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Motor Trade Legal News

MILS appeal overturned Tribunal Judgment

We have recently been involved in a reported appeal case for one of our clients.  SG Petch Ltd v English Stewart (UKEAT 0213/12).

A decision by the Newcastle Employment Tribunal, that a part-time marketing manager who was made redundant at the end of maternity leave, was dismissed on discriminatory grounds, was over-turned on appeal.

By challenging the original Judgment in the Employment Appeal Tribunal, we successfully argued that the Judge should have found, on the Tribunal’s own findings, that the dismissal was simply by reason of redundancy and was not discriminatory.  We produced cogent and convincing evidence from our client that the dismissal was not related to the Claimant’s maternity. The Appeal Tribunal has now vindicated our client’s case.

The matter has been sent back to the Newcastle Employment Tribunal to reconsider its findings and properly re-apply the law.

We are often involved in fighting appeals on behalf of clients, where Tribunals have made errors of law. We offer our clients substantial discounts on the usual high street and city fees for Employment Appeal cases.

Government announcements on employment law reforms

The Government has just announced several important announcements in the press relating to employment law changes this year. These will be covered in more detail in client updates, for existing MILS clients:

  • Establishment of a health and work assessment and advisory service for long term sick employees.
  • New cap on the maximum award for unfair dismissal of 1 years’ pay subject to the statutory cap.
  • Consultation on the reform of the employment agency regulations to simplify regulation in the recruitment sector.

We have also seen further announcements on the introduction of fees to issue Employment Tribunal claims, which are anticipated to come into effect from Summer 2013 onwards and also plans to amend the TUPE Regulations.

MILS clients can find out more about these developments through direct contact with our employment lawyers and free subscription to our regular employment law updates.

Alternative employment vs suitable alternative employment

Many clients in the motor industry are experiencing restructuring and redundancies (and have been for many years). An important question our clients often come across is whether an offer of alternative employment in a redundancy situation is an offer of “alternative employment” (which entitles the employee to reject and take redundancy pay and notice pay) or an offer of “suitable alternative employment” (which, broadly speaking, does not).

Court of Appeal cases on vicarious liability of employers

In Weddall v Barchester an employee had been called to work the night shift and had refused. He then turned up at his workplace and assaulted the Claimant. It was found he was acting personally for his own reasons and that the underlying instruction to work the night shift was no more than a pretext for an act of violence unconnected with his work.

MILS save client over £100,000

The Claimant raised claims for unfair dismissal and disability discrimination against our client. The Claimant suffered from learning difficulties and had been employed for over 10 years. In the last two months of his employment, he carried out three separate acts of gross and serious misconduct which led to his dismissal.