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Rachel Farr

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Rachel Farr is a Knowledge Lawyer in Baker McKenzie's London office.

The UK Supreme Court has confirmed that Asda retail employees (who are nearly all women) can continue their claim for equal pay as compared to Asda’s distribution centre employees (who are nearly all men). The fact that they worked exclusively at different sites did not prevent the comparison. The decision removes one potential hurdle for claimants in equal pay litigation.

In brief In two separate appeals concerning the same individual, the Court of Appeal has held that a Christian magistrate was not victimised when he was removed from office after disapproving of same-sex adoptions in the press.  The magistrate, who was also a non-executive director of an NHS trust, was…

In R (Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain) v The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, the High Court upheld a claim brought by the IWGB union that the UK had failed to properly implement Articles 8(4) and (5) of the EU Health and Safety Framework Directive (89/391/EC) by limiting protection from detriment on health and safety grounds under section 44 of the Employment Rights Act (ERA) to employees. A copy of our update on that case can be found here

The Supreme Court has upheld previous judgments that Uber drivers are workers, not self-employed. In doing so, it has held that the terms of a written contract should not be treated as the starting point in determining worker status. Courts and tribunals should instead look at all the circumstances of the case, and reach their own conclusion on whether an individual is a worker.

In a case in which it was held that an employee was unfairly dismissed for setting up a camera to monitor anyone who entered his private office, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has also provided useful guidance on the approach employers should take to investigating and hearing connected disciplinary hearings against more than one employee.

The EAT has held that an employer could not rely on the defence under the Equality Act that it had taken all reasonable steps to prevent harassment, as its diversity training had become “stale”. The EAT confirmed that when looking at whether the step relied on by the employer, here diversity training, was reasonable, “it is not sufficient merely to ask whether there had been training, consideration has to be given to the nature of the training and the extent to which it was likely to be effective.”