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News Update

December 2018

An ET awards an IT manager £1m in compensation for unfair dismissal and racial discrimination after he was dismissed for gross misconduct following an incident in the car park with a third-party delivery driver.

The Government has published the proposed new benefit and pension rates for 2019 to 2020 which will see the statutory parental pay rates increase to £148.68 per week and SSP increase to £118 per week.

New research from Acas on sexual harassment has revealed that only one in four workers agree that international media coverage on #MeToo and high-profile celebrity cases has helped to improve their workplace culture.

A survey of more than 12,000 people aged 50 and over, commissioned by the BEIS, has identified a number of age-friendly measures to keep people in work longer.

£1 million compensation awarded for racially biased dismissal

In Hastings v Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, H, who is black and of African Caribbean origin, was dismissed on the grounds of gross misconduct in respect of an incident that occurred in the Trust’s car park with a third party delivery driver. H had been parking his car when a white van accelerated very quickly, and the driver was swearing at him as he passed. H approached the van and the driver, explaining that he was speeding and that he wanted to take his number plate. The driver was abusive to H, swore at him and made a racist remark. The ET found that the procedural and substantive failings identified in the investigation were less favourable treatment of because of race. The approach to the investigation and in the report reflected a preconceived view that H, as a Black male, was the aggressor in the incident and this view permeated the entire process. The ET also found the dismissal to be procedurally and substantively unfair, particularly because; (i) the evidence did not point to an act of gross misconduct; (ii) the Trust’s failure to investigate H’s allegations of race discrimination against the driver; and, (iii) the failure to take H’s 20 years 0f service and previous unblemished record into account. The ET awarded H £1,000,000, including £33,000 for injury to feelings and £40,000 for personal injury.

Government publishes new proposed statutory parental payments rates and SSP for 2019/20

The Government has published the proposed new benefit and pension rates for 2019 to 2020. From April 2019 the standard rate for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP), Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP), Statutory Shared Parental Pay (SSPP) will increase from £145.18 per week to £148.68. The Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) rate will increase from £92.05 per week to £94.25. The weekly lower earnings limit threshold which has to be reached for SMP, SPP, SAP, SSPP and SSP to be paid will rise from £116 per week to £118.

Acas research shines a light on attitudes towards reporting sexual harassment one year on from #MeToo

New research from Acas on sexual harassment has revealed that only one in four workers agree that international media coverage has helped to improve their workplace culture. The survey also found that 58% of workers believe that their current employer is doing about the right amount to reduce sexual harassment and 46% believe that 'making changes to the wider culture of the company' would be effective in preventing sexual harassment. The top 3 specific measures identified, which would be effective in reducing sexual harassment at work were: (1) better training on the topic for all staff (60%); (2) updating existing policies and procedures for dealing with sexual harassment (44%); and, (3) creating new policies and procedures (38%).

Over-50s poll identifies helpful older worker measures

A survey of more than 12,000 people aged 50 and over, commissioned by the BEIS, has identified a number of age-friendly measures to keep people in work longer. In answer to the question – which measures do you think workplaces should install to become more welcoming to older workers? – 78% said flexible working hours, 73% said offer part-time roles, 63% wanted training schemes to help workers with new skills and technology, 48% identified support for workers with physical health conditions associated with ageing and 36% indicated support for workers suffering from hearing loss and poor vision.


This update provides summary information and comment on the subject areas covered. Where employment tribunal and appellate court cases are reported, the information does not set out all of the facts, the legal arguments presented and help judgments made in every aspect of the case. Click on the links to access full details. If no link is provided, contact us for more information. Employment law is subject to constant change either by statute or by interpretation by the courts. While every care has been taken in compiling this information, SM&B cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Specialist legal advice must be taken on any legal issues that may arise before embarking upon any formal course of action.

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