UK Employment Law Update - March 2014



With spring finally here, we shed light on some of the fresh cases in employment law. These relate to collective redundancies, TUPE, agency workers contracts, whistleblowing and discrimination.


Liability for acts of agent

In Kemeh v Ministry of Defence, the Court of Appeal (CA) considered the claim of an employee who was racially abused by an agency worker working at his employer’s premises. Was the employer vicariously liable for the discriminatory acts of an agency worker?..

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Harmonisation of terms

In Hazel v Manchester College, the Court of Appeal (CA) considered the case where an employer tried to cut costs, and also tried to harmonise 37 different sets of staff terms and conditions after a series of TUPE transfers. In an attempt to achieve this, the claimant employees were asked to accept pay cuts of over 10%. They refused and so were dismissed but were immediately re-employed, albeit under protest, on the new reduced terms...

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Agency workers


In Smith v Carillion, the claimant was employed by an agency to work on a construction site. The engagement ended because his name was on a union blacklist supplied to the site owner.

An employee or worker has the right to claim against his or her employer about detrimental treatment on grounds of trade union activities or activities as a health and safety representative...

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Three emails taken together can amount to a ‘protected disclosure’

In Norbrook Laboratories (GB) Ltd v Shaw, the claimant alleged that his employer had taken action against him because he was a ‘whistleblower’. He claimed that he had made a protected disclosure of information to his employer in which he raised concern that the health and safety of his team was at risk...

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Collective Redundancies

Consultation requirement - an update

The long-running case of Nolan v USA has been referred back to the Court of Appeal (CA) from the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU), but still no decision has been made on the real question in issue.

The CJEU held that, as the case concerned the closure of a US military base in the UK, the relevant European Directive did not apply. However the CA decided that this does not mean that the relevant UK legislation does not apply...

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