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October's mfg - Employment Law Briefing

Constructive Dismissal Claims
In the recent case Logan v Celyn House limited, it was held that for an employee to make a claim for unfair constructive dismissal, the principal reason for the resignation does not need to be a fundamental breach of the contract of employment.
In this case, the Claimant was employed as a veterinary nurse and resigned in response to an unsatisfactory grievance decision.  The Claimant’s grievance involved a number of matters including failure to receive payment of contractual sick pay (which the tribunal had  found was a breach of contract) and alleged bullying, of which the tribunal had found was a figment of the Claimant’s imagination. The tribunal found that the key reason for the resignation was the alleged bullying and not the sick pay matter. The tribunal therefore rejected the Claimant’s claim for unfair dismissal.
The  Employment Appeals Tribunal (“EAT”), it was held that the employment tribunal had been wrong to look for the key reason for resignation and it should have asked itself whether the breach of contract in  failing to pay the contractual sick pay was a repudiatory breach and, if so  whether it was reason for the Claimant’s resignation and not whether it was  the principal reason for resignation. The EAT held that it was enough that the Claimant had resigned in response to the fundamental breach of failing to pay the contractual sick pay.

Age Discrimination
Statistics on Employment Tribunals and Employment Appeal Tribunals from 2010 to 2011 have been released. The average award in age discrimination complaints is £30,289. This is over twice the amount of average awards  for all other types of discrimination.

Annual Tribunal Statistics
The annual Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeals Tribunal statistics up to 31 st March 2012 have been published.  These are as follows:

  • 15% fall in the number of Employment Tribunal claims
  • Costs awards are up from 487 to 1,411.  A surprising 81% of costs awarded are in favor of the Respondents.
  • The mean average unfair dismissal award is £9,133 and the Median average unfair dismissal award is £4,560.

National Minimum Wage

The National Minimum Wage (Amendment) Regulations 2012, made on 15th September 2012 will come into force on 01 st October 2012. The Regulations will increase the standard adult rate of pay,  apprenticeship rate of pay and accommodation offset limit of national minimum wage in accordance with the recommendations from the Low Pay Commission.

The following hourly rates of National Minimum Wage will apply from 01st October 2012:
  • The standard adult rate (workers aged 21 and over) will be £6.19
  • The development rate (workers between 18 and 20) will be £4.98 (remaining unchanged)
  • The young workers rate (workers aged under 18 but about the compulsory school age who are not apprentices) will be £3.68 (remaining unchanged)
  • The rate for apprentices will be £2.65
  • The accommodation offset will be £4.82 each day

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