing ‘horrid orange Nikes’

In the case of Ms S Jackson v New Look Retailers Ltd Samantha Jackson told a tribunal she felt bullied by line manager Kirsty Sherburn, who knew she had a knee condition and needed to wear comfortable footwear. Ms Jackson had been wearing Nike trainers to her job on the shop floor, but after publicly criticising her for another issue Mrs Sherburn then told her not to come in again wearing those ‘horrid orange things’ and told her the footwear she had on was inappropriate and she should be wearing 'more fashionable' brands like Converse or Vans.

Article by: Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton | Published: 24 June 2022

New statutory code to prevent unscrupulous employers using fire and rehire tactics

The practice of ‘fire and rehire’ refers to when an employer dismisses a worker and rehires them on new, less-favourable terms. A statutory code on the practice of ‘fire and rehire’ will clamp down on controversial tactics used by employers who fail to engage in meaningful consultations with employees. The new Statutory Code of Practice will detail how businesses must hold fair, transparent and meaningful consultations on proposed changes to employment terms.

Article by: Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton | Published: 23 June 2022

More healthcare professionals given powers to certify fit notes

From 1 July 2022 nurses, occupational therapists, pharmacists, and physiotherapists will all be able to legally certify fit notes – something that at present only doctors can do. The change, the most significant since the fit note’s inception in 2010, will support and empower better conversations about work and health between employers and staff by making it easier to get this advice certified by the most relevant healthcare professional. This change will be delivered in general practice and hospital settings.

Article by: Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton | Published: 22 June 2022

Care manager wins discrimination claim after being told to “stop faffing” while suffering morning sickness

In Mrs G Ferridge-Gunn v Alcedo Orange Limited Gemma Ferridge-Gunn had told her manager Rosie Caunt that she was suffering from morning sickness while working at Alcedo Orange in Blackpool when she was told to “stop faffing”. Mrs Ferridge-Gunn was sacked just eight days after revealing she was pregnant and an employment tribunal has now awarded her £9,594 after concluding she was the victim of discrimination.

Article by: Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton | Published: 21 June 2022

Solicitor loses victimisation and discrimination claims after being suspended over heated WhatsApp conversation

In the case of Mr M Gaskell v Ministry of Justice Mr Gaskell is a solicitor who worked in the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) since 1985. He was suspended by the LAA after a heated WhatsApp exchange with colleagues. Mark Gaskell had threatened to send a hard copy of the WhatsApp transcript to the Law Society after bosses at the LAA began a formal investigation following complaints from colleagues.

Article by: Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton | Published: 20 June 2022

dismissal dismissal

Marketing coordinator loses discrimination claim after threatening to accuse boss of affair unless she was paid one year’s salary

In Ms Hortence Yagmur v Armstrong World Industries Hortence Yagmur was employed as a Marketing Coordinator. In a 'calculated and premeditated' move, she told Marketing Communications Manager at Armstrong Ceiling Solutions, Isabel Blanco, that she would report her after claiming to have been told she was in an 'on-off' relationship with a senior colleague.

Article by: Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton | Published: 17 June 2022