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Legal Updates: Legal Updates 2022

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COVID-19 – changes to self-isolation and testing

From 24 February Removal of the legal requirement to self-isolate following a positive test. In its place, those testing positive will be advised to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for at least 5 full days and then continue to follow the guidance until they have received 2 negative test results on consecutive days. The Government’s strategy document states that employers and workers should follow this guidance for those with COVID-19.

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

contractor contractor

Remedy judgment represents one of the largest awards ever made by an employment tribunal

In the case of Stacey Macken v BNP Paribas London Branch  a finance specialist who worked for the French international banking group BNP Parabis has won over £2 million in compensation. Ms Macken brought a number of claims in respect of discrimination and equal pay issues against the London Branch of BNP Paribas.

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

Unions condemn government’s move to end Covid isolation rules early

The TUC newsletter reports that cases of work-related Covid-19 reported to health and safety enforcing authorities are continuing to increase. Figures released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on 14 February show the total number of cases reported to HSE and local authorities since 10 April 2020 has risen from 39,701 on 8 January 2022 to 42,059 on 5 February 2022.

Article by: Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton | Published: 25 February 2022

Justice Justice

Teacher wins unfair dismissal claim after being made redundant while on sick leave

In Mrs J A Healey v Lancashire County Council Mrs Healey was employed by Lancashire council in its schools improvement service as an early years’ specialist. She is a qualified teacher. In November 2014, Mrs Healey was diagnosed with cancer. She needed to take long periods of sickness absence so that her cancer could be treated. She was absent from work for the whole of 2015 when she endured operations and a strong course of chemotherapy. She returned to work in May 2016. Unfortunately, in 2017 it was discovered that the cancer had returned and she required more treatment. She was again absent due to sickness relating to cancer which continued until early 2019.

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

Black receptionist wins race discrimination claim after afro comments

In the case of Phillips v Ballymore Construction Services Ltd Ms D Phillips was employed as an Office receptionist/administrator for a construction services company. She was one of two black employees within the team employed during her employment. There were 2 employees of Indian origin and several European employees. Ms Phillips said she did not get much of an on-boarding process in comparison to 2 male American interns. She felt it had been more inclusive for them and more welcoming.

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

Acas publishes new guidance for employers on bereavement leave and pay

Acas has published new bereavement guidance to help employers deal with employees suffering a bereavement and understand the rights they may have to time off and pay when they are bereaved. Most people will experience the death of a person close to them during their working lives. Grief is a natural response people have when they experience a death. It can affect someone in several ways and can impact on their ability to do their work.

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

Call centre worker dismissed for hanging up on callers loses claim

In Ms Muawana McCollin v Telecom Service Centres Ltd t/a Webhelp a Sainsbury’s call centre worker who was sacked for hanging up on dozens of angry customers has lost an unfair dismissal claim after saying she wouldn’t have been sacked if she was ‘white and Scottish’. Muawana McCollin, 49, put the phone down on 62 of 129 callers who were ‘unhappy’ or ‘upset’ in a single month while working in Glasgow.

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

Headteacher loses unfair dismissal claim over emotional affair with parent

In the case of Mr G Hughes v The Governing Body of Llansantffraid Church in Wales Primary School, Gareth Hughes was the Headteacher of  Llansantffraid School. He commenced what he describes in his ET1 as an “affair” with Miss X. There is no suggestion that sex took place, but it is accepted the relationship was in essence an emotional affair. Mr Hughes was married, and Miss X was a parent of children at Llansantffraid. They met through the school.

Article by: Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton | Published: 18 February 2022

Barrister fined £500 after calling female lawyers ‘hysterical women’

A disciplinary hearing at the Bar Tribunals and Adjudication Service has reprimanded and fined Mr Feliks Kwiatkowski, 66, for breaching Core Duty 5 of the Bar Standards Board Handbook. Mr Kwiatkowski acted in a way which was likely to diminish the trust and confidence which the public places in a barrister or in the profession. On 25 November 2019 at Worthing County Court during discussions with opposing counsel, Mr Kwiatkowski made comments which were inappropriate and offensive.

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

Employers support Mencap’s call for change in apprenticeships criteria for people with learning disability

A new report from Mencap lays out recommendations towards the current regulations around apprenticeships for people with a learning disability or learning difficulty. Mencap, the UK’s leading learning disability charity, is calling on the Department of Education to rethink their current regulations around apprenticeships.

Article by: Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton | Published: 16 February 2022