ELA Briefing

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Author: Pauline Hughes, head of legal service, Disability Rights Commission
There have been a number of interesting disability cases reported during the past year and the overall trend appears to be an increased reliance upon medical evidence. This is regrettable, since the definition itself is a hybrid of the medical model of disability, which treats disability as a medical problem and focuses on treatment, and the social model of disability, which treats disability as a political and social issue. Pauline Hughes reports
Author: Simon Cheetham, Ely Place Chambers
A final set of statistics for the month… Although costs orders remain the exception rather than the rule in employment tribunals, they are slowly becoming a more frequent sanction for vexatious, abusive, disruptive or (most frequently) unreasonable conduct in bringing or conducting proceedings. The Employment Tribunals Service Annual Report for 2002/2003 shows that costs orders were made in a total of 998 cases for that year, which compares with a total of 636 for the previous year.
Author: Simon Cheetham, Ely Place Chambers
And still more figures… The increase in the minimum wage on 1 October to £4.50 for those aged 22 and above and to £3.80 for those aged 18-21 coincides with the publication of the National Minimum Wage Report 2002/2003. It is a self-congratulatory document, but perhaps deservedly so, when one considers the short time in which the minimum wage has become a settled feature of employment with a high level of awareness.
Author: Simon Cheetham, Ely Place Chambers
More statistics… With the consultation period on the age discrimination proposals coming to an end on 20 October, it is interesting to read that – according to a survey for the Employers Forum on Age – only 9 per cent of UK managers are fully aware of the government’s plans for age discrimination legislation.
Author: Simon Cheetham, Ely Place Chambers
Some employment lawyers might have to swallow hard before agreeing with ACAS that the fall in the number of tribunal applications is “encouraging”. The ACAS Annual Report 2003 records a fall for the third successive year, with a total of 94,453 applications in 2002/ 2003, which was 4 per cent down on the previous year.
Author: Marc Jones, a partner at Underwoods Solicitors, acts for Ms Heath
The purpose of Platform is to allow members to express their personal views and does not necessarily reflect the views of ELA editorial board. We hope it will prompt discussion and debate.
Author: Clare Primett, Le Brasseurs
This book on wrongful dismissal and breach of contract is the third in the law guidance and precedents series. Its stated aims are to systematically cover the express and implied terms contained in the contract of employment and the principles relating to breach and contractual claims for wrongful dismissal while highlighting recent areas of development.
Author: James Cox and Kelly Cole are solicitors at Ashurst Morris Crisp, which acted for Virgin Net
The EAT in Virgin Net Ltd v Harper EAT/0111/02 held that an employee cannot recover damages representing the loss of statutory unfair dismissal rights at common law where the breach of contract arises from a summary dismissal without proper cause and where, had contractual notice been given by the employer, the effective date of termination
Author: Henry Clinton-Davis, head of the employment and HR team at Hale & Dorr, solicitors
For a number of years UK employers have been facing conflicting court decisions as to whether it is lawful for them to roll up holiday pay into their workers’ pay packets, rather than paying holiday pay at the time the workers actually take their vacation
Author: Pauline Hughes, head of legal services, Disability Rights Commission
The government is in the process of implementing Directive 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000, which will establish a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation. The Disability Discrimination Act (Amendment) Regulations 2003 and additional regulations on occupational pensions are intended to incorporate the above into domestic law.
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