Employment Law Explained

Latest News

Employers have to repay sick pay

Some good news for employees came out last week with the decision by the European Court of Justice in Pereda v Madrid Movilidad SA that says if an employee is sick whilst on holiday, they can retake the holiday later on or carry the days lost over to the next year.

Not surprisingly employers’ representatives are unhappy about it as it places additional burdens on them. It also increases the risk of unscrupulous employees taking advantage. No guidance is offered by the ECJ on how this could be policed. Employers can only insist on a sick note from GPs after seven days absence.

Costs Awards in Tribunal

A while ago I wrote about the case of Daleside Nursing Home v Mathew which dealt with the issue of when costs should be awarded against a party by an Employment Tribunal. A recent case has now followed that decision. In Dunedin Canmore Housing Association Limited v Donaldson, a case before the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) in Edinburgh it was held that the Claimant (who was representing herself) had lied under oath and the Tribunal should have awarded costs against her. In particular the Honourable Lady Smith said;

The issue was not whether a lay person could reasonably have been expected to understand the law. It was whether she had or had not, in simple human terms, approached the essential factual matters that lay at the heart of her case honestly and reasonably. She had not done so and these are exactly the sort of circumstances where a Tribunal has a responsibility to make clear that it is quite unacceptable to cause expense to another party by bringing proceedings on that basis.

Be warned!

Notice Monies and Constructive Dismissal

Here is some good news for employers. The Court of Appeal (CA) has recently overturned the EAT’s decision in Stuart Peters v Bell which had said that an employee who claimed constructive dismissal from his employer and then went on to work for another employer during the notice period they would otherwise have served did not have to give credit for the monies earned. This has been the law, since 1972 case of Norton Tools v Tewson. Effectively the employee could get his salary twice for that period, which was something of a windfall for him. That has now been overturned by the CA, but only insofar as constructive dismissal cases are concerned. So, if an employee claims constructive dismissal, leaves the employer without serving their notice and finds alternative work elsewhere, the employer won’t have to pay the notice monies due to the employee during that period.

Norton Tools is still good law in other respects and hasn’t been completely overturned.

Please contact me on 0207 464 8433 or email me at michaelscutt@dalelangley.co.uk if you require further advice.

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Michael Scutt, Employment Solicitor 

Employment solicitor with Crane and Staples, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire. Blogger & writer. I like cycling, cricket, football and history.