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Legal Updates: Legal Updates 2022

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Action plan announced to tackle sexual harassment culture in hospitality

Hospitality bosses have agreed a strict zero-tolerance approach to sexual harassment of staff in their venues with the launch of a new action plan today. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and UKHospitality have worked closely together to produce a practical resource to stop the harassment of hospitality staff being seen as ‘just part of the job’.

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

Supreme Court judgment rules diplomatic immunity does not apply in modern slavery claim

In Basfar v Wong  Ms Josephine Wong (a national of the Philippines) was a migrant domestic worker who worked in the household of Mr Khalid Basfar, a diplomat representing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the United Kingdom. Ms Wong claims to be a victim of human trafficking who was forced to work for Mr Basfar and his family in circumstances of modern slavery after they brought her with them to the UK in August 2016.

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

Superdry knitwear designer wins age discrimination case after bosses refused to promote her because they thought she was ‘too old to quit’ and would stay ‘no matter how she was treated’

In the case of Rachel Sunderland v Superdry PLC Rachel Sunderland, a knitwear designer with more than 30 years’ experience working in the industry, was employed by the Cheltenham-based retailer between 2015 and 2020. The 56-year-old quit in 2020 after being repeatedly passed over for promotion by less experienced members of staff.

Article by: Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton | Published: 19 July 2022

Network Rail workers discriminated against female colleague by watching porn and being extremely sexist

In Ms R Owens v Network Rail Rowena Owens was subjected to ‘extreme sexism’ by at least 16 male workers at the large signal centre in Wimbledon, South-West London. Signaller Ms Owens was quizzed about oral sex, had to put up with looking at images of topless women around the office, and said female train drivers were routinely unfairly criticised. The employment tribunal held in Croydon, London, found there were at least 25 separate incidents of sex discrimination.

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

What does the Forstater judgment mean for employers?

On 6th July 2022 an employment tribunal found that Maya Forstater had been directly discriminated against by the Centre for Global Development (CGD) because of her beliefs.  This follows on from the precedent-setting judgment of the Employment Appeal Tribunal in June 2021, which found that the “gender critical” belief “that biological sex is real, important, immutable and not to be conflated with gender identity” is covered by the protected characteristic of religion and belief in the Equality Act 2010.

Article by: Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton | Published: 15 July 2022

Netherlands becomes one of the first countries to grant remote working flexibility by law

The Dutch parliament has approved a legislation forcing employers to consider employee requests to work from home as long as their professions allow it. It comes as the Covid-19 pandemic changed people’s way of working and living – with many workers demanding more flexibility from their employers.

Article by: Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton | Published: 14 July 2022

Swansea University academics lose unfair dismissal claim after being sacked for gross misconduct

In the case of Prof M Clement and Mr S Poole v Swansea University an employment tribunal has ruled that Swansea University acted fairly in dismissing two academics for gross misconduct after they failed to declare personal equity stakes in the proposed £200m Life Sciences and Wellness Village project in Carmarthenshire.

Article by: Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton | Published: 13 July 2022

EAT rules that Christian doctor’s beliefs about transgenderism are protected under Equality Act but that he cannot express those views at work

In Mackereth v the Department for Work and Pensions Dr David Mackereth had been recruited by Advanced Personnel Management Group as a Health and Disabilities Assessor on behalf of the DWP. He was contracted to assess individuals for disability-related benefits, some of whom were contemplating, undergoing or had undergone gender reassignment. However, he believed in the truth of Genesis 1:27 – that “male and female He created them” – and, therefore, that a person could not change his or her sex/gender at will and that it would be irresponsible and dishonest for, eg, a health professional to accommodate and/or encourage a patient’s “impersonation” of the opposite sex.

Article by: Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton | Published: 12 July 2022

Employees sacked by Yorkshire County Cricket Club following Azeem Rafiq racism scandal win unfair dismissal claim

In the case of Mr I Dews and others v Yorkshire County Cricket Club an employment judge has ruled that former head coach, Andrew Gale, and five other former members of Yorkshire's staff had a "well founded" case and said the matter will now move on to what remedies can be agreed or imposed. Gale made his legal claim alongside second-team coach Ian Dews, bowling coach Rich Pyrah, academy lead Richard Damms and strength and conditioning coaches Ian Fisher and Peter Sim.

Article by: Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton | Published: 11 July 2022

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) updates its guidance on risk assessments for pregnant workers and new mothers

The revised HSE guidance now makes it clear that not only should employers assess the risks of women of childbearing age as part of their general risk assessment, but that they also have a legal responsibility to carry out individual risk assessments for pregnant workers, breastfeeding workers, or those who have given birth in the last 6 months. Employers must, by law, assess the risks to women of childbearing age as part of their general workplace risk assessment.

Article by: Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton | Published: 8 July 2022