Posted by Gemma Ospedale, Partner
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A recent decision of the Upper Tribunal of the Tax and Chancery Chamber has knocked on the head the concept that most injury to feelings awards can be paid tax-free. Unless the injury in respect of which the award is made is unconnected to any dismissal, it is highly likely that, as a result of this decision, it will now become taxable.
In Donkor v Royal Bank of Scotland, the EAT has looked at the question of comparators in a claim for direct age discrimination.
In Kelly v Covance Laboratories Limited, the EAT has upheld an Employment Tribunal decision that the employer was not directly discriminating or harassing an employee on the grounds of her race in requiring her not to speak Russian at work. The employer had a reasonable explanation for this which was wholly unrelated to the employee’s nationality or national origins.
The case of Cordant Security Limited v Singh is an interesting factual case. The Claimant brought a claim of direct race discrimination alleging that he had been subjected to a detriment under the Equality Act on the grounds of his race. The Tribunal agreed with him – but it awarded him no compensation because it found that the alleged detriment was untrue and the Claimant had made it up!
Charities are being reminded that new National Living Wage laws are set to take effect from April 1st. The changes to the statutory wage floor were announced by the Chancellor, George Osborne, in his Budget Speech last summer.
In a recent judgment, the Court of Appeal has eased the path of employees in showing that a duty to make reasonable adjustments arises where a provision, criterion or practice (a PCP) puts a disabled person at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person. The employee appealed against the decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) that there had been no breach of the duty to make reasonable adjustments for her disability under the Equality Act. While the appeal ultimately failed, the judgment now makes demonstrating that the duty arises much easier for potential claimants.
In Naeem v Secretary of State for Justice, the Court of Appeal has held that an Employment Tribunal was wrong to find that a Muslim prison chaplin was placed at a particular disadvantage by the prison service’s use of a length of service criterion in determining its pay arrangements.
In Waddingham v NHS Business Services Authority the Employment Tribunal has upheld a claim for failure to make reasonable adjustments which was brought by a disabled NHS employee who did not achieve the necessary score in a competitive interview process for an internal post.
In Pnaiser v NHS England and Coventry City Council, the EAT has overturned an Employment Tribunal decision which found that a Claimant had not established a prima facie case of discrimination arising from disability. The EAT considered that the Tribunal was wrong in the way in which it approached the burden of proof.
In Beckford v London Borough of Southwark, the issue of whether or not the application of the Simmons v Castle uplift applies to Employment Tribunal awards has been considered yet again by the EAT. This case held that it does apply.
In Griffiths v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions the Court of Appeal looked at whether the duty to make reasonable adjustments under section 20 of the Equality Act should be abolished. It held that it should not.