direct 2 lawyers-blog-newsIn the latest of our series of posts on employment law stories in the news this week, we take a look at employment law stories that have made the news between 31 March and 6 April 2014

  1. Muslim couple take Morrisons to employment tribunal for ‘refusing holidays during Ramadan’ – A married Muslim couple have taken Morrisons to an employment tribunal after claiming they were refused holidays during the holy month of Ramadan. Donna Tunkara, 32, and her husband Yassin, 31, brought the claim against the Bradford-based supermarket giant, where they worked for eight years at its warehouse in Stockton-on-Tees (The Yorkshire Post)
  2. Government to ‘consider’ lowering employment tribunal fees – The government will consider lowering employment tribunal fees as part of a review of the regime, a junior minister indicated today. Jenny Willott MP, minister for employment relations and consumer affairs, said a number of aspects of the system will be under review (The Law Society Gazette)
  3. Waste firm prosecuted after worker severs fingers in machinery – Biffa Waste Services Ltd has been fined for safety breaches after a Derby agency worker lost the tips of two fingers in unguarded machinery. The 28-year-old man was trying to remove tape that had become wrapped around the external chain drive of a sorting machine at the firm’s site in Victory Road, Victoria Park, Trafalgar Way, when the incident happened on 4 February 2013 (HSE)
  4. UNISON announces appeal over employment tribunal fees – UNISON has today announced that it will apply to the Court of Appeal for permission to appeal the High Court’s ruling rejecting its claim for Judicial Review of the Government’s decision to introduce tribunal fees (UNISON)
  5. Financial penalties imposed on employers that breach employment rights – The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 gives tribunals the power to levy a financial penalty against employers that are in breach of employment rights where the breach has one or more aggravating features. If the tribunal makes an award of compensation, the amount of the penalty will be 50% of the award (Personnel Today)
  6. Met police have not learned from racism report, officer tells employment  tribunal – A black female firearms officer has said the Metropolitan police have failed to learn the lessons of the Macpherson report, which branded the force “institutionally racist” in its investigation into the murder of Stephen Lawrence (The Guardian)
  7. Morrisons ‘denied Muslim couple Ramadan break’, employment tribunal told – Supermarket chain Morrisons unfairly denied a Muslim couple holidays during the holy month of Ramadan, it has been claimed. Donna Tunkara, 32, and her husband Yassin, 31, from Linthorpe, Middlesbrough, worked for eight years at the firm’s warehouse in Stockton (BBC)
  8. Company in court after apprentice loses finger – A Northumberland company has been fined after a worker’s left hand was crushed in machinery leading to the amputation of one of his fingers. The Bedlington man, who was 18 at the time, was a third year apprentice with Miller UK Ltd when the incident occurred at its Cramlington premises on 12 March 2013 (HSE)
  9. New ACAS early conciliation scheme – From 6 April 2014, a new system of pre-claim conciliation will be in place for all employment tribunal claims. There will be a transitional (voluntary) period between 6 April 2014 and 5 May 2014 and the system will then be mandatory for all claims presented on or after 6 May 2014 (The Lawyer)
  10. Ex-parking boss loses racism claim against Dundee City Council – A Ghana-born former employee of Dundee City Council was not subject to racial harassment by being called “Jimmy Manyana” by colleagues. An employment tribunal has rejected the claim of James Owusu, former parking services team leader, who was sacked for gross misconduct in 2012 (The Courier)

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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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