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Legal Updates: Legal Updates 2022

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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

Justice Justice

Nurse wins unfair dismissal case after being sacked for making racist comments

In the case of Susan Brannan v Navigo Health and Social Care CIC Susan Brannan was a nurse working for a not for profit social enterprise which provides mental health care in North East Lincolnshire. Ms Brannan was accused of making a series of highly offensive and derogatory slurs about a group of African nurses working on her ward, including 'this is our hard-earned NHS money bringing these over'.

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

EAT rules that ET should have considered whether an employer’s failure to probe the impact of an employee’s depression and medication rendered the dismissal process unfair

In Daley v Vodafone Automotive Ltd Chris Daley had been working at Vodafone Automotive UK when he got into an argument with a member of the firm’s IT department. The colleague complained that Mr Daley had been offensive, threatening, intimidating and had sworn at him during the argument.  Vodafone commenced an investigation and the result was that Mr Daley was dismissed for gross misconduct.

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

Justice Justice

Employer awarded costs by tribunal after employee’s ‘deliberate and persistent unreasonable conduct’

In the case of Mr Bright Ampomah v Just Build UK Limited Mr Ampomah brought claims of unlawful deductions from wages, wrongful dismissal and breach of contract. The Tribunal issued an order during a preliminary hearing, requiring Mr Ampomah to set out, in detail, his wages claim and expenses claims. This was done as he had sent many emails containing duplicated and lengthy documents and it was not clear what he was actually claiming he was owed in relation to both wages and expenses.

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

Nurse wins unfair dismissal claim after being sacked for taking too many days off sick

In the case of Ms CC McKenzie v University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust Caroline McKenzie was a senior nurse, who had worked for her NHS trust for more than a decade. From around August 2010, the panel was told Ms McKenzie began living with and caring for her grandmother who suffered from dementia. Becoming her grandmother's 'de facto carer' took its toll on Ms McKenzie's 'stress and anxiety levels', the tribunal heard.

Article by: Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton | Published: 10 June 2022

HR worker wins discrimination claim after being refused pay rise because of impending maternity leave

In Miss L Musguin v Breyer Group plc Ms Musguin, an HR assistant, joined Breyer, a construction company, in July 2017 and went on maternity leave with her first child from June 2019 to August 2020. While she was off, a junior HR coordinator was hired to provide cover and was offered a £27,000 salary. When Ms Musguin came back from maternity leave in August 2020, she learned of the assistant's salary.

Article by: Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton | Published: 9 June 2022