Tue 07 Apr 2020

Employment law in the news - April 2020

Our regular report on the employment issues that have made the news headlines over the past few weeks

The big news

The big news has of course been coronavirus and its worldwide consequences - something we have covered in detail elsewhere. 

The good news

It was International Women's Day  on Sunday 8 March with numerous events taking place around the world (and more locally) to mark the achievements of women and bring attention to the need for equality.  Much of the length of Britain was covered by the all-female crew of the Flying Scotsman - rebranded as the Flying Scotswoman for the day.

And the rest……

Disappointingly it seems there still remains a difference of opinion as to whether it is OK to tell a dirty joke at work.  In a recent survey of people across the world in 27 countries it was found that UK men are happier to have a laugh over a crude joke than men from many other parts of the world including Turkey, Mexico, Australia, Canada and the US.  However, on a more positive note, 73% of British men said they would take a stand against sexism.

Problems continue for the gig economy with Uber competitor Bolt now facing legal action over minimum wage and workers' rights.  The claimant is backed by the IWGB union who have previously successfully supported Uber drivers.  The claimant is challenging Bolt's assertion that drivers can choose how to work (after he was 'expelled' for refusing to take on enough fares) and is arguing that he should be classified as a worker.

The widely publicised ethical veganism employment tribunal has been settled.  After an employment judge concluded that ethical veganism met the test to be protected as a philosophical belief under the Equality Act the claimant, Mr Casmitjana, has agreed a settlement with his ex-employer, the League Against Cruel Sports. Mr Casamitjana had been sacked after telling colleagues about LACS investment in pension funds in firms which carried out animal testing or compromised the environment.

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