Employment Law Update: Employer Restrained from ‘Firing and Rehiring’, Dismissal for Raising Frivolous Grievances, and Employment Status of Taxi Driver

Tesco Restrained From ‘Firing and Rehiring’ Employees

In USDAW and ors v Tesco Stores Ltd [2022] 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.

Dismissal of Employee Who Raised Numerous Frivolous Grievances Was Fair

In Hope v British Medical Association [2021] UKEAT 2020-000187, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) found that the dismissal for gross misconduct of an employee who had raised several grievances but resisted their resolution was fair.

Though this decision will be welcomed by employers, it is important to remember that, notwithstanding the employee’s conduct, in order to successfully defend a claim of unfair dismissal, an employer must have a potentially fair reason for dismissal (as set out in the Employment Rights Act 1996) and follow a fair dismissal process.

London Black Cab Taxi Driver Not a ‘Worker’

In Johnson v Transopco UK ltd EA-2020-000780-AT, the EAT found that a London black cab driver providing taxi rides through an app was not a worker.

This decision, which runs counter to several recent decisions of the U.K. courts in which individuals in the ‘gig economy’ were found to be workers, highlights the fact that each case will turn on its specific facts.

For the full alert, visit the Faegre Drinker website.