5 ­important Employment Law Cases judgements from 2018 that every employer should know about, as picked by Xpert HR:

    1. Pimlico Plumbers Ltd and another v Smith
      The year has seen a number of high-pro­file cases involving the status of “self-employed” individuals who work within the gig economy, for companies such as Deliveroo and Uber.
      In the case of Pimlico Plumbers the Court of Appeal made the decision to classify Smith as a ‘worker’ due to Pimlico’s requirement for him to use their van and to work a minimum number of hours per week, meaning he was entitled to rights such as holiday and statutory sick pay.
    2. Royal Mencap Society v Tomlinson-Blake; Shannon v Rampersad and another
      The court ruled that a “sleep-in” care worker in residential accommodation was not entitled to the national minimum wage while sleeping. The decision was big news in the care sector and also had an impact on other sectors where staff are allowed to sleep at work until called on, for example in some emergency services. A word of caution, however, is that this decision appears to be limited to arrangements in residential care homes and similar places of work. So, whilst it may provide guidance to other types of employer’s that engage workers on a sleep-in basis, it does leave some uncertainty as to whether it will be applied in the same way to other sectors.
    3. Talon Engineering Ltd v Smith
      In this case, the court ruled that an employer’s refusal to postpone a disciplinary hearing for two weeks to allow the employee’s union official to accompany her made her dismissal unfair. The case of Talon Engineering highlighted the potential danger for employers in proceeding with a disciplinary hearing when the employee’s chosen companion is unavailable – even where the requested postponement falls outside the period allowed for under the statutory right to be accompanied.
    4. Bellman v Northampton Recruitment Ltd
      Employers should take note of this case for upcoming festive parties!
      The court’s verdict was that an employer can be liable for a managing director’s random act of violence at a post-Christmas-party drinking session. This is because the managing director was still acting in his role with the company, having organised and paid for staff to continue drinking on the same night as the sanctioned workplace event. The Court accepted that the assault arose out of his misuse of his position.
    5. WM Morrison Supermarkets plc v Various claimants
      The case arose after a disgruntled former IT auditor with the company sent the personal data of around 10,000 staff to newspapers and posted it online. The Court ruled that there was a sucient connection between the position in which the IT auditor was employed and his wrongful conduct for the employer to be liable.

As an employer, keeping track of the employment law cases impacting your organisation and its processes can be hard – so let The HR Experts help.

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