In the latest of our series of posts on employment law stories in the news, we take a look at some employment law-related stories that have hit the headlines between 21 October 2013 and 27 October 2013. This includes a devout Christian who has taken her legal fight to the Court of Appeal, the Ministry of Justice fined £140,000 over a data protection breach and the boss of Serco’s severance package

  1. Devout Christian to mount landmark legal case for right to have Sundays off work – A devout Christian is mounting a landmark legal case for the right to have Sundays off work. Child care worker Celestine Mba will argue employers should “reasonably accommodate” the Christian belief that the Sabbath is a day of rest (The Mirror)
  2. Ministry fined after Cardiff prisoner details emailed to families – The Ministry of Justice has been fined £140,000 after the details of more than 1,000 inmates at Cardiff prison were emailed to three prisoners’ families. They included sensitive information including prisoners’ names, ethnicity, addresses and release dates (BBC)
  3. ‘British Gas sacked me while I was lying in a hospital bed’: Heart patient was visited by bosses so they could hand him redundancy notice – Recovering in hospital from a heart operation, Nigel Winkley assumed the visit from two of his bosses was to bring him good wishes. Instead, the pair delivered a PowerPoint presentation that ended with bombshell news…he was sacked (The Mail Online)
  4. Nursery teacher banned from speaking Polish at work awarded £7,000 – A nursery school teacher who was banned from speaking Polish at work has won a £7,000 payout for harassment. Barbara Jurga, 56, complained that deputy head Lisa Howes branded her native tongue “one of those weird languages” (The Evening Standard)
  5. Pensioner forced to pay £3,500 in compensation to carer for constructive dismissal because her hours were cut when his wife died – A grieving pensioner was ordered to pay a carer £3,500 for ‘unfair dismissal’ because he cut her hours when his wife died. George Lomas, 77, was told he breached Jayne Wakefield’s contract by not giving notice that her hours would decrease after his wife Rose’s death. Mrs Wakefield had cared for Parkinson’s sufferer Mrs Lomas for five years, with her wages paid by the council (The Mail Online)
  6. Shopping mall security expert who was spied on by bosses using CCTV he oversaw is handed £38,000 compensation payout – A security expert has been handed £38,000 in compensation after his bosses used the CCTV system he ran to spy on him before giving him the sack, a tribunal has ruled. Ex-Army bomb disposal man Nick Venn had worked at the £230 million Princesshay shopping centre in Exeter, Devon, until he was unfairly dismissed after three years there (The Mail Online)
  7. Council embroiled in £65,000 tribunal – A parish council has been embroiled in a £65,000 employment tribunal – after a clerk claimed she was victimised and forced to resign. Patricia Whitehouse, 60, has been awarded £35,330.72 in compensation following a judge declaring she had been constructively dismissed from her role at Barlborough Parish Council (The Derbyshire Times)
  8. Firm which ran city eatery faces winding-up petition – The company that ran a Plymouth restaurant is now facing a High Court winding up petition brought by the taxman. HM Revenue and Customs has presented a petition to wind up the Glassblowing House Ltd, the firm which ran the well-known Barbican restaurant of the same name (The Plymouth Herald)
  9. Serco boss walks away from contract scandal with £9m – The boss of Serco, who quit yesterday in the wake of allegations that the outsourcing company had overcharged the Government, will walk away with cash, shares and a pension pot worth £9 million, including a payoff worth at least £1.6 million (The Times)

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The Direct 2 Lawyers Employment Team post daily on interesting employment law cases, Employment Tribunal judgments and Employment Appeal Tribunal judgments. All of the Employment Team posts are written by qualified specialist employment lawyers

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