Employment Law Newsletter

November 24, 2010

The last few months have been an exciting time for members of Field Court Chambers, culminating in the appointment of our head of chambers, Lucy Theis QC, as a High Court Judge.

The last few months have also been an exciting time for discrimination specialists, with the coming into force of many of the provisions of the Equality Act 2010. Field Court Chambers‟ Employment Team led the way, putting on a number of seminars looking at the implications of the new legislation. Whilst the legislative landscape for the future has changed, the courts have been busily engaged in considering the ambit of the old legislation. In Aylott v Stockton on Tees BC, the Court of Appeal confirmed that Malcolm v Lewisham marked the death of Novacold (only for it to rise from the dead under the new Act), whilst in Kuliaoskas v MacDuff Shellfish discussion has continued about the extent of protection against associative discrimination – this time in respect of the partner of a pregnant woman.

The courts have also been busy looking at often overlooked, yet crucial, points about time. In Heaven v Whitbread, it was emphasised that the date of resignation is a matter of statutory construct rather than subject to the discretion of the parties, whilst in Gisda Cyf v Barrett the Supreme Court held that where dismissal is by letter, the effective date of termination is governed by the date on which the letter is read or, at the very least, the dismissed person has had a reasonable opportunity to read it. Also included in the newsletter is guidance on when to use the two main approaches to pension loss (Sibbit v St Cuthbert’s Catholic Primary School) and on percentage reductions to take account of contributing causes to psychiatric injury (Thaine v. LSE); a helpful case for solicitors wanting belatedly to rectify ET1s where not all potential claims have been pleaded (New Star v Evershed); continuations of the long recent lines of case law on the definition of worker vis-à-vis the right of substitution (Community Dental Centre v Sultan-Darmon) and on continuity of employment (Hussain v Acorn Independent College); and confirmation by the EAT that the Respondent‟s ability to pay is irrelevant to the assessment of compensation (Tao Herbs v Jin).

We hope you find this quarter‟s newsletter informative and, as always, we welcome your feedback.