Menopause is something that approximately 50 percent of the workforce will experience during their working lives, but it is still infrequently discussed or considered in the workplace and many of us are unaware of how menopause can affect those going through it. However, employers are seeing an increase in employees concerned about menopause and their experience with it at work. This is a multi-faceted issue that encompasses a range of potential employment law issues.
Most countries do not recognise menopause as a characteristic that is specifically protected by discrimination laws. But employees experiencing menopause may be protected by discrimination laws relating to age, sex, disability and gender reassignment. Generally, people experiencing menopause are women aged between 45 and 55 so any unfavourable treatment (whether direct or indirect) towards an employee experiencing menopause could amount to sex and/or age discrimination. Gender reassignment discrimination may also be relevant if the employee experiencing menopause is transgender.
Continue reading “Menopause in the Workplace: A Multi-Faceted Issue”
In May, the UK government passed three family-related Acts that employers should be aware of: the Neonatal Care Act; the Protection from Redundancy Act; and the Carer’s Leave Act. UK courts have also made notable rulings on noncompete restrictions, and COVID-19-related health and safety detriment claims.
Continue reading “UK Employment Law Update: Family Acts, UK Government Legislative Proposals and Recent Case Developments”
On 21 February 2022, the U.K. government announced its “Living with COVID-19’” plan. This month’s U.K. Employment Law Update outlines the key changes in England and what it means for employers.
Continue reading “Living With COVID-19: What Is Changing in England and What Does It Mean for Employers?”
Tesco Restrained From ‘Firing and Rehiring’ Employees
In USDAW and ors v Tesco Stores Ltd  EWHC 201 (QB), the High Court (HC) granted an injunction to restrain U.K. supermarket giant, Tesco, from ‘firing and rehiring’ employees who did not agree to the removal of a permanent right to a benefit.
This decision is significant as it offers a potential new legal remedy for employees whose employers are looking to ‘fire and rehire’ them in order to remove a permanent entitlement. The practice of ‘fire and rehire’ was already controversial and under increasing scrutiny prior to this decision, and it will be interesting to see the extent to which employers will try to deploy it in the future.
Continue reading “Employment Law Update: Employer Restrained from ‘Firing and Rehiring’, Dismissal for Raising Frivolous Grievances, and Employment Status of Taxi Driver”
Recent Employment Tribunal (ET) decisions have shed light on the risks that can arise for employers where employees refuse to attend the workplace because of COVID-19 concerns. We consider below how ETs have dealt with claims of discrimination and automatic unfair dismissal related to COVID-19.
In X v. Y (ET 241947/2020), an employer withheld an employee’s wages after she refused to attend the workplace due to her fear that she would contract COVID-19 and pass it on to her vulnerable husband. The employee brought a claim for unlawful discrimination arguing that her opinion regarding the risk of COVID-19 and the need to protect herself amounted to a philosophical belief that was capable of constituting a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010. The ET disagreed. It found that the employee’s view was not a philosophical belief protected under the Equality Act 2010 but “a widely held opinion based on the present state of information” and a “reaction to a threat of physical harm”. Her claim therefore failed.
Continue reading “U.K. Employment Tribunal Decisions: When Employees Refuse to Attend the Workplace for Fear of COVID-19”
Today, after much anticipation and just in time for the Memorial Day holiday, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released updated guidance on COVID-19 vaccination issues raised under federal equal employment laws. We outline five things you need to know about the new guidance.
Continue reading “EEOC Issues New COVID-19 Guidance Addressing Vaccinations in the Workplace”