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Taking action against unfair or constructive dismissal

Legally, employees are protected against unfair dismissal. This can also include circumstances where an employer has failed to follow a formal and appropriate disciplinary process, failure to follow a formal process that leads to dismissal, or a set of circumstances that have been deliberately manipulated to lead to an ultimately unfair dismissal.

Dismissal would be considered unfair in situations that include, but are not limited to, a request for flexible working hours, retaliation for a refusal to abandon working rights (such as rest breaks), retaliation for trade union membership or activities, retaliation for taking part in industrial action of less than 12 weeks, dismissal for undertaking jury service, retaliation for whistleblowing, any attempt to enforce the right to Working Tax Credits, as a result of either applying for or utilising legally entitled paternity, maternity or adoption leave as well as being in a situation where an employee is forced to retire, unless an employer can "objectively justify" such action.

Tribunal rules in favor of employee

A security guard forced into resigning after activists staged a protest at his place of employment was awarded over £34,000 in compensation by a tribunal. The panel found that the man had been coerced into resigning by a senior manager who reportedly sought a scapegoat for the event.

The employment tribunal was told that a group of eight protesters had entered the reception area of HM Treasury on 16 April 2013 in order to film a song and dance routine that satirised the tax avoidance scandals involving HMRC. They performed a song, filmed the routine and posted it to the internet. The panel heard that officials of the Treasury became angry whilst HMRC was unhappy and that the security company was threatened with the cancellation of their contract.

Former manager denies accusations of leaking confidential info

A former employee of a firm that provides bus transport to accommodate train service failures has denied revealing confidential information during contract negotiations. The Droitwich resident has raised a claim for unfair dismissal in an employment tribunal currently underway in Birmingham.

The man was employed to manage contracts and performance by a brokerage company that helps to replace transportation services when railway services are compromised. His employers fired him after accusing him of passing on sensitive information to a representative of one of the bus companies bidding for a contract with a rail franchise that services London Midland. They told the panel that the contract in question was the company's "bread and butter" and had risen in value from £1 million to £3 million between 2012 and the extension date of 2015.

Sales consultant wins tribunal case for commission in holiday pay

A recent decision by the European Court of Justice is set to have a wide-ranging impact on the UK's employment market. The case concerned the holiday pay entitlement of a sales consultant whose basic salary was 40 percent of his total income. The court ruled that, when calculating the holiday pay of an employee who was contractually entitled to commission, this payment should also be included. As employees can back-claim underpayments for years, firms are now being advised to take advice regarding their liability in the wake of this decision.

The man worked for an energy company and stated that, by not earning commission during the holiday period, his income was reduced by 60 percent in the months after he returned to work. He claimed that this was a breach of Working Time Regulations as employees are permitted 5.6 weeks' paid vacation every year in the UK and 4 weeks' paid vacation under EU employment law.

Taking steps to end on-line defamation

With the rapid expansion of social media over the past few years, protection of an on-line reputation has become a very real concern for many. Due to the openly accessible and potentially anonymous nature of these new mediums, it has become necessary for both businesses and individuals to be aware of the impact of on-line misrepresentation and have a plan in place to deal with disparaging remarks if they occur.

If you discover a defamatory or libellous reference on-line, the first step to removing it is to identify the person who is responsible for the remarks. With social-media users able to create hide behind a pseudonym, it may be necessary to seek a Norwich Pharmacal Order, which might reveal a person's identity. You might then be able to seek an injunction to stop. After these steps are taken, you have many options that to seek compensation.

Man insists tattoos should have "protected characteristic" status

A real estate entrepreneur from Birmingham has launched a campaign to ensure that the employment rights of those with tattoos are protected. The 34-year-old Birmingham businessman says that body modification is as much an expression of identity as any other protected belief.

As part of his campaign, he has approached three ministers for support, stating that employees should be judged on their ability to do a job rather than their body art. Research compiled by the British Association of Dermatologists has revealed that one fifth of all Britons have tattoos and the man says that those with modifications "have an identity because of their image."

Class-action lawsuit for UK lender

The U.K.'s largest mortgage lender is being sued for the second time by its shareholders. The class-action lawsuit has been brought by 220 investors who claim that the banking group and its executives "knew or ought to have known" that an acquisition in 2008 would "not be in their best interests" and that they had been misled.

The investors' claim states that the banking group was aware that the company they acquired had been manipulating the benchmarks for interest rates and that the "secret loan" given to the acquisition indicated the "folly" of the takeover bid. The acquired company was also receiving financial support from both the Bank of England and the U.S. Federal Reserve prior to the takeover.

Personal trainer wins employment tribunal

A gym employee who was fired after numerous warnings about his unwanted behaviour has won an employment tribunal. The Jehovah's Witness was sacked after his conversations about his religious beliefs made clients and colleagues uncomfortable.

The tribunal found that his final written warning did not equal an overall ban on discussions about religion and that he had therefore suffered unfair dismissal. The judge reduced the man's compensation award by 75 percent due to his previous behaviour and rejected the claim that there had been religious discrimination.

Defamation case delayed until 2015 due to doctor's note

A case brought by an assembly member over claims that five men circulated false statements in a dossier given to a group leader, as well as a newsletter handed out in a religious meeting, has been delayed until 2015. A South Wales East assembly member and a man who had tried to mediate the dispute have made the claim of defamation.

One of the accused, who was representing himself, provided a doctor's note that stated he would be unable to attend the court this week. The judge overseeing the hearing adjourned proceedings until the man was able to return. As the judge said that he would be unavailable before December and another man's legal representative would be unavailable until after December, the case will most likely resume in 2015.

Former executive alleges retaliation after whistleblowing

A chief executive for a charity who drew attention to governance and financial issues has claimed that being outed as the whistleblower resulted in constructive dismissal. The woman, who had raised her concerns about the charity internally, had taken sick leave after suffering injuries in a bicycle accident and repeated her concerns under the auspice of public interest disclosure. Her unfair dismissal claim has been approved for hearing before a formal employment tribunal, and a spokesperson for the charity said that they would contest the case.

After she was revealed to be the whistleblower, the woman said that her position within the organisation was made untenable, that she suffered "detriment" and that she was forced to resign. Her claim is against both the chairman as an individual and the charity as a whole. The charity had instigated an investigation because of the attention, subsequently beginning a restructure within the organisation.

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