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Latest From The Employment Law Experts
Latest From The Employment Law Experts

Latest From The Employment Law Experts

A FORMER security guard at Tesco who said there was a link between his HIV and being fired has been awarded €32,000 in compensation for unfair dismissal. The supermarket chain had claimed at the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) that the young man's dismissal from a Dublin store in 2009 was due to his consuming a bottle of Ribena and a packet of Snax during his night shift, and failing to pay for them. But the tribunal inquiry awarded him €32,000 in compensation after finding the evidence showed there had been no breaches of discipline or complaints against the man during his employment. It also pointed out he was not informed that an initial meeting with the store manager was in fact an inquiry.  His solicitor, Niamh Walsh of O'Connor & Bergin Solicitors, said: “Our client is very happy with the result and feels vindicated by the decision made by the tribunal. It was a difficult time for him.” A spokesman for Tesco said the company was not appealing the award. During the hearing, the man's barrister, Grainne Fahey, asked the former security guard if he felt there was a link between his being HIV positive and his dismissal. “To be honest, yes,” he said – adding that the Tesco employee relations officer working with his case was aware of his medical condition. Ms Fahey told the hearing that the man felt he was being treated differently to other employees and punished disproportionately.  However, the supermarket chain claimed his dismissal was related to his having…
A revised timetable for when employers of all sizes must start enrolling their staff in a workplace pension is set out by the Government today. Large employers, those with 250 or more employees, will not face any change in the date they are due to start enrolling their staff.  This follows the announcement in November that small businesses would be given more time to prepare for automatic enrolment to help them out in exceptionally tough economic times. The timetable for employers to begin enrolling their staff starts with the largest firms first, followed by medium, then small companies. Automatic enrolment will begin in October 2012. All existing firms will have enrolled their staff by April 2017, followed by all new employers by February 2018. This new timeline means that 70% of individuals will be automatically enrolled before the next general election. The level of pension contributions will be phased in over time to help employers and individuals adjust. Full contributions will have to be paid from 1 October 2018. The DWP have stated a consultation and draft regulations with more detailed information will be published shortly. The new timetable is as follows: Employer size (by PAYE scheme size) or other description Auto-enrolment duty date From To 250 or more members 1 Oct 2012 1 Feb 2014 50 to 249 members 1 Apr 2014 1 Apr 2015 Test tranche for less than 30 members 1 Jun 2015 30 Jun 2015 30 to 49 members 1 Aug 2015 1 Oct 2015 Less than 30 members 1 Jan…
Monday, 13 February 2012 02:40

Alternative employment and redundancy

Written by Ahtasham Rizvi
This is an interesting case that looks at reasonableness when turning down alternative employment. Mrs Readman, a nurse, was placed at risk of redundancy and offered three alternative posts by her employer. One of the posts, a Hospital Matron position, was correctly found by the employment tribunal to amount to suitable alternative employment under s 141(3) of the ERA 1996. Mrs Readman refused this post on the grounds that, having worked in community nursing since 1985, she had no desire to return to a hospital setting. In the circumstances, she was denied a redundancy payment by her employer, relying on s 141 of the ERA. The Employment Tribunal similarly refused Mrs Readman a redundancy payment on the grounds that her refusal had been unreasonable. In reaching this conclusion, the tribunal asked itself, in effect, whether a reasonable employee would have accepted the employer’s offer and concluded that they would have done. Overturning the decision on appeal, the EAT held that the tribunal had fallen into error by applying a wholly objective test to the question of reasonableness. The proper question for a tribunal, when considering whether a refusal of suitable alternative employment is unreasonable, is whether the employee in question acted reasonably in refusing the offer. This will involve a consideration of whether the reason, given by the individual, constituted a sound and justifiable reason for turning down the offer. The EAT therefore allowed the appeal and substituted a finding that Mrs Readman was entitled to receive a redundancy payment.…
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