Employment Law Update – May 2016

Two recent decisions put the spotlight on employment matters

The first, by the Court of Appeal, concerns variations to an employment contract.

The Court has ruled that changes made by verbal agreement or as a result of conduct by an employer or employee can be acceptable under the law. In essence, it is not necessary for changes to be in writing in order to be effective. This is regardless of whether a contract stipulates that any variations must be in writing.

The second decision, by the Employment Appeal Tribunal, relates to disability discrimination.

It increases the scope of cases where claims for disability discrimination can be brought. The ruling also loosens the test to establish whether the cause of discrimination arises from the disability.

In Risby v London Borough of Waltham Forest, the council’s employee was sacked for misconduct after he had lost his temper when he learned that his employer had decided to move a course to a venue which was inaccessible to him as a wheelchair user.

The employee’s tendency to be short-tempered was unrelated to his disability of paraplegia.

However, the EAT said the situation only arose because the employee was disabled, and that it was wrong to find that his misconduct was not linked to his disability.

Therefore, even though grounds for discrimination did not directly relate to the disability, the claim was feasible where it was indirectly related.

If you require any more information on either of these cases or alternatively if you need any advice in relation to any employment matters, please do not hesitate to contact one of our experts:

Mark Hirst, Nicholas Clough or Rachael Frankland on 0161 330 6821 or email mhirst@bromleys.co.uk  nclough@bromleys.co.uk rfrankland@bromleys.co.uk

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.